We provide a series of recommendations about how authors might describe empirical results and make claims when presenting strategy research. We summarize recent studies which argue that in the absence of pre-specification, empirical papers rely upon abduction, generally referred to as Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE), to advance knowledge claims. When engaging in IBE, researchers generate possible explanations that fit observed empirical patterns in their data and setting (the “lot”) and select a preferred (or “best”) explanation using their own subjective, interpretive judgments. Because judgment is inseparable from explanation, we suggest that reporting of possible alternatives should be reasonably exhaustive to allow the sensitivity of proposed explanations to these judgments to be transparent to the reader. We propose a comprehensive reporting architecture and suggest language of description that harmonizes the reporting of empirical research to its practice in strategic management. Further, we clarify the roles and responsibilities of the reader when engaging with articles in strategy.
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