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

The use of Grounded Theory and of ArenasSocial Worlds Theory in Discourse Studies: A Case Study on the Discursive Adaptation of Information Systems  pp105-116

Ana C. Vasconcelos

© Jul 2007 Volume 5 Issue 2, ECRM 2007, Editor: Ann Brown, pp37 - 124

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Abstract

This paper exemplifies the combined use of Grounded Theory and of the ArenasSocial Worlds Theory in a study of the discursive interaction amongst middle managers at a UK University administration and academic computing services. This study aimed at exploring the role of discursive interaction and negotiation in the organisational adaptation of information systems, by defining the premises upon which discourses were constructed and deployed on the basis of particular worldviews and how in turn they informed back different worldviews. It presents key lessons learned from this approach in relationship to the roles of codification, of relationships bewtween conceptual categories and between between theoretical influences and empirical work, as well as those emerging from the lived experience of research analysts.

 

Keywords: grounded theory, arenassocial worlds theory, discourse analysis, case study, information systems adaptation

 

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Journal Article

Issues and Challenges in the Use of Template Analysis: Two Comparative Case Studies from the Field.  pp85-94

Teresa Waring, David Wainwright

© Sep 2008 Volume 6 Issue 1, ECRM 2008, Editor: Ann Brown, pp1 - 94

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Abstract

One of the most problematic issues for researchers who conduct qualitative research using semi‑structured, unstructured interviews or story telling data collection methods is the analysis of large quantities of rich data. In the past this has often led to fairly unmethodical approaches to analysis which in turn has led to qualitative business and management research being seen as insubstantial and unworthy of consideration. A relatively recent development in organisational research has been the application of Template Analysis to rich unstructured qualitative data following the primary data collection phase. Template Analysis appears to have emerged from the USA during the 1990s and academics familiar with the Grounded Theory approach to data analysis may see similarities in the techniques used. Nevertheless, it has gained credibility in the UK through the work of Nigel King and other colleagues researching in health and sociology related fields. This paper provides an overview of the origins of Template Analysis and discusses how it has been used to structure qualitative data. It then goes on to examine through the two case studies how Template Analysis has been extended and used by the authors in two different research projects. In the first case study the research team worked within a Primary Care Trust in the North East of England on a project that explored the Diffusion of Innovation of clinical and administrative computer systems across General Practice within the Trust. Seventeen Trust members were interviewed for approximately one hour and this led to over 85000 words of rich data. The second project focused on the NHS Secondary Care sector and examined IT project management practice related to the development of integrated pathology computing systems across eight separate laboratories in the North of England. Eight senior managers were interviewed and this, combined with participant observation and over 3 years of document collection, also resulted in a large volume of rich textual material. The use of template analysis, combined with a critical success factors methodology, resulted in a novel approach for learning about current IT project management practices. This paper critically examines these two case studies in terms of their particular research philosophy, epistemological approach and the lessons learnt from the techniques employed. The paper then provides a discussion of the principles and practicalities of template analysis and explores the benefits to the business and management research community at large.

 

Keywords: template analysis, qualitative, NHS, interview, information

 

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Journal Article

Systematic Literature Searching and the Bibliographic Database Haystack  pp199-208

Douglas Page

© Nov 2008 Volume 6 Issue 2, Editor: Ann Brown, pp123 - 216

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Abstract

Researchers performing literature searches are increasingly using bibliographic databases as their initial and dominant resource. While the increasing number, volume and ease of access to academic and other databases potentially speeds searching, researchers require a rapidly evolving set of skills to do this efficiently. Current literature on this topic and research organisations developing techniques in this area are discussed. Aspects to be considered when designing search filters to extract relevant literature are also detailed. Further method development by the author performed during a systematic literature search on the topic of Barriers and constraints for women leaders is additionally examined.

 

Keywords: search filter, literature review, meta-analysis, database, Boolean algebra, women, leadership, social research

 

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Journal Article

Evidence Analysis using CAQDAS: Insights from a Qualitative Researcher  pp10-24

Marian Carcary

© Jan 2011 Volume 9 Issue 1, ECRM 2010 Special issue Part 2/Jan 2011, Editor: Ann Brown, David Douglas, Marian Carcary and Jose Esteves, pp1 - 87

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Abstract

In data analysis the qualitative researcher seeks to produce a convincing explanation of the phenomena under investigation. Data analysis is an iterative process and requires reflection and interpretation on the researcher’s part on several levels. Interpretation suggests that there are no clear rules and that the researcher’s judgment, intuition and ability to highlight issues play an important part in the process. As a result, the issue as to how to analyse qualitative evidence is an area often poorly understood by researchers new to the interpretivist paradigm. The complexity of the data analysis process is increased due to the volume of evidence collected as part of a qualitative research study. The role of Computer Aided Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS) in supporting this data analysis process is examined in this paper. It explores how CAQDAS can be used in facilitating the management of an extensive qualitative evidence base. CAQDAS enables researchers to manage qualitative data that would prove onerous through manual “pen and paper” methods. The paper examines the author’s use of the CAQDAS package N‑vivo in managing approximately 400 pages of single spaced interview transcripts resultant from a study on the evaluation of a new student ICT administrative system implementation in the Irish Institute of Technology (IoT) sector. This was an extensive empirical research study conducted across several case study sites and involved 49 informants and multiple sources of case study evidence. The objective was to develop a coherent cross‑case primary narrative of the system’s implementation from the evidence collected, reduce this to a set of key findings and ultimately develop a theoretical conjecture that provided fresh insights into the ICT investment evaluation process. The N‑vivo package served primarily as a support tool in managing the interview transcripts; in reflecting on the emerging themes; and in interpreting the body of evidence. It facilitated the identification of key points, the coding of key concepts that emerged from the body of evidence, and comparison between these concepts. It supported the later reclassification of concepts into a series of categories and sub categories; this helped to organise related concepts in relation to the overall research and facilitated greater understanding of the body of evidence. It supported the creation of memos to clarify emerging concepts and the categorisation of interview material to facilitate cross‑case analysis. Further, it facilitated analysis through for example relationship and model exploration. These features of N‑vivo played a vital role in producing a series of narrative accounts and ultimately the distillation of a new theoretical conjecture.

 

Keywords: qualitative data analysis, CAQDAS, N-vivo, coding, categorisation, memos, interpretivist research, research audit trail

 

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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

Mixed Methods: Combining Expert Interviews, Cross‑Impact Analysis and Scenario Development  pp9-21

Matthias Muskat, Deborah Blackman, Birgit Muskat.

© Jan 2012 Volume 10 Issue 1, Editor: Ann Brown, pp1 - 52

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Abstract

The article depicts a mixed methodology case which uses a qualitative‑quantitative‑qualitative approach. The research described used qualitative work with expert interviews for data collection, a quantitative analysis of the interviews and then a qualitative method of final scenario development for analysing and presenting the results. The case is offered to demonstrate that the introduction of the quantitative step of a cross‑impact‑analysis, which gives a mixed methodology, was beneficial for the overall research leading to surprising results that could not have been achieved with only a qualitative approach. Having a quantitative analysis step in‑between, which demonstrated the most frequent and consistent results out of a wide range of overall possibilities, helped reduce researcher bias, thereby increasing the credibility of the findings. The paper concludes that judiciously used mixed methodology in general, and this approach in particular, will give researchers using qualitative data collection a much stronger foundation in terms of the analysis and display of data.

 

Keywords: research methods, mixed methods, expert interviews, cross-impact analysis, scenario building

 

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Journal Article

A Proposal and Evaluation of a Design Method in Design Science Research  pp89-100

Francis Gacenga, Aileen Cater-Steel, Mark Toleman, Wui-Gee Tan

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

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Abstract

Information Systems (IS) design science literature offers a plethora of findings on various aspects, such as the general steps in design science, problem identification, objectives of solutions, and evaluation of the artefacts. However, there appears to b

 

Keywords: design science research, IT service management, performance measurement framework, mixed methods research, matching analysis projection synthesis approach

 

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Journal Article

The use of Grounded Theory Technique as a Practical Tool for Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis  pp29-40

Japhet Lawrence, Usman Tar

© Jun 2013 Volume 11 Issue 1, Editor: Ann Brown, pp1 - 50

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Abstract

When encountering qualitative research for the first time, one is confronted with both the number of methods and the difficulty of collecting, analysing and presenting large amounts of data. In quantitative research, it is possible to make a clear distinction between gathering and analysing data. However, this distinction is not clear‑cut in qualitative research. The objective of this paper is to provide insight for the novice researcher and the experienced researcher coming to grounded theory for the first time. For those who already have experience in the use of the method the paper provides further much needed discussion arising out of the method’s adoption in the IS field. In this paper the authors present a practical application and illustrate how grounded theory method was applied to an interpretive case study research. The paper discusses grounded theory method and provides guidance for the use of the method in interpretive studies.

 

Keywords: grounded theory, interpretive, case study, data collection, data analysis, qualitative, quantitative

 

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