Abductive Reasoning in Strategy

Agnes Guenther, Massimo Garbuio, Andy Dong, Boris Eisenbart

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Strategic tools and frameworks mostly analyze past and current situations as the basis for forecasts about future potential. The analyses themselves rely primarily on deductive/inductive logic, however the creation of hypotheses about future opportunities cannot be solely explained by deductive/inductive logics. Here we analyze differences in strategies’ underlying logics. Using a content analysis study of S-1 filings, we elaborate on ways executives reason through such situations as the basis for the formation of the strategy for the firm. We contribute to existing research on the logic of reasoning in strategy, which has yet to provide analytical instruments to observe abductive reasoning. In addition, we introduce the notion of observation horizons and show how analogies, anomalies, and paradoxes prompt abductive reasoning.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventStrategic Management Society 38th Annual International Conference. SMS 2018 - Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel, Paris, France
Duration: 22 Sep 201825 Sep 2018
Conference number: 38


ConferenceStrategic Management Society 38th Annual International Conference. SMS 2018
LocationParis Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel
Internet address

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