Quotation Cerar, Jelena, Nell, Phillip C., Reiche, Sebastian. 2021. The declining share of primary data and the neglect of the individual level in international business research. Journal of International Business Studies JIBS. 52 1365-1374.




Complementing Nielsen and colleagues’ (2020) analysis of methodological trends in the Journal of International Business Studies over the past 50 years, we examine similar data on methods published in a wider range of leading international business (IB) journals. Our analysis shows a clear decline of studies based on primary data relative to secondary data, and a persistently low level of individual-level studies among the growing body of research using secondary data across all IB journals considered. We discuss the main mechanisms driving these trends and identify the problems of IB’s increasing exposure to the risks inherent in secondary data. We also discuss the implications related to neglecting individual-level data for theory advancement in IB, such as a disregard for novel secondary data opportunities at the individual level and the risk of reduced theoretical pluralism. In doing so, we substantially extend the debate initiated by Nielsen and colleagues (2020).


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Journal of International Business Studies JIBS
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A
WU-Journal-Rating new FIN-A, MAN-A+, STRAT-A, VW-A, WH-A
Language English
Title The declining share of primary data and the neglect of the individual level in international business research.
Volume 52
Year 2021
Page from 1365
Page to 1374
Reviewed? Y
DOI https://doi.org/10.1057/s41267-021-00451-0
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057%2Fs41267-021-00451-0


Cerar, Jelena (Details)
Nell, Phillip C. (Details)
Reiche, Sebastian (IESE Business School, Spain)
Department of Global Business and Trade DP (Details)
Competence Center for Emerging Markets and CEE WE (Details)
Institute for International Business IN (Details)
Institute for International Business (Nell) (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
2965 Knowledge management (Details)
5234 Administrative science (Details)
5307 Business and management economics (Details)
5324 Organizational research (Details)
5333 Business management (Details)
5915 Economic geography (Details)
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