Abduction is a form of reasoning introduced by C.S. Peirce to explain how we can build new ideas and propose new theories. It is “the only logical operation which introduces any new idea.” (Peirce, 5.171). Abduction is a cornerstone in the pragmatic inquiry. With roots in epistemology and logics, the concept migrated towards research methodology. Taking into account abduction deeply modifies research process. This paper aims to present the principles of abduction and to analyze its consequences for research methods. This point sounds particularly relevant for research on knowledge and learning because of the importance of exploratory approaches and because abduction modifies also our perspectives on knowing in organizations.
GOMEZ, M.L. and LORINO, P. (2005). The Passion of Inquiry: The Contribution of Abduction for Research on Organizational Knowledge and Learning. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Organizational Learning and Knowledge (vol. 1). University of Trento e-books, pp. 657-681.