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The Value of Theorizing : How New Theory Matters in Research Work and University Governance Practice - Alexander Styhre
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The Value of Theorizing

How New Theory Matters in Research Work and University Governance Practice

By: Alexander Styhre

Hardcover | 19 March 2024

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In this compelling book, Alexander Styhre presents a comprehensive analysis of the role and purpose of theory within the university setting. Critiquing current university governance practices which assess research quality based on citation frequency data, Styhre proposes an alternate measure of research quality based on contentful concepts in the space of reason.

Focusing on the inner workings of scholarly communities, The Value of Theorizing evaluates the 'quality as popularity' fallacy and highlights the importance of alternative methods of thinking. Styhre draws on American pragmatism and analytical philosophy to construct his approach, bringing together theories of instrumental and methodological pragmatism. He goes on to dissect inferentialist theory, the semantics of language, and the political economy of new theory, amalgamating these to make an invaluable contribution to this ever-changing field.

Highlighting the importance of reason in assessing the quality of theory in a university setting, this innovative book will prove an intriguing read for scholars of management and the social sciences with an interest in their research environment, as well as researchers of American pragmatism, analytical philosophy and the philosophy of language. It will also appeal to scholars, policy makers and university employees who are interested in refining university governance practices and the process of research.

Industry Reviews
'In this book, Alexander Styhre takes a refreshingly thought-provoking approach to exploring and questioning the primacy of theory in academic research. Drawing on diverse social science literatures, his arguments for a more sophisticated theory of scholarly research quality contribute to debates about the purpose of research that are relevant to all university researchers and doctoral students.' -- Emma Bell, The Open University, UK
'Academic work has been fundamentally transformed in recent decades, where professional recognition has been equaled with measurable scientific impact. But what is impact, really? In his provocative new book, Alexander Styhre unpacks the concept of impact and how it may correspond with genuine scientific progress. In doing so, he questions the contemporary foundations for the valuation and governance of research. This will be essential reading for anyone interested in the future of academic work, moving beyond sterile and simplified notions of impact.' -- Mats Benner, Lund University, Sweden

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