Why Baseline Modelling is Better than Null-Hypothesis Testing: Examples from International Business Research

Philosophy of Science and Meta-Knowledge in International Business and Management

ISBN: 978-1-78190-712-2, eISBN: 978-1-78190-713-9

ISSN: 1571-5027

Publication date: 30 May 2013

Abstract

This chapter reports on a rapidly growing trend in data analysis – analytic comparisons between baseline models and explanatory models. Baseline models estimate values for the dependent variable in the absence of hypothesized causal effects. Thus, the baseline models discussed in this chapter differ from the baseline models commonly used in sequential regression analyses.Baseline modelling entails iteration: (1) Researchers develop baseline models to capture key patterns in the empirical data that are independent of the hypothesized effects. (2) They compare these patterns with the patterns implied by their explanatory models. (3) They use the derived insights to improve their explanatory models. (4) They iterate by comparing their improved explanatory models with modified baseline models.The chapter draws on methodological literature in economics, applied psychology, and the philosophy of science to point out fundamental features of baseline modelling. Examples come from research in international business and management, emerging market economies and developing countries.Baseline modelling offers substantial advantages for theory development. Although analytic comparisons with baseline models originated in some research fields as early as the 1960s, they have not been widely discussed or applied in international management. Baseline modelling takes a more inductive and iterative approach to modelling and theory development. Because baseline modelling holds substantial potential, international-management scholars should explore its opportunities for advancing scientific progress.

Citation

Schwab, A. and Starbuck, W. (2013), "Why Baseline Modelling is Better than Null-Hypothesis Testing: Examples from International Business Research", Devinney, T., 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. 171-195. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1571-5027(2013)0000026012

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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