Jing Zhou, Muhammad Nouman Shafique, Abdul Adeel, Shahid Nawaz, Prashant Kumar


Theoretical contribution is a process which is based on the theory development and advancement in existing theory with some logics and facts. This study has focused on some theoretical contribution related question and their answers through the narrative review of literature. This study will highlight what is the theory? And what are the major building blocks of theory? How authors can contribute in theory? The answers for these questions during theoretical studies will enhance the impact of paper and also increase the chance of publication. This study also suggested how theoretical concepts can be practical implemented in the society and organizations to enhance organizational performance and validate the theory.   


Theory, Theorizing, Theory is, Theory is not, Theoretical Contribution, Theory Building Blocks, Originality, Utility of Theory

Full Text:



Bacharach, S. B. (1989). Organizational theories: Some criteria for evaluation. Academy of management review, 14(4), 496-515.

Barker, J. R. (1993). Tightening the iron cage: Concertive control in self-managing teams. Administrative science quarterly, 408-437.

Campbell, D. T. (1965). Variation and selective retention in socio-cultural evolution. Social change in developing areas: A reinterpretation of evolutionary theory, 19, 26-27.

Carillon, J. W., & Sutton, R. I. (1982). The relationship between union effectiveness and the quality of members' worklife. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 3(2), 171-179.

Corley, K. G., & Gioia, D. A. (2011). Building theory about theory building: what constitutes a theoretical contribution? Academy of management review, 36(1), 12-32.

Dubin, R. (1976). Theory building in applied areas. Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology, 17, 39.

Festinger, L. (1962). A theory of cognitive dissonance (Vol. 2): Stanford university press.

Freese, L. (1980). Formal theorizing. Annual Review of Sociology, 6(1), 187-212.

Gioia, D. A., & Pitre, E. (1990). Multiparadigm perspectives on theory building. Academy of management review, 15(4), 584-602.

Glaser, B. G., Strauss, A. L., & Strutzel, E. (1968). The discovery of grounded theory; strategies for qualitative research. Nursing research, 17(4), 364.

Gordon, R. A., & Howell, J. E. (1959). Higher education for business. The Journal of Business Education, 35(3), 115-117.

Hannan, M. T., & Freeman, J. (1993). Organizational ecology: Harvard University Press.

Herrigel, E., Hull, R. F. C., & Blum, R. (1971). Zen in the Art of Archery: Vintage Books New York.

Homans, G. C. (1964). Contemporary theory in sociology. Handbook of modern sociology, 951-977.

House, R. J. (1988). Power and personality in complex organizations. Research in organizational behavior, 10, 305-357.

Kaplan, A. (1964). The Conduct of Inquiry: Methodology for Behavirol Science: Chandler Publishing Company.

Kaplan, A. (1973). The conduct of inquiry: Transaction Publishers.

Katz, D., & Kahn, R. L. (1978). The social psychology of organizations (Vol. 2): Wiley New York.

Kuhn, T. S. (1970). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd enl. ed: University of Chicago Press.

March, J. G., & Simon, H. A. (1958). Organizations.

March, J. G., & Simon, H. A. (1958). Organizations Wiley. New York, 262.

Merton, R. K. (1967). On theoretical sociology: Five essays, old and new.

Meyer, M. W., & Gupta, V. (1994). The performance paradox. Research in organizational behaviour, 16, 309-369.

Mintzberg, H. (1979). An emerging strategy of" direct" research. Administrative science quarterly, 24(4), 582-589.

Mintzberg, H. (2005). Developing theory about the development of theory. Great minds in management: The process of theory development, 355-372.

Moss, K. R. (1977). Men and Women of the Corporation. Publishers of New York, P245-P266.

Nisbett, R. E., & Ross, L. (1980). Human inference: Strategies and shortcomings of social judgment.

Northcraft, G. B., & Neale, M. A. (1993). Negotiating successful research collaboration. Social psychology in organizations: Advances in theory and research, 204-224.

Perrow, C. (2011). Normal accidents: Living with high risk technologies: Princeton University Press.

Pfeffer, J. (1993). Barriers to the advance of organizational science: Paradigm development as a dependent variable. Academy of management review, 18(4), 599-620.

Pfeffer, J., & SALANCIK, G. (2015). EXTERNAL CONTROL OF ORGANIZATIONS—RESOURCE DEPENDENCE PERSPECTIVE. Organizational Behavior 2: Essential Theories of Process and Structure, 2, 355.

Runkel, P. J., & Runkel, M. (1984). A guide to usage for writers and students in the social sciences: Rowman & Littlefield.

Staw, B. M., & Ross, J. (1978). Commitment to a policy decision: A multi-theoretical perspective. Administrative science quarterly, 40-64.

Staw, B. M., & Ross, J. (1987). Behavior in escalation situations: Antecedents, prototypes, and solutions. Research in organizational behavior.

Sutton, R. I. (1991). Maintaining norms about expressed emotions: The case of bill collectors. Administrative science quarterly, 245-268.

Sutton, R. I., & Staw, B. M. (1995). What theory is not. Administrative science quarterly, 371-384.

Tetrick, L. E., & LaRocco, J. M. (1987). Understanding, prediction, and control as moderators of the relationships between perceived stress, satisfaction, and psychological well-being. Journal of Applied psychology, 72(4), 538.

Thompson, J. D. (1967). Organizations in action: Social science bases of administration: New York: McGraw-Hill.

Van Maanen, J. (1989). Some notes on the importance of writing in organization studies. Paper presented at the Harvard Business School Research Colloquium.

Weick, K. (1993). 1993 ‘The collapse of sensemaking in organizations: The Mann Gulch disaster’. Administrative Science Quarterly 38: 628-652.

Weick, K. E. (1989). Theory construction as disciplined imagination. Academy of management review, 14(4), 516-531.

Weick, K. E. (1992). Agenda setting in organizational behavior: A theory-focused approach. Journal of Management Inquiry, 1(3), 171-182.

Weick, K. E. (1993). The collapse of sensemaking in organizations: The Mann Gulch disaster. Administrative science quarterly, 628-652.

Weick, K. E. (1995). What theory is not, theorizing is. Administrative science quarterly, 40(3), 385-390.

Whetten, D. A. (1989). What constitutes a theoretical contribution? Academy of management review, 14(4), 490-495.

Williamson, O. (1975). 1975 Markets and hierarchies New York: Free Press.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 2414-2336 (Print), ISSN 2523-2525 (Online)