Skip to main content

The Critique of Empirical Social Science: New Policies at Management and Organization Review

  • Arie Y. Lewin (a1), Chi-Yue Chiu (a2), Carl F. Fey (a2) (a3), Sheen S. Levine (a4), Gerald McDermott (a5), Johan Peter Murmann (a6) and Eric Tsang (a4)...

At the June 2016 meeting of the International Association for Chinese Management Research, MOR organized a symposium to discuss the mounting criticisms of empirical social science and subsequent changes, as part of ongoing discussions affecting journal reviewing policies. This article overviews the history of modern empirical social science as the foundation of management, organization, and strategy research and the criticism of social science research, which has reached the point that some critics refer to current publication norms as encouraging and enabling the publication of junk science. Most importantly, however, this article outlines MOR's strategy going forward and the new reviewing initiatives that MOR is implementing as of Volume 13 (2017).

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The Critique of Empirical Social Science: New Policies at Management and Organization Review
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The Critique of Empirical Social Science: New Policies at Management and Organization Review
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The Critique of Empirical Social Science: New Policies at Management and Organization Review
      Available formats
Hide All
Aguinis, H., Werner, S., Abbott, J. L., Angert, C., Park, J. H., & Kohlhausen, D. 2010. Customer-centric science: Reporting significant research results of rigor, relevance, and practical impact in mind. Organizational Research Methods, 13 (3): 515539.
Barley, S. R. 2016. 60th anniversary essay: Ruminations on how we became a mystery house and how we might get out. Administrative Science Quarterly, 61 (1): 18.
Baum, J. A. C. 2011. Free-riding on power laws: Questioning the validity of the impact factor as a measure of research quality in organization studies. Organization, 18 (4): 449466.
Baum, J. A. C. 2012. The skewed few: Does ‘skew’ signal quality among journals, articles, and academics? Journal of Management Inquiry, 21 (3): 349354.
Baum, J. A. C. 2013. The excess-tail ratio: Correcting journal impact factors for citation distributions. M@n@gement, 16 (5): 697706.
Bedeian, A. G., Taylor, S. G., & Miller, A. 2010. Management science on the credibility bubble: Cardinal sins and various misdemeanors. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 9 (4): 715725.
Begg, C. B., & Berlin, J. A. 1988. Publication bias: A problem in interpreting medical data. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (Statistics in Society), 151 (3): 419463.
Begley, C. G., & Ellis, L. M. 2012. Drug development: Raise standards for preclinical cancer research. Nature, 483 (7391): 531533.
Bettis, R. A., Ethiraj, S., Gambardella, A., Helfat, C., & Mitchell, W. 2016a. Creating repeatable cumulative knowledge in strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 37 (2), 257261.
Bettis, R. A., Helfat, C. E., & Shaver, J. M. 2016b. The necessity, logic, and forms of replication. Strategic Management Journal, 37 (11), 21932203.
Blau, P. M. 1955. The dynamics of bureaucracy. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
Blau, P. M., & Scott, W. R. 1962. Formal organizations: A comparative approach. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Burns, T. R., & Stalker, G. M. 1961. The management of innovation. London: Tavistock Publications.
Camerer, C. F., Dreber, A., Forsell, E., Ho, T.-H., Huber, J., Johannesson, M., & Wu, H. 2016. Evaluating replicability of laboratory experiments in economics. Science, 351 (6280): 14331436.
Chalmers, A. F. 1999. What is this thing called science? (3rd ed.). Maidenhead, England: Open University Press.
Chen, X. P. 2015. On data transparency and research ethics. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 127: iv.
Corley, K., & Gioia, D. 2011. Building theory about theory building: What constitutes a theoretical contribution? Academy of Management Review, 36 (1): 1232.
Cyert, R. M., & March, J. G. 1963. A behavioral theory of the firm. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Davis, G. F. 2015. Editorial essay: What is organizational research for? Administrative Science Quarterly, 60: 179188.
Errington, T. M., Iorns, E., Gunn, W., Tan, F. E., Lomax, J., & Nosek, B. A. 2014. An open investigation of the reproducibility of cancer biology research. eLife, 3, e04333.
Ethiraj, S. K., Gambardella, A., & Helfat, C. E. 2016. Replication in strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 37 (11), 21912192.
Gelman, A., & Stern, H. 2006. The difference between ‘significant’ and ‘not significant’ is not itself statistically significant. American Statistician, 60 (4): 328331.
Ghoshal, S. 2005. Bad management theories are destroying good management practices. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 4 (1): 7591.
Goldfarb, B., & King, A. 2016. Scientific apophenia in strategic management research: Significance tests & mistaken inference. Strategic Management Journal, 37 (1): 167176.
Gouldner, A. W. 1954. Industrial bureaucracy. New York: Free Press.
Ioannidis, J. 2005. Why most published research findings are false. PLoS Medicine, 2 (8), 696701.
John, L. K., Loewenstein, G., & Prelec, D. 2012. Measuring the prevalence of questionable research practices with incentives for truth-telling. Psychological Science, 23 (5), 524532.
Kerr, N. L. 1998. Harking: Hypothesizing after the results are known. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2 (3), 196217.
Krugman, P. R. 2009, September 6. How did economists get it so wrong? New York Times, p. MM36. [Cited 7 November 2016]. Available from URL:
Levine, S. S. 2012. Walter R. Nord and Ann F. Connell: Rethinking the knowledge controversy in organization studies: A generative uncertainty perspective. Administrative Science Quarterly, 57 (3): 537540.
Lewin, A. Y., Weigelt, C. B., & Emery, J. B. 2004. Adaptation and selection in strategy and change: Perspectives on strategic change in organizations. In Poole, M. S. and Van de Ven, A. H. (Eds.). Handbook of Organizational Change and Innovation: 108160. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Loveridge, R. 2013. The Aston studies: A journey towards a science of administration? In Witzel, M. and Warner, M. (Eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Management Theorists: 129. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
March, J. G., & Simon, H. A. 1958. Organizations. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Merton, R. K. 1965. On the shoulders of giants: A Shandean postscript. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.
Open Science Collaboration. 2015. Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science, 349 (6251).
Popper, K. 1959. The logic of scientific discovery. New York: Hutchison and Co.
Sarasvathy, S. D. 2003. Entrepreneurship as a science of the artificial. Journal of Economic Psychology, 24: 203220
Shapiro, D. L., Kirkman, B. L., & Courtney, H. G. 2007. Perceived causes and solutions of the translation problem in management research. Academy of Management Journal, 50: 249266.
Simmons, J. P., Nelson, L. D., & Simonsohn, U. 2011. False-positive psychology: Undisclosed flexibility in data collection and analysis allows presenting anything as significant. Psychological Science, 22 (11): 13591366
Simon, H. A. 1947. Administrative behavior. New York: The Free Press.
Starbuck, W. H. 2004. How much better are the most-prestigious journals? The statistics of academic publication. Organization Science, 16: 180200.
Starbuck, W. H. 2016. 60th anniversary essay: How journals could improve research practices in social science. Administrative Science Quarterly, 61 (2): 165183.
Thompson, J. 1956. On building an administrative science. Administrative Science Quarterly, 1 (1): 102111
Tsang, E. W. K. 2017. The philosophy of management research. New York: Routledge.
Tsang, E. W. K., & Yamanoi, J. 2016. International expansion through start-up or acquisition: A replication. Strategic Management Journal, 37 (11): 22912306.
Tsui, A. S. 2016. Reflections on the so-called value-free ideal: Values and science in the business schools. Cross-Cultural and Strategic Management (formerly known as Cross Cultural Management), 23: 428.
van Witteloostuijn, A. 2015. Toward experimental international business: Unraveling fundamental causal linkages. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, 22 (4): 530544
Walsh, J. P., Arora, A., & Cohen, W. M. 2003. Working through the patent problem. Science, 299: 1020.
Wasserstein, R. L., & Lazar, N. A. 2016. The American Statistical Association statement on p-values: Context, process, and purpose. American Statistician, 70 (2): 129133.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Management and Organization Review
  • ISSN: 1740-8776
  • EISSN: 1740-8784
  • URL: /core/journals/management-and-organization-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed