The JGM BitBlog: Replicate – Stop building card houses!

Journal of Global Mobility

Jan Selmer, Aarhus University, Denmark

Margaret Shaffer, University of Oklahoma, USA

David S. A. Guttormsen, University of South-Eastern Norway, Norway

Sebastian Stoermer, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany

Luisa Helena Pinto, University of Porto, Portugal

Yu-Ping Chen, Concordia University, Canada

Jakob Lauring, Aarhus University, Denmark

Replicate? Why? Like in most social sciences, there is little demand for replication studies in our area. Even some academic journals are overtly unsupportive or dismissive of such studies, thereby discouraging scholars from conducting replications. However, replication studies ensure that our knowledge is not derived from a large number of single studies and failure to conduct such studies will eventually lead to a replication crisis. Attempting to develop a research field by stacking single studies on top of each other will eventually result in a ‘house of cards’. Nevertheless, the bias towards novel, path-breaking, positive results among editors and reviewers still seems strong. Even researchers themselves may be more motivated to make a unique contribution rather than to repeat the work of others.

However, this situation may be about to change as recent compelling arguments have been presented for the necessity to undertake replication studies in our own area of international business and management. Consequently, as part of the First Decade Celebrations of the Journal of Global Mobility (JGM), our editorial team would like to contribute to this positive trend by announcing a Call for Papers for a Special Issue (SI) entitled: “ONLY REPLICATIONS”. Paper submission deadline: October 1, 2022.

There must be a match between the submitted replication and what JGM publishes, i.e. research on global employees, including corporate and self-initiated expatriates and other migrants crossing borders for work purposes. For more details on the remit of JGM, please visit: The submission may be a replication of an article published in JGM or a replication of a study with an appropriate topic for JGM but published in another journal.

Although there are many types of possible replication studies, those that provide additional contributions to the literature are preferable. Replications that retain all of the virtues of the previous study but include at least one methodological improvement have been identified as constructive replications, hence offering a specific reference to the quality of evidence of replications. Consequently, three different types of constructive replication studies are of interest for this JGM SI.

• Conceptual extensions use a different sample that is from the same original population and different construct measurements or methods of analysis are applied. This type of replication has the potential to fine-tune extant theory.

• Empirical generalizations use the same research design but draw data from a different population, thereby testing the generalizability of the original study.

• Generalizations and extensions are where both the data source and the research design are different from those of the original study, making it possible to confirm that the original results are both generalizable in terms of context and research design.

In principle, two different outcomes are possible: replication occurs or replication does not occur. But what do these outcomes really mean? Furthermore, studies may not produce a complete replication but only a partial one. But the fundamental principle is the same for any outcome of a replication study. Single studies, whether they target novelty or examine existing beliefs, cannot conclusively confirm or disconfirm theories. Replications test theoretical predictions and the outcome may play a part in refining, changing or expanding theory to make new predictions. We recognize that when original findings are not replicated, the reasons may be difficult to ascertain. Such contradictory results are perplexing and provocative, and they set the stage for further investigations. Therefore, regardless of whether the replication outcome is successful, either fully or partially, or is a failure, these studies are valuable.   

To read the full Call for Papers for this JGM Special Issue, please click the following link: