Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Mega-correction for “empirical anomalies” in management paper

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The Academy of Management JournalThe author of a paper that looked at how the geographical spread of research and development sites has impacted innovation has posted a four-page list of corrections that fixed “empirical anomalies” in the paper.

A group of PhD students raised concerns about the paper’s findings, according to the editor-in-chief of The Academy of Management Journal, Gerard George. The journal formed a committee that worked with the author to reproduce the results. That ended with a correction to two of the paper’s three hypotheses, and corresponding parts of the text.

The four-page notice — (the details of which are paywalled, unfortunately) — includes notes from the journal’s editor and the author:

Editor’s note: Our attention was drawn by a group of Academy of Management Journal (AMJ) readers to a number of inconsistencies in the Lahiri (2010) manuscript. On reviewing these issues, a working group was formed with three Academy members who have knowledge of the topic and of the publication ethics guidelines to investigate these allegations. After a thorough review and with the author’s full cooperation, the working group endorsed the corrigendum detailed below. AMJ sincerely thanks the attentive readers who flagged these empirical anomalies and the working group members for their dedication and service to the Journal and the profession. GG

Author’s note: The author regrets that there were errors in the published article. The necessary corrections and clarifications appear below.

The paper, “Geographic Distribution of R&D Activity: How Does It Affect Innovation Quality?” examined how R&D departments fared when they were located in different places by looking at 100 different global semiconductor manufacturing companies.

It was published in 2010 and has been cited 46 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Gerard George explained how the issues came to the attention of the journal:

This process took about a year. A committee of three experts was set up to review concerns of a group of PhD student readers who noticed that there were empirical anomalies in the findings.  The author was approached with the query and Dr. Lahiri shared the data and programming codes – the results were reproduced, and errors in analysis and interpretation of findings were reported. The peer review committee recommended that these issues be addressed in a corrigendum rather than a retraction.    

The author Nandini Lahiri, based at Temple University, told us:

The correction was requested by the journal and made timely.

Hat tip: Philipp

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Comments
  • lewis lorton October 19, 2015 at 9:45 am

    does ’empirical anomalies’ mean ‘errors’?

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