An analytical report on the article “Contingency Theory: Science Or Technology?” by Stephen C. Betts

a. What is the paper about? What are the goals of the paper? What is highlighted and which question is addressed?

The paper is about the contingency theory. In the paper, the author tries to proof the contingency theory is not only science and is but also technology. The author highlights that researchers should rise given importance to multiple rather than single contingencies and explanations of relationships. Namely, the author addresses the question that does the identification of a contingency theory consisting of a set contingency variable/design parameter matches constitute scientific theory or prescriptive technology?

b. What is the main concept with which the paper concerns?

The author mentions the general concept of the contingency theory. Moreover, he quotes from Scott, Galbraith, Woodward, Burns, Stalker, Pugh, Hickson, Hinings, Turner, Lawrence, Lorsch, Mintzberg etc. Initially, the author talks about history of the contingency theory. After that, the author mentions problems of the contingency theory. Further, in the paper, the contingency theory is examined by perspectives from science, technology and society. In this way, he expresses comparison of development and design projects according to science and technology. Next, he speaks of the work that the contingency theory falls between corporate research and university research from research scientists. Finally, the author summarizes his conclusions and his recommendations.

c. What is the dependent and independent variables (if empirical)?

It is not an empirical.

d. What is the level of analysis (macro, micro, group, individual etc.). What method was used?

The author expressed the idea of other authors with using some figures. It is more illustrative to understand the ideas. The author handles the expression of the contingency theory separately and deeply in the aspect of science and technology. While doing this, he summarizes what was done in good way or in bad way before objectively.

e. What is the gap/problem in OT that author intends to fill or answer?

From the beginning of the article, the author expressed that there is a research question that is Contingency Theory Science or Technology? In this paper, the author try to answer this question. According to the author, the contingency theory is both science and technology. He expresses that contingency theory strongly meets the criteria to be considered science, but weakly meets the criteria to be considered technology, owing to drawback in practical applications.

f. What insight have you developed after reading it?

I learned what is the contingency theory. The contingency theory is beneficial to get the higher performance at organizations via a match between the characteristics of the environment and those of the organization. These matches can be defined as both science and technology. After answering the question why the theories do not reach their potential as technology, owing to the lack of explanatory power in the theories, the effects of multiple contingencies, risk avoidance and difficulty of application, the contingency theory is going to be powerful to increase performance of organizations.

Software Development Team Lead, Technical Product Manager, MBA Candidate

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