Original Research

Seeking rigor in South African business research: Aspirational principles in contrast to a recent publication

Gregory John Lee
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 17, No 4 | a935 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v17i4.935 | © 2014 Gregory John Lee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 February 2014 | Published: 01 September 2014

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Gregory John Lee, Wits Business School, South Africa

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Abstract

Studies of organizational success and other aspects of management are critical in understanding and improving critical areas of African economic stability. This article seeks to urge high levels of rigor in South African research in this area, notably empirical research, proposing several aspirational research principles. First, the article considers claims of uniqueness versus the practical value of embedding research as a replication in a well-considered wider body of knowledge. Second is the desirability of conforming to sufficiently high norms of model fit and effect size and accuracy. Third is empirical comparison of South African studies with previous findings, with attendant possibilities for new theory development. Fourth is proper tests for and treatment of common method bias. Fifth is specification of appropriate sets of constructs. Finally, this article proposes specification of alternate models that will add substantial rigor to such research. In advocating these possibilities, the current article contrasts these aspirational principles to a recent SAJEMS article. This critique serves an exclusively illustrative purpose, showing some pitfalls of not conforming to the aspirational principles, the benefits of explicitly including certain easy to achieve solutions, and the ease with which greater rigor can sometimes be achieved. Ultimately, this article seeks to constructively advance African business research standards.

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