Embracing Causal Complexity: The Emergence of a Neo-Configurational Perspective

Published on Jan 1, 2017in Journal of Management9.056
· DOI :10.1177/0149206316679252
Vilmos F. Misangyi15
Estimated H-index: 15
Thomas Greckhamer12
Estimated H-index: 12
(LSU: Louisiana State University)
+ 3 AuthorsRuth V. Aguilera35
Estimated H-index: 35
(Ramon Llull University)
Causal complexity has long been recognized as a ubiquitous feature underlying organizational phenomena, yet current theories and methodologies in management are for the most part not well-suited to its direct study. The introduction of the Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) configurational approach has led to a reinvigoration of configurational theory that embraces causal complexity explicitly. We argue that the burgeoning research using QCA represents more than a novel methodology; it constitutes the emergence of a neo-configurational perspective to the study of management and organizations that enables a fine-grained conceptualization and empirical investigation of causal complexity through the logic of set theory. In this article, we identify four foundational elements that characterize this emerging neo-configurational perspective: (a) conceptualizing cases as set theoretic configurations, (b) calibrating cases’ memberships into sets, (c) viewing causality in terms of necessity and sufficiency rel...
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