Meta-analysis: Beyond data synthesis

23-25th of October 2017, Nord University, Bodø.

Application form

ECTS credits: 4
Level of course: PhD
Type of course: Elective
Duration: 1 semester
Study start: 23,24,25th of October 2017
Year of study: 2017
Study place: Bodø Campus
Faculty responsible: HHN
Language of instruction: English


Professor Marc van Essen, Moore School of Business (University of South Carolina) and University of St.Gallen.

Professor Tommy Clausen, Nord University Business School

Administrative coordinator: Grete Knudsen
Course responsible person: Tommy Høyvarde Clausen


Participants that are not a part of NORSI or senior HHN faculty (post-docs/(associate) professors etc) are welcome to participate in the course, but need to pay a course fee of 2000 NOK. NORSI student are exempt from semester registration fee.

Course evaluation:

The PhD course will be evaluated by the students after the last session through a discussion with the course responsible. In addition, an anonymous online survey (Questback) will be implemented and submitted to course participants asking for feedback on the course, including how it can be improved.

Course contents:

The purpose of this PhD / research course is to introduce participants to meta-analysis. Meta-analysis refers to the statistical analysis of a large collection of results from individual research studies for the purpose of integrating the findings. Typically, many research studies has been done on a particular topic and many new studies on the same topic is published each year. Many of these are (partially) replications and extensions of previous research. However, without a way to summarize these studies, science will not be cumulative. What is required is to provide an insightful summary and overview over these research findings. Moreover, it is necessary to examine (under which conditions) research findings does and does not hold. Meta-analysis can enable such summaries and overviews in the form of statistical analysis that combine the empirical insights across several research studies. As a method, meta-analysis is rapidly becoming an integral part of research projects.

Learning outcomes:

After successfully completing the course the participants:


· Will have acquired knowledge about the purpose and role of a meta-analysis in a research project
· Will know what constitutes a good and comprehensive meta-analysis
· Will have achieved a good understanding of the basic principles involved in conducting a good meta-analysis

General competence:

· Will have acquired a general overview over the major methods and approaches that can be used to conduct a meta-analysis
· Will have learnt how to evaluate the quality of meta-analyses
· Will have learnt how to use meta-analysis to advance theory in management and business research


· Will have acquired methodological skills in how to carry out a meta-analysis on particular topic
· Wil have obtained skills in how to write-up a meta-analysis on a particular topic

Especially recommended elective courses:
Literature review

Offered as a free-standing course:


Should be admitted to a PhD program or have similar qualifications

As a part of the admittance process, applicants need to enclose an extended abstract (2-4 pages). The extended abstract should highlight the topic of a proposed meta-analysis and elaborate on key research proposition(s). Moreover, the extended abstract should list 10 empirical papers that test at least one key relationship of interest.

Recommended previous knowledge:
Basic understanding of quantitative analysis, such as regression analysis. Understanding of the software SPSS that will be used in the course.

Mode of delivery:


Learning activities and teaching methods:

Compulsory lectures, discussions, labs

Assessment methods and criteria:

To pass the course, participants need to be present during the entire course. Moreover, to pass the course participants need to submit a paper that will be evaluated (pass/no pass). The paper should conduct a meta-analysis over a particular topic. Candidates should select empirical papers on a particular topic and use their empirical results to write up a meta-analysis based on the methods learnt in the course. The paper should be between 15-25 pages (times new roman, 1,5 line spacing, references excluded). Professor Marc van Essen will evaluate each paper in collaboration with Professor Tommy Høyvarde Clausen.

Work placement:

Not applicable.

Tentative program and course syllabus:





23 October

S1: 8.00-12.00

S2: 13.00-17.00

Depending on demand

24 October

S3: 8.00-12.00

S4: 13.00-17.00

Depending on demand

25 October

S5: 8.00-12.00

S6: 13.00-17.00

Depending on demand


SESSION #1 Introduction and General Goals

Carney, M., Gedajlovic, E., Heugens, P.P.M.A.R., Van Essen, M., Van Oosterhout, H. 2011. Business group affiliation, performance, context, and strategy: A meta-analysis. Academy of Management Journal, 54, 437-460.

Combs, J.G., Ketchen, D.J., Crook, T.R., Roth, P.L. 2011. Assessing cumulative evidence within ‘macro’ research: Why meta-analysis should be preferred over voting counting. Journal of Management Studies, 48, 178-197.

Franke, G.R. 2001. Applications of meta-analysis for marketing and public policy: A review. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 20, 186-200.

Stanley, T.D. 2001. Wheat from chaff: Meta-analysis as quantitative literature review. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 15, 131-150.

Recommended book: Lipsey, M. W., Wilson, D. 2001. Practical meta-analysis. US: Sage Publications.

SESSION #2 Discuss Step 1 and 2
Be systematic.

Cortina, J. M. 2003. Apples and oranges (and pears, Oh my!): The search for moderators in meta-analysis, Organizational Research Methods, 6, 415-439.

Doucouliagos, C., Stanly, T.D. 2013. Are all economic facts greatly exaggerated? Theory competition and selectivity. Journal of Economic Survey, 27, 316-339.

Kirca, A. H. 2010. The use of meta-analysis in international business research: Its current status and suggestions for better practices. International Business Review, 19, 306-314.

SESSION #3 Research Ideas and Discuss Step 3
Be comprehensive.

Doucouliagos, H., Ulubasoglu, M. A. 2008. Technical appendix for democracy and economic growth: A meta-analysis. Working Paper.

Van Essen, M., Otten, J., Carberry, E. 2015. Assessing managerial power theory: A meta-analytic approach to understanding the determinants of CEO compensation. Journal of Management, 41, 164-202.

SESSION #4 Develop Own Coding Form and code some papers

Please check coding forms in advance.

Please check excel files in advance.

SESSION #5 Discuss Step 5 I

Bijmolt, T.H.A., T., Pieters, R.G.M. 2001. Meta-analysis in marketing when studies contain multiple measurements. Marketing Letters, 12, 157-169.

Van Essen, M., Heugens, P. P. M. A. R., Otten, J., Van Oosterhout, H. 2012. An institution-based view of executive compensation: A multilevel meta-analytic test. Journal of International Business Studies, 43, 396-423.

Be rigorous

Joshi, A., Son, J., Roh, H. 2015. When can women close the gap? A meta-analytic test of sex differences in performance and rewards. Academy of Management Journal, 58, 1516-1545.

Stanley, T.D., Doucouliagos, H. 2014. Meta-regression approximation to reduce publication selection bias, Research Synthesis Methods, 5, 60-78.

Stanley, T.D., Doucouliagos, H. 2015. Neither fixed nor random: Weighted

SESSION #6 Discuss Step 5 II

least squares meta-analysis. Statistics in Medicine, 34, 2116-2127.

Stanley, T.D., Jarrell, S.B. 2005. Meta-regression analysis: A quantitative method of literature surveys, Journal of Economic Surveys, 19, 299-308

Bergh, D.D., Aguinis, H., Heavey, C., Ketchen, D.J., Boyd, B.K., Su, P., Lau, C.L.L., Joo, H. 2016. Using meta‐analytic structural equation modeling to advance strategic management research: Guidelines and an empirical illustration via the strategic leadership‐performance relationship. Strategic Management Journal, 37, 477-497.

Stanley, T.D., Doucoaligaos, H., Giles, M., Heckmeyer, J.H., Johnston, R.J., Laroche, P., Nelson, J. P., Paldam, M., Poot, J., Pugh, G., Rosenberger, R.S., Rost, K. 2013. Meta-analysis of economic research reporting guidelines. Journal of Economic Surveys, 27, 390-394.

Journal article reporting standards (JARS), meta-analysis reporting standards (MARS), and flow of participating through each stage of an experiment or quasi-experiment.


20 September 2017
Registration deadline– see 

10 October 2017
Delivery of extended abstract (se prerequisites)

15 January 2018
Delivery of full course paper

Overlapping courses:

None (at HHN)
The curse will only be implemented if at least 6 participants register for the course. Not more than 20 participants will be admitted. If there are more than 20 applicants, preference will be given to PhD students.

Practical information:

We have booked rooms at the student hotel, Nordavind. Please indicate in the application form if you want this. We cannot guarantee rooms after the application deadline.