Università della Svizzera italiana Faculty of Communication Sciences ./index.htm

Lets talk about outliers: IMCA project proposal approved by SNF

The project proposal (How) are Outliers Used for Theory Building in Management and Organization Science? The Link Between Rigor and Impact in Deviant Case Analysis by IMCA members Prof. Michael Gibbert (main applicant) and PhD Candidate Lakshmi Balachandran Nair was approved by Swiss National Science Foundation.

This three year project targets the issue of inadequate utilization of outliers as theory building devices in management research, in comparison with other fields like biology, comparative politics, criminology etc. The project aims to rigorously and reliably identify outliers with the greatest theoretical potential,  assess the methodological sophistication of outlier-analysis strategies used in exploiting this theoretical potential, and explore reasons, motivations, and constraints experienced by authors who report outliers yet forego their theoretical potential by not analyzing them further.

Beyond the immediate academic community, the potential contributions of the research include substantial implications for policy makers, funding agencies, and other stakeholders aiming at making most of invested funds and fostering rigorous research practice.