In his article for this issue of Economy and Society, Narayanan (20088. Narayanan , S. 2008 . On the stalling of the Malaysian industrialization project . Economy and Society , 37 ( 4 ) : 595 – 601 . [Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®] View all references) presents a critique of our earlier work on Malaysian industrialization (Henderson & Phillips 2007). Narayanan's objections are entirely empirical and they take the form of suggesting that had we looked at the ‘right’ data or ‘properly’ interpreted the data we provide, we would have seen that our hypothesis that Malaysia's industrialization project was ‘stalling’ was either wrong, or, if plausible, was unproven. In this response, we show that Narayanan is largely mistaken in his critique. While his contribution contains errors of interpretation, we argue that he is mistaken predominantly because he has misunderstood the methodological basis of our analysis. Specifically, he has failed to grasp our theoretical object and thus has been unable to identify the appropriate empirical terrain for assessing its significance and condition.