Category: Economics General

How Robust are the Results?

Today I have the pleasure to present some of our (Galia, Laursen, Salter and my) recent research. Here is briefly what it is about:

Introduction.

As stated by Hubbard, Vetter and Little (1998: 251): “The goal of science is empirical generalization, or knowledge development leading to some degree of understanding.” However, in many fields of science, the integrity of the pertinent empirical literatures are open to question because of what Rosenthal (1979) dubbed the “file drawer problem,” which implies that journals may be dominated by papers reporting results that are Type I errors (erroneous rejections of the null hypothesis), while the null outcome remain in the file drawers of researchers. In the top five journals of strategic management research, Goldfarb and King (2016) report that between 24 to 40 percent of the findings are likely the result of chance rather than a reflection of true relationships.

Replication studies can help reduce this problem by establishing a set of robust empirical results (Bettis, 2012). In addition, even if we assume away the “file drawer problem”, statistical tests by nature produce Type I errors. The result is that in strategic management general and in open innovation research in particular, we know too little about which results are empirically generalizable, and hence whether they potentially add to our understanding. In many cases, however, researchers work on similar data sets and use similar or identical dependent variables, so that in principle, the robust (and not so robust) results could be extracted, while controlling for a host of other factors. When such general datasets are available, large scale replication studies can be conducted. By large-scale replication studies, we mean studies where different independent variables are included in a single empirical model with the same dependent variable. However, in these large scale replications as in most empirical applications, the “true model”, and therefore, the appropriate selection of explanatory variables, is essentially unknown, which leads to a phenomenon described as “model uncertainty” (Chatfield, 1995). Disregarding model uncertainty results in too small standard errors and too strong confidence in the statistical findings (Raftery, 1995). Additionally, it is model uncertainty that fundamentally facilitates the “file drawer problem”.

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Recruitment, Knowledge Integration and Modes of Innovation

 

About a week or so ago we received the favorable editorial decision about our (Sverre, Tore and I) paper “Recruitment, knowledge integration and modes of innovation” has been accepted for publication in Research Policy.

In the paper we investigate how the intrinsic characteristics of firms’ knowledge bases and processing routines have evolved with the past inflow of employees into the firm. The empirical analysis is based on linked public register and innovation survey data for Norway merged with the Norwegian innovation survey. We find that recruitment from universities, research institutes and higher education institutions increases the capacity of the firm to generate technical inventions. Yet, the organizational knowledge bases and processing routines on which commercial innovation output depends, are strengthend only by the recruitment that has occurred from related industries. In the conclusion we draw implications for research, management and policy.

Gender, management education and the willingness for academic entrepreneurship

The paper “Gender, management education and the willingness for academic entrepreneurship” [see a draft] by Bernd Ebersberger and Christine Pirhofer (both MCI) is accepted for publication with the Applied Economics Letters.

The paper explores the determinants of academic entrepreneurship. In particular it investigates the effects of gender and supplementary management education on academics’ willingness to start up a company. The analysis is based on a survey of academics. Controlling for academic achievement, field of science and perceived hampering factors we find that female academics show a significantly lower propensity to have a high willingness to start up. Our results indicate that supplementary management education does not in general have a significant effect on the willingness to start up. Yet, for female academics supplementary management education exerts a significantly positive effect almost offsetting the gender effect.

Determinants of academic entrepreneurship

The final draft of “Determinants of academic entrepreneurship” is finalized and available for download.

This paper explores the determinants of academic entrepreneurship. In particular it investigates the effects of gender and supplementary management education on academics’ willingness to start up a company. As a data source the analysis relies on a survey of academics in Tyrolean universities. Controlling for academic achievement, field of science and perceived hampering factors we find that female academics show a significantly lower propensity to have a high willingness to start up. Overall supplementary management education does not have a significant effect on the willingness to start up. Yet, for female academics supplementary management education exerts a significantly positive effect almost offsetting the gender effect.

This result resonates the findings that reduced rates of female entrepreneurship can be attributed to lower female entrepreneurial control beliefs (Goethner et al. 2009) and that management education increases self efficacy with female students more than it does with their fellow males (Wilson, Kickul & Marlino 2007).

References.

Goethner, M., Obschonka, M., Silbereisen, R. K., & Cantner, U. (2009). Approaching the Agora – Determinants of Scientists’ Intentions to Pursue Academic Entrepreneurship. Jena Economic Research Papers. Jena.

Wilson, F., Kickul, J., & Marlino, D. (2007). Gender, entrepreneurial self-efficacy, and entrepreneurial career intentions: Implications for entrepreneurship education. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 31(3), 387-406.