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

Research Strategies — Beyond the Differences  pp46-49

Dan Remenyi

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

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Abstract

The work of the scientist whether he or she is from the physical or natural scientific community or from the social science community is not materially different. The processes are much the same. The outcome required which is to add something of value to the body of theoretical knowledge is exactly the same. This paper uses the dialectic to highlight the core activities of the scientist.

 

Keywords: Research process, research question, Theoretical research, quantitative, positivism, qualitative

 

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Journal Article

Perspectives on Management Research Design and Orientation: Quandaries and Choices  pp137-144

Beverley Jones

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

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to discuss some of the quandaries or difficult choices that affect detailed research design as well as the 'big' orientations or paradigms that motivate studies in the field of business and management research. Many of these choices and decisions are now commonly assumed to be mere preferences, no longer worthy of debate. As in the case of whether to collect data that is say, more easily quantified than qualified. Or whether the demands of practice are incommensurable with those of the social sciences. Such oppositions and tensions are discussed here in the context of recent surveys of managerial work.

 

Keywords: business and management research, credibility, incommensurability, quantitative, qualitative

 

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Journal Article

A Researcher's Dilemma ‑ Philosophical and Methodological Pluralism  pp145-154

Karl Knox

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

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Abstract

In many research textbooks the distinction between qualitative and quantitative research is inadvertently linked with philosophical perspectives. This in essence creates a mutually exclusive relationship between method and philosophy. Initially researchers are led to believe, from these textbooks, that research is neatly divided into mutually exclusive categories, these being quantitative and qualitative research and 'never the twain shall meet'. This divide is further strengthened with the inference that the relationship extends further; associating deduction with quantitative methods and similarly induction with qualitative methods. "What happens in most texts is that qualitative research methods and quantitative research methods are set against each other as polar opposites. (Crotty 1998, p19)". This paper argues that methodological pluralism is acceptable but what is not acceptable is philosophical pluralism. By naively linking methods and approaches to specific philosophy researchers and students may miss out on potentially innovative or creative data collection methods. Alternatively and more importantly by feeling tied or constrained by their philosophical stance to particular methods and approaches, associated with them by textbooks, they may in fact reduce the credibility, validity, and or significance of the research. There maybe an elective affinity between certain philosophies and methods but this should not necessarily constrain the methods chosen.

 

Keywords: Methodology, Philosophy, Pluralism, Qualitative and Quantitative Methods

 

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Journal Article

Multi‑perspective Management Research: Fusion or Confusion?  pp77-84

Les Worrall

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

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Abstract

The development of easy‑to‑use Internet tools for synchronous communications has made a new research method possible: online focus groups. Attempts to apply them to questions formerly addressed by face‑to‑face focus groups have resulted not only in promising avenues for research, but also in substantive criticism. We have chosen to adopt online focus groups as a research methodology for a qualitative study of user beliefs and attitudes concerning peer‑to‑peer filesharing systems. This project is still in its early stages, so herein we describe not confirmatory findings of rigorous research, but the issues raised by our exploratory study, and indications of important issues to address in the use of online focus groups. This paper also demonstrates a novel analysis method which visually maps one of the unique characteristics of such groups, multi‑threaded simultaneous conversations, and uses such maps to identify some notable tendencies and behaviors. We also identify some typical participant strategies we have observed, describe some skills and techniques for use in moderating such sessions, identify some powerful advantages provided by the instant and automatic transcript generation capabilities of chat session software, and characterize some important research questions to be addressed in future research.

 

Keywords: management research, multi-perspective, incommensurability, quantitative, qualitative

 

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Journal Article

Mixed‑mode Surveys Using Mail and Web Questionnaires  pp69-80

Matthias Meckel, David Walters, Philip Baugh

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

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Abstract

With the Internet now being a part of everyday life mixed‑mode surveys that use the world wide web can be seen as an opportunity to increase the response rate of surveys. This paper looks at the advantages and disadvantages of different response modes suitable for mixed‑mode surveys. Based on this consideration the paper addresses the influence of a mixed‑mode approach using conventional mail and web based questionnaires on coverage, sampling, measurement, and non‑ response error as well as pitfalls and opportunities specific to this type of survey. It discusses mixed‑ mode and web specific issues such as technological aspects, security, convenience and similarity. The paper proposes that this approach has no apparent potential error consequences if certain requirements are fulfilled. The use of mixed mode questionnaires is exemplified by a survey conducted with 1000 SMEs in the North West of England in 2002. After analysing the findings the paper concludes by looking at the relation between the mode of response and the answers provided by the respondents and by summarising the insights gained from the study.

 

Keywords: Questionnaires, Surveys, Mixed Mode, World Wide Web, Quantitative, Research

 

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Journal Article

Tell me a Story —A way to Knowledge  pp133-140

Dan Remenyi

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

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Abstract

A narrative or a story (and these terms are synonyms) is a fundamental way of understanding our environment and relationships in it and thus it is a key feature of sound research whatever methodological approach has been taken. The skills of story telling are important in both qualitative or interpretive and quantitative research. But it comes into its own in qualitative research where story telling especially as it appears in case studies and action research is of prime importance. In quantitative research a story or narrative is also required to contextualize the work. The argument developed in this paper balances the idea that numerical analysis underpins the most powerful research paradigms.

 

Keywords: Story telling, narrative, qualitative research, quantitative research, rhetoric, argument

 

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Journal Article

The Application of Mixed Methods in Organisational Research: A Literature Review  pp95-105

Jose Molina Azorin, Roslyn Cameron

© Dec 2010 Volume 8 Issue 2, ECRM Special Issue Part 1, Editor: Ann Brown, David Douglas, Marian Carcary and Jose Esteves, pp63 - 162

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Abstract

Mixed methods research (the combined use of quantitative and qualitative methods in the same study) is becoming an increasingly popular approach in the discipline fields of sociology, psychology, education and health sciences. Calls for the integration of quantitative and qualitative research methods have been advanced in these fields. A key feature of mixed methods research is its methodological pluralism, which frequently results in research which provides broader perspectives than those offered by monomethod designs. The overall purpose and central premise of mixed methods is that the use of quantitative and qualitative approaches in combination provides a better understanding of research problems and complex phenomena than either approach alone. Despite calls for the combined use of quantitative and qualitative research in business and management studies, the use of mixed methods in business and management has seldom been studied. The purpose of this paper is to review the application of mixed methods research within organisational research. The study reported in this paper identifies the use of mixed methods in three organisational journals for the period 2003 to 2009: the Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Organizational Behavior and Organizational Research Methods. The landmark Tashakkori and Teddlie (2003) Handbook of mixed methods in social and behavioral research, played a pivotal role in providing both the visibility and credibility of mixed methods as a third methodological movement and since the publication of this seminal work the mixed methods movement has rapidly gained popularity. Business and management researchers need to be made aware of the growing use and acceptance of mixed methods research across business and organisational journals. This paper examines the main characteristics of mixed methods studies identified in the sample in terms of purposes and designs, and posits suggestions on the application of mixed methodologies.

 

Keywords: mixed methods research, strategic management, organizational behaviour, quantitative methods, qualitative methods

 

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Journal Article

Research Methodology by Numbers  pp66-77

Graham Trevor Myers

© 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

Research Methodology is a daunting subject for those who have to negotiate its vastness for the first time. Often the knowledge they gain is not coherent and lacks foundation. In this paper a structured system of incremental assignments given to students allows them to experience research by “doing” rather than learning vast amounts of theory. This model allows all students to grasp the process of research by doing a quantitative proposal and pilot study in seven steps. The result is the completion of a first research project which eventually culminates in a publishable paper at internal university level. From this universal foundation every discipline may expand and hone the skills learnt by students by examining the epistemology and ontology of the specific discipline. It also allows students from different disciplines to comprehend and discuss the research of other disciplines and foster inter‑disciplinary research. The model has been developed for Universities of Technology in South Africa over a period of 13 years. It started off as a very theoretical set of lectures which covered as many quantitative and qualitative methodologies as could be taught, but this left students rather bewildered. The simplification of the system to cover just one quantitative method, using the relationship between two variable, or constructs, taught through assignments, self chosen mentors and an e‑mail communication system has had remarkable success with high completion rates and high marks from students in large classes. Rubrics have been the main form of assessments and the final products of a proposal and pilot study, and a publishable paper have been of exceptionally high and uniform in standard.

 

Keywords: research methodology, teaching quantitative research, research in large classes, marking rubrics, research mentors

 

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