Lowering the Barriers for Young Strategy Scholars: An Open-Access Database for Manually Computed Variables of Strategy Research[Bearbeiten]
While there is a growing interest in the impact of CEOs on their firms, research on these topics is often restricted by the ability to access relevant data. Fee-based databases like Compustat offer many needed variables but recent discussions in the field of business strategy require much more elaborate data, e.g., pertaining to CEOs’ personality traits like narcissism. Operationalizations of these variables typically necessitate manual and labor-intensive coding. For example, to compute a prominent measure of CEO narcissism, researchers must access hundreds of company websites to code the prominence of CEO photographs in the companies’ annual reports, to assess CEO’s influence in a company one has to go through their 10-K tax filings to see whether they are simultaneously at the helm of the executive management and the board of directors (known as ‘CEO duality’), and even their company’s age requires manual web searches. Problematically, particularly young scholars do not have the resources to engage in the coding of these variables. Therefore, many are forced to drop ideas pertaining to the above variables. This would be different if researchers who have already coded these variables were to make them publicly available, which is what this project aims to do.
Together with Marc Kowalzick (University of Mannheim) who likewise supports open science and this application, I have been collecting many of these variables already. For example, we have computed the above photograph measure for CEO narcissism, CEO duality, and firm age and are currently hand-collecting further variables. We wish to make these variables openly available online for scientific purposes and invite other scholars to join the cause and likewise contribute their data.
Das Vorhaben ist meines Erachtens förderungswürdig. Hierfür sollte der Projektablauf aber noch spezifiziert werden und auch mitbedacht werden, dass Daten für die Veröffentlichung nicht nur erhoben, sondern auch aufbereitet werden sollten. Auch muss bedacht werden, in welchem Repositiorium der Datensatz am gewinnbringensten veröffentlicht werden kann. Es scheint zudem sinnvoll, das Vorhaben kommunikativ zu begleiten und in der Community über das Für und Wider, das genaue Vorgehen der Veröffentlichung etc. zu berichten, um hier mehr Breitenwirkung in die Disziplin hinein zu bekommen.
It would be a great service to the science community to have detailed CEO data. My only concern would be if CEOs do not like what the data say and somehow organize against the data, but, in a way, this would be already a victory for open science (although potentially stressful for the researcher).
- Name: Moritz Appels
- Institution: Chair of Sustainable Business, University of Mannheim
- Kontakt: firstname.lastname@example.org