Deductive, Inductive, Abductive: Inference strategies and argument construction in three management research traditions

 Its been a while since I've written here. Its been a summer of ethnographic fieldwork and much of my "writing energy" has been consumed in memo-ing.  However, I happened to find an old essay I wrote for my comprehensive exams around about a year ago, and wonder of wonders - I don't hate it. So here it is. First, the question in response to which this essay was written:  What reasoning strategies exist for advancing from empirical generalizations to theoretical arguments? When researchers advance from empirical generalizations to theoretical arguments, they are in effect making two moves: making inferences or advancing from empirical generalizations to theoretical claims, and constructing theoretical arguments or rhetorically persuading an audience that said theoretical claims are valid (Ketokivi & Mantere, 2010; 2021). These moves are not strictly sequential- arguments are not necessarily constructed before or after the inferences have been made, although in some

On Academic Labels and the Genesis of Norms

I recently had to write a short bio of myself (an autobio?) because Samer convinced me to throw my name in for student rep for the Academy of Management (AoM)  Communication, Digital Technology, and Organizations (CTO) division. In writing that bio,  I got thinking about the labels that academics give themselves to establish their domain of expertise, and to signal the community to which they belong (which in turn signifies in some ways how they see the world and engage in studying it.  I study how organizations use technology, think about technology, talk about it. I used to work in the Communications, Media, and Technology (CMT) division of Accenture within the Applied Analytics practice. So I think I'm a good fit. But I have no real experience with the AoM's CTO. I also happen to have the odd distinction of having a previous PhD. In the original draft of my bio, I had mentioned my prior PhD in Ecology. Samer, knowing in some detail about the content of my prior PhD,  prefer

On concocting a coffee service

 I find it hard to write or talk about coffee online. For good coffee discourse, I can think of no better venue than James Hoffman's YouTube channel . My blog right here is more if you like incoherent rambling. The problem for me is that coffee is ultimately a matter of taste. Without the taste, the actual experience of a good coffee, text about coffee is, well, bland. And so I love to talk about coffee, over a coffee. During work hours, I will prepare a coffee for pretty much anyone who wants one (+ one for me), if they come by my office (545 Bronfman, McGill U). I prefer a ristretto but I do also offer regular espresso, pourover and moka. It's mostly my fellow grad students, though occasionally I get local and visiting faculty too. We don't have to talk about coffee (though I won't say no to that).  The joy of the coffee service, to me, is the pleasure of discovery. Every service is unique. I usually have 3-4 types of beans on offer at any given time, and I blend them

Tadviddhi pranipaaténa: Lived experience and expertise and the inheritance of knowledge

The weight of the wisdom that had just been bestowed on them weighed heavily on their shoulders. The sacrifices made by the small group of students to be able to gather at this school radiated as uncomfortable heat from these burdens.  For nearly an hour the master has spoken about the movement-forms, their powers, the confluences of energies, the dangers. A small, gray figure, seated, in flowing robes.  The master returned from reverie, noticing the askance glances of the gathered groups.  "Hmm, now I will show you."  A flash of robes, and the master was standing at a short distance, subtly hiking up the flowing the robes so that the details of the footwork may be visible. First, the right foot rises slightly, and is then firmly planted into the ground, a movement both silent and thunderous. From here, the movement-forms begin. A flurry of movements. The master swiftly transitions from form to form, pausing for just a second on each, power and precision radiating from each m

Behold: my stuff. Coffee edition.

 My current coffee daily home setup. Featured in this photo:  A Presso manual espresso machine, circa 2010. This model is made by ROK now, and it’s parts are backwards compatible with the Presso. I replaced the original plastic piston system with the ROK glass composite system in 2020. I’ve used this nearly everyday for one stretch of about 5 years during my last stint in grad school, and I have been using it nearly everyday since early 2020. I mostly use it by feel, I sort of know the amount of pressure I’m achieving based on the feedback I’m getting when pressing down and my knowledge of the grind and dry weight of the puck. I can for the most part consistently and deliberately pull anything from a single ristretto to a double normale on this.  An ROK coffee grinder, 2020. I added a piece of thick leather as dust cover. I like that this allows me to quickly switch between grinds and that I can control the dose that I put in the hopper. The long arm transfers a lot of force so I have

My “here” is their “there”: The social context of social re-contextualization

Note: This was written originally as an assignment for a PhD course I took in the Winter of 2020. I've been revisiting some of my notes in preparation for an upcoming "comprehensive" exam, and this is one of the very rare examples of my past writings that I do not instinctively hate. In their seminal work on the sociology of knowledge,   The Social Construction of Reality   (1966), sociologists Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann engage in an extended discussion of the formation, coexistence, and persistence of social institutions. Descended as they are from the Marxian paradigm that man’s consciousness is determined by his social being, Berger and Luckmann are fundamentally interested in the interplay between socially distributed “objective” reality, and internalized and interpreted individual “subjective” reality, and their treatment of social institutions reflects this interest. It is somewhat fitting, then, that their conception of institutions underwent this same proces

Engaging with Online Discourse

Over this summer, I've had the opportunity to experiment with the Twitter API's Academic Track product. I'm going to write about that today. I've been taking a break from this blog this summer to focus on my comprehensive exams (next month!) but I've been noodling around with some thoughts on online discourse and I feel its time to put something down in words. Plus its like a palette cleanser from the endless volumes of papers I have been reading, a chance to produce, instead of consuming.  First, some context: I love discourse. Words produced by people, intended often for other people to read. I like to look at it, understand the the motivations and intent behind words, to identify structures therein. And when I say structures, I mean the socially produced (often through repeated action) rules about what constitutes acceptable conduct given a particular social context, given the constraints and affordances of the technologies surrounding that social context. A  Gid

The Action Cinemarathon

I'd like to go on an Action Cinemarathon.  My goal is to watch every movie recommended in each article in the very excellent ongoing column on action film history written by Tom Breihan over at AVClub :   A History of Violence With A History Of Violence, Tom Breihan picks the most important action movie of every year, starting with the genre’s birth and moving right up to whatever Vin Diesel’s doing this very minute. In his first article, titled " Action cinema begins with Steve McQueen and one incredible car chase " Breihan identifies 1968's  Bullitt  as his starting point for action cinema. Other noteworthy mentions from the article include Coogan's Bluff , western  Once Upon A Time in The West , and war movies The Green Berets , Ice Station Zebra , Where Eagles Dare .  Already you can see that this is going to be a tremendous list. I'm going to watch all of them, chunked out by article or year of release. One movie a week would be nice, and I think achievab

Mise en scène

Aditi lent me her workspace today, it's making me happy. The pandemic encouraged her to transform our living room into something very flexible and modular. It's so her, so lush with greenery, part yoga studio, part editorial office, part nonprofit organizing and fundraising space, and ultimately a living space. In this age of mise-en-screen in virtual background, it offers a lot of possibilities. Not pictured is Aditi's "doors" photography series, featuring New Orleans (French quarter) and Montreal (plateau), and our fiction/craft bookshelves.  I've also been playing with the use of cinema to transform TVs from eyesores to art. Jacques Tati's work is particularly suited for it. The mise-en-scène is immaculate. Every frame a perfect tableau. Astonishing sound design: Not music, but musical. Non-narrative: you can absorb the movies over many partial viewings. On a good television, with good audio, the unfolding of a Tati movie is like great painting. It can

Coherence in Machine-Assisted Qualitative Research

This is the first  in a  series of posts  exploring  the notion of coherence when using topic  modeling  methods like Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) for qualitative analysis of texts. I'm trying to think about how mechanically measured coherence matters when you are trying to interpret something qualitatively from a large corpus of texts (with the assistance of machine-learning tools). Having estimated many, many LDA models of  similar  corpora of texts over the last few months for one reason or the other , I have started to observe some methodologically salient patterns in coherence . So  this post will amount to me trying to reflect on the tacit knowledge gained from "doing" topic modeling repeatedly. I hope there is value in this for others attempting to use methods like LDA to support qualitative analysis of texts. To illustrate my reflections, I will refer to a "vignette," comprised of R code, results, and visualizations of LDA analysis, written for p