Brannan, MJ, Fleetwood, S, O’Mahoney, J and Vincent, S (2017) Critical Essay: Meta-analysis: A critical realist critique and alternative. Human Relations, 70 (1). pp. 11-39. ISSN 1573-9716

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Meta-analysis has proved increasingly popular in management and organization studies as a way of combining existing empirical quantitative research to generate a statistical estimate of how strongly variables are associated. Whilst a number of studies identify technical, procedural and practical limitations of meta-analyses, none have yet tackled the meta-theoretical flaws in this approach. We deploy critical realist meta-theory to argue that the individual quantitative studies, upon which meta-analysis relies, lack explanatory power because they are rooted in quasi-empiricist meta-theory. This problem, we argue, is carried over in meta-analyses. We then propose a ‘critical realist synthesis’ as a potential alternative to the use of meta-analysis in organization studies and social science more widely.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Meta-analysis, meta-theory, critical realism, ontology, pistemology, aetiology,, open and closed systems, tendencies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Keele Management School
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2016 15:43
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2019 09:43

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