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The (Non-)Significance of Quantitative Research: The Demise of Popper in View of Publication Norms

Stafsudd, Anna LU (2004) In Lund Institute of Economic Research Working Paper Series
Abstract
This paper argues that there is a norm in the publication of quantitative management research that accepted hypotheses are conceived of as good hypotheses. This has far-reaching implications for quantitative research in that, in the worst case scenario, this norm encourages commonsensical research questions and manipulation of data in order for an article to be published. Naturally, such behavior is not otherwise encouraged by the research community and, therefore, there is not even transparency in the decisions that are made. Instead, the choices that are made in the course of a research process (both in terms of how variables are operationalized and in terms of how results can be interpreted) are down-played unless in cases where... (More)
This paper argues that there is a norm in the publication of quantitative management research that accepted hypotheses are conceived of as good hypotheses. This has far-reaching implications for quantitative research in that, in the worst case scenario, this norm encourages commonsensical research questions and manipulation of data in order for an article to be published. Naturally, such behavior is not otherwise encouraged by the research community and, therefore, there is not even transparency in the decisions that are made. Instead, the choices that are made in the course of a research process (both in terms of how variables are operationalized and in terms of how results can be interpreted) are down-played unless in cases where hypotheses are rejected. Sample- and instrument-issues are then the most frequently used excuses for non-expected findings. Rather than trying to live up to demands set outside the social sciences (and failing), this paper calls for more reflexivity in quantitative management studies. The world is a messy place and so is our data. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Working Paper
publication status
published
subject
keywords
hypothesis testing, significance bias, publication bias
in
Lund Institute of Economic Research Working Paper Series
issue
6
publisher
Institute of Economic Research. School of Economics and Management, Lund University
ISSN
1103-3010
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
32d4dfeb-c99e-42e0-9c95-3860a1872a02 (old id 1386804)
date added to LUP
2009-04-20 12:27:23
date last changed
2016-04-16 03:21:49
@misc{32d4dfeb-c99e-42e0-9c95-3860a1872a02,
  abstract     = {This paper argues that there is a norm in the publication of quantitative management research that accepted hypotheses are conceived of as good hypotheses. This has far-reaching implications for quantitative research in that, in the worst case scenario, this norm encourages commonsensical research questions and manipulation of data in order for an article to be published. Naturally, such behavior is not otherwise encouraged by the research community and, therefore, there is not even transparency in the decisions that are made. Instead, the choices that are made in the course of a research process (both in terms of how variables are operationalized and in terms of how results can be interpreted) are down-played unless in cases where hypotheses are rejected. Sample- and instrument-issues are then the most frequently used excuses for non-expected findings. Rather than trying to live up to demands set outside the social sciences (and failing), this paper calls for more reflexivity in quantitative management studies. The world is a messy place and so is our data.},
  author       = {Stafsudd, Anna},
  issn         = {1103-3010},
  keyword      = {hypothesis testing,significance bias,publication bias},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Working Paper},
  number       = {6},
  publisher    = {Institute of Economic Research. School of Economics and Management, Lund University},
  series       = {Lund Institute of Economic Research Working Paper Series},
  title        = {The (Non-)Significance of Quantitative Research: The Demise of Popper in View of Publication Norms},
  year         = {2004},
}