The Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods provides perspectives on topics relevant to research in the field of business and management
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Journal Article

Research Methodologies and Professional Practice: Considerations and Practicalities  pp141-151

Caroline Cole, Steven Chase, Oliver Couch, Murray Clark

© Sep 2011 Volume 9 Issue 2, ECRM 2011 Special issue, Editor: Ann Brown, pp87 - 197

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Abstract

Professional doctorates have been established as key arenas for learning and research with the requirement for individuals to make both a contribution to management practise and academic knowledge. Many students on these programmes are drawn from the senior business world, for which the traditionally quantitatively focused business environment is familiar territory and, from which, we often see a natural tendency towards research that embraces the positivist approach that brings with it the familiarity of hard, measurable, results‑focused business disciplines. The insight into the academic world of ontology, epistemology and the different research approaches that form part of the learning arena of the professional doctorate provides an opportunity for students to consider the qualitative research alternative and the value of this in developing professional understanding and in making a contribution to knowledge, understanding and management praxis. This paper does not seek to critique the criteria for what constitutes “good” research or to argue against positivist research in the professional research arena per se. Our position is that critical reflexive thinking has a key part to play in research in both developing the student and in closing the loop between the approach taken to carry out the research, the research findings, the contribution to academic knowledge and how the research practically informs professional practice. Reflexive exploration we contend takes us beyond simple numerical objective measures and into the field of subjective understanding, which can be unsettling for the mindset of a traditionally positivistic organisation. It can be perceived as difficult and time consuming, and offering vague or conflicting outputs and we recognise that talk of subjectivity, bias and interpretation may seriously affect the acceptability of research in this tradition amongst business people and needs careful handling. The methodology must stand up to the scrutiny of both academic and management disciplines by producing results that both these disciplines accept and understand. The rewards, we suggest, of reflexive exploration, offer the opportunity of a privileged insight into workforce behaviours and motivations that are not often articulated and recognised in the business world. Within this paper we draw upon hermeneutics and critical discourse analysis highlighting the role of critical reflexivity to illustrate how these qualitative research methodologies can be used to bring the academic and business worlds together.

 

Keywords: critical reflexivity, hermeneutics, critical discourse analysis, qualitative research, research into professional practice

 

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Journal Article

Looking at the Past to Enrich the Future: A Reflection on Klein and Myers’ Quality Criteria for Interpretive Research  pp77-88

Ana Cardoso, Isabel Ramos

© Dec 2012 Volume 10 Issue 2, ECRM, Editor: Ann Brown, pp53 - 153

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Abstract

In the last two decades, interpretive research has become more established and more popular in information systems field. The work of Klein and Myers (1999) consists of a set of principles for conducting and evaluating interpretive research, which provide fair and appropriate criteria for assessing the validity and reliability of such studies and, given the number of citations, has had a significant impact in the interpretive research literature. Our article focuses on understanding how this set of principles has informed research articles published in two of the highest‑ranked information systems journals and, specifically, questions if these principles have been translated into common practices when conducting interpretive research in the field of information systems and whether authors incorporate them explicitly when they communicate the results of their research. We reviewed articles published in Management Information Systems Quarterly and Information Systems Research, collected any explicit or implicit evidence of quality criteria that informed the research, and highlighted direct or indirect reference to Klein and Myers criteria. We summarize and compare our findings in a comprehensive table, and note that, apparently, the principle of hermeneutic circle and the principle of suspicion are the most explicitly discussed in this sample. Moreover, Klein and Myers’ set of principles seem to have had a greater influence in the papers published in the period from 2002 to 2006. This study provides a reflexion about methodological rigor in interpretive research that, to our knowledge, had never been done. Thus, the findings here presented may be useful for junior researchers and doctorate level students to understand how validity and quality criteria are enacted in high‑quality interpretive research and, we hope, may encourage them to build on the exemplary work of the authors we reviewed and thus to contribute to enriching the literature of qualitative research methodology in information systems field.

 

Keywords: interpretive research evaluation, quality and rigor criteria, information systems, Klein & Myers’ set of principles, hermeneutics, phenomenology.

 

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Journal Article

Writing on the Walls: Poetic Transcription as a Research Conversation  pp93-102

Sherry Martens

© Jul 2018 Volume 16 Issue 2, Intuitive Researcher, Editor: Jocene Vallack, pp55 - 102

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Abstract

In this paper, I explore visual displays in elementary schools as more than just pretty pictures, but thoughtful deliberations about what it means to think to see and see to think with teachers. One cannot point to a classroom/school bulletin board and say of a visual display that ‘it is this way’ or ‘it is another way’. Rather, it is through relational connections—utilizing poetry and poetic transcription to engage the multiple voices of the visual with those who inhabit classroom spaces—that one makes sense of what is occurring. It is through a practice of noticing that I, as researcher, endeavour to create and find meaning through a hermeneutic lens. As soon as I think I know what has been captured in the visual displays on the walls, it shifts, moves away, and I am drawn into another question to locate/relocate. This paper seeks to reveal the meaning of these spaces in conversations with a teacher, with and as poetry returned to one another, as a way to make sense of visual displays.

 

Keywords: Poetic transcription, visual displays, visual culture, hermeneutics, narrative inquiry, art education

 

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Journal Article

The Knowledge Café as a Research Technique  pp29-40

Shawren Singh

© Apr 2017 Volume 15 Issue 1, Editor: Ann Brown, pp1 - 56

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to describe the application of a Knowledge Café as an academic research technique. Knowledge Cafés are a tool for sharing knowledge among those individuals who participate in the conversations it encourages. Used in a novel way to non‑intrusively listen in on a group of well‑experienced e‑Government individuals, the Knowledge Café has provided a technique for critiquing a theoretical conjecture which has lead to its refinement. This paper describes the steps involved in this refinement process, as well as the how the transcript of the final plenary session was treated. The previous and the revised theoretical conjectures are provided and the differences addressed. The application of the Knowledge Cafés technique described here is that the major beneficiaries of this event were not the participants but the facilitators. However, participants also benefited, but the transcript of the final plenary session of the Knowledge Café was coded, analysed and used to enhance the theoretical conjecture resulting from the original research. The critical success factors for the use of a Knowledge Café in this way include finding a group of well‑informed participants, the facilitator/s conducting a well‑focused briefing and employing a well‑experienced facilitator to manage the event. In this research, the resulting refined theoretical conjecture is a more satisfactory understanding of how e‑Government operates within its organisational setting.

 

Keywords: Knowledge Cafés, Theory refinement, Theoretical conjectures, Research Methodology, Hermeneutics

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 9 Issue 2, ECRM 2011 Special issue / Sep 2011  pp87‑197

Editor: Ann Brown

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Editorial

The subject of research methods in business is showing an extra‑ordinary level of activity and innovation and this conference (the 10th European Conference on Research Methods in Business and Management) reflected this. These papers dealt with the problems facing management researchers in a variety of ways. Many Papers offer help in applying new methods such as Mixed Methods and Design Science and introduce new ideas such the use of visual imagery as stimuli in research interviews. The final selection of papers was agreed by the senior editor of the Journal and the guest editors. The comments of session chairs were taken into account in making the final selection of papers for this issue of the EJBRM. The papers selected were chosen for their quality of writing, their relevance to the Journal’s objective of publishing papers that offer new insights or practical help in the application of research methods in business research and the degree of innovation in the subject matter.

The chosen Papers

Two papers constitute a useful introduction to mixed methods – one used case examples to illustrate the potential value of the method (Stefan Cronholm and Anders Hjalmarsson) and one assessed the challenges facing the researcher who opts for this approach.(Roslyn Cameron)

Design Science seems to be acquiring more supporters – particularly for research into Information technology. One paper explains the technique illustrating with a detailed description of an ongoing study (Carcary). The paper by Venables suggests that few research methods courses currently include this method.

The conference received a surprisingly large number of papers on the teaching of research methods and on Project Management. This issue includes three papers on teaching research methods. One addressed the issue of the expanding range of research methods available to business researchers and proposed a framework that would help teachers to introduce the full set of options (Venables). A growing trend is that of doctoral candidates coming forward from industry and the professions. Two papers offer some extremely valuable ideas on how supervisors can support the special needs of this group of doctoral candidates – One paper argues for choosing research methods that specifically exploits this experience for the empirical research work (Caroline Cole, Steven Chase, Oliver Couch and Murray Clark). The other paper offers a framework that could help such students to work through the bewildering first few steps in the research journey that often proves too confusing and time consuming for mature candidates (Rahinah Ibrahim). The papers on Project Management while of great interest to managers tended to focus on Project Management issues rather than research methods. However one paper identified the lack of research support for the existing sets of Project Management standards produced by the professional societies (BoK) and discussed the implications.(Miles Shepherd and Roger Atkinson)

An interesting paper presents a visual technique, infographics to aid interviewers in the elicitation of relevant experiences from interview subjects (Robert Campbell, Gillian Green and Mark Grimshaw ). Pearse contributed an unusual paper on the Likert scale. This is widely used but at low levels of granularity (no of scales) and this paper presents research suggesting that we should consider using a much wider range of scales.

The PhD paper that won the award for best PhD paper was by Nicola Swan. This dealt with the problems faced by researchers collecting data in the emerging countries where facilities and attitudes differ markedly from the developed countries.

I would like to thank the help given in the reviewing of the papers from the conference from Marian Carcary, Marie Ashwin, Martin Rich, Roslyn Cameron, Gill Green, Gary Bell and John Warwick.

Ann Brown

September 2011.

 

Keywords: body of knowledge; business research; case study; certification; critical reflexivity; critical discourse analysis; critical research; curriculum design; design science research; dissertation; eagle table; graduate study; graphic elicitation; hermeneutics; inductive profession; inter-disciplinary; IS; IT CMF; knowledge representation; likert scale; maturity models; method combinations; mixed approaches; mixed methods; paradigms; pragmatism; publishing; qualitative methods; qualitative research; quantitative methods; questionnaire design; research design; research framework; research into professional practice; research methodology; research methods; research proposal design; scale construction; scale granularity infographics; teaching design science; teaching research methods

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 15 Issue 1 / Apr 2017  pp1‑56

Editor: Ann Brown

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Keywords: big data, business intelligence, qualitative research method, social media analysis, text mining, text analytics, Social Physics, crowdsourcing, multicultural, multidisciplinary, collaborative research, social sciences, Knowledge Cafés, Theory refinement, Theoretical conjectures, Research Methodology, Hermeneutics, Multiple imputation by chained equations, MICE, missing data, guidelines, review, R

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 16 Issue 2, Intuitive Researcher / Jul 2018  pp55‑102

Editor: Jocene Vallack

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Editorial

Guest Editor

Dr Jocene Vallack, formerly an actor, writer, director and Drama teacher, she has lectured in Research Methods at universities in Australia, and also as a volunteer in Tanzania. She has held a research fellowship at Central Queensland University, and has worked in Academic Development. She now enjoys teaching Arts Education at James Cook University.

 

Keywords: Reflexivity, autoethnography, intuition, academic environment, researcher identity, research supervisor, PhD student, Human centred design, service design, design research methods, design thinking, arts-informed research, wicked problems, commercial design, arts-based research, mixed-methods, philosophy, triangulation, triage, Arts-Based Research Methods, Theatre as Research Methodology, Qualitative research, Performance Text, Ethnodrama, Poetic transcription, visual displays, visual culture, hermeneutics, narrative inquiry, art education

 

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