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

Historiography — A Neglected Research Method in Business and Management Studies  pp161-170

John O'Brien, Dan Remenyi, Aideen Keaney

© Jul 2003 Volume 2 Issue 2, Editor: Arthur Money, pp47 - 170

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Abstract

The objective of this speculative paper is to open a debate as to the importance of historiography in the field of business and management studies and to this end the paper argues that it is an under utilised research paradigm. It is the paper's contention that history has a special role to play in academic research. It contextualises the issues being studied and it gives shape to the parameters of the understanding which is offered by the research. Without access to a history of the issues and the ideas being examined it is difficult to make sense of the current situation. Being able to have a broad perspective of the history and the current situation opens the way to being able to make a valuable contribution to the theoretical body of knowledge in the field. Business and management studies can obtain much from historiography and this paper indicates.how it may be used in this context and its affinity with other accepted narrative based research paradigms already in use in this field.

 

Keywords: and phrases History, historiography, historicism, context, knowledge, facts and figures, and phrases pedagogical understanding, facts, case studies, critical realism, dialectic, story, narrative

 

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Journal Article

Grounded Theory: Its Diversification and Application Through two Examples From Research Studies on Knowledge and Value Management  pp57-68

Kirsty Hunter, Subashini Hari, Charles Egbu, John Kelly

© Sep 2005 Volume 3 Issue 1, Editor: Arthur Money, pp1 - 92

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Abstract

The grounded theory research method has been adopted by researchers across a range of different disciplines. Two different examples that are currently using the method as part of individual research programmes are explained. These two examples form part of two separate PhD programmes that are currently at similar stages of development making for a timely comparison of the different applications of the grounded theory research method. Both examples involve research conducted in the construction related fields of knowledge management (km) and value management (vm). A background is provided for each study and the similarities and differences between each application are outlined as well as the process and stages involved in the research investigations undertaken. The use of computer software packages is explored and a case for and against using such a tool is made to the effect that this will largely depend on the nature of the problem under investigation. The paper concludes with the suggestion that grounded theory is a method that can be adapted to suit the nature of the research problem provided that the fundamental aspect is adhered to which is to ensure that the theory derived is 'grounded' in the data.

 

Keywords: grounded theory, knowledge management, value management, software packages

 

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Journal Article

Building Knowledge — Developing a Grounded Theory of Knowledge Management for Construction  pp175-182

Brian Graham, Ken Thomas

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

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Abstract

As part of an on‑going doctoral study, a constructivist approach to grounded theory is being used to develop an integrated model of knowledge management (KM) for the leading Irish construction organisations. Using multiple data collection methods; employees in a number of these organisations have participated, from recent graduates through to senior managers. While the need to effectively manage knowledge within large construction organisations is well recognised, a gap exists between the theory of KM and its implementation in practice. This paper considers the research in terms of its philosophical position, the use of grounded theory and the research methods utilised, from theoretical and practical perspectives. Progress in the study thus far is presented and future directions considered in achieving theoretical saturation and a well developed model. It is anticipated that the study will contribute to the field of construction management where further empirical research into KM is required. Much previous research in the area of KM in construction has focussed solely on technological, cultural or strategic issues in the development of KM models. The developed integrated model will form the basis of education and guidance resources on KM for the leading Irish construction organisations. As a traditional and pragmatic industry, the rationale for using grounded theory is provided from the viewpoint that it requires researchers to focus upon developing theory which produces explanations that are recognisable to the subjects of the research. In order to ensure the credibility of the developed model, it will be evaluated by industry as part of a pilot KM education programme, with further refinement if necessary.

 

Keywords: Construction, constructivism, grounded theory, knowledge management, mixed methods

 

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Journal Article

Project Management Bodies of Knowledge; Conjectures and Refutations  pp152-158

Miles Shepherd, Roger Atkinson

© Sep 2011 Volume 9 Issue 2, ECRM 2011 Special issue, Editor: Ann Brown, pp87 - 197

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Abstract

The traditional view of a profession is that of a discipline with a distinct set of skills and knowledge that define the area of practice and characteristics of the practitioners. This nature and area of practice of a profession is sometimes defined as its body of knowledge or ‘BoK’. In the case of project management, as the discipline moves towards professional recognition, this BoK becomes a significant device that serves the needs of many stakeholders in addition to those of the practitioner or academic. The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of research in the development of project management Bodies of Knowledge. As project management emerges from the ghetto of engineering and develops its trajectory towards recognition as a profession, its knowledge area becomes even more significant because it needs to be seen to define a distinct knowledge domain that sets out the limits of the ‘profession’. However, the knowledge domain can be said to have shifted so that it is still under constant review and improvement to respond to continual change. New areas of practice have emerged, such as programme management and portfolio management, that are considered to be part of the discipline hence the knowledge area requires refinement. In this paper we show that current versions of project management BoKs are poorly served by underpinning research. We contend that evidence based research should play a part in the construction of BoKs, and that other research approaches should be also seen as relevant and effective. This paper draws on experiences of updating a formal Body of Knowledge, reviews the context of a range of project management bodies of knowledge and identifies a number of issues concerning the nature of project management knowledge and how it can be represented. We conclude that BoKs serve a valid purpose but conflicting priorities affect the development process and undermine their usefulness. From the epistemological issues identified, we add our conjecture that the capacity of bodies of knowledge to represent the broader understanding of the discipline is limited.. The paper concludes with a review of some methodological implications of the interaction of stakeholder interests and BoK development practice.

 

Keywords: profession, body of knowledge, research design, knowledge representation, certification

 

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Journal Article

Applying Knowledge Cartography Techniques and Tools to Facilitate the Process of Realist Synthesis  pp106-116

Leonel Tractenberg

© Dec 2013 Volume 11 Issue 2, ECRM 2013, Editor: Ann Brown, pp53 - 117

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Abstract

Abstract: The astonishing growth of academic publications worldwide and the increasing access to online bibliographic databases of recent decades represent a challenge to researchers and professionals concerning the integration of findings on their area o f expertise. As management studies multiply the importance of using new methods of qualitative research synthesis increases. New methods of qualitative synthesis have been recently developed, such as qualitative meta‑synthesis and realist synthesis (or r ealist review). Yet, these qualitative syntheses methods remain relatively unknown by management researchers. Objectives ‑ The purpose of this paper is to briefly present the realist synthesis method, and to show how knowledge cartography techniques and tools can be used in realist synthesis in order facilitate the process of theory building. Design/methodology ‑ Underpinnings and method of realist synthesis are described, followed by a discussion on knowledge cartography and its applications to qualitat ive research. A realist synthesis on collaborative teaching serves as an illustration of how knowledge mapping tools can facilitate the realist review process. Findings … Cartographic techniques and tools can facilitate organizing and analysing studies, a rranging and re‑arranging concepts and, thus, can help designing theoretical frameworks in realist reviews. Originality/value … This paper can contribute to the instrumentalization of the realist review method, and to disseminate this method of research s ynthesis in Management Research.

 

Keywords: Keywords: qualitative research synthesis, realist synthesis, knowledge cartography, knowledge maps

 

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Journal Article

Exploring Complementarities of Productive IT use through Methodological Complementarism  pp128-138

Natallia Pashkevich, Darek Haftor

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

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Abstract

Factors affecting productivity and particularly IT‑enabled productivity increase have been and still remain the major concern for many business sectors. While previously researchers investigated what factors and their complementary relationships affect organizational productivity, organizational economists came to the conclusion that an organization cannot be regarded anymore as a black box since it is not an organization per se that conducts the very work but its resources with the basic elements being a single worker and a single IT system. Currently, it is proposed that we understand organizational internal mechanisms and their functioning for productivity through the lens of complementarity theory and maintain that when factors are synchronized correctly they can bring significant productivity increase. Identification of the complementarity factors and their synchronization bring, however, a major challenge for research methodology. Unlike conventional studies where a few variables independent of each other cause a reaction to dependent variables, in the context of complementarities, the assumption is closer to the real‑world experiences where a set of factors interact with each other to affect one or several dependent variables. The present paper addresses this difficulty of researching complementary factors for an individual knowledge worker and their productivity. The approach taken here is to use multiple and different research methods in a complementary manner, so that the results from each study of the same kind of phenomenon uncover new insights that cannot be derived from any such single study. The results from this multi‑method approach demonstrate new insights into the interplay between the studied factors that condition the productivity of knowledge workers and show the importance of analysing a complex phenomenon with complementary research methods.

 

Keywords: complementarity systems approach, individual IT-enabled productivity, knowledge worker, methodological complementarism, online experiment, quasi-randomized field experiment

 

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Journal Article

Can Methodological Applications Develop Critical Thinking?  pp1-10

Deborah Blackman, Angela Benson

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

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Abstract

This paper outlines how using research methods to develop critical thinking was explored in a workshop and then developed into a curriculum. An exercise showed how diverse methodologies led to different answers, which were explored to consider the nature of knowledge itself and the subsequent implications. The paper concludes that such an approach can (a) develop critical thinking skills at a level of deep, rather than surface learning and (b) effectively challenge some preconceived ideas held by students about how knowledge is developed and shared. The crucial element of success was the design and implementation of the assessment.

 

Keywords: Critical thinking, research methodology, learning, knowledge

 

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Journal Article

From Art for Arts Sake to Art as Means of Knowing: A Rationale for Advancing Arts‑Based Methods in Research, Practice and Pedagogy  pp154-167

Sally Eaves

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

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper advances a philosophically informed rationale for the broader, reflexive and practical application of arts‑based methods to benefit research, practice and pedagogy. It addresses the complexity and diversity of learning and knowing, fo regrounding a cohabitative position and recognition of a plurality of research approaches, tailored and responsive to context. Appreciation of art and aesthetic experience is situated in the everyday, underpinned by multi‑layered exemplars of pragmatic vi sual‑arts narrative inquiry undertaken in the third, creative and communications sectors. Discussion considers semi‑guided use of arts‑based methods as a conduit for topic engagement, reflection and intersubjective agreement; alongside observation and int erpretation of organically employed approaches used by participants within daily norms. Techniques span handcrafted (drawing), digital (photography), hybrid (cartooning), performance dimensions (improvised installations) and music (metaphor and s tructure). The process of creation, the artefact/outcome produced and experiences of consummation are all significant, with specific reflexivity impacts. Exploring methodology and epistemology, both the ⠜doing⠀ and its interpretation are explicated t o inform method selection, replication, utility, evaluation and development of cross‑media skills literacy. Approaches are found engaging, accessible and empowering, with nuanced capabilities to alter relationships with phenomena, experiences and people. By building a discursive space that reduces barriers; emancipation, interaction, polyphony, letting‑go and the progressive unfolding of thoughts are supported, benefiting ways of knowing, narrative (re)construction, sensory perception and capacities to act. This can also present underexplored researcher risks in respect to emotion work, self‑disclosure, identity and agenda. The paper therefore elucidates complex, intricate relationships between form and content, the represented and the representation or performance, researcher and participant, and the self a

 

Keywords: Keywords: arts-based research, arts, aesthetics, visual narrative inquiry, reflexivity, authenticity, polyphony, knowledge

 

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