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In this essay, we further delineate the defining characteristics of theory as well as what constitutes a theoretical contribution in organizational research cultivated by our collective experiences in the field. Additionally, we offer our views regarding the fragmented state of thinking that currently exists, how this view has come about, as well as available remedies. Unfortunately, an accurate and honest treatment requires the realization that many of the problems facing the field are not likely be solved without radical shifts in its philosophy. In our identification of issues and subsequent discussions, we err on the side of candor, which may offend some readers. Others may simply view our beliefs as unduly cynical. However, our intention throughout this essay is merely to “call-em-like-we-see-em” and not to overstate the case or elicit strong emotions or negative reactions. On the other hand, we view it as a disservice to simply reiterate the “party line,” which presents an existing knowledge base that is both robust and accommodating. Clearly, it is neither.

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Journal Article

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