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

Researching Organisational Change in Higher Education: A Holistic Tripartite Approach  pp150-161

Dr Lois Farquharson, Dr Tammi Sinha, Susanne Clarke

© Oct 2018 Volume 16 Issue 3, Editor: Ann Brown, pp103 - 172

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Abstract

In the UK context, it is important to acknowledge that there are multiple change drivers in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that result in a proliferation of foci. Gornitzka (1999) and Allen (2003) suggest that the distinctiveness of governance, professional autonomy and the tradition of academic freedom in HEIs should be reflected in change processes, and therefore traditional frameworks for change could be adapted in an attempt to research and manage change. This paper explores how theoretical and practical tools for managing and researching change can be integrated in order to support change, whilst reflecting on the methods used. The journey of the authors towards the development of a holistic framework for researching and supporting change in Higher Education (HE), with a focus on two HEIs, is explored. The synergies of Lean Management (Wincel and Krull, 2013), Appreciative Inquiry (Cooperrider and Srivastva 1987), and Participatory Action Research (Greenwood et al, 1993) are examined through three stages of practice‑based fieldwork to establish their positioning within a holistic tripartite framework for researching and supporting organizational change. The benefits and challenges of this framework are discussed with attention to the importance of future research to provide more evidence of the impact of this framework.

 

Keywords: Appreciative Inquiry, Organisational Change, Lean Management, World café, Story-telling, Participative Action Research.

 

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Journal Article

Activity Theory used as an Analytical Lens for Business Research  pp212-228

Raphael Kamanga, Patricia (Trish) M Alexander, Fredrick Kanobe

© Dec 2019 Volume 17 Issue 4, Editor: Ann Brown, pp192 - 243

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Abstract

Activity Theory is used in this paper to demonstrate the process of critical analysis of qualitative data from two case studies. The paper explains the elements of an activity system (the subject, object, outcome, mediating tools, rules, community and division of labour). Thereafter, practical examples from the work of two recent PhD students are used to show the importance of identifying and analysing activities that are found either in the introduction or the current use of information systems in business organisations. These examples highlight the applicability of Activity Theory in analysing data from projects of interest to Business Management whose topics and contexts are very different. The first focusses on the introduction of an Accounting Information System to microbusinesses in a low‑income community in South Africa and the second focusses on Information Security Management in Mobile Network Organisations in Uganda. The examples illustrate the value of Activity Theory as a lens and as a way of stimulating critical analysis. Activity Theory is known for its ability to identify reasons for failure or disappointing performance in existing situations by highlighting contradictions either between different activities, between an earlier version of an activity and a later version as the activity evolves, or within an activity (between the elements of that activity). However, as shown in the first example, it can also be seen as a useful tool when proposing a new project as a predictor of success. Despite the fact that data is typically qualitative, the analytical process related to Activity Theory can be structured, which assists novice researchers or those unaccustomed to interpretivist analysis to uncover insights that are not immediately obvious. Activity Theory is said to act as a lens in data analysis and is particularly useful in organisational sciences for the theorization of technology‑mediated organizational change.

 

Keywords: Activity Theory, contradictions, analysis of qualitative data, technology-mediated organisational change, Accounting Information Systems, Information Security Management, participative action research, case study

 

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Journal Article

An Illustration of a Deductive Pattern Matching Procedure in Qualitative Leadership Research  pp143-154

Noel Pearse

© Sep 2019 Volume 17 Issue 3, Editor: Ann Brown, pp102 - 191

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Abstract

Most qualitative studies in business‑related research have adopted an inductive approach, in that they explore specific cases and then extract themes, or statements that are more general, from this data. This approach has its shortcomings, including not developing a more systematic body of knowledge of behavioural and social processes that take place in organisations. In contrast, in deductive qualitative research, the theoretical propositions derived from a review of the literature serve as its departure point, informing how the data is collected. Later on in the analysis of data, the researcher uses the propositions to determine if the literature explains the case that was being investigated. Unfortunately, given the relative neglect of deductive qualitative research approaches, there is little guidance and few examples offered that illustrate the application of these techniques. This poses a challenge for researchers, who often need a greater level of structure when it comes to designing and conducting their research. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to illustrate the design of a research protocol that integrates two deductive approaches that are suitable for explanatory case study research, namely deductive thematic analysis and pattern matching. This paper develops a seven‑step process that researchers can follow, for carrying out this type of deductive qualitative research. Using extracts from a research study investigating the leading of organisational change, the steps in this process are illustrated.

 

Keywords: thematic analysis, pattern matching, case study research, deductive qualitative analysis, leading organisational change

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 16 Issue 3 / Oct 2018  pp103‑172

Editor: Ann Brown

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Keywords: mixed methods, pragmatism, paradigm wars, abduction, empirical phenomenon, case studies, Academic development, research, university, significant research, publication, research, design, pragmatism, criticisms, bilingualism, New Caledonia, nickel mining, critical discourse analysis, Appreciative Inquiry, Organisational Change, Lean Management, World café, Story-telling, Participative Action Research.

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 17 Issue 3 / Sep 2019  pp102‑191

Editor: Ann Brown

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Keywords: entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial skills, mixed-methods, qualitative, quantitative, Rigour, trustworthiness, auditability, credibility, transferability, methods pedagogy, TACT, Problem-based learning, teaching research methods, first year UG business students, business research process, thematic analysis, pattern matching, case study research, deductive qualitative analysis, leading organisational change, mixed method, social media research, Q factor analysis, Q methodology, Q study, Experimental Design; Factorial Surveys; Order-effects; Omitted-Variable Bias JEL Codes: C21; C91, Research methodology; Innovation; Technology; Technological change; Management; Crowdsourcing

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 17 Issue 4 / Dec 2019  pp192‑243

Editor: Ann Brown

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Keywords: Design science research, reflective practice, epistemology, knowledge generation, Activity Theory, contradictions, analysis of qualitative data, technology-mediated organisational change, Accounting Information Systems, Information Security Management, participative action research, case study, Participatory Action Research (PAR), business simulation, education, qualitative research, quantitative research, methodology

 

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