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Advocacy and Objectivity in Science

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Author Info

  • JS Armstrong

    (The Wharton School)

Abstract

Three strategies for scientific research in management are examined: advocacy, induction, and multiple hypotheses. Advocacy of a single dominant hypothesis is efficient, but biased. Induction is not biased, but it is inefficient. The multiple hypotheses strategy seems to be both efficient and unbiased. Despite its apparent lack of objectivity, most management scientists use advocacy. For example, 2/3 of the papers published in a sampling of issues of Management Science (1955-1976) used advocacy. A review of the published empirical evidence indicates that advocacy reduces tire objectivity of the scientists. No evidence was found to suggest that this lack of objectivity could be overcome by a 'marketplace for ideas' (i.e., publication for peer review). It is recommended that tire method of multiple hypotheses be used.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/get/papers/0502/0502060.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series General Economics and Teaching with number 0502060.

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Length: 7 pages
Date of creation: 11 Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpgt:0502060

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 7
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: advocacy; objectivity; science; publication;

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References

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  1. Ian I. Mitroff, 1972. "The Myth of Objectivity OR Why Science Needs a New Psychology of Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(10), pages B613-B618, June.
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Cited by:
  1. JS Armstrong, 2005. "The Importance of Objectivity and Falsification in Management Science," General Economics and Teaching 0502055, EconWPA.
  2. JS Armstrong & Edward J. Lusk, 2005. "Return Postage in Mail Surveys: A Meta Analysis," General Economics and Teaching 0502041, EconWPA.
  3. JS Armstrong, 2005. "Barriers to Scientific Contributions: The Author’s Formula," General Economics and Teaching 0502057, EconWPA.
  4. JS Armstrong, 2005. "Research on Scientific Journals: Implications for Editors and Authors," General Economics and Teaching 0502059, EconWPA.
  5. JS Armstrong, 2004. "Strategies for Implementing Change: An Experiential Approach," General Economics and Teaching 0412026, EconWPA.

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