Solutions To The Credibility Crisis In (Management) Science



This presentation argues much academic misconduct can be explained as the result of a social dilemma occurring at two levels of Management science. First, the career benefits associated with engaging in noncredible research practices (NCRPs) (e.g., unreported HARKing, data manipulation, fabricating results, data hoarding) results in many academics choosing self-interest over collective welfare. These perverse incentives derive from journal gatekeepers who are pressed into a similar social dilemma. Namely, an individual journal's status (i.e., its “impact factor”) is likely to suffer from unilaterally implementing practices that help ensure the credibility of Management science claims (e.g., publishing “strict” replications, insisting that authors submit their data, etc.). Fortunately, research on social dilemmas and collective action offers solutions. For example, journal editors could pledge to publish a certain number of credibility boosting articles contingent on a proportion of their “peer” journals doing the same. Details for successful implementation of conditional pledges, other social dilemma solutions, and insights on credibility supportive journal practices from other fields are provided.