The influence of critical realism on managerial prediction

Research output: Working paper



In this conceptual paper we suggest that a critical realist perspective alters managerial views on prediction and strategy formation. For that purpose, we review alternative notions of prediction in economic theory in the light of critical realism. In addition, we review the role of prediction in alternative streams of thought on strategy formation. The corollary of such a literature review is a new conceptualisation of the organisational environment as an open system which is not prone to prediction but can be a source of learning for strategists. Such critical realist view alerts researchers and practitioners for the provisional nature of scientific explanations and the dangers of premature prediction. Critical realism is thus a promising avenue for further research on strategy formation and more appropriate strategizing.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameManagement working papers
PublisherCatólica Porto Business School


  • Critical realism
  • Prediction
  • Economic modelling
  • Strategy formation


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