Handbook of Longitudinal Research Methods in Organisation and Business Studies
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Handbook of Longitudinal Research Methods in Organisation and Business Studies

Edited by Mélanie E. Hassett and Eriikka Paavilainen-Mäntymäki

This innovative Handbook demonstrates that there is no single best approach to conducting longitudinal studies. At their best, longitudinal research designs yield rich, contextualised, multilevel and deep understanding of the studied phenomenon. The lack of resources in terms of time, funding and people can pose a serious challenge to conducting longitudinal research. This book tackles many of these challenges and discusses the role of longitudinal research programmes in overcoming such obstacles.
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Chapter 15: Organizing and executing a longitudinally based research program

Michael A. Sartor


While the scholarly preoccupation with longitudinally based research has not been confined to the academic field of international business (IB)studies, Raymond Vernon’s efforts to develop the Harvard Multinational Enterprise Project (HMNEP) arguably served as the watershed that ushered in the era of longitudinally driven IB research (Kogut 2010).Motivated by a desire to understand what induced enterprises to establish subsidiaries abroad, Vernon commenced efforts in the 1960s to collect data on 180 of the largest American multinational corporations (MNCs)using both public and private data from sources dating back to the early1900s (Vernon 1997). While the HMNEP research program was originally formulated with the purpose of extracting longitudinal insights from the United States’ foreign direct investment (FDI) record, by the time the HMNEP data collection efforts ended in the mid-1970s,the database contained historical accounts for approximately 400 MNCs headquartered in the United States, Europe and Japan (Vernon 1994). Even more impressive was the scholarly output associated with this longitudinal research program. By 1975, the HMNEP had facilitated the publication of 151 academic journal articles and 17 books, in addition to supporting 28 doctoral theses (Vernon 1994).

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