Aldrich [J. Manag. Inq. 10 (2001) 115] importantly points out that not all forms of process research are equal or the same. He emphasizes the need to distinguish between outcome-driven and event-driven research. We build upon Aldrich's distinctions, arguing that event-driven and outcome-driven explanations represent different kinds of process and variance theories that are based on fundamentally different ontological assumptions. We examine and compare these variance and process theory assumptions in order to sharpen our understanding of process theory as distinct and not derivable from variance theory. We conclude by arguing that variance and process theories must be evaluated on their own items.
- Process theory
- Research methods