In a conversation at last week-end’s Sumantra Ghoshal conference on managerially relevant research at LBS, Isabel Fernandez-Mateo (LBS) and I were reflecting about the meaning for us of managerially relevant research. It came to mind that one can identify at least two types:
1- whether research speaks or deals with important phenomena which actually take place in organizations and with which managers have to deal; this research basically explains why, when and how such phenomena unfold
2- whether research focuses on explaining managerial and/or organizational effectiveness (however defined) and thus can be used to derive prescriptions about how managers should act. Researchers though are (and should) always cautious about the prescriptive or normative implications of their findings given the limits to generalize or extrapolate from a particular study with a specific setting and temporal period.
The first type of research can’t be excluded: the increasing recognition of selection or endogeneity effects (e.g. Shaver, 1998; Hamilton & Nickerson, 2003) requires to explain managerial behavior (decisions) in order to properly examine its effects.
Hamilton B, Nickerson J. 2003. Correcting for endogeneity in strategic management research. Strategic Organization 1(1): 51-78.
Shaver M. 1998. Accounting for endogeneity when assessing strategy performance: Does entry mode choice affect FDI survival? Management Science 44: 571-585.