Inherited philosophy of science? economics and international business research

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


International business (IB) research is traditionally heavily reliant on economics. In this chapter, we review selected debates in the philosophy of science of economics and consider their relevance for economics-based IB research, given important characteristics of IB such as phenomenonorientedness, concern with data and facts and limited use of formal mathematical models and unrealistic assumptions in the analysis. We argue that, like in the case of mainstream economics, Lakatos' concept of scientific research programmes (SRPs) is more useful for understanding the philosophy of science of economics-based IB than Popper's falsificationism. Following this, we discuss characteristics of two possible IB SRPs, internalization theory and Dunning's Ownership-Location- Internalization paradigm. Finally, we discuss the approach to modelling in IB, finding it to reflect a relative commitment to scientific realism.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in International Management
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
Number of pages35
ISBN (Print)9781781907122
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameAdvances in International Management
ISSN (Print)15715027


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