SAGE Journal Articles

Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.

Article 1: Mattingly, E. S. (2015). Dependent variables in entrepreneurship research. The Journal of Entrepreneurship, 24(2), 223–241. doi:10.1177/0974930615586887.

Summary/Abstract: Phenomena relevant to the emergence of new economic activity or interruptions and changes to current economic activities, rather than contexts, are what constitute entrepreneurship. A re-emphasis on phenomenon-driven research will widen the context of entrepreneurship research, help delineate entrepreneurship as a domain, and provide greater emphasis on the selection and operationalization of dependent variables. Entrepreneurship is a multi-level discipline, which provides some benefits as well as challenges. One benefit is the contribution to other fields within social science that results from research at various levels. A resulting challenge is dealing with heterogeneity that occurs at various levels. This article discusses and offers illustrative examples of each of these implications of phenomenon-driven entrepreneurship research.

Questions to Consider

1. With respect to entrepreneurship, why does the author focus so much on the topic of dependent variables? What does operationalism have to do with this topic?

2. What are the unique dependent variables that entrepreneurship research helps explain or predict?

  1. dependent variables in entrepreneurship research should be associated with the phenomenon of the emergence of new economic activity
  2. centered on characteristics of a firm’s performance
  3. related fields such as strategic management
  4. market share

3. How does the author suggest one handles excluded variables that may influence the variance in the measured dependent variable?

  1. incorporate dummy variables
  2. include every variable that has some influence on the dependent variable
  3. use of longitudinal data
  4. exclude variables that potentially influence the dependent variable

Article 2: Bless, H., & Burger, A. M. (2016). A closer look at social psychologists’ silver bullet. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11(2), 296–308. doi:10.1177/1745691615621278.

Summary/Abstract: The main advantage of experimental research lies in the possibility of systematically investigating the causal relation between the variables of interest. The well-known advantages result from: (a) the possibility to manipulate the independent variable; (b) random assignment of participants to the experimental conditions; and (c) the experimenter’s control over the operationalization of the variables and the general experimental setting. We argue that it is exactly these elements that constitute core advantages of experimental research but that are—at the same time—associated with side effects, which are often out of focus when researchers derive theoretical conclusions from their experimental findings. We discuss potential restrictions linked to these core elements of experimental research. Implications for both theory development and research design are discussed.

Questions to Consider

1. According to the authors, what are the three core features of experiments?

2. Which of the following is NOT a problem associated with manipulation checks?

  1. assessing a variable increases its accessibility
  2. influence the effect of the variable in question
  3. the assessment often impacts the independent variable
  4. participants might experience fatigue

3. Random assignment allows researchers to ensure that:

  1. experimental conditions differ only with respect to the manipulation and that the participants assigned to the different experimental conditions do not systematically differ on other variables.
  2. experimental conditions reduce the influence of variables that might otherwise co-occur with the influences of the independent variable.
  3. experimental conditions allow for an understanding of causality and the development of effects over time.
  4. individuals adjust to new situations so that the initial consequences related