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 Methodologies and Professional Practice: Considerations and Practicalities  pp141-151

Caroline Cole, Steven Chase, Oliver Couch, Murray Clark

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

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Abstract

Professional doctorates have been established as key arenas for learning and research with the requirement for individuals to make both a contribution to management practise and academic knowledge. Many students on these programmes are drawn from the senior business world, for which the traditionally quantitatively focused business environment is familiar territory and, from which, we often see a natural tendency towards research that embraces the positivist approach that brings with it the familiarity of hard, measurable, results‑focused business disciplines. The insight into the academic world of ontology, epistemology and the different research approaches that form part of the learning arena of the professional doctorate provides an opportunity for students to consider the qualitative research alternative and the value of this in developing professional understanding and in making a contribution to knowledge, understanding and management praxis. This paper does not seek to critique the criteria for what constitutes “good” research or to argue against positivist research in the professional research arena per se. Our position is that critical reflexive thinking has a key part to play in research in both developing the student and in closing the loop between the approach taken to carry out the research, the research findings, the contribution to academic knowledge and how the research practically informs professional practice. Reflexive exploration we contend takes us beyond simple numerical objective measures and into the field of subjective understanding, which can be unsettling for the mindset of a traditionally positivistic organisation. It can be perceived as difficult and time consuming, and offering vague or conflicting outputs and we recognise that talk of subjectivity, bias and interpretation may seriously affect the acceptability of research in this tradition amongst business people and needs careful handling. The methodology must stand up to the scrutiny of both academic and management disciplines by producing results that both these disciplines accept and understand. The rewards, we suggest, of reflexive exploration, offer the opportunity of a privileged insight into workforce behaviours and motivations that are not often articulated and recognised in the business world. Within this paper we draw upon hermeneutics and critical discourse analysis highlighting the role of critical reflexivity to illustrate how these qualitative research methodologies can be used to bring the academic and business worlds together.

 

Keywords: critical reflexivity, hermeneutics, critical discourse analysis, qualitative research, research into professional practice

 

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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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Journal Article

Innovative Methodologies in Qualitative Research: Social Media Window for Accessing Organisational Elites for interviews  pp157-167

Efrider Maramwidze-Merrison

© Nov 2016 Volume 14 Issue 2, Editor: Ann Brown, pp71 - 167

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Abstract

Reflexivity is the nature of qualitative research (Lincoln and Guba, 1985; Morgan an Smircich, 1980); implying that through reflectivity exercises researchers are able to demonstrate their research's rigour and also create a treasure trove of ideas and strategies, share the pleasures and agonies of doing qualitative research. The ever‑growing body of knowledge on the strategies for accessing research participants that researchers share, evidences the gains of reflexivity (see the newly injected literature Cunliffe and Alcadipani, 2016; Blix and Wettergren, 2015; Mikecz, 2012). Well, this article does the same; it reflects on the access methodology employed for a PhD research (Maramwidze, 2015) carried out to explore the challenges faced by Foreign Direct Investors (FDI) in the South African banking sector, which involved sampling elite respondents. Similar to other researchers' views on accessing potential research participants, in this case organisational elites, the researcher faced challenges associated with gaining access; as well as the usually high cost of conducting face‑to‑face qualitative interviews.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Reflexivity in qualitative research, organisational elites, innovative and diplomatic access strategies, social media, LinkedIn, research students, teaching research methods

 

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Journal Article

Finding My Intuitive Researcher’s Voice Through Reflexivity: An Autoethnographic Study  pp56-66

Natalie Cunningham, Teresa Carmichael

© Jul 2018 Volume 16 Issue 2, Intuitive Researcher, Editor: Jocene Vallack, pp55 - 102

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Abstract

Using autoethnography as a method and looking back to and writing about my experience (in the first person) as a relatively inexperienced researcher completing her PhD in a business school environment, I share critical moments of my research journey. The context in which I was conducting the research was a business school environment in the subject area of executive coaching. Executive coaching is a relatively new and emerging field in contrast to the many other fields in business, such as finance and economics. We comment on the role reflexivity played in facilitating identity formation as a researcher. Reflexivity is the ability to explore, reflect on and examine social and contextual issues that impact on research. Combining reflexivity with the aim of ethnography, which is to study common and shared experiences for purposes of understanding the cultural implications of these social and contextual issues, I reflect on how the academic structure, systems and processes were an inhibitor to finding my voice. I share how reflexivity was a major contributing factor to increasing confidence in my own identity as a researcher. I examine and analyse the aspects of reflexivity that facilitated this growth in my confidence and how this experience might facilitate the same empowerment in other researchers. The paper looks at approaches to creating a reflexive culture of research drawing on Finlay’s typology of reflexivity. One example of this typology is collective reflexivity in which more than one voice is heard. This paper is co‑authored with my supervisor, and her reflections are included. Collaborative reflexivity assists in addressing some of the validity concerns of only one voice. This paper will assist not only novice researchers but also the practice of research – providing a way of not just “doing” research but “being” a researcher.

 

Keywords: Reflexivity, autoethnography, intuition, academic environment, researcher identity, research supervisor, PhD student

 

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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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Journal Issue

Volume 16 Issue 2, Intuitive Researcher / Jul 2018  pp55‑102

Editor: Jocene Vallack

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Editorial

Guest Editor

Dr Jocene Vallack, formerly an actor, writer, director and Drama teacher, she has lectured in Research Methods at universities in Australia, and also as a volunteer in Tanzania. She has held a research fellowship at Central Queensland University, and has worked in Academic Development. She now enjoys teaching Arts Education at James Cook University.

 

Keywords: Reflexivity, autoethnography, intuition, academic environment, researcher identity, research supervisor, PhD student, Human centred design, service design, design research methods, design thinking, arts-informed research, wicked problems, commercial design, arts-based research, mixed-methods, philosophy, triangulation, triage, Arts-Based Research Methods, Theatre as Research Methodology, Qualitative research, Performance Text, Ethnodrama, Poetic transcription, visual displays, visual culture, hermeneutics, narrative inquiry, art education

 

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