2 min read

Business science

How would you evaluate the quality of a typical business school scientific field? I am talking about for instance management, marketing, organizational psychology, accounting (is that a field though?), finance, strategy, et cetera.

The first rule of thumb could be to look at how quantitative the field is, using the idea that quantitative science is better than qualitative science. But there are some good reasons not to trust this rule of thumb. The first is the replication crisis and all its lessons, such as rampant p-hacking. The other is the strange and unnatural constraints enforced quantitative research can impose on research, sometimes called cargo-cult science. Take organizational psychology. Most of what I’ve read there (which is just a tiny tiny part and probably not representative) are papers listing correlations between personality traits and job performance or something similar. Is this good research? Maybe. But I strongly suppose it isn’t.

What other kinds of rules of thumb can you use? Connection with the world of business? I guess this is somewhat important, as you shouldn’t trust the ivory tower. But maybe it’s not a good idea to look for this either. After all, people in for instance management seem to be quite naive if the sale numbers of New Ageish management books are to be believed.