Corroborating Empirical Evidence
From Published Marketing Research, Special issue of Journal of Business Research; Deadline 1 Dec 2018
Corroborating Empirical Evidence from Published Marketing Research
Special Issue Guest Editors:
- Barry J. Babin, Professor of Marketing, Louisiana Tech University, USA
- Carmen Lopez, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Plymouth University, UK
- Jean-Luc Herrmann, University of Lorraine, France
- David J. Ortinau, University of South Florida, USA
Despite the widely acknowledged role of replication, corroboration, and synthesization in scientific knowledge (e.g. Ravetz, 1971; Rosenthal and Rosnow, 1984), few marketing journals seriously consider for publication papers attempting to reproduce previous studies. Journals favor “originality” over corroboration, which fosters confidence, or a lack thereof, in previous evidence (Nosek, Spies and Motyl, 2012). Consequently, the top marketing peer-review literature consists mainly of single research endeavors (sometimes several studies within the endeavour are reported in a single article) with the result being that our evidence builds on largely unverified and potentially tenuous findings (Hubbard, 2016; Hubbard and Vetter, 1996).
Corroboration is key to theory development (Tsang and Kwan, 1999), generalizing marketing results (Leone and Schultz, 1980; Hubbard, 2016), verifying the validity and reliability of findings (Campbell and Jackson, 1979), delimiting the scope of empirical evidence (Hubbard and Vetter, 1996; Hubbard and Lindsay, 2013), checking the robustness of the original findings (Hubbard and Armstrong, 1994) and increasing scientific rigor (Makel, Plucker and Hegarty, 2012). If a finding is potentially important, particularly considering the subsequent economic and social consequences, not only should, but their must be attempts at corroborating such findings. Corroboration attempts need to be published with potential to take on status equal to the original finding. Quantitative research syntheses also provide evidence for corroboration and should be encouraged.
A strict and narrow approach to replication involves repeating a previously published empirical study. Considering the difficulties in conducting an identical replication due to differing time periods, differing researchers, differing geographies, and so on (Rosenthal and Rosnow, 1984; Hubbard, 2016), we adopt a broader approach and, in line with Tsang and Kwan (1999), extend the concept of replication to capture both repetitions that test the same hypotheses by using the same methodology, and repetitions that use a different population, different measurements or different techniques of data analysis. Further, we recognize that not all studies need replication. But, those demonstrating impact through citations, as evidence that someone is relying on those results, need furthere examination.
In this special issue of the Journal of Business Research, we are interested in publishing papers that replicate previous marketing studies that diplay evidence of representing significant, relevant, theoretical, and managerial contributions. Evidence of publication in a highly respected journal is one piece of evidence suggesting such a contribution. But, perhaps even moreso, evidence also exists in studies displaying impact by being highly cited. We call for papers attempting to corroborate recent, impactful marketing research and continue the JBR’s tradition of introspection in the academic publication process (Armstrong, 2003; Babin, Griffin, and Hair, 2016; Easley and Madden, 2013; Evanschitzky and Armstrong, 2013; Ortinau, 2011; Woodside, 2009). Any empirical study published in an academic marketing journal since 2010 and displaying over 100 citations needs corroborative evidence. Articles with more impact are in greater need of corroboration. Otherwise, the recommendations made by academics in their papers and in their teaching could be wrong. Extending Tsang and Kwan’s (1999) classification, potential replications for this special issue include, but are not limited to:
- Reproduction of recent impactful marketing research findings using the same research approach to the extent possible.
- Reanalysis of data: replications that use the same data set but a different measurement and/or analysis approach. Again, for impactful papers published since 2010, alternative methods of analyzing data could suggest different interpretations of the data.
- Conceptual extension: replications that employ the same theory and population but a different measurement and/or analysis. The findings can be used for theory development/revision and thus, for the verification of construct and nomological validity. Studies are needed to test the generalizability of important findings.
- Reproducing the research with a different target population and thus, a different sample. The majority of research employs convenience samples with limited ability to generalize to a meaningful population. Much research is conducted with convenience samples that may contain questionable characteristics including experience effects and acquiescence. For example, crowd sourced data may be suspect and student data often are criticised.
- Were the original results due to the choice of scales and sample?
- Further attempts to corroborate often-employed scales. Do they still work? Do they still demonstrate all elements of construct validity?
- Meta-analyses of key relationships that ultimately affect the value delivered by a marketing effort.
- Research addressing “outlier studies” including the use of meta-analytic techniques to identify outlier studies. Are there distinguishing characteristics of outlier studies?
- Research demonstrating the impact of selectively omitting a study(ies) from a string of studies used to support some stated hypothesis.
- Research examining authors’ hesitance to conduct corroborative research, including replications, and reviewers/editors’ resistance to considering corroborative research as contributing to scientific knowledge (Easley and Madden, 2013).
Submission guidelines and deadlines:
When preparing your submission, please check the JBR website for guidelines on style and paper length:
Manuscript submission for the review process will be done in the Elsevier Editorial system at the following website:
Submission Deadline: December 1, 2018
Please see the call for papers for the most up-to-date information.
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