Reflections on the micro–macro divide: Ideas from the trenches and moving forward

Rory Eckardt, Alia Crocker, Yoojung Ahn, Steven W. Floyd, Brian K. Boyd, Gerard P. Hodgkinson, Steve W.J. Kozlowski, Thomas P. Moliterno, William H. Starbuck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This essay provides insights into the reasons why efforts to integrate micro and macro perspectives continue to face challenges. We incorporate the reflections of several experienced researchers on the persistence of the micro–macro divide, organize those reflections into broad themes, and discuss associated insights, implications, and challenges. We note that while immense challenges remain, efforts should continue as greater integration can improve the position of our field in the broader social sciences and lead to substantial contributions. Several suggestions are provided to help this research agenda move forward. Specifically, we advocate developing new process-oriented theories and methods, as well as adopting broader and more inclusive researcher identities, encouraging “intellectual generosity,” and acknowledging that for some research, integration is neither necessary nor desirable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-402
Number of pages18
JournalStrategic Organization
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • emergence
  • microfoundations
  • micro–macro
  • multilevel
  • researcher identities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Education
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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