Necessary conditions in IB research: An introduction and application of necessary condition analysis

Nicole Franziska Richter*, Sven Hauff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaperResearchpeer-review


The aim of this paper is to familiarize the IB community with a new analysis technique able to research into necessary conditions. We screened articles published in two key IB outlets and identify more than 50 articles that refer to necessary conditions (e.g., a determinant is a necessary condition / is required for an outcome) either in theorizing or discussing findings. The necessity logic that underlies these formulations implies that a single determinant is necessary but not sufficient for an IB outcome; if it is not in place, the IB outcome will not exist. Among the articles reviewed, only five make use of a method able to test necessities, while all other empirical studies make use of more traditional techniques that are interpreted in the form that a determinant increases / is positively associated with an outcome. Hence, there is a huge potential for improving the theory-method-fit in IB research by using techniques able to appropriately research into the theoretical necessities outlined. NCA may be a fruitful avenue in this regard as it allows precise statements about which level of a condition is necessary for a specific level of the outcome. We demonstrate and evaluate this using an illustrative IB example on institutional environments and their relations with foreign direct investment performance.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventAcademy of Management 2020 Annual Meeting: Broadening our Sight - Vancouver, virtual set-up, Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 7. Aug 202012. Aug 2020


ConferenceAcademy of Management 2020 Annual Meeting
LocationVancouver, virtual set-up
Internet address

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