The Ombudsman: Management Folklore and Management Science: On Portfolio Planning, Escalation Bias and Such
Management folklore sometimes leads to unprofitable decision making. Thus, studies of the value of such folklore should be of interest to managers, especially when they identify unprofitable procedures. I reviewed empirical research on scientific publishing and concluded that studies supporting management folklore are likely to be favorably reviewed for publication and to be cited. However, researchers who obtain findings that refute folklore are likely to encounter resistance in publication and are less likely to be cited. My experience with papers on portfolio planning methods and escalation bias illustrates the problem. To encourage the publication of papers that challenge management folklore, editors should use results-blind reviews and, in some cases,constrain, reduce, or eliminate peer review.