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Toward Experimental International Business: Unraveling fundamental causal linkages

Arjen van Witteloostuijn (Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands)

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal

ISSN: 1352-7606

Article publication date: 5 October 2015




The purpose of this paper is to argue that the time is ripe to establish a powerful tradition in Experimental International Business (IB). Probably due to what the Arjen van Witteloostuijn refers to as the external validity myth, experimental laboratory designs are underutilized in IB, which implies that the internal validity miracle of randomized experimentation goes largely unnoticed in this domain of the broader management discipline.


In the following pages, the author explains why the author believes this implies a missed opportunity, providing arguments and examples along the way.


Although an Experimental Management tradition has never really gained momentum, to the author, the lab experimental design has a very bright future in IB (and management at large). To facilitate the development of an Experimental IB tradition, initiating web-based tools would be highly instrumental. This will not only boost further progress in IB research, but will also increase the effectiveness and playfulness of IB teaching.


Given the high potential of an Experimental IB, the Cross-Cultural and Strategic Management journal will offer a platform for such exciting and intriguing laboratory work, cumulatively contributing to the establishment of an Experimental IB tradition.



The author gratefully acknowledge the very constructive comments provided by Bas Bosma, Dessi Dikova, Anne-Wil Harzing, Shaista Khilji, Katrin Mühlfeld, David Ralston, Vasyl Taras, Rosalie Tung, Diemo Urbig and Utz Weitzel. Of course, the usual disclaimer applies.


van Witteloostuijn, A. (2015), "Toward Experimental International Business: Unraveling fundamental causal linkages", Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 530-544.



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