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

Towards a Second Order Research Methodology  pp25-36

Jim Brown, Petia Sice

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

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Abstract

This paper addresses the need for re‑examining the cognitive perspective on the role of language in social research. From the autopoietic perspective, language is not a tool to reveal an objective world; rather language is a venue for action, coupling the cognitive domains of two or more agents. Responsible research enquiry would seek to create systemic communication practices that allow the co‑existence of differing understandings within. Creating a dialogue for exploring and emerging meaning is essential in developing understanding and validating the research results.

 

Keywords: autopoiesis, social systems, language, dialogue, research method, systems thinking

 

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Journal Article

A Generic Toolkit for the Successful Management of Delphi Studies  pp103-116

Jacqueline Day, Milena Bobeva

© Nov 2005 Volume 3 Issue 2, Editor: Arthur Money, pp93 - 148

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Abstract

This paper presents the case of a non‑traditional use of the Delphi method for theory evaluation. On the basis of experience gained through secondary and primary research, a generic decision toolkit for Delphi studies is proposed, comprising of taxonomy of Delphi design choices, a stage model and critical methodological decisions. These research tools will help to increase confidence when adopting the Delphi alternative and allow for a wider and more comprehensive recognition of the method within both scientific and interpretivist studies.

 

Keywords: Research method, Delphi, Research Design, Research Evaluation

 

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Journal Article

Learning Logs: Assessment or Research Method?  pp117-122

Tim Friesner, Mike Hart

© Nov 2005 Volume 3 Issue 2, Editor: Arthur Money, pp93 - 148

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Abstract

Learning logs are an increasingly popular mode assessment. They record learning, experience and reflection. This paper considers learning logs as a research method, where researchers wish to gain a deep understanding of the processes of learning, reflection and experience as they occur in individuals over a period of time. Techniques are offered for implementing logs as a research method, analysing the data and interpreting results.

 

Keywords: Learning logs, research method, reflection, learning, experiential learning, experience

 

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Journal Article

A Framework for Mixed Stakeholders and Mixed Methods  pp21-28

Barbara Crump, Keri Logan

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

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Abstract

Balancing stakeholder expectations and requirements is frequently a challenge for the ethical researcher contracted to evaluate government‑funded community projects. Invariably these projects involve people from diverse backgrounds with their own agenda and expectations for the project. This was the scenario for adopting a mixed‑method evaluation of Wellington's Smart Newtown community computing project where free Internet access as well as some computer skills training was made available at the newly‑established computing centres. The four‑year, multiple stakeholder evaluation project involved qualitative and quantitative approaches, situated within a five‑purpose conceptual framework of: triangulation, complementarily, development, initiation, and expansion. The framework provided a robust platform that ensured a systematic and thorough approach in both collection and analysis of data. In this paper we describe the application of each "purpose" of the framework to the different data sets that resulted in an objective, impartial evaluation which was subsequently used for deciding future directions of publicly‑funded community computing centres.

 

Keywords: Mixed method, evaluation, community computing, triangulation

 

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Journal Article

Using Personal and Online Repertory Grid Methods for the Development of a Luxury Brand Personality  pp25-38

Klaus Heine

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

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Abstract

Interest has been growing in the brand personality concept, because it offers a systematic approach for developing symbolic benefits, which are becoming more and more essential for brand differentiation. Although they are a distinctive feature of luxury brands and often even exceed their functional benefits, there is still no personality concept designed especially for luxury brands. The aim of this article is therefore to develop and implement an appropriate methodology for developing a luxury brand personality. In contrast to the common quantitative approach, the article proposes a qualitative methodology including the Repertory Grid Method (RGM) and explains its benefits. It was implemented with a survey of 31 German millionaires who can be described as heavy luxury consumers. The content analyses of the data uncovered five personality dimensions including, for example, Modernity, which relates to the temporal perspective of a brand. The study extends the RGM areas of application and demonstrates its applicability in developing brand personality dimensions. The validity of the results improves if they are replicated with other studies and with varying research methodologies. To this end, recent developments in Web 2.0 provide a great source of inspiration. As a result, a complementary study was conducted to exploit these opportunities for online RGM and to allow for a more in‑depth understanding about the personality dimensions. The article builds upon an overview of qualitative online research, common online RGM and the idea of Web 2.0 to expand the methodological toolbox with collaborative RGM that allows respondents to build on the input of previous participants. The procedure was simplified in line with the explorative approach and implemented with a specially programmed online tool. The results support the five personality dimensions and give further insights into adequate brand personality traits. The article concludes with a discussion of the results and benefits of collaborative RGM for researchers and marketers.

 

Keywords: qualitative online research, Repertory Grid Method, Web 2.0, luxury brand, brand identity, brand personality

 

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Journal Article

A Strategy for Delayed Research Method Selection: Deciding Between Grounded Theory and Phenomenology  pp35-46

Sebastian Reiter

© 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

TThis paper presents a strategy for delayed research method selection in a qualitative interpretivist research. An exemplary case details how explorative interviews were designed and conducted in accordance with a paradigm prior to deciding whether to adopt grounded theory or phenomenology for data analysis. The focus here is to determine the most appropriate research strategy in this case the methodological framing to conduct research and represent findings, both of which are detailed. Research addressing current management issues requires both a flexible framework and the capability to consider the research problem from various angles, to derive tangible results for academia with immediate application to business demands. Researchers, and in particular novices, often struggle to decide on an appropriate research method suitable to address their research problem. This often applies to interpretative qualitative research where it is not always immediately clear which is the most appropriate method to use, as the research objectives shift and crystallize over time. This paper uses an exemplary case to reveal how the strategy for delayed research method selection contributes to deciding whether to adopt grounded theory or phenomenology in the initial phase of a PhD research project. In this case, semi‑structured interviews were used for data generation framed in an interpretivist approach, situated in a business context. Research questions for this study were thoroughly defined and carefully framed in accordance with the research paradigm’s principles, while at the same time ensuring that the requirements of both potential research methods were met. The grounded theory and phenomenology methods were compared and contrasted to determine their suitability and whether they meet the research objectives based on a pilot study. The strategy proposed in this paper is an alternative to the more ‘traditional’ approach, which initially selects the methodological formulation, followed by data generation. In conclusion, the suggested strategy for delayed research method selection intends to help researchers identify and apply the most appropriate method to their research. This strategy is based on explorations of data generation and analysis in order to derive faithful results from the data generated.

 

Keywords: research method selection, qualitative research, grounded theory, phenomenology

 

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Journal Article

Experiences from Sequential Use of Mixed Methods  pp87-95

Stefan Cronholm

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

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Abstract

The discussion of qualitative or quantitative approaches has been going on for many years. One way to reduce the most dogmatic standings is to use mixed methods consisting of combinations of qualitative and quantitative approaches. In this paper, we have analysed usage experiences from combining qualitative and quantitative approaches in different ways. We refer to these combinations as method configurations. Our findings point out that a researcher should commence with a qualitative approach when: 1) the researcher has a lower pre‑knowledge of phenomenon to be studied, 2) the phenomenon to be studied is abstract and 3) there is an uncertainty if the questions asked are the right questions. On the contrary, there is a tendency in our results that the researcher should start with a quantitative study when 1) the researcher has a good pre‑knowledge of the phenomenon or 2) the phenomenon is more concrete.

 

Keywords: mixed methods, method combinations, mixed approaches, qualitative methods, quantitative methods

 

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Journal Article

Eating our own Cooking: Toward a More Rigorous Design Science of Research Methods  pp141-153

John Venable, Richard Baskerville

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

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Abstract

This paper argues that Design Science is an appropriate paradigm for research into Research Methods. Research Methods (along with their tools and techniques) are purposeful artefacts, designed and created by people to achieve a specific purpose – i.e. to create new, truthful knowledge. Like other artefacts, research methods vary in their fitness to purpose, i.e. in their utility, depending on their fit and appropriate application to the particular purpose, contexts, and contingencies for which they were developed. Design Science Research aims at developing new purposeful artefacts with evidence of their utility. Applying a DSR perspective to research methods should yield increased utility in the application of research methods, better guidance in applying them and greater confidence in achieving the desired outcomes of applying them. Based on these premises, this paper reviews the basic concerns and issues in Design Science Research (using the balanced scorecard as an example purposeful artefact), then analyses the logical consequences of taking a Design Science perspective on research methods (using the Partial Least Square approach as an example research method purposeful artefact). First, it analyses the various purposes of research methods to clarify the alternative and competing design goals of research methods. Second, it analyses and characterises the types of purposeful (design) artefacts that comprise research methods. Third, it considers issues of the evaluation of research methods. Fourth and finally, it considered the development of design theories of research methods.

 

Keywords: research method, research design, design science research, evaluation, design theory, research rigour

 

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