Since the 2003 article by Meckler and Baillie in this journal, a fruitful debate has taken place on the nature and attainability of objectivity in the study of organizations. The author argues that though it is impossible to know whether a theoretical claim is epistemically objective or not, it may be accepted as plausible when it is felt to be in some accordance with "the given"- empirical findings, subjective/intersubjective ideas, thoughts and feelings, and the opinions of and cultural categories used by others. Processes of resistance and accommodation occur during research as well as within scientific communities, enhancing the plausibility of certain theoretical claims over others. Accepted theories feed back into the research process as well as its subject matter, thereby affecting subjective/intersubjective judgments of plausibility. Openness, honesty, and responsibility are particularly important in the evaluation of the plausibility of theoretical claims. © The Author(s) 2010.

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Journal of Management Inquiry
Erasmus School of Economics

Bosch, R. (2010). Objectivity and plausibility in the study of organizations. Journal of Management Inquiry, 19(4), 383–391. doi:10.1177/1056492610369936