The Problematizing Review: A Counterpoint to Elsbach and Van Knippenberg’s Argument for Integrative Reviews

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In this paper we provide a counterpoint to conventional views on integrative reviews in knowledge development, as exemplified by Elsbach and Van Knippenberg (2020). First, we critique their proposed integrative review by identifying and problematizing several key assumptions underlying it, particularly their idea that the integrative review can simply build on existing studies and lead the way to knowledge. Second, based on this critique, we propose as an alternative the problematizing review, which is based on the following four core principles: the ideal of reflexivity, reading more broadly but selectively, not accumulating but problematizing, and the concept that ‘less is more’. In contrast to the integrative review, which regards reviews as a ‘building exercise’, the problematizing review regards reviews as an ‘opening up exercise’ that enables researchers to imagine how to rethink existing literature in ways that generate new and ‘better’ ways of thinking about specific phenomena.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Warwick

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik med samhällsvetenskaplig inriktning
  • Företagsekonomi


TidskriftJournal of Management Studies
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2020 apr 20
Peer review utfördJa