The Industry Settings of Leading Organizational Research: The Role of Economic and Non-Economic Factors
Journal of Organizational Behavior, Vol. 30, pp. 497-534, 2009
31 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2011
Date Written: 2009
Despite calls for attention to the role of context in organizational research, there have been no assessments of the distribution of industry contexts in organizational research. This paper explores that distribution in relation to the industry composition of the U.S. economy. Our analysis of 914 empirical field studies published in four leading journals from 1988 to 2002 reveals striking, persistent, and growing discrepancies between the industries that are economically important and the industries that have served as settings for organizational research. For example, education and manufacturing are oversampled in relation to their economic importance, while real estate, construction, wholesale, and retail are undersampled. We also develop and test a series of hypotheses predicting which industries serve as the contexts for leading research. Using negative binomial regression, we show that the percentage of recent MBA graduates in an industry and the percentage of employees with doctoral degrees in an industry predict the number of articles set in that industry, with the total number of employees and average establishment size in an industry enhancing the power of the model. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for advancing organizational theory and research methods.
Keywords: Research contexts, samples, industry settings, leading management research, research access
JEL Classification: industries, access
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation