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

Validation of Simulation Based Models: A Theoretical Outlook  pp39-46

Morvin Savio Martis

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

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Abstract

Validation is the most incomprehensible part of developing a model. Nevetheless, no model can be accepted unless it has passed the tests of validation, since the procedure of validation is vital to ascertain the credibility of the model. Validation procedures are usually framework based and dynamic, but a methodical procedure can be followed by a modeller (researcher) in order to authenticate the model. The paper starts with a discussion on the views and burning issues by various researchers on model validation and the foundational terminology involved. The paper later highlights on the methodology and the process of validation adopted. Reasons for the failure of the model have also been explored. The paper finally focuses on the widely approved validation schemes (both quantitative and qualitative) and techniques in practice, since no one test can determine the credibility and validity of a simulation model. Moreover, as the model passes more tests (both quantitative and qualitative) the confidence in the model increases correspondingly.

 

Keywords: Validation, simulation, dynamic models, validation schemes, validation process, modelling

 

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Journal Article

Scale Development Process: Service Quality in Car Rental Services  pp161-174

Erdogan H. Ekiz, Ali Bavik

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

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Abstract

This paper aims to provide an example for developing a measurement scale by using car rental services as a case. To do so, both qualitative and quantitative methods are utilized in three fundamental stages recommended by Churchill (1979) and Parasuraman, Zeithaml & Berry (1988). In following their footsteps, the first qualitative research was undertaken in the form of 23 in‑depth interviews which produced 61 items that described user perceptions. Then, a quantitative study was undertaken to purify the scale items, examine dimensionality, reliability, factor structure and validity. After a rigorous statistical analysis an 18‑itemed scale with six factors emerged. The paper also introduces the setting of the research and presents need for scale development briefly which is followed by discussion, implications and limitations.

 

Keywords: Scale development, measurement, fundamental stages, value of fit measures, models, car rental services, North Cyprus

 

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Journal Article

The Effect of Misspecification of Reflective and Formative Constructs in Operations and Manufacturing Management Research  pp34-52

Subhadip Roy, Monideepa Tarafdar, T.S. Ragu-Nathan, Erica Marsillac

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

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Abstract

This paper highlights theoretical and mathematical differences between formative and reflective measurement models, in the context of academic SEM oriented research in Operations and Manufacturing Management, an area of significant current interest. It discusses problems associated with measurement model misspecification. It further illustrates, using survey data, the effects of possible misspecification on model fit parameters and path coefficients in a nomological model, using the Partial Least Squares (PLS) approach. It then proposes guidelines for the use of the PLS methodology for analyzing formative measurement models.

 

Keywords: formative, reflective, measurement models, PLS, structural equation modeling, model misspecification

 

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Journal Article

Finite Mixture Models in Market Segmentation: A Review and Suggestions for Best Practices  pp2-15

Michael Tuma, Reinhold Decker

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

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Abstract

Recently, Andrews, Brusco and Currim (2010) noted that some of the hesitancy on the part of practitioners to adopt model‑based (MB) methods in market segmentation (MS) may stem from an insufficient awareness of their performance relative to their non‑model‑based (NMB) counterparts. Comparisons of MB and NMB methods should provide business researchers with information as to precise conditions in which the former should be preferred. Moreover, finite mixture models (FMMs) have grown in their use since 2000 and, as there is no recent survey‑based empirical literature examining their application, a comprehensive review of their usage in segmentation research seems to be of use. This article discusses some of the critical issues involved when using FMMs to segment markets, takes a closer look at comparison simulation studies in order to highlight conditions under which a business analyst might consider the application of an FMM approach, discusses model selection as well as validation issues and provides suggestions for best practices and potential improvements. Furthermore, it presents an empirical survey that seeks to provide an up‑to‑date assessment of FMM application in MS.

 

Keywords: market segmentation, model-based clustering, finite mixture models, latent class models

 

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Journal Article

Design Science Research: The Case of the IT Capability Maturity Framework (IT CMF)  pp109-118

Marian Carcary

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

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Abstract

Design science (DS) is a problem solving paradigm that involves building and evaluating innovative artifacts in a rigorous manner to solve complex, real world problems, make research contributions that extend the boundaries of what is already known, and communicate the results to appropriate audiences. The importance of this paradigm in the Information Systems (IS) field has been recognised since the early 1990’s with the publication of seminal articles by for example Nunamaker et al (1991), Walls et al (1992) and March and Smith (1995). However, over the past 15 years, DS research in IS has been sparse. In more recent times this has begun to change, with an increasing number of research contributions considering DS research. DS research in IS is important as the dominant behavioural science paradigm is not sufficient for addressing the types of problems that call for human creativity and innovative and novel solutions. One widely debated problem in the IS field that calls for such novel solutions centres on how organisations manage, deliver and optimise value from their IT investments. This paper presents a DS research project in the IS field that aims to improve organisational ability in managing and optimizing value realised from IT investments through increasing maturity in critical areas. This research involves development of an IT Capability Maturity Framework (IT CMF). The IT CMF project is centered at the Innovation Value Institute (IVI) at the National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM). The IVI is a joint venture between NUIM, Intel and the Boston Consulting Group and seeks to drive innovation in the management and use of IT in order to optimise business value. The IT CMF represents an emerging blueprint of key IT capability processes, and at a high level consists of four integrated IT management strategies or macro processes: managing IT like a business, managing the IT budget, managing the IT capability, and managing IT for business value. The IT CMF represents a blueprint for incrementally improving these four macro processes across five maturity levels: initial, basic, intermediate, advanced, and optimized. These four macro processes are further broken into 32 critical processes (CPs), which are the key activities that an IT organisation needs to manage in order to deliver IT solutions and measure the business value generated. The content development and review for the IT CMF is performed by the IVI development community, which comprises academic researchers, industry based practitioner‑researchers and consultants based in over 55 global companies. This paper discusses its development in terms of key DS principles and presents reflections on the challenges and value associated with adopting a DS approach. The paper adds to the growing body of DS literature in the IS field, and enables other researchers and practitioners to judge the rigor with which the IT CMF artifact was created and evaluated, and its utility in practical application.

 

Keywords: design science, IT CMF, IS, case study, maturity models

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 4 Issue 1 / Nov 2006  pp1‑66

Editor: Arthur Money

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Editorial

"This new edition of EJBRM once again offers readers a range of interesting ideas concerning various options available to the academic researcher working in the business and management field of study.

With regards to research methodology the business and management field of study has much to offer the researcher in a number of respects. The first reason for this is that this field of study is so broad and so many interesting topics fall within its ambit. This is of course and advantage as well as a major challenge for the academics who work in this field of study. Different topics have different research methodology potentials and so researchers have much to choose from.

There is also the question of the fact that there is a stream of new and interesting ideas being generate as to how to tackle both new as well as well established research topics.

For this issue papers of topics such as ""Can methodological applications develop critical thinking?"" (Blackman and Benson), ""Getting the most from NUD•IST/Nvivo"" (Dean and Sharp), ""Applying Multidimensional Item Response Theory Analysis to a Measure of Meta‑Perspective Performance"" (Kacmar et al), ""A few proposals for designing and controlling a doctoral research project in management sciences"" (Lauriol), ""Validation of Simulation based Models: a Theoretical Outlook"" (Martis), ""Motivators for Australian consumers to search and shop online"" (Michael), ""A case study on the selection and evaluation of software for an Internet organisation"" (van Staaden and Lubbe) have been accepted.

I trust that readers will find these papers as interesting as I have."

 

Keywords: Black Box testing, business process, CAQDAS, coding and reporting, commercial software system, consumer behaviour, critical thinking, dynamic models, evaluation, internet, interpreting data transcription, item response theory, modeling motivating factors, NUD*IST/NVivo, qualitative research reporting, request for proposal (RFP), research methodology, scale development simulation, software, validation process, validation schemes, validation, vendors

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 9 Issue 2, ECRM 2011 Special issue / Sep 2011  pp87‑197

Editor: Ann Brown

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Editorial

The subject of research methods in business is showing an extra‑ordinary level of activity and innovation and this conference (the 10th European Conference on Research Methods in Business and Management) reflected this. These papers dealt with the problems facing management researchers in a variety of ways. Many Papers offer help in applying new methods such as Mixed Methods and Design Science and introduce new ideas such the use of visual imagery as stimuli in research interviews. The final selection of papers was agreed by the senior editor of the Journal and the guest editors. The comments of session chairs were taken into account in making the final selection of papers for this issue of the EJBRM. The papers selected were chosen for their quality of writing, their relevance to the Journal’s objective of publishing papers that offer new insights or practical help in the application of research methods in business research and the degree of innovation in the subject matter.

The chosen Papers

Two papers constitute a useful introduction to mixed methods – one used case examples to illustrate the potential value of the method (Stefan Cronholm and Anders Hjalmarsson) and one assessed the challenges facing the researcher who opts for this approach.(Roslyn Cameron)

Design Science seems to be acquiring more supporters – particularly for research into Information technology. One paper explains the technique illustrating with a detailed description of an ongoing study (Carcary). The paper by Venables suggests that few research methods courses currently include this method.

The conference received a surprisingly large number of papers on the teaching of research methods and on Project Management. This issue includes three papers on teaching research methods. One addressed the issue of the expanding range of research methods available to business researchers and proposed a framework that would help teachers to introduce the full set of options (Venables). A growing trend is that of doctoral candidates coming forward from industry and the professions. Two papers offer some extremely valuable ideas on how supervisors can support the special needs of this group of doctoral candidates – One paper argues for choosing research methods that specifically exploits this experience for the empirical research work (Caroline Cole, Steven Chase, Oliver Couch and Murray Clark). The other paper offers a framework that could help such students to work through the bewildering first few steps in the research journey that often proves too confusing and time consuming for mature candidates (Rahinah Ibrahim). The papers on Project Management while of great interest to managers tended to focus on Project Management issues rather than research methods. However one paper identified the lack of research support for the existing sets of Project Management standards produced by the professional societies (BoK) and discussed the implications.(Miles Shepherd and Roger Atkinson)

An interesting paper presents a visual technique, infographics to aid interviewers in the elicitation of relevant experiences from interview subjects (Robert Campbell, Gillian Green and Mark Grimshaw ). Pearse contributed an unusual paper on the Likert scale. This is widely used but at low levels of granularity (no of scales) and this paper presents research suggesting that we should consider using a much wider range of scales.

The PhD paper that won the award for best PhD paper was by Nicola Swan. This dealt with the problems faced by researchers collecting data in the emerging countries where facilities and attitudes differ markedly from the developed countries.

I would like to thank the help given in the reviewing of the papers from the conference from Marian Carcary, Marie Ashwin, Martin Rich, Roslyn Cameron, Gill Green, Gary Bell and John Warwick.

Ann Brown

September 2011.

 

Keywords: body of knowledge; business research; case study; certification; critical reflexivity; critical discourse analysis; critical research; curriculum design; design science research; dissertation; eagle table; graduate study; graphic elicitation; hermeneutics; inductive profession; inter-disciplinary; IS; IT CMF; knowledge representation; likert scale; maturity models; method combinations; mixed approaches; mixed methods; paradigms; pragmatism; publishing; qualitative methods; qualitative research; quantitative methods; questionnaire design; research design; research framework; research into professional practice; research methodology; research methods; research proposal design; scale construction; scale granularity infographics; teaching design science; teaching research methods

 

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