The insights from the crowd: Drawing inferences from many approaches to key empirical questions in strategic management
In the present crowdsourced initiative, 57 independent analysts leveraged the same longitudinal dataset to address four key empirical questions in international strategic management. For all four research questions, different analysts obtained statistically significant estimates in opposed directions. At the same time, aggregating across the disparate results reveals a statistically significant overall effect for 2 of 4 research questions, but not for the other 2 research questions. Theoretically laden choices regarding how to operationalize variables explained significant variability in results. Researchers updated their beliefs about the directionality of a relationship in each of the four research questions in light of the evidence they obtained in their empirical findings. However, the researchers did not exhibit any reliable relationships between their prior beliefs and their empirical findings. Expert analysts were more likely to report statistically significant effects than analysts from unrelated fields or with less experience with data analysis. These findings highlight the critical role of subjective researcher choices in shaping research results, yet also that meaningful inferences remain possible in science. We present a vision of an open science of strategic management in which strategic p-hacking is prevented before it happens by constraining researcher degrees of freedom, and the remaining inherent subjectivity in analytic choices is rendered transparent via crowdsourced and multiverse approaches.
Andrew Delios is Professor and Vice-Dean MSc Programs at NUS Business School. He was Head of the Department of Strategy and Policy at NUS for 8 years. His research looks at strategy, governance and global competition in emerging economies, with a particular focus on international business issues for companies operating in East and Southeast Asia. Andrew has authored more than 100 journal articles, case studies and book chapters, as well as seven books. He has been an Editor for several leading journals. From 2011-2013, Andrew served as the President of the Asia Academy of Management. He became a Fellow of the Academy of International Business in 2013. He has just completed a three-year term on the Board of the Academy of International Business. He completed his Ph.D. in 1998 at the Richard Ivey School of Business, Western University of Ontario.