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Theory and method in international business research

  • Buckley, Peter J.
  • Chapman, Malcolm
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    International business research represents an excellent testing ground for multidisciplinary research. Indeed, it has been considered as a test case for a unified social science approach. This paper (1) examines previous attempts to achieve interdisciplinarity in international business research, (2) confronts the key difficulties in achieving interdisciplinarity in this context, (3) traces the intellectual heritage of interdisciplinary approaches and (4) suggests ways forward. This paper goes on to examine research design and methods in order to achieve the goals thus delineated. Arguments are presented which advocate an approach which is comparative and longitudinal. The importance and types of comparator are examined (spatial comparators, historical comparators, counterfactual comparators) and the importance of the time dimension in management research is stressed. The third part of the paper examines one particular approach -- an attempt to combine economics and social anthropology in an analysis of the management of cooperative strategies. This focuses attention on research method and on the nature of the evidence in management research.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/096959319600008X
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Business Review.

    Volume (Year): 5 (1996)
    Issue (Month): 3 (June)
    Pages: 233-245

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:5:y:1996:i:3:p:233-245
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    1. Jean J Boddewyn, 1988. "Political Aspects of MNE Theory," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 19(3), pages 341-363, September.
    2. John H Dunning, 1989. "The Study of International Business: A Plea for a More Interdisciplinary Approach," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 20(3), pages 411-436, September.
    3. Brian Toyne, 1989. "International Exchange: A Foundation for Theory Building in International Business," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 20(1), pages 1-17, March.
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