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

Co‑operative Inquiry: Reflections on Practice  pp27-37

Briony J Oates

© Jan 2002 Volume 1 Issue 1, Editor: Arthur Money, pp1 - 58

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Abstract

Co‑operative inquiry (CI) is a form of action research which emphasises participation. This paper discusses CI as a research methodology. An overview is given and then greater detail is provided using as a vehicle my use of CI in a particular research study. This study explored whether conventionally‑educated systems developers could adopt a richer model of organisations by using metaphors for organisations as cognitive structuring devices. Finally some reflections are given on the challenges CI poses for both individual researchers and the wider academic community.

 

Keywords: co-operative inquiry, information systems development, metaphors

 

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Journal Article

Using Focus Groups in Studies of ISD Team Behaviour  pp119-131

Colm O’hEocha, Kieran Conboy, Xiaofeng Wang

© Dec 2010 Volume 8 Issue 2, ECRM Special Issue Part 1, Editor: Ann Brown, David Douglas, Marian Carcary and Jose Esteves, pp63 - 162

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Abstract

This paper discusses an innovative focus group approach used to study an Information Systems Development (ISD) environment. The research had to cope with the application of a broad framework, untested in practice, seeking to elicit potentially highly sensitive opinions and judgments in a highly pressurised, time‑restricted environment. The researchers’ design of the focus groups is discussed along with an evaluation of the final approach used. The paper concludes with a set of issues for future researchers to consider when designing focus groups for their own studies, along with a set of lessons learned and recommendations arising from the research team’s experience in this study

 

Keywords: focus group, information systems development, evaluation criteria

 

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Journal Article

Exposing the Influencing Factors on Software Project Delay with Actor‑Network Theory  pp139-153

Zana Ahmedshareef, Robert Hughes, Miltos Petridis

© Nov 2014 Volume 12 Issue 2, ECRM 2014, Editor: Ann Brown, pp75 - 167

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Abstract

Abstract: Managing large software projects through global development teams is a complex undertaking; it involves managing interdependent problems and dynamic situations that are constantly changing. The research and practice bodies of knowledge need to m atch that complexity if they are to provide practical solutions to the challenges facing such projects. This research investigates the interdependent influences exerted on project progress that emerge during project execution and cause schedule delay. Thi s paper aims to demonstrate the value of integrating different research methods and techniques from the technical and social domains in order to address such complexity, in particular the utility of actor‑network theory (ANT) to expose the influencing f actors on project schedule delay. The research approach (Mixed method) was applied to empirical data from a global software provider, integrating quantitative analysis (project metrics) with qualitative analysis (grounded theory) and culminating in the development of an explanation model (ANT). The findings demonstrate that considerable benefit can be gained from the fuller understanding of the management dynamics during project execution provided by this approach. ANT makes researchers look at th e networks of influence at play between human and nonhuman elements of the project, thus offering a richer picture of the project.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Research methods, Actor-network theory, Grounded theory, Project management, Information systems development, Software development

 

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Journal Article

Gender Reflexivity: A Missing Element from Action Research in Information Systems  pp50-58

Teresa Waring

© Jan 2002 Volume 1 Issue 1, Editor: Arthur Money, pp1 - 58

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Abstract

Much of the literature on AR in IS appears to have forgotten its radical roots and its subjective epistemology. More rigorous, mechanistic approaches and control mechanisms are continuing to emerge rather than more insightful and innovative methods of interpretation and reflexivity to facilitate making sense of the research. AR is a methodology, like ethnography, that involves people and as such is subject to organisational power and politics that can have dimensions of age, race, social class as well as gender. This paper argues that action researchers involved in information systems development should become more critical in their approach and provide insight into their research by avoiding linguistic reductionism and sanitised stories that remove the struggle, conflict and injustice inherent in all organisations involved in change. This can be done in a variety of ways. One such approach is by developing and presenting stories that are interpreted through different lenses that reveal to the reader new dimensions in the research. The lens used in this paper is a gender lens.

 

Keywords: Action Research, Information Systems development

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 8 Issue 2, ECRM Special Issue Part 1 / Dec 2010  pp63‑162

Editor: Ann Brown, David Douglas, Marian Carcary, Jose Esteves

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Editorial

Introduction to the ECRM conference issues

The subject of research methods in business is showing an extraordinary level of activity and innovation and this conference (the 9th European Conference on Research Methods in Business and Management) reflected this. Papers ranged from those offering insight and help in applying such favorite methods as Grounded Theory (Douglas and Nunes et al) to those introducing new ideas such as the application of subtextual phenomenology (Valleck). Papers fell naturally into fourteen main themes and these formed the basis of the conference streams. The quality of the papers was of such a high level that it was decided to publish two conference issues, A & B.  Issue A has the best papers on: Grounded Theory, Mixed Methods, Reflecting and Researching one’s own professional practice, Research Methods in Business and Research Methods in Strategy‑as‑practice. Issue B has the best papers on: Qualitative Data Analysis, Research Methodology and methodology issues, Teaching Research Methods and Methodologies and Trust and Ethics

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 these two issues 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.

Issue A

These papers dealt with the problems facing management researchers in a variety of ways. Two papers develop new ideas (Valleck, Venkateswaran and Prabhu). Vallek’s paper introduces a relatively new method for researching in that it advocates the use of personal experience through the application of subtextual phenomenology (Valleck). The paper by Venkateswaran and Prabhu claim that their topic ‑ strategy‑as‑Practice is just emerging as a new subject. This is the study of individual and organizational actions in the process of strategizing. The paper gives an insightful view of the problems of taking a holistic view of such actions. The two papers on Grounded Theory could not have been more different in their aims, one (Douglas) shows us how the method can be used to identify the differing perspectives of stakeholders, while the second (Nunes et al) offers a valuable insight into managing the key initial stage of the method through the use of pilot studies. The papers on mixed methods (Papadimitriou, Molina‑Azorin and Cameron) both offer insight into how and when to use this method. Papadimitriou is a helpful paper to others in understanding the MMs approach to research. Whereas Molina‑Azorin and Cameron carry out a survey of the way Mixed methods has been applied in a number of key organizational research journals. The remaining three papers offer valuable insights into key steps of the research process: O'hEocha et al give a review of the use of focus groups from the literature which offers us insight into the value and appropriateness of using this technique. Heine uses an example of analyzing the behavior of a niche group to discuss the twin problems of surveys – that of reaching the target group and then motivating them to respond.  Beck et al address the practical problems of making use of data (on major change projects) over which the researcher has little control as to choice or the conditions within which the collection takes place.

 

Keywords: grounded theory, small business, entrepreneurship, pilot studies, context, research design, multilevel mixed design, quality management, higher education, neo-institutional theory, mixed methods research, strategic management, organizational behaviour, quantitative methods, qualitative methods, subtextual phenomenology; phenomenology; arts-based research; first-person research, transcendental phenomenology, intuitive research, focus group, information systems development, evaluation criteria, luxury products, luxury brands, luxury consumers, survey participant acquisition, survey response, viral marketing, field research, external validity, induction, statistical generalization, theoretical generalization, strategy-as-practice, research methods, strategy research, clinical research, review

 

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