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Thread: guys, is international business/strategy math heavy?

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    guys, is international business/strategy math heavy?

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    hey guys,

    i been admitted to an international business/business strategy program. i plan to do research on how the environment affects firms.

    i am a little worried to be honest, i have no institutional access to journals currently. my math is quite bad and my background is in political science, i do mostly qualitative work.

    will i be able to publish well with qualitative methods or basic ols regression in the field of international business?

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    Re: guys, is international business/strategy math heavy?

    Strategy can be math heavy. But there is a lot of work you can do that is qualitative too (although publishing within 4-5 years of a PhD with qualitative work is ...ambitious).

    Strategy borrows from lots of fields, I particularly like this paper "THE EXPANDING DOMAIN OF STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT RESEARCH AND THE QUEST FOR INTEGRATION" for a good overview of the field. Strategy borrows from econ, sociology, psychology, etc. Edit: heres a link to the article: The expanding domain of strategic... (PDF Download Available)

    All that said: learning things like diff in diff, propensity score matching, etc. may sound intimidating, but I think econometrics/data analysis is just explained poorly and can be quite intuitive (I mean, you don't have to calculate anything by hand, the computer does it for you ... you just need to identify how the data should be analyzed ...). There are some good videos on YouTube by "Doug McKee" and a book "Mostly Harmless Econometrics" that may help you.

    You'll be fine, every doubts their abilities. But you were accepted so the school believes you have what it takes.

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    Re: guys, is international business/strategy math heavy?

    Quote Originally Posted by StrategicMGMT View Post
    you were accepted so the school believes you have what it takes.
    I'm not in strategy, but I can emphasize this point. Because business PhDs admit such small classes, they really don't admit people that aren't qualified.

    Also, the statistical techniques aren't as intimidating as you may think. You need to understand what you are doing, but once you understand the assumptions that you are making and how you are identifying an effect, there isn't a lot of technical work left to do.

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    Re: guys, is international business/strategy math heavy?

    I don't have access to any journals (left school).

    I think International Business is not too math heavy right? The math used is mostly Basic OLS regression most of the time? And some work is qualitative case studies/semi structured interviews/Likert-scale surveys?

    Although I think some Economists are coming in with more Math heavy fancy stuff when they publish their work on capital flows etc. I can do basic OLS regression up to Logistic Regression...but I cannot compete with the Economists on their math of course...

    But still Likert-scale surveys and case studies do get published in A journals ya? My uni admitted like 20 ish people (4 for each discipline?) this year lol........

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    Re: guys, is international business/strategy math heavy?

    I just would like to add that math may be required not only for your research but also coursework.

    I'm in Marketing. I have to learn some heavy math, of course, because I'm into Quantitative Marketing. But the students who are into Consumer Behavior also have to take some courses that are pretty heavy in math (e.g., multivariate methods), even if they don't plan to use that kind of thing for their research and are more focused on psychology and sociology, instead of economics and math.

    Even OLS can be very hard during coursework, particularly if you don't remember things like matrices and derivatives. For research, usually it's a lot easier to do a regression because you use a software to do the hard work for you. But for coursework, you often need to at least understand how that hard work is done. You said you can do OLS regression, for example. But do you know how to do it (and understand what you are doing) without a software helping you, for example? If you can, your math is not as bad as you said.

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    Re: guys, is international business/strategy math heavy?

    Quote Originally Posted by iwonder View Post
    can do basic OLS regression up to Logistic Regression...but I cannot compete with the Economists on their math of course...
    You will learn things during the program. Accounting is one of the more quantitative business fields and I can't compete with the economists either, but I have been able to understand the assumptions behind a bunch of different techniques and derive some stuff during the classes. I understand that you are nervous, but you will be ok. Ask current students what to do to prepare over the summer.

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