First published in 1972, this book combines concepts from the philosophy of science and statistics with social science techniques to form a methodological text for all those engaged in the social sciences and in management. It details the processes of inquiry – namely description, explanation, evaluation and prediction – and shows the role they play in prescriptive decision-making. It is argued that an understanding of these processes lies behind successful inquiry and is an aid to effective decision-making.
Broad in scope, this reissue will help the decision-maker avoid some of the errors that can arise in moving from a set of stated goals to the selection of the course of action that will achieve these goals. It will appeal to all those engaged in inquiry in the fields of sociology, psychology, political science, and business and management studies, as well as the manager in both the public and private sector.
Table of Contents
Preface; 1. Introduction 2. Descriptive Decision 3. Explanatory Decision: The Deductive Pattern of Explanation 4. Laws in Explanation 5. Behavioural Research 6. Statistical Generalization and Measurement 7. Teleological and Genetic Explanations 8. Models and Theories 9. Predictive Decision 10. Evaluative Decision 11. Prescriptive Decision 12. An Overall View; Index