Causal Identification through a Cumulative Body of Research

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    J. Myles Shaver

    Endowed Chair
    Professor of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship
    Pond Family Chair in the Teaching and Advancement of Free Enterprise Principles
    Carlson School of Management
    University of Minnesota
    Minneapolis, MN 55455
    Phone: 612- 625-1824
    Email J. Myles
    J. Myles’ Website

    Myles Shaver is Professor of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota where he holds the Pond Family Chair in the Teaching and Advancement of Free Enterprise Principles.

    Myles’ research interests revolve around corporate and international strategies. His research has been published in the Strategic Management Journal, Management Science, Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, Journal of International Business Studies, International Journal of Industrial Organization, Global Strategy Journal, Strategic Organization, Journal of Management, Small Business Economics, Advances in Strategic Management, Asia-Pacific Journal of Management and various book chapters. His forthcoming book published by Oxford University Press is entitled, Headquarters Economy: Managers, Mobility, and Migration.

    Myles is a Senior Editor at Strategy Science, and has had editorial roles at Management Science, the Strategic Management Journal, the Global Strategy Journal, and the Journal of International Business Studies. He currently serves on the board of the Strategic Management Society.

    Myles has taught MBA and executive education classes on Corporate Strategy, Multinational Business Management, and Corporate Responsibility; and Ph.D. classes on strategy and international business research. Myles received the Academy of Management Business Policy and Strategy Division’s Irwin Outstanding Educator Award, the Ross School of Business (University of Michigan) Distinguished PhD Alumni Award, and Poets and Quants profiled Myles in their compilation of the “World’s 50 Best Business School Professors.”

I discuss the importance and the difficulties of causal identification in the study of strategy and organizations. In light of the difficulties, I propose that causal identification be considered as a process of cumulative research. I discuss what this entails in terms of guiding research. However, my proposal requires that we change some research norms in the field and I describe what this would have to entail.

Digital Reader: Resources Recommended by the Speaker:

  • Angrist, JD and J-S Pischke. 2009. Mostly Harmless Econometrics. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.
  • Bettis, RA, CE Helfat, and JM Shaver. 2016. “The necessity, logic, and forms of replication,” Strategic Management Journal, 37: 2193–2203
  • Oxley, J. E., Rivkin, J. W., Ryall, M. D., & Initiative, S. R. 2010. The strategy research initiative: recognizing and encouraging high-quality research in strategy. Strategic Organization, 8(4): 377-386.
  • Simcoe, Tim. Empirical Etiquette.