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ERIC Number: EJ797823
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-1052-5629
"Why Are There so Many Theories?" A Classroom Exercise to Help Students Appreciate the Need for Multiple Theories of a Management Domain
Anderson, Marc H.
Journal of Management Education, v31 n6 p757-776 2007
Management educators teaching topics such as motivation and leadership face the challenge of clearly explaining why so many diverse theories exist and why each represents a useful tool worth learning. The large number of "core" theories in these and other management domains often frustrates students, who see the lack of a single, comprehensive theory as indicating that academics do not truly understand the topic. Because students generally evaluate theories according to whether the theories match their personal experience, they may appreciate only one or two as being "correct" or "useful" and dismiss the others as invalid. Building on a "conceptual toolbox" metaphor of education, this article presents a classroom exercise that vividly illustrates why each of the many theories in a management domain is valuable and worth learning. The exercise involves the specific topic of work motivation but can be adapted to any domain involving a large number of core theories. (Contains 3 tables and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A