The declining share of primary data and the neglect of the individual level in international business research.

Jelena Cerar, Phillip C. Nell, Sebastian Reiche

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

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Complementing Nielsen and colleagues’ (2020) analysis of methodological trends in the Journal of International Business Studies over the past 50 years, we examine similar data on methods published in a wider range of leading international business (IB) journals. Our analysis shows a clear decline of studies based on primary data relative to secondary data, and a persistently low level of individual-level studies among the growing body of research using secondary data across all IB journals considered. We discuss the main mechanisms driving these trends and identify the problems of IB’s increasing exposure to the risks inherent in secondary data. We also discuss the implications related to neglecting individual-level data for theory advancement in IB, such as a disregard for novel secondary data opportunities at the individual level and the risk of reduced theoretical pluralism. In doing so, we substantially extend the debate initiated by Nielsen and colleagues (2020).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1365 - 1374
JournalJournal of International Business Studies JIBS
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 509018 Knowledge management
  • 505027 Administrative studies
  • 502052 Business administration
  • 506009 Organisation theory
  • 502044 Business management
  • 507026 Economic geography

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