Clio’s toolkit:historical methods beyond theory building from cases


Historical research in organization and management studies continues to be described as a type of inductive theory building from cases. But historical epistemology and methodological practices are better understood as a form of situated scholarly inquiry in which the researcher interprets or analyzes the past from a position in the present through a process of abductive reasoning. This chapter elaborates on the implications of the situated character of historical reasoning for the nature of historical knowledge claims, and for the methodological practices involved in scholarly historical research, including the treatment of evidence, the establishment of explanations, the attempt at understanding, and the foundations for evaluative conclusions. It concludes by considering the implications for the role of historical discourse within management and organization studies more broadly.

Divisions: Aston Business School > Economics, Finance & Entrepreneurship
Aston Business School
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in The Routledge Companion to Qualitative Research in Organization Studies on 31/8/2017, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords: abduction,historical methods,business history,Organizational history,inference to the best explanation,hermeneutics,triangulation,narrative,source criticism
ISBN: 978-1-1389-2194-8
PURE Output Type: Chapter
Published Date: 2017-08-31
Authors: Wadhwani, R. Daniel
Decker, Stephanie ( 0000-0003-0547-9594)



Version: Accepted Version

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