FACULTY RESEARCH PROFILE
Dr. Rob Austin McKee is a recipient of the
Marilyn Davies Outstanding Research Award, which recognizes faculty who have published in A or A* publications, as ranked by the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) list. Learn more about his paper below:
Decision Comprehensiveness and the Outcomes of Firms: Reinterpreting and Extending a Recent Meta-Analysis
Disagreement and debate are the lifeblood of any scientific field. With that truth in mind, we express our disagreement with some of the conclusions drawn by Samba et al. in a generally well-conducted meta-analysis recently published in Strategic Organization. We carefully reexamine several aspects of their study and suggest that two of their key conclusions are flawed because of misinterpretations of data and analyses. We present new findings that call into question their conclusion that observed positive relationships between decision comprehensiveness and firm outcomes are likely a methodological artifact of researchers’ use of subjective outcome measures. In addition, we question Samba et al.’s conclusion regarding the unimportance of proper lag structures in assessments of comprehensiveness and outcomes. Because metaanalyses are vital tools for consolidating and extending research, our work is important for informing future directions of both science and practice. Because the value of systematic, extensive decision processes has been the focus of a decades-long debate in organizational science and strategic management, our goal is particularly important.
What inspired you to write about this?
The relationship between decision comprehensiveness and organizational outcomes is an area of intense debate in the field due to inconsistent findings. My co-author, Dr. Chet Miller, and I disagreed with the interpretations and conclusions derived from a recent meta-analysis published in the same journal (Samba et al, 2020). As such, we felt compelled to write our article respectfully disputing key conclusions of the metaanalysis. It is relatively uncommon to see articles like ours that seek to reinterpret other scholars’ recent work, so we were fortunate that the journal editor was open to our ideas for the paper
What is the impact you hope this research will have?
There are at least two aspects of our work that are worth considering. The first aspect deals with the content of our article as it relates to the positive impact of decision comprehensiveness on organizational outcomes. We do not believe that observed positive relationships are methodological artifacts. The second aspect deals with how crucial disagreement and debate are to the advancement of scientific knowledge.
What else are you working on?
I had three papers published in 2020, so it was a productive year. I am working to follow up on this paper in Strategic Organization with a related piece examining how political behavior by members of firms affects the relationship between decision comprehensiveness and firm outcomes.