Eric Luis Uhlmann
Professor of Organisational Behaviour
Replication; Theory Pruning; Theory Testing; Direct Replication; Conceptual Replication; Falsification; Hiring Decisions; Gender Discrimination; Work-Family Conflict; Cultural Differences; Work Values; Protestant Work Ethic
Drawing on the concept of a gale of creative destruction in a capitalistic economy, the authors argue that initiatives to assess the robustness of findings in the organizational literature should aim to simultaneously test competing ideas operating in the same theoretical space. In other words, replication efforts should seek not just to support or question the original findings, but also to replace them with revised, stronger theories with greater explanatory power. Achieving this will typically require adding new measures, conditions, and subject populations to research designs, in order to carry out conceptual tests of multiple theories in addition to directly replicating the original findings.To illustrate the value of the creative destruction approach for theory pruning in organizational scholarship, the authors describe recent replication initiatives re-examining culture and work morality, working parents’ reasoning about day care options, and gender discrimination in hiring decisions.