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Formal theory development by computational simulation modeling: a tale of two philosophical approaches
Published in Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Volume: 42
Issue: 3
Pages: 251 - 267

Computational simulation modeling is an important approach to formal theory development. It has all the advantages of mathematical models, and is additionally able to overcome problems related to discontinuities and disequilibrium conditions that mathematical models do not handle well. In social science research, a good deal of emphasis is placed on leveraging pioneering models, to further knowledge smoothly. However, two important philosophical paradigms, that of critical realism and scientific realism, sharply differ in terms of what is considered worth preserving and what is considered up for change, in work that follows that of the pioneer. Scientific Realists value knowledge accumulation. Models contradicting key assumptions of a pioneering model may not readily find favor with Scientific Realists. Critical Realists focus on generating new theory by the quickest possible means, particularly in areas where there is a paucity of theory. They favor leveraging the ontological aspects of pioneering models, while being open to contradicting its key assumptions. Thus, notwithstanding the surface sim- ilarity of both traditions promoting research by S. S. Chanda Indian Institute of Management Indore, Indore, India e-mail: sasanka2012@gmail.com S. Ray (&) Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Calcutta, India e-mail: sougata@iimcal.ac.in computational simulation modeling, knowledge advancement accomplished is of very different kinds, each with its own distinctive set of implications.

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PublisherData powered by TypesetSpringer Science and Business Media LLC
Open AccessNo