Reordering our priorities by putting phenomena before design : escaping the straitjacket of null hypothesis significance testing

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Lockett, Andy ; McWilliams, Abagail ; Van Fleet, David D. (2014)

In this paper we reflect on two related questions. First, how have we arrived at a position where null hypothesis significance testing is the dominant criterion employed by quantitative researchers when deciding on whether or not a result is ‘significant’? Second, how might we change the practice of quantitative management research by promoting a greater plurality of methods, and in doing so better enable scholars to put phenomena before design? We conclude by arguing that quantitative management researchers need to focus on the epistemological issues surrounding the role of scholarly reasoning in justifying knowledge claims. By embracing a plurality of approaches to reasoning quantitative researchers will be better able to escape the straitjacket of null hypothesis significance testing and, in doing so, reorder their priorities by putting phenomena before design.
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