The Homerun Hypothesis: Influencing the Boundaries of Knowledge

Fox School Business and Management Discussion Paper No. 05-912

31 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2007 Last revised: 21 Apr 2014

See all articles by Keith D. Brouthers

Keith D. Brouthers

King's College London

Ram Mudambi

Temple University - Department of Strategic Management

David M. Reeb

National University of Singapore

Date Written: September 12, 2005

Abstract

We argue that the creation of new knowledge is both difficult and rare. More specifically, we posit that the creation of new knowledge is dominated by a few key insights that challenge the way people think about an idea; generating high interest and use. We label this the homerun hypothesis. Using a sample of 2,012 published management studies we find support for the homerun hypothesis. Our evidence suggests that new knowledge creation is rare among the leading journals in management. We also find that numerous studies in the leading management journals are virtual strikeouts, making no contribution to knowledge. Additional tests indicate that journal "quality" is related to the ratio of homeruns to strikeouts a journal publishes and that journal rankings are a poor proxy for study influence. Consistent with the notion that editorial boards are able to identify new knowledge, we find that research notes significantly under-perform articles in both the same journal and in lower ranked journals. Taken together, the results imply that only a few scientific studies, out of the thousands published in a given area, change or influence the boundaries of knowledge, with many of the others contributing nothing. Overall, this analysis indicates that the development of new knowledge is rare yet appears to be recognizable. A revised version of this paper, titled "The Blockbuster Hypothesis" is forthcoming in the journal Scientometrics.

Keywords: knowledge creation, innovation models, diffusion, role of the university

JEL Classification: O31, O32, O30, M12

Suggested Citation

Brouthers, Keith D. and Mudambi, Ram and Reeb, David M., The Homerun Hypothesis: Influencing the Boundaries of Knowledge (September 12, 2005). Fox School Business and Management Discussion Paper No. 05-912, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1015588 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1015588

Keith D. Brouthers

King's College London ( email )

150 Stamford St.
London SE1 9NH
United Kingdom

Ram Mudambi

Temple University - Department of Strategic Management ( email )

Fox School of Business and Management
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215-204-2099 (Phone)
215-204-8029 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://sbm.temple.edu/~rmudambi/index.html

David M. Reeb (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore ( email )

Mochtar Riady Building
15 Kent Ridge Drive
Singapore, 119245
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://www.davidreeb.net

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