Global0013. Benefits offered by historical explanation to statistical studies in strategic management

23/03/2021 16.00 UK

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Presenters: Sandeep Pillai (Bocconi University), Brent Goldfarb, and David Kirsch (University of Maryland)
Chair: Adam Nix (De Montfort University)


We contribute the literature on research methodologies in strategy research (CITE) and argue that historical explanation is essential to improve the internal validity, external validity, and objectivity of statistical reasoning. To enhance internal validity, tools used by historians offer statistical reasoning explanatory virtues, visibility across time and levels of analyses, the ability to identify mechanisms, and the ability to test that a proposed hypothesis is invariant. Explanatory practices followed by historians improved external validity because it provides readers with embedded generalizations from logically rigorous analytic narratives and contextualized thick descriptions that the readers can then use to determine whether the explanations are generalizable to contexts that are of interest to the readers. Further, to improve objectivity, historical explanation complements statistical reasoning through source criticism and hermeneutic interpretation, which enables the evaluation of inferences from the perspective of the authors of the records.