There is a lack of research explicitly demonstrating the potential of applying critical realism in qualitative empirical Management and Organization Studies (MOS). If scholars are to obtain the explanatory value that can be developed through detailed applications of critical realism, the existing gap between the philosophical foundation, methodological recipes and hands-on practices of applied critical realism must be bridged. Through a literature review and analysis of existing applications of critical realism in MOS studies, this paper presents five particular potentials of applying critical realism. The five potentials each address significant aspects of critical realism that, when explicitly applied in a research process, can contribute to the understanding of management and organizations. Following the analysis, we discuss what characterizes a detailed application and how this can add to the future of critical realism in MOS studies.
- Critical realism
- case study