Meaning and interpretation: Insights and discourse

Nada K. Kakabadse, Peter Steane

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The paper seeks to analyze the discourse of meaning and interpretation in the social sciences. It aims to provide a historical overview of the hermeneutics and the need for scientific as well as general understanding, and to emphasize the importance of the interpretive approach in management history. Design/methodology/approach: The paper provides an in-depth literature review of interpretation. Findings: Interpretative approach is a basic building block of all science and management praxis. Research limitations/implications: Literature is limited to social science. Practical implications: The paper highlights the importance of interpretation in management dialogue and praxis, vis-à-vis a sole reliance on rationalistic methods. Originality/value: The originality of the paper lies in the scope of its literature review and the broad understanding it provides for management praxis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-366
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Management History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Hermeneutics
  • Interpretation
  • Management
  • Meaning
  • Understanding


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