The Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods provides perspectives on topics relevant to research in the field of business and management
For general enquiries email administrator@ejbrm.com
Click here to see other Scholarly Electronic Journals published by API
For a range of research text books on this and complimentary topics visit the Academic Bookshop
Information about The European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies is available here

linkedin-120 

 

twitter2-125 

 

fb_logo-125 

 

Journal Article

Discourse analysis and complex adaptive systems: Managing variables with attitudes  pp61-68

Charl Walters, Roy Williams

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

Look inside Download PDF (free)

Abstract

There have been long‑standing debates about the relative values of quantitative vs. qualitative research, and of positivism vs. critical theory in management studies. In this paper we discuss the value of discourse theory and the tools of discourse analysis in the context of complex adaptive systems theory, which can usefully be seen as a synthesis of the thesis of modernism and the antithesis of post‑modernism. Discourse' has been developed and used in several disciplines, to interesting effect. It is now time to systematise the notion of discourse, and the tools of discourse analysis, both theoretically and practically, so that they can better be applied to management research, and to management practice.

 

Keywords: Discourse, modernism, post-modernism, complex adaptive systems, communities of practice

 

Share |

Journal Article

Hypermodernist Travellers in a Postmodern World  pp1-8

Peter M. Bednar, Christine Welch

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

Look inside Download PDF (free)

Abstract

As travellers, we are usually aware that a map is not the territory it represents. However, as researchers, inquiring into practice, are we always aware of the domain within which that practice is situated? Descriptions of practice sometimes suggest that this is not the case. For example, do engineers actually believe that the models they develop and use are reflections of some reality? It is likely that an engineer never actually follows his models when developing an artefact or process. Similarly, we can ask ourselves whether we believe that a chef actually cooks by following a recipe. Possibly, only someone who does not know how to cook would think so. These idealised models are simply the basis for discussionreflection and experimentation. It is sometimes the case, however, that descriptions of practice are produced based in a kind of rationality that suggests these misapprehensions are appropriate. In the context of research, can we say that postmodernism has any relevance? If, in the field of practice, only the uninitiated ever had illusions that the 'grand theories' of 'modernism' could be directly applicable, then informed research must recognize this also. To those with no illusions, such 'grand theories' were a basis for reflection and critique. Thus, to this extent we have always been 'modern' and still are. Rather than espousing a Postmodernist perspective, we might point to 'Hypermodernism' — a recognition that the 'grand theories' can only be used as metaphors, i.e. a basis for practical philosophy. By adopting such a stance, it is possible to avoid a false step of fighting 'straw men' and dismissing as worthless research that which could be useful material for reflection and learning when juxtaposed with other perspectives on practice. Models and explanatory frameworks within which research has been conducted need not be rejected as 'modernist' if there is recognition of their useful role as metaphor. At the same time, we suggest a need for a critically‑informed approach to research which sheds light upon taken‑for‑granted assumptions and naïve rationalities, illuminating metaphor and stimulating reflection.

 

Keywords: metaphor, reflective practice, postmodernism, critical systemic thinking, contextual inquiry

 

Share |