Remember Me
Or use your Academic/Social account:


Or use your Academic/Social account:


You have just completed your registration at OpenAire.

Before you can login to the site, you will need to activate your account. An e-mail will be sent to you with the proper instructions.


Please note that this site is currently undergoing Beta testing.
Any new content you create is not guaranteed to be present to the final version of the site upon release.

Thank you for your patience,
OpenAire Dev Team.

Close This Message


Verify Password:
Verify E-mail:
*All Fields Are Required.
Please Verify You Are Human:
fbtwitterlinkedinvimeoflicker grey 14rssslideshare1
Gold, J (2011)
Publisher: Emerald
Languages: English
Types: Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to argue that abductive reasoning is a typical but usually unrecognised process used by HRD scholars and practitioners alike. Design/methodology/approach – This is a conceptual paper that explores recent criticism of traditional views of theory-building, based on the privileging of scientific theorising, which has led to a relevance gap between scholars and practitioners. The work of Charles Sanders Peirce and the varieties of an abductive reasoning process are considered. Findings – Abductive reasoning, which precedes induction and deduction, provide a potential connection with HRD practitioners who face difficult problems. Two types of abductive reasoning are explored – existential and analogic. Both offer possibilities for theorising with HRD practitioners. A range of methods for allowing abduction to become more evident with practitioners are presented. The authors consider how abduction can be used in engaged and participative research strategies. Research limitations/implications – While this is a conceptual paper, it does suggest implications for engagement and participation in theorising with HRD practitioners. Practical implications – Abductive reasoning adds to the repertoire of HRD scholars and practitioners. Originality/value – The paper elucidates the value of abductive reasoning and points to how it can become an integral element of theory building in HRD.
  • The results below are discovered through our pilot algorithms. Let us know how we are doing!

    • Argyris, C., & Schön, D. A. (1974). Theory in Practice: Increasing Professional Effectiveness. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    • Aram, J.D., & Salipante, P.F. (2003). Bridging Scholarship In Management: Epistemological Reflections. British Journal of Management, 14(3), 189-205.
    • Bateson, G. (1979). Mind and Nature. New York, NY: Bantam Books.
    • Bennis, W., & O'Toole, J. (2005). How Business Schools Lost Their Way. Harvard Business Review, 83(5), 96-104.
    • Bernstein, R.J. (1983). Beyond Objectivism and Relativism. Oxford: Blackwell
    • Bereiter, C. (1985). Towards A Solution Of The Learning Paradox. Review of Educational Research, 55(2), 201-226.
    • Blaikie, N. W.H. (2007). Approaches to Social Enquiry, (2nd edition). Cambridge: Polity Press.
    • Blaikie, N.W.H. (2009). Designing Social Research: The Logic of Anticipation, (2nd edition). Cambridge: Polity Press.
    • Carr, A., Durant, R., & Downs, A. (2004). Emergent Strategy Development, Abduction, And Pragmatism: New Lessons For Corporations. Human Systems Management, 23(2), 79-91.
    • Chiu, L. F., (2006). Critical Reflection: More Than Nuts And Bolts. Action Research, I4(2), 165-182.
    • Crainer, S., & Dearlove, D. (1999). Gravy Training; Inside The Business Of Business Schools. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    • Dew, N. (2007). Abduction: A Pre-Condition For The Intelligent Design Of Strategy. Journal of Business Strategy, 28(4), 38 - 45.
    • Eco, U. (1984). Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language. Indiana UP, IN: Bloomington.
    • Fann, K.T. (1970). Peirce's Theory of Abduction. The Hague: Martinusjifhoff.
    • Fischer, H. R. (2001). Abductive Reasoning As A Way Of Worldmaking. Foundations of Science, 6(4), 361-283
    • Blaikie, N.W.H. (2000). Designing Social Research: The Logic Of Anticipation. Cambridge: Polity Press.
    • Gibbons, M., Limoges, C., Nowotny, H., Schwartzman, S., Scott, P., & Trow, M. (1994). The New Production of Knowledge, London: Sage.
    • Gold, J., Holman, D., & Thorpe, R. (2002). The Role Of Argument Analysis And Story-Telling In Facilitating Critical Thinking. Management Learning, 33(3), 371-388.
    • Grint, K. (2005). Problems, Problems, Problems: The Social Construction Of 'Leadership'. Human Relations, 58(11), 1467-1494
    • Haig, B.D. (2005). An Abductive Theory Of Scientific Method. Psychological Methods, 10(4), 371-388.
    • Hanson, N.R. (1958). Patterns of Discovery. Cambridge: Cambridge University
    • Hoffman, M. (1997). Is There A Logic Of Abduction? Available from http://user.unifrankfurt.de/~wirth/texte/hoffmannabdu.htm, accessed 13 January, 2010.
    • Huff, A., & Jenkins, M. (2002). Mapping Strategic Knowledge. London: Sage Publications.
    • Kapitan, T. (1990). In What Way Is Abductive Inference Creative. Transactions of the C. S. Peirce Society, 26, 497-510.
    • Khisty, C. J. (2000). Can Wicked Problems Be Tackled Through Abductive Inferencing? Journal of Urban Planning and Development, 126(3), 104-118 Kögler, H.H. (1999). The Power of Dialogue. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
    • Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. New Jersey, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Lave, J. (1996). Teaching, As Learning, In Practice. Mind, Culture and Society, 3(3), 149- 164.
    • Lynham, S. (2002), The General Method Of Applied Theory Building Research, Advances in Developing Human Resources. 4(3), 221-241.
    • Magnani, L. (2001). Abduction, Reason and Science. Processes of Discovery and Explanation. New York, NY: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. Magnani, L., & Nernessian, N.J (2004). Preface. Foundations of Science, 9(3), 213- Marton, F., & Säljö, R. (1976). On Qualitative Differences in Learning: Outcome And Process. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 46(1), 4-11.
    • Mirowski, P. (1991). More Heat than Light: Economics as Social Physics, Physics as Nature's Economics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    • Pavlica, K., Holman, D., & Thorpe, R. (1998). The Manager As A Practical Author Of Learning. Career Development International, 3(7), 300 - 307.
    • Peirce, C. S. (1902). Application For Support For His Logic. Available from http://carbon.ucdenver.edu/~mryder/mem19.html, accessed 8 January 2010.
    • Peirce, C.S. (1903). Harvard Lectures on Pragmatism. CP 5.1, 71-172, Peirce, C.S. (1929) Guessing. The Hound and the Horn, 2, 267-282. Rogers, C. and Freiburg, H.J. (1969). Freedom to Learn, Columbus, OH: Charles E Sadler-Smith, E. (2007). Inside Intuition. London: Routledge.
    • Richardson, R., & Kramer, E.H. (2006). Abduction As The Type Of Inference That Characterizes The Development Of A Grounded Theory. Qualitative Research, 6(4), 497- 513.
    • Rittel, H. W.J., & Webber, M.M. (1973). Dilemmas In A General Theory Of Planning. Policy Sciences, 4(2), 155-169.
    • Sambrook, S. (2004). A “Critical” Time For HRD?. Journal of European Industrial Training. 28(8/9), 611-624.
    • Shotter, J. (2008). Embodiment, Abduction and Difficulties of Orientation: On Coming to Feel 'At Home' in the World. History & Philosophy of Psychology, 10(2), 27-38.
    • Sintonen, M. (2004). Reasoning To Hypotheses: Where Do Questions Come?, Foundations of Science, 9(3), 249-266.
    • Starkey, K., & Madan, P. (2001). Bridging The Relevance Gap: Aligning Stakeholders In The Future Of Management Research. British Journal of Management, 12(S1), S3-S26. Tennant, M. (1997). Psychology and Adult Learning 2ed. London: Routledge.
    • Thagard, P. (1988). Computational Philosophy of Science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    • Toulmin, S. (2001). Return to Reason., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
    • Van Eemeren, F., Grootendorst, R., & Henkemans, F. (1996). Fundamentals of Argumentation Theory. New Jersey, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
    • Van Orden, G.C. (2008). Peirce's Abduction And Cognition As We Know It. Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence, 20(3), 219-229.
    • Vertue, F.M., & Haig, D. B. (2008). An Abductive Perspective On Clinical Reasoning And Case Formulation. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 64(9), 1046-1068.
    • Walton, J.S. (2008). Scanning Beyond the Horizon: Exploring the Ontological and Epistemological Basis for Scenario Planning. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 10(2), 147-165.
    • Watson, T.J. (1996). Motivation: that's Maslow, Isn't It?. Management Learning, 27(4), 447-464.
    • Weick, K.E. (1989). Theory Construction As Disciplined Imagination. Academy of Management Review, 14(4). 516-31.
  • No related research data.
  • No similar publications.

Share - Bookmark

Cite this article