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Business Management Theory Assignment

1. An explanation of the role of theory in research.

2. Identify a theory in BUSINESS MANAGEMENT discipline and explain its basic tenets.

3. With this theory in mind, consider your answer to the following question posed by Dr. Burkholder: "What do I have to believe about the world and about human beings in order for me to accept or use this theory?" (Burkholder, G. J., Cox, K. A., &amp; Crawford, L. M. (2016). The scholar-practitioner's guide to research design)

4. Finally, describe the extent to which the epistemological and ontological assumptions of your chosen theory align with the philosophical orientation (POSITIVISM) that reflects your worldview.

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1. Role of theory in research

On a general basis, theory indicates the thinking, abstraction and generalization of ideas. Sometimes defined as an "explanation of observed regularities," theory has a rather crucial role to play in any research (Bell, Bryman, & Harley, 2018). Theories are typically interdisciplinary, and they draw as well as contribute ideas to economics, anthropology, history, theology, philosophy, sociology, human geography and mass communications.

A theory is useful when it comes to explaining and predicting the relationship between the two variables. Moreover, it helps to guide a research process and organize the ideas efficiently. With the addition of more supporting evidence, theories become stronger as they serve as contexts for the new predictions. They are generally relevant on an empirical basis and are always tentative, with the capacity to help generate new research.

The interrelationship between theory and research is quite intricate. Theories provide a framework for the conception, perception as well as the analysis of an idea in a research. The basic concepts are outlined by a theory and it also helps direct the researcher to the questions that need to be addressed. Research data can be effectively and sensibly analyzed, as theories help to notice the broader picture instead of restricting one to a narrow scope (Ritchie, Lewis, Nicholls, & Ormston, 2013). The interconnections between the collected data are better deciphered with the help of theories, as they help to form a connection between several similar studies that have the contributions of other researchers in the same field.

The dynamism of the relationship between theories and research are not limited just to the above aspects; the abstractness of theories gives an account of a worldly issue in a selective way, allowing the researcher to establish a link between the concrete and the abstract. The relationship between the empirical and the theoretical, the observation as well as the thought statements, can also be explored. The provisional nature of theory makes it prone to continuous improvements, which help make it more accurate in addition to being comprehensive regarding the operation of the world.

2. Theory in business management discipline

An important theory of the business management discipline that can be mentioned here is that of the scientific management theory, which is also sometimes referred to as the classical management theory. This theory lays emphasis on efficiency and suggests rewards for good performance instead of punishments for failures.

This theory was conceived by Frederick Taylor, who believed that the goal of management must be to ensure the maximum possible prosperity for the organization, together with the maximum prosperity for all its employees (Waring, 2016). This term "maximum prosperity" indicates the level of development, wherein the various departments of the business have attained their highest achievable state of success, such that the "prosperity" is of a permanent nature. Its basic tenets can be explained as below -

• This theory works toward breaking down a single assignment into subtasks instead of allotting an entire job to an individual. This helps to simplify the complex the project and make the entire process a lot more organized.

• It also helps delegate the responsibilities to the necessary employees, as in most cases the executives assess the best way to do a job and then assign workers to the specific tasks they are best suited to.

• Monitoring the performance of the subordinate employees is more efficient. If the supervisors are able to discover an easier or more productive way, the employees are promptly trained so that they can implement it while working.

• The incentives for good performance are quite high, since the workers have to repeat the same tasks on a regular basis. Even though the work may be boring and mundane, they are motivated to work hard due to these rewards (DeWinter, Kocurek, & Nichols, 2014), as the quality and quantity both determine the amount of incentives they will be getting.

• Taylor's scientific management theory believed in establishing a hierarchy, where the top positions are occupied by the most powerful and the best employees. More the experience and impetus to perform, higher would be the rank. All the levels in an organization are usually allotted very specific responsibilities and they must do only what is assigned to them.

3. Explanation with respect to Dr Burkholder's question

To answer the question as posed by Dr Burkholder - in order to accept or use the scientific management theory, one must believe that the human beings in this world are motivated largely by monetary benefits and rewards, due to which incentives are the most important aspect of this style of Taylorism. Simply making the people work hard is not an effective way to maximize productivity and optimize the work processes, and this is something that Frederick Taylor had realized as well. It is to be believed that setting a time to complete a task, in addition to providing incentives to those who outperform themselves, are the necessary to optimize work and increase efficiency.

4. Alignment of the theory with positivism

The philosophical orientation chosen for the epistemological and ontological assumptions of the scientific theory of management in this case is that of positivism. Positivism is a research philosophy, which implies that the world can be interpreted and understood in a way that is objective in nature (Halfpenny, 2014). The researcher here is the objective analyst and is responsible for dissociation from the personal values to ensure that the work done is independent. As far as the scientific management theory is concerned, its epistemological as well as ontological assumptions point towards the fact that the implementation of this theory ensures that the employees are treated impartially, as they are rewarded wholly based on their achievements.

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