The authors have distinguished between two broad types of research: studies dedicated to development and testing of theoretical explanations and studies seeking to generalize observed effects to settings of interest. Winer (1999 [this issue]) argues that the goal of making research conducted by marketing academics more relevant can be served by coupling theory studies with effects studies. Outcomes observed in the fanner type of study would gain external validity from the latter. While this notion has much intuitive appeal, the authors believe it is flawed. Generalizing the effects obtained in theory testing research by conducting additional effects studies using realistic data, such as scanner data, fails to take into account that theoretical explanation is not inherent in any set of data. An alternative view is offered in this article in which theoretical explanation serves as the basis for solving real-world problems and is the appropriate focus of business school education.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Economics and Econometrics