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Reaping Benefits from Management Research: Lessons from the Forecasting Principles Project, with Reply to Commentators

Listed author(s):
  • JS Armstrong

    (The Wharton School)

  • Ruth Pagell

    (Emory University)

It is often claimed that managers do not read serious research papers in journals. If true, this neglect would seem to pose a problem because journals are the dominant source of knowledge in management science. By examining results from the forecasting principles project, which was designed to summarize all useful knowledge in forecasting, we found that journals have provided 89 percent of the useful knowledge. However, journal papers relevant to practice are difficult to find because fewer than three percent of papers on forecasting contain useful findings. That turns out to be about one useful paper per month over the last half-century. Once found, the papers are difficult to interpret. Managers need low-cost, easily accessible sources that summarize advice (principles) from research; journals do not meet this need. To increase the rate of progress in developing and communicating principles, researchers, journal editors, textbook writers, software developers, web site designers, and practitioners should make some changes. Some examples: Researchers should directly study forecasting principles. Journal editors should actively solicit papers – invited submissions were about 20 times better than standard submissions at producing useful findings that were often cited, and does so at a lower cost. Web-site and software developers should provide practitioners with low-cost ways to use principles. Practitioners should apply the principles that are currently available.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series General Economics and Teaching with number 0502048.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 11 Feb 2005
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpgt:0502048
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 19
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  1. Green, Kesten C., 2002. "Forecasting decisions in conflict situations: a comparison of game theory, role-playing, and unaided judgement," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 321-344.
  2. Lomborg,Bjørn, 2001. "The Skeptical Environmentalist," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521010689, December.
  3. 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.
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