Session 25

Methodological Myths and New Insights in Strategic Management Research

Track D

Date: Monday, October 8, 2012


Time: 13:30 – 14:45


Room: Meeting Hall IV (b)

Session Chair:

  • Donald Bergh, University of Denver

Title: Coverage of Competitive Actions in Business News and Its Implications for Competitive Dynamics Research


  • Tomi Nokelainen, Åbo Akademi University

Abstract: Prior competitive dynamics research has, over the past two decades, relied in most cases on the business news media as its sole source for empirical data, companies’ competitive actions. For such a sourcing strategy to be methodologically valid, these media must comprehensively report companies’ competitive actions as they actually unfold. In this study I investigate whether the general business media, in this case in Finland, operate in such a documentary manner or not. My findings suggest that the general business press is highly selective in what it chooses to report and therefore it is methodologically problematic – unless complemented with other sources – for empirical competitive dynamics research. The results also qualitatively outline the nature of the central selection mechanisms at play.

Title: Prevalence and Contributions of Mixed Methods to Strategy: An Analysis of the Strategic Management Journal


  • José F. Molina-Azorin, University of Alicante
  • María Dolores López-Gamero, University of Alicante
  • Jorge Pereira-Moliner, University of Alicante
  • Eva M. Pertusa-Ortega, University of Alicante

Abstract: Mixed methods research has developed rapidly in the last few years, emerging as a methodology with a recognized name and identity. The central premise of mixed methods is that the use of quantitative and qualitative approaches in combination may provide a better understanding of research problems than either approach alone. The purpose of this paper is to examine the application of mixed methods research in strategic management, emphasizing two aspects. Firstly, the prevalence of this methodological approach in relation to other methods is determined in the Strategic Management Journal from 1980 to 2010. Secondly, taking as exemplars some mixed methods articles, we examine important and specific research issues in strategy that can be addressed by the application of a mixed methods approach.

Title: Statistical and Methodological Myths and Urban Legends in Strategic Management Research: The Cases of Moderation and Mediation


  • Donald Bergh, University of Denver
  • Robert Vandenberg, University of Georgia
  • Ming Li, ESC Rennes School of Business
  • Barton Sharp, Northern Illinois University

Abstract: Statistical and methodological myths and urban legends (SMMULs) are perpetuated truisms which in reality are not true. An initial analytical practice may have been based on a methodological truth, but its application subsequently can become distorted and exaggerated over time to such an extent that the intended meaning was lost along the way. SMMULs can perpetuate incorrect methodological decisions, lead to misapplications of analyses, produce inaccurate inferences and provide errant guidelines for reviewers and editors who decide on the merit of manuscripts. In this study, we evaluate articles appearing in the Strategic Management Journal that report the testing of moderation and mediation, as these two approaches are especially popular in strategic management. A content analysis of 56 SMJ articles that test moderation and 21 that test mediation reveals that some SMMULs appear to have become institutionalized methodological practices.

All Sessions in Track D...

Mon: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 23: Bibliometric Approaches for Understanding Strategic Management in Transition
Mon: 13:30 – 14:45
Session 25: Methodological Myths and New Insights in Strategic Management Research
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 24: Strategy in Transition: What Are the Big Questions of Strategy?

Strategic Management Society