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Published: 2023-12-06

Behind the scenes

PROFILE Turning challenging moments into growth opportunities

In this series, sustainability researchers at the department of Business Administration share untold stories about their recent publications. Follow the a-ha moments, triumphs, and challenges that provide an intimate glimpse into the earthly side of academic work.

In focus: Manzhynski, S., & Biedenbach, G. (2023). The knotted paradox of coopetition for sustainability: Investigating the interplay between core paradox properties. Industrial Marketing Management, 110, 31-45.

Turning challenging moments into growth opportunities

One of the memorable experiences that we will most probably never forget is related to the review process. As expected, after the first review round, the reviewers acknowledged the strengths of our initial manuscript that investigated the complex phenomenon of the knotted paradox of coopetition for sustainability, as well as provided suggestions for making improvements in its different parts. However, one suggestion by the third reviewer really stood out on our list of required revisions. This reviewer proposed that we should conduct numerous additional tests, controlling for multiple biases, considering endogeneity, reverse causality, omitted variable bias, curvilinear relationships, confirmation bias, and other issues. At the moment of reading these suggestions, we almost wished that we would have a bias for simplicity to address these issues. Kindly, the reviewer proposed three amazing articles focusing on biases. Facing this challenging task, we also read many other great works on biases and had multiple discussions between ourselves and together with our colleagues in the marketing section. These thought-provoking debates inspired us to organize a research seminar at our department on testing biases in quantitative research. Consequently, researchers from various disciplines (marketing, management, entrepreneurship, accounting, finance) had a great opportunity to jointly reflect on methodological choices, discuss approaches for testing multiple biases, and share their own experiences, learning from one another.

This experience made us realize that although reviewers’ comments can sometimes be very challenging and frustrating for authors, they can also create unexpected opportunities for developing collegial knowledge and strengthening the research environment at the department. As the authors, we are very grateful to all individuals who have shared their wisdom and supported us through formal and informal discussions, turning a challenging moment in the review process into a great learning opportunity for us and others.

By Siarhei Manzhynski and Galina Biedenbach