Edited by Timothy Clark, Mike Wright and David J. Ketchen Jr.
Chapter 13: Are your results really robust?
PhDs are trained to develop theory, collect data to test it, run analyses, write up the results, and send the paper to a journal for publication consideration. Under time pressures to get manuscripts under review, however, many scholars do not take the time to collect additional data to address potential endogeneity, alternative measures of their constructs, or other theories that may account for their anticipated findings. Nor do many scholars assess the sensitivity of their results to their sensible but possibly arbitrary methodological choices or explore why all of the results didn’t turn out as expected. Why would they? What I just outlined sounds like a lot of work and would take a lot of time. That is true. But it is also absolutely necessary if the goal is to publish in top-tier journals. By not taking these matters into consideration in the design and execution of a project, researchers are setting themselves up for failure. Without thoroughly assessing alternative explanations for one’s findings, it is impossible to know if the stated interpretation is correct. And, more importantly, reviewers at our best journals are not likely to believe it.
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