Farley, John U.; Lehmann, Donald R.; Sawyer, Alan
June 1995
Marketing Science;1995 Part 2 of 2, Vol. 14 Issue 3, pG36
Academic Journal
Qualitative generalization focuses on the sign of a relationship, while quantitative generalization focuses on both sign and value. Meta-analysis offers one approach to quantitative empirical generalization about parameters of marketing models which could help the marketing field's ability to describe theories, laws, and models which hold for a significant number of situations. The article applies generalization to replacing statistically based null hypotheses of zero value for parameters with nonzero null hypotheses based on substantive knowledge in the field and also illustrates methods for tailoring generalizations to specific situations. It also suggests ways that information structures of existing meta-analyses can be used to improve parameter estimates and to help systematically guide new research toward areas potentially most productive in terms of knowledge about both substance and research technology. Finally, from a managerial point of view, it is now important to find ways to make parameter adjustment procedures more accessible and understandable. There is a natural tendency of managers to think of markets for which they are responsible as unique. This tends to limit search for information to perfect or near-perfect matches with the problem at hand and has so far robbed many managers of a strategically important research tool.


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