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Discovery and Communication of Important Marketing Findings: Evidence and Proposals

  • JS Armstrong

    (The Wharton School - University of Pennsylvania)

My review of empirical research on scientific publication led to the following conclusions. Three criteria are useful for identifying whether findings are important: replication, validity, and usefulness. A fourth criterion, surprise, applies in some situations. Based on these criteria, important findings resulting from academic research in marketing seem to be rare. To a large extent, this rarity is due to a reward system that is built around subjective peer review. Rather than using peer review as a secret screening process, using an open process likely will improve papers and inform readers. Researchers, journals, business schools, funding agencies, and professional organizations can all contribute to improving the process. For example, researchers should do directed research on papers that contribute to principles. Journals should invite papers that contribute to principles. Business school administrators should reward researchers who make important findings. Funding agencies should base decisions on researchers' prior success in making important findings, and professional organizations should maintain web sites that describe what is known about principles and what research is needed on principles.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/get/papers/0412/0412011.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series General Economics and Teaching with number 0412011.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 06 Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpgt:0412011
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 36
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Hubbard, Raymond & Vetter, Daniel E., 1996. "An empirical comparison of published replication research in accounting, economics, finance, management, and marketing," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 153-164, February.
  2. Armstrong, J Scott, 1991. " Prediction of Consumer Behavior by Experts and Novices," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 251-56, September.
  3. Joshua S. Gans & George B. Shepherd, 1994. "How Are the Mighty Fallen: Rejected Classic Articles by Leading Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 165-179, Winter.
  4. 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.
  5. Koehler, Jonathan J., 1993. "The Influence of Prior Beliefs on Scientific Judgments of Evidence Quality," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 28-55, October.
  6. Dakin, Stephen & Armstrong, J. Scott, 1989. "Predicting job performance: A comparison of expert opinion and research findings," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 187-194.
  7. Laband, David N & Piette, Michael J, 1994. "Favoritism versus Search for Good Papers: Empirical Evidence Regarding the Behavior of Journal Editors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 194-203, February.
  8. Wells, William D, 1993. " Discovery-Oriented Consumer Research," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 489-504, March.
  9. Fox, Kevin J & Milbourne, Ross, 1999. "What Determines Research Output of Academic Economists?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 75(230), pages 256-67, September.
  10. Deirdre N. McCloskey & Stephen T. Ziliak, 1996. "The Standard Error of Regressions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 97-114, March.
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