Most Overrated Econ or Management Papers

22 July 2007 at 11:04 pm 6 comments

| Nicolai Foss |

Here is a controversial, but perhaps fun, exercise for the O&M readership: nominate a paper that you think is grossly overrated. In operational terms you may think of “overrated” in terms of the ratio of Google Scholar hits to actual content/substance. Remember that you, in contrast to the resident O&M bloggers, have the option and benefit of remaining anonymous. Uninspired? You may draw inspiration from our Pomo Periscope series. (And you are welcome to nominate Ferraro, Pfeffer, and Sutton, Academy of Management Review, 2005. ;-))

Entry filed under: - Foss -, Papers. Tags: .

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Steve Phelan  |  22 July 2007 at 11:46 pm

    How about Wernerfelt & Teece, Pisano, Shuen? Nothing like being an “obligatory” cite.

    FYI, here is a list of the 25 most cited articles in SMJ according to Google Scholar (via Harzing’s excellent Publish or Perish software):

    3733 B Wernerfelt A Resource-Based View of the Firm
    3374 DJ Teece, G Pisano, A Shuen Dynamic capabilities and strategic management
    2075 RM Grant Toward a Knowledge-Based Theory of the Firm
    1904 MA Peteraf The Cornerstones of Competitive Advantage: A Resource-Based View
    1633 R Amit, PJH Schoemaker Strategic Assets and Organizational Rent
    1314 D Leonard-Barton Core Capabilities and Core Rigidities: A Paradox in Managing New Product Development
    1222 G Hamel Competition for Competence and Inter-Partner Learning Within International Strategic Alliances
    1133 G Szulanski Exploring Internal Stickiness: Impediments to the Transfer of Best Practice Within the Firm
    1023 B Kogut Joint Ventures: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives
    999 KM Eisenhardt, JA Martin Dynamic capabilities: what are they?
    960 JC Spender Making Knowledge the Basis of a Dynamic Theory of the Firm
    900 R Gulati Alliances and networks
    884 DA Levinthal, JG March The Myopia of Learning
    819 PS Ring, AHVD Ven Structuring Cooperative Relationships between Organizations
    815 JC Jarillo On Strategic Networks
    814 H Mintzberg, JA Waters Of Strategies, Deliberate and Emergent
    792 JT Mahoney, JR Pandian The Resource-Based View Within the Conversation of Strategic Management
    777 ME Porter Towards a Dynamic Theory of Strategy
    726 HB Thorelli Networks: Between Markets and Hierarchies
    711 MB Lieberman, DB Montgomery First-Mover Advantages
    707 R Gulati, N Nohria, A Zaheer Strategic Networks
    701 PJ Lane, M Lubatkin Relative absorptive capacity and interorganizational learning
    670 RP Rumelt How Much Does Industry Matter?
    661 CK Prahalad, RA Bettis The Dominant Logic: A New Linkage between Diversity and Performance
    649 R Henderson, I Cockburn Measuring Competence? Exploring Firm Effects in Pharmaceutical Research

  • 2. Steve Phelan  |  22 July 2007 at 11:51 pm

    And here are the most cited papers in SMJ in the past ten years…

    999 KM Eisenhardt, JA Martin Dynamic capabilities: what are they?
    900 R Gulati Alliances and networks
    707 R Gulati, N Nohria, A Zaheer Strategic Networks
    701 PJ Lane, M Lubatkin Relative absorptive capacity and interorganizational learning
    549 JH Dyer, K Nobeoka Creating and Managing a High-Performance Knowledge-Sharing Network: The Toyota Case
    500 AK Gupta, V Govindarajan Knowledge flows within multinational corporations
    456 OE Williamson Strategy Research: Governance and Competence Perspectives
    402 R Gulati Network location and learning: the influence of network resources and firm capabilities on alliance …
    401 P Kale, H Singh, H Perlmutter Learning and protection of proprietary assets in strategic alliances: building relational capital
    375 T Khanna, R Gulati, N Nohria The dynamics of learning alliances: competition, cooperation, and relative scope

  • 3. Cliff Grammich  |  23 July 2007 at 7:11 am

    Re “obligatory” cites in another field: I recall the prof who invented SPSS was, for a time, the second-most cited author in political science, primarily for the user’s manual. (And, to be fair, as I may have mentioned before, most of my few cites come from data I’ve gathered, not for anything insightful I’ve said about them.)

  • 4. JC  |  23 July 2007 at 7:52 am

    I am reminded of what I have always thought of as some famous person’s last words – “is this all there is?” …

  • 5. spostrel  |  29 July 2007 at 10:59 pm

    Note the heavy representation of papers about alliances and such. I’ve always felt that the topic is attractive to strategy researchers because it is a prevalent phenomenon no one else works on, and it is possible ot generate reasonably large data sets. The problem I see is that alliances are very heterogeneous things, with different purposes and levels of commitment, so the aggregation bias in most of the work seems immense.

  • 6. Steve Phelan  |  30 July 2007 at 2:24 pm

    …and sort of answers the question about whether we method-driven or theory-driven in strategic management.

    Where can I get my hands on a copy of “Social Network Analysis for Dummies”? :-)

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