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

What Can We Learn from Gender Research  pp1-9

Eileen Trauth

© 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

This paper considers issues, insights and lessons about conducting research in business that are drawn from this author’s experiences with gender research in the information technology (IT) field over the past decade. A research program on gender and information technology (IT) is used as the basis for consideration of methodological insights for business research. The purpose in discussing gender research is not so much to focus on the findings of this work. Rather, the purpose is to focus on research issues that have or could arise, the learning from which is transferrable to business research. The reason is that there are similarities between gender research and business research. Both are action oriented in that the research is driven by real issues and practical problems. The research is conducted into the phenomenon in order to inform actions and interventions. This problem‑orientation that drives business research also drives gender and IT research. Seven lessons relevant to business research methods are: the effect of data type, the choice of epistemology, the role of theory, building on disparate literature, the influence of researcher standpoint, stakeholder perspective that is privileged, and resolving the rigor vs. relevance conundrum. This review of insights for business research that is drawn from experiences with conducting research on gender and IT makes a case for increased methodological pluralism. Arguably, the degree to which institutions and publication outlets take these issues into account is indicative of their openness to exploring emergent topics. Methodological conservatism might be in order in some areas. But business research, which endeavors to respond to real world problems, needs to have the methodological tools available to respond to them. It must also be responsive to business trends and issues that might bring with them challenges for current methods for conducting research. New economic constraints, issues such as climate change that blur business area boundaries, globalization, social inclusion and innovation are 21st century issues that will encourage the research community to overcome resistance to different ideas, methodologies, epistemologies and theories.

 

Keywords: critical theory, diversity, epistemology, feminism, gender differences, gender and IT, individual differences theory of gender and information technology, interpretive research, research methods, social inclusion, theory, women and IT workforce

 

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Journal Article

The Dimension of Time: Historiography in Information Systems Research  pp1-10

Frank Bannister

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

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Abstract

There is much to be learned from the study of history yet, as a form of research, historical studies have been largely overlooked by the IS community. It is argued that many current information systems can be best understood in terms of decisions taken in a particular temporal context and that by ignoring history, IS research is overlooking a powerful source of insights into the nature of such systems. Based on work in IS and from elsewhere, an outline for a historiographical research method in IS is presented and some issued related to this are discussed.

 

Keywords: Information Systems, History, Historiography, Interpretive Research

 

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Journal Article

The Factors that Influence Adoption and Usage Decision in SMEs: Evaluating Interpretive Case Study Research in Information Systems  pp13-24

Japhet Lawrence

© Sep 2010 Volume 8 Issue 1, Editor: Ann Brown, pp1 - 62

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Abstract

The conventions for evaluating information systems case studies conducted according to the natural science model of social science are now widely accepted, as a valid research strategy within the Information System research community. While these criteria are useful in evaluating case study research conducted according to the natural science model of social science, however, they are inappropriate for interpretive research. The nature and purpose of interpretive research differs from positivist research. Although, there are no agreed criteria for evaluating research of this kind, nonetheless, there must be some criteria by which the quality of interpretive research can be evaluated. This paper evaluates a case study research conducted under the interpretive philosophy. The paper discusses the criteria proposed by Myers (1997) for evaluating interpretive research in information systems.

 

Keywords: Interpretive research, case study, IS evaluation, internet, SME

 

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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 Issue

Volume 8 Issue 1 / Sep 2010  pp1‑62

Editor: Ann Brown

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Editorial

This Journal publishes papers that offer new insights into or practical help with the application of research methods applied to business organizations. The five papers in this issue offer the management researcher help and support with an eclectic mixture of topics relating to the application of existing tools and methods.

They are of an impressive quality testifying to the continuing intense interest in the research process as it is applied to business organizations. The wide range of topics demonstrates the current extraordinary dynamism in this subject as researchers grapple with the epistemological problems inherent in the various methodologies that are currently being applied to business research.

The paper by Alexandrov give an in depth analysis of existing measures, drawing on empirical work to support their recommendations. Alexandrov gives researchers an excellent assessment of the Likert scale‑ its strengths and weaknesses and a guide to how and when to use it. Interestingly the paper by Lawrence also addresses SME operations, this time with respect to the reasons for using or not using the Internet. This paper offers a detailed description of an empirical study using a grounded theory methodology which sought to explain the reasons for adoption or non adoption. The value for management researchers lies in the careful description of the empirical work and the evaluation of its quality using criteria established for interpretivist research. The fourth paper to draw on empirical work is that by Johl and Renganathan. This paper offers the researcher valuable insights into the effects of taking different approaches to obtaining access to case sites.

The paper by Berard critiques existing literature on the building and application of Systems Dynamics models. Of the two main approaches for developing such models by individual experts or by groups composed of both experts in the technique and individuals knowledgeable about the situation being modeled, she focuses on the group approach. Her critique of the literature establishes an excellent template for good practice. Any group setting out to build an SD model would be well advised to read this paper closely.

The paper by Green et al is theoretical and addresses a subject of key importance to all management researchers. The authors develop a fascinating argument as to the inconsistencies of the scientific method especially when applied to organizational research. They dispute the prevailing view that theory and methodology can be independent under any circumstances and would argue that theories are the creation of us the current community of researchers  As they propose an organizational truth produced by organizational science provides far more insight into what is persuasive to organizational scholars and their audiences, than it does into the features of organizations that scientists anthropomorphically deemed salient  As researchers of business organizations, we are all affected by the dominant community views more than we may like to accept.

Ann Brown
September, 2010

 

Keywords: case study, decision-making scenarios, ethnography, fieldwork, gaining access, gatekeepers, group model building, interpretive research, IS evaluation, Likert scale, marketing priority, methodological frameworks, mixed method, modelling process, negatively-worded items, performance measures, positivism, reversed items, rhetoric, semiotics theory, single-item measures, system dynamics, systematic analysis

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 9 Issue 1, ECRM 2010 Special issue Part 2/Jan 2011 / Jan 2011  pp1‑87

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

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Editorial

These papers dealt with the problems facing management researchers in a variety of ways. The keynote paper by Eileen Trauth discusses the issues that gender research raise for business. Three papers offer advice on qualitative data analysis, of which the paper by Carcary deals with methods of collection using IT, Ryan and Ogilvie identify an unusual data source and the third (Reiter et al) deals with the problem of choosing the appropriate research method. The two papers on research methodology address entirely different types of issue. The paper by Knowles and Michielsens gives all a fascinating insight into research methods that top journals apparently prefer. Iacono et al demonstrate how effective case study methods can be in developing theory. The two final papers address the subject of teaching research methods but again offer widely different views.

 

Keywords: autodriving, building theory from case studies, CAQDAS, case study research, categorisation, coding, critical theory, diversity, epistemology, feminism, gender and IT, gender differences, grounded theory, individual differences, interpretive research, interpretivist research, interviews, iterative process, marking rubrics, memos, N-vivo, phenomenology, photoelicitation, positivist research, primary data, projective prompts, qualitative, qualitative data analysis, qualitative research, quantitative, RAE 2008, REF 2013, research audit trail, research in large classes, research mentors, research method selection, research methodology, research methods, research outcomes, research training, social inclusion, teaching quantitative research, theory, theory of gender , Web 2, women and IT workforce,

 

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