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Computational modelling and social theory – the dangers of numerical representation

Edmonds, Bruce (2010) Computational modelling and social theory – the dangers of numerical representation. In: Computational analysis of firms’ organization and strategic behaviour. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-203-85009-1

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Abstract

This book addresses possible applications of computer simulation to theory building in management and organizational theory. The key hypothesis is that modelling and computer simulation provide an environment to develop, test and articulate theoretical propositions. In general, computer simulation provides an experimental environment where researchers are able to play with symbolic representations of phenomena by modifying the model's structure and activating or deactivating model's parameters. This environment allows to both generating hypotheses to ex post explain observed phenomena or to ex ante generate distributions of unrealized events thereby envisioning areas for further empirical investigations.

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