Welcome to CARMA’s Webcast Lecture

Jan. 20, 2023

Dr. Brent Goldfarb, Dean’s Professor of Entrepreneurship, Academic Director,

Dingman Center, University of Maryland

Writing our Way out of the Reliability Crisis in Strategy

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM ET

Dr. Brent Goldfarb is Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship in the M&O Department at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. Goldfarb’s research focuses on how the production and exchange of technology differs from more traditional economic goods, with a focus on the implications on the role of startups in the economy. He focuses on such questions as how do markets and employer policies affect incentives to discover new commercially valuable technologies and when is it best to commercialize them through new technology-based firms? Why do radical technologies appear to be the domain of startups? And how big was the dot.com boom? Copies of Dr. Goldfarb’s publications and working papers have been downloaded over 1200 times.


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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