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

A Case Study on the Selection and Evaluation of Software for an Internet Organisation  pp57-66

Pieter van Staaden, Sam Lubbe

© Nov 2006 Volume 4 Issue 1, Editor: Arthur Money, pp1 - 66

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Abstract

The authors conducted research to determine whether IT‑managers, IT auditors, users, management, etc. (all decision‑makers) use a certain evaluation and selection process to acquire software to meet business objectives and the requirement of users. An argument was used that the more thorough the software evaluation and selection process, the more likely it would be that the organisation will choose software that meets these targets. The main objective of the research was therefore to determine whether Media24 uses evaluation methods and obtain the desired results. Media24 is Africa's biggest publishing group and offers entertainment, information and education 24 hours a day and served as a good example of an Internet Service organisation that made their employees available for this research project. The results confirmed that Media24 uses suggested protocol as noted in the theory for software acquisition correctly during most stages.

 

Keywords: Black Box testing, business process, commercial software system, document, evaluation, request for proposal, RFP, requirements, selection, software, vendors

 

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Journal Article

Strategies for Teaching Research Ethics in Business, Management and Organisational Studies  pp29-36

Linda Naimi

© Jul 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, Editor: Ann Brown, pp1 - 36

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Abstract

Ethics education has become increasingly important in the wake of recent corporate scandals and reported scientific misconduct. The pressure to succeed has spurred the emergence of a 'cheating culture' (Callahan, 2004). Callahan suggests that ethics — i.e., integrity, honesty and fairness — is losing ground to a market‑driven economy and culture that rewards self‑interest, self‑gratification, and amoral behaviour. As educators, we are committed to providing students with the preparation, mentoring and guidance they need to address ethical issues that arise in their academic, professional and personal lives. We need to serve as positive role models to encourage ethical conduct. Nowhere is this more critical than in the area of research, particularly human subject research. To ensure integrity in research, students and faculty must demonstrate that they understand the ethical and legal ramifications of their work prior to initiating any research. In addition to legal requirements, universities now use a variety of creative approaches designed to promote integrity in personal and professional conduct. This paper discusses effective strategies for teaching research ethics to undergraduate and graduate students in business, management and organisational studies. Strategies include online interactive training modules, case studies, role‑playing, action research, critical inquiry, simulations, the Socratic Method, interest triggers, and research analysis. This paper also includes a brief look at LANGURE, an NSF funded national initiative involving over one hundred faculty and students at eight land grant and historically black universities in the United States. LANGURE is developing a model curriculum in research ethics for doctoral candidates in the physical, social and life sciences, and engineering.

 

Keywords: Research, ethics, business, management, organisation, case studies

 

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Journal Article

Googling Companies — a Webometric Approach to Business Studies  pp93-106

Esteban Romero-Frías

© Dec 2009 Volume 7 Issue 1, ECRM 2009, Editor: Ann Brown, Joseph Azzopardi, Frank Bezzina, pp1 - 116

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Abstract

So far Internet studies have focused mainly on using website content for gathering business information, however web hyperlinks have not been exploited enough for business purposes yet. Webometric techniques are based on the exploitation of information contained in the hyperlinks that connect the different documents contained on the Web. Webometrics could be considered as a new discipline that applies bibliometric techniques to the quantitative study of the Web, but also a discipline that progressively develops its own concepts and methodology. So far studies in this field have focused on academic and scholarly web spaces; however this methodology is equally applicable to commercial sites which are more predominant on the Web. This paper is intended to show how webometric techniques could be applied to business and management studies. Therefore, it describes a number of basic concepts and techniques and the way in which they have been applied to these fields so far. Firstly, some studies found that the number of links pointing to companies' websites correlates significantly with the business performance measures of the entity. This finding suggests that links to a website could be used as a timely indicator of business performance. Secondly, the examination of co‑links, which refers to webpages that links two business sites simultaneously, have been used for competitive intelligence purposes. These studies are based on the idea that the number of co‑links to the websites of a pair of companies is a measure of the similarity between them. For instance, this similarity measure between companies in the same industry can provide information about their competitive positions. Finally, motivations for the creation of hyperlinks to business sites could be analysed through a content analysis approach in order to get confirmation about the business relevance and nature of links. This view complements the quantitative perspective to link and co‑link research, providing a brand new approach to business studies.

 

Keywords: web mining, webometrics, business intelligence, business management, internet studies

 

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Journal Article

A Grounded Case of Enterprise Acquisition  pp63-72

David Douglas

© 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

To gain ‘real world’ understanding of the managerial approach adopted in an established small business when taken over by another entrepreneur from that of it’s predecessor. The research highlights perceptual differences internal stakeholders (employees and the new owner) have regarding the business and the managing of it. Illustrated are the commercial consequences that can ensue from the change of ownership of an established enterprise through to the managerial style perceived appropriate by a new entrepreneur, and, subsequent employees’ cognitions and behaviours that ensue as reactions to changed managerial practices. Findings are reviewed against existing theories within the fields of entrepreneurship, decision theory and management. Design/Methodology/Approach: Situated within the qualitative paradigm, the unit of analysis being one small (nevertheless complex) organization affords the researcher opportunity to inquire deeply into case study phenomena. The unit of analysis soon develops, through the application of ‘original’ grounded theory methodology (utilizing depth interviews and observations), to being the human interactions of all actors within the organization. Discovering meanings and behaviours across a number of dimensions produces a rich textual account of actors’ perceptions of enterprise events and subsequent repercussions to the business. Findings: Emergent conceptual categories and supportive properties conveyed the new entrepreneur’s limited understanding of the business he had bought, along with his technical, managerial and decision‑making style seemed insurmountable management impediments. Substantive theory that captured the social processes and phenomenological contentions from the grounded theory analysis conclude. Not wholly proffering generalisable pronouncements, the research presents a robust framework for further small enterprise research and grounded approaches to data capture and analysis. Implications: Implications of the study will be of interest to entrepreneur and qualitative researchers, interested in the findings as a contribution to the field, and, the grounded theory methodology applied in establishing ontological ‘groundedness’ of inductively derived at theories. Originality/Value: There is a paucity of such research outside the big business spectrum. Contributes at a ‘substantive’ level by focusing on the entrepreneur’s ‘post take‑over’ management approach, and, at a more formal level through empirical ‘owner‑manager‑entrepreneurial’ research situated within the qualitative paradigm, where a deficiency of ‘depth’ cases remains. And especially for this forum, the findings are the result of meticulous attention to data gathering, analysis and emergent theory building, through the application of grounded theory methodology. Grounded theory has seen limited application to‑date in the small business and entrepreneurship field.

 

Keywords: grounded theory, small business, entrepreneurship

 

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Journal Article

Integrating Sustainable Development into Research Ethics Protocols  pp54-63

Anthony Stacey, Julie Stacey

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

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Abstract

The challenges and crises that face organisations are frequently the result of unintended, unanticipated or unforeseen consequences of well‑intended decisions. In this paper the role of research ethics is analysed in as far as it contributes to or militat

 

Keywords: extrinsic research ethics, five capitals, sustainable society, business decisions

 

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Journal Article

Overcoming Barriers: Qualitative Interviews With German Elites  pp77-86

Hilary Drew

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

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Abstract

Abstract: Despite the fact that qualitative interviews are reputed to be an effective method of obtaining data from organizational elites, studies are concurrent on a number of obstacles which surround the interviewing of senior management. Problem areas flagged by the literature include issues of access and suspicion towards the interviewer as an outsider. This paper presents experiences with interviewing senior‑level HR managers in German organizations. The author attempted to overcome some of the estab lished barriers to interviewing internationals and organizational elites. However, as the paper argues, unique working experience collected in Germany gave the researcher insights into how to interact with senior German managers. In particular, the resear cher drew on a previous role as a language trainer to create a method of engaging managers. The semi‑structured interviews that followed were free from barriers and resulted in the gathering of rich data which enabled the researcher to better understand p rocesses, networks and relationships.

 

Keywords: Keywords: qualitative interviews, organizational elites, cross-cultural research, business management research

 

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Journal Article

Employing a Mixed Methods Approach to Benefit Business‑IT Alignment and Levels of Maturity  pp48-61

Sally Eaves

© Dec 2015 Volume 13 Issue 1, Mixed Methods, Editor: Ros Cameron, pp1 - 61

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper examines the design, implementation, benefits and challenges of employing a mixed methods research approach with the aim to provide an emergent, integrative and multi‑layered perspective on Business‑IT alignment influences and maturit y measurement. The application of mixed methods is underutilised in this domain and it is opined that it can serve to elucidate this perennial, but often elusive, core objective of senior management. It also begins to redress the predominance of quantitat ive studies and the frequent application of tools and techniques in isolation, not combination. The case of a leading UK Communications Service Provider in a two year period of joint venture integration provides a transformational context for examination, with a methodological focus. It is argued that mixed methods can achieve a mutually supporting depth and breadth of coverage that is appropriate to complex and multifaceted phenomena such as Business‑IT alignment and facilitates consideration of both pr ocess and outcomes. A transparently presented two phased, sequential exploratory and emergent design is adopted, with embedded integration. This is underpinned by a reflexive and intelligent‑action orientated pragmatic lens. Innovative use of observation, photography, interviews, focus groups and survey data are synthesised to unfold the Business‑IT alignment relationship, whilst the Strategic Alignment Maturity Model supports incremental maturity evaluation. The approach facilitates a responsive, integr ative, pluralistic and holistic evaluation of alignment and maturity measurement, moving beyond traditional snapshot techniques. It encourages reflexive, in situ surfacing of core themes and builds cumulative insight into the fluctuating impact of events, interventions and culture. The design benefits data richness, elaboration, validation, illustration and the identification of situated knowledge regarding enablers, inhibitors and interdependencies. Further, a robust and repeatable assessment of maturity can be achieved to support benchmarking and

 

Keywords: Keywords: Mixed Methods Research, Business-IT Alignment, Strategic Alignment Maturity Model, SAMM, Strategic Alignment, Joint Venture, Communications Sector

 

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Journal Article

Inductive theory generation: A grounded approach to business inquiry  pp37-44

David Douglas

© Jul 2003 Volume 2 Issue 1, Editor: Frank Bannister, pp1 - 77

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Abstract

Grounded theory has frequently been referred to, but infrequently applied in business research. This article addresses such a deficiency by advancing two focal aims. Firstly, it seeks to de‑mystify the methodology known as grounded theory by applying this established research practice within the comparatively new context of business research. Secondly, in so doing, it integrates naturalistic examples drawn from the author's business research, hence explicating the efficacy of grounded theory methodology in gaining deeper understanding of business bounded phenomena. It is from such a socially focused methodology that key questions of what is happening and why leads to the generation of substantive theories and underpinning knowledge.

 

Keywords: grounded theory methodology, qualitative, inductive, small business

 

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