Campus Units

Management

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date

8-2016

Journal or Book Title

Academy of Management Learning & Education

Volume

16

Issue

1

First Page

125

Last Page

141

DOI

10.5465/amle.2016.0039

Abstract

Research articles often give inaccurate information about how researchers developed hypotheses, analyzed data, and drew conclusions. Published articles sometimes report only some hypotheses that researchers tested, or some statistical analyses that researchers made. Articles often imply that researchers formulated all hypotheses before they examined their data, when in fact they added or deleted hypotheses after they made some data analyses. Indeed, such covert practices are so common that new entrants into management research may think they are correct behavior. Yet, these practices create false impressions about the validity of research and they undermine the openness that ought to create trust among researchers.

Researchers have tried to halt these practices by labeling them “unethical,” but their continued prevalence questions the effectiveness of wholly critical approaches. We propose a constructive path toward reform: advocating honesty about actual research processes by adding discussions of inferences drawn after data analyses. Post hoc data analyses can stimulate important theoretical ideas; running alternative statistical models can deepen understanding of empirical patterns; lack of support for hypotheses can identify incorrect or incomplete theories. The management research culture should encourage these practices. Their negative effects result from the lack of explicit reporting about them.

Comments

This is a manuscript of an article from Academy of Management Learning & Education, 16(1) 2016, 125-141. Doi: 10.5465/amle.2016.0039. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

Academy of Management Learning & Education

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

Published Version

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