Michael Jacobides(London Business School, United Kingdom)
Thorbjorn Knudsen(University of Southern Denmark, Denmark)
Michael Ryall(University of Toronto, Canada)
Burkhard Schipper(University of California at Davis, USA)
Massimo Warglien(University of Venice, Italy)
Outline of the WorkshopWe believe that creating new formal theory in management science is a great opportunity. The reason is not so much that we take position in the ongoing discussion whether management science should be formal theory or verbal theory (we believe, it should be both), but we argue that disparate strands of management science can be integrated if we find better formal foundations. The ultimate goal of management science should be to provide tools and insights how creative, competitively healthy, and robust organizations can be built. We point out below why we think formal theory is one major contribution to achieve this, and how the workshop will contribute.
During the workshop, we will focus on some concrete modeling innovations. The last day will be spend to discuss 'what quality formal modeling research' in management science should be.
Formal modeling has usually been applied to issues of maximizing or finding optima in the context of complete specification of alternatives, but ideas in 'the Behavioral Theory of the Firm' first proposed almost 60 years ago have continued to develop as potentially fertile arenas for formal models incorporating less restrictive (more realistic) assumptions. The scientific subfield 'organization science' of management science emerged in the second half of the last century from thoughts of Herbert Simon. Simon, Cyert and March argued that organizations in the real world have to make decisions at conditions that typically deviate from the assumptions of neoclassical economics. In particular, the set of possible choices, the consequences of choices, and probabilities of outcomes are unknown to most firms. Scholars started exploring how actual firms make decisions, given that they do not know the set of relevant choice alternatives and outcomes. But formal theory, most importantly game theory, still mostly rests on the assumptions that the possible outcomes and their probabilities are known to all participants.
Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences