Can I Trust Your Findings? Ruling Out Alternative Explanations in International Business Research

Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra, Ulf Andersson, Mary Yoko Brannen, Bo Bernhard Nielsen, A. Rebecca Reuber

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    The complex nature of international business research, with its cross-country and multilevel nature, complicates the empirical identification of relationships among theoretical constructs. The objective of this editorial is to provide guidance to help international business scholars navigate this complexity and ensure that readers can trust their findings. We provide suggestions for how to rule out alternative explanations, explaining key considerations not only in empirical analyses, but also in theory building and in research design. Our discussion covers both qualitative and quantitative studies, because we believe that it is imperative to understand how trustworthiness is established in both traditions, even for international business researchers who self-identify with only one. This enables scholars to have a broader scope of knowledge when interpreting past research in the field and to be more adept at explaining their design choices to a diverse audience.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of International Business Studies
    Issue number8
    Pages (from-to)881–897
    Number of pages17
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Theory-method intersection
    • Qualitative/quantitative comparisons
    • Reliability
    • Case theoretic approaches
    • Controls
    • International business

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