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"We wish to suggest a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acic (DNA). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biological interest."
(Francis Crick and James Watson,
影響力のある1953 年「Nature」の論文における二重らせん構造の序論)

研究論文で最もよく見られる欠陥のひとつに、目的意識が欠けていたり、知識境界を拡大していく方法を記述していないことが挙げられます。執筆者が論文の執筆について検討する際、以下に挙げる項目を網羅するpurpose statement(目的文)を書くことが最も重要です。

  • この論文の意義は何か
  • この論文が重要で独自性があるのはなぜか
  • この論文に興味を持つ研究者、対象とする読者は誰か
  • 次は何か―実践の意味は何か?これ以上研究をすすめるうえでの疑問点は何か?

このpurpose statementは、論文の序章に書かれ、論文の組み立ての中心を成します。それは論文の構成を発展させ、重要な事実を抽出しそれ以外のものをそぎ落とす際の焦点を合わせていくのに役立ちます。その後に続く要点はすべて、このpurpose statementの展開に関連します。

purpose statementの例

The aim of this paper is to develop a holistic model of customer retention, with specific emphasis on the repurchase intentions dimension, incorporating service quality and price perceptions, customer indifference and inertia. The holistic approach in the study reported here is distinct from most past studies on this topic that focussed on a single determinant of customer retention, namely service characteristics. The hypothesized relationships are tested using data from a large-scale survey of the telecommunication industry.
(Chatura Ranaweera and Andy Neely,"Some moderating effects on the service quality-customer retention link", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 23 No. 2)

Are most leadership behaviours universal? Or, are there exceptions across country and corporate cultures? This study aims to answer these important questions. Our aim is to highlight any generalizability concerns that may arise due to American-centric researchers and their leadership theories. By taking a global perspective, researchers and managers can be more confident with their understanding of what leadership means and how leadership works in various national settings.
(Karen Boehnke, Nick Bontis, Joseph J. DiStefano and Andrea C. DiStefano, "Transformational leadership: an examination of cross-national differences and similarities", Leadership and Organizational Development Journal, Vol. 24 No. 1)

In this paper, we will critically reflect on the assumptions and assertions of the human resource-based view of the firm. The human resource-based view of the firm is limited in its unambiguous, instrumental, and rationalistic conceptualization of the relationships between the HRM practices, the HR outcomes in terms of knowledge, skills and commitment, and the success of the organization. Our critique is directed towards the utilitarian and formal/technical assumptions of this view, since it reduces human beings to "human resources". In our opinion, this view represents the "standard system-control frame of reference of much management thinking" (Watson, 2002, p. 375). We argue that such a conceptual model does not do justice to the complexity of human beings and their functioning in organizational processes. In particular, the approach neglects the ambiguities, irrationalities, and emotions that characterize the usual practice in organizational change (Carr, 2001; Downing, 1997).

The purpose of this article is to sketch the outlines of a more differentiated approach towards the contribution HRM can make to organizational change, an approach which corresponds to a process-relational perspective, and one which "acknowledges the pluralistic, messy, ambiguous and inevitably conflict-ridden nature of work organizations" (Watson, 2002, p. 375). Such a conceptual model pays more attention to both the rational and instrumental considerations and the emotional needs and desires that influence processes of organizational change. We base our approach on the core elements of the relational theory of emotions (Burkitt, 1997). This view helps us in understanding the complex functioning of human beings in the processes of organizational change (see, for example, Albrow, 1992; Ashforth and Humphrey, 1995; Downing, 1997; Duncombe and Marsden, 1996; Fineman, 2000; Pedersen, 2000 ). According to the relational theory of emotions, the actions and intentions of a person do not only stem from their rationality, but they are always and inextricably bound up with the emotions he or she has. Furthermore, emotions are viewed as being both individual characteristics and features of the power-based relationships between people involved in organizational change. In particular, we will focus on emotions as elements of implicit, so-called "hegemonic", power processes, which function as subroutines in the daily practices of organizations. Hegemonic power processes may induce the organizational members to consent to prevalent organizational views and to accept their insertion into organizational practices, despite the possible disadvantages these practices might pose for them (Benschop and Doorewaard, 1998; Doorewaard and Brouns, 2003).
(Hans Doorewaard and Yvonne Benschop, "HRM and organizational change: an emotional endeavour", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 16 No. 3)


ときには、特定の主題を展開する論文を書きたいと思うかもしれません。その場合、purpose statementはどちらかというとthesis statementとなります。それは主題だけではなく、論点も記述します。

以下に挙げるのは、専門家がハイテク企業のサバイバルに関して執筆した「thesis statement」の例です。簡潔で、どちらかというと新聞雑誌記事のように書かれています。

thesis statementの例

Our premise: only high-tech companies that align their business models with the hypercompetitive future – one in which horizontal, not vertical, business models offer strategic advantage – will succeed. Those that don't will falter.
(Vivek Kapur, John Peters and Saul Berman, "High-tech 2005: the horizontal, hypercompetitive future", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 31 No. 2)

thesis statementは簡潔にして、論文で検討される要点をすべて網羅すべきです。purpose statementと同様に、論文執筆中はthesis statementがすべての要点を網羅するように意を砕くべきですし、執筆の過程でそれは変化するかも知れません。


『The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison 』は、thesis statementを作成するうえで有益な資料です。



purpose statementは、「序論」に含まれます。「序論」には、この他にどのような項目が含ますか? 「序論」の目的は、論文の主要目的を記載するだけではなく、なぜこの論題が重要なのか、この主題が知識体系にどのように貢献するのか、研究の背景、論文の構成、この論題を研究し論文を執筆するに至った経緯などのコンテクストを記載します。

以下の項目で「序論」を記述する方法を検討し、purpose statementのコンテクストを見てみましょう。


In "HRM and organizational change: an emotional endeavour" (Hans Doorewaard and Yvonne Benschop, Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 16 No. 3), the authors preface their purpose statement with a paragraph about the importance of the human-resource based view of the firm for the organization as a whole and for the field of organizational change.

Victor H. Vroom, in "Educating managers for decision making and leadership" (Management Decision, Vol. 41 No. 10), provides a particularly strong example of an article which states why the research was important to him, starting with an account of how he became interested in follower behaviour and participation as a graduate student.

"Children's visual memory of packaging" (James U. McNeal and F.Ji Mindy, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 20 No. 3) starts by reminding us how biassed consumer research is to the verbal rather than the visual, as a jumping off point for his own research.

"On the use of 'borrowed' scales in cross-national research" (Susan P. Douglas and Edwin J. Nijssen, International Marketing Review, Vol. 20 No. 6) considers the use of a research tool, and starts by describing the interest that there has been in cross-national and multi-country research, as a preface to describing the ways in which constructs and scales are transported without due consideration of equivalence.

Clyde A. Warden et al., in "Service failures away from home: benefits in intercultural service encounters" (International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 14 No. 4), provide a novel way of setting the context by quoting a service encounter from Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days.


500-700 ワードという執筆者もいれば、2 ページという執筆者もいて、長さは論文により異なります。結局のところ、「序論」は、purpose statementを展開し、論題の背景を記述するのに十分な長さが必要ですが、論文の他の章に負担をかけたり、あるいは他の章と調和がとれなくなったりすべきではありません。


「序論」は「結論」と共に最後に執筆すべきだという考え方もあります。purpose statementsは論文の要点であるため最初に執筆すべきであり、章のコンテクストを設定するうえでも有益です。「序論」は最初に執筆するほうが賢明でしょう。というのは、「序論」は、言わば執筆者の基点となる章であり、論文を書き進めるにつれて再度戻って参照することになるからです。