Evaluating the Big Picture
DOI link for Evaluating the Big Picture
Evaluating the Big Picture book
The evaluation of the metatheory for organisational transformation is based on established criteria for “good” theory building (Wacker, 1998; Whetten, 1989). Although these criteria were developed for evaluating middle-range theory (Merton, 1957), they are also relevant to metatheory building in that the process steps involved in theory development are similar across different levels of conceptual abstraction (Meredith, 1993). As Wacker says: “a basic underpinning of all theory building is that theory is built on existing theory” (2004, p. 645). What will be different is the relative importance of these criteria. For example, the criteria of comprehensiveness and abstraction level are critically important in metatheory building whereas parsimony is less crucial. Wacker (1998) suggests that it is more important that too many explanatory concepts are included at the theory building stage than too little. In other words, comprehensiveness needs to be weighted more heavily than parsimony in metatheory building, at least in its initial phases.