International business (IB) research is traditionally heavily reliant on economics. In this chapter, we review selected debates in the philosophy of science of economics and consider their relevance for economics-based IB research, given important characteristics of IB such as phenomenon-orientedness, concern with data and facts and limited use of formal mathematical models and unrealistic assumptions in the analysis. We argue that, like in the case of mainstream economics, Lakatos’ concept of scientific research programmes (SRPs) is more useful for understanding the philosophy of science of economics-based IB than Popper’s falsificationism. Following this, we discuss characteristics of two possible IB SRPs, internalization theory and Dunning’s Ownership-Location-Internalization paradigm. Finally, we discuss the approach to modelling in IB, finding it to reflect a relative commitment to scientific realism.
Rygh, A. (2013), "Inherited Philosophy of Science? Economics and International Business Research", Devinney, T.M., Pedersen, T. and Tihanyi, L. (Ed.) Philosophy of Science and Meta-Knowledge in International Business and Management (Advances in International Management, Vol. 26), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 91-125. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1571-5027(2013)0000026010Download as .RIS
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