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

A Grounded Case of Enterprise Acquisition  pp63-72

David Douglas

© 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

To gain ‘real world’ understanding of the managerial approach adopted in an established small business when taken over by another entrepreneur from that of it’s predecessor. The research highlights perceptual differences internal stakeholders (employees and the new owner) have regarding the business and the managing of it. Illustrated are the commercial consequences that can ensue from the change of ownership of an established enterprise through to the managerial style perceived appropriate by a new entrepreneur, and, subsequent employees’ cognitions and behaviours that ensue as reactions to changed managerial practices. Findings are reviewed against existing theories within the fields of entrepreneurship, decision theory and management. Design/Methodology/Approach: Situated within the qualitative paradigm, the unit of analysis being one small (nevertheless complex) organization affords the researcher opportunity to inquire deeply into case study phenomena. The unit of analysis soon develops, through the application of ‘original’ grounded theory methodology (utilizing depth interviews and observations), to being the human interactions of all actors within the organization. Discovering meanings and behaviours across a number of dimensions produces a rich textual account of actors’ perceptions of enterprise events and subsequent repercussions to the business. Findings: Emergent conceptual categories and supportive properties conveyed the new entrepreneur’s limited understanding of the business he had bought, along with his technical, managerial and decision‑making style seemed insurmountable management impediments. Substantive theory that captured the social processes and phenomenological contentions from the grounded theory analysis conclude. Not wholly proffering generalisable pronouncements, the research presents a robust framework for further small enterprise research and grounded approaches to data capture and analysis. Implications: Implications of the study will be of interest to entrepreneur and qualitative researchers, interested in the findings as a contribution to the field, and, the grounded theory methodology applied in establishing ontological ‘groundedness’ of inductively derived at theories. Originality/Value: There is a paucity of such research outside the big business spectrum. Contributes at a ‘substantive’ level by focusing on the entrepreneur’s ‘post take‑over’ management approach, and, at a more formal level through empirical ‘owner‑manager‑entrepreneurial’ research situated within the qualitative paradigm, where a deficiency of ‘depth’ cases remains. And especially for this forum, the findings are the result of meticulous attention to data gathering, analysis and emergent theory building, through the application of grounded theory methodology. Grounded theory has seen limited application to‑date in the small business and entrepreneurship field.

 

Keywords: grounded theory, small business, entrepreneurship

 

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Journal Article

Inductive theory generation: A grounded approach to business inquiry  pp37-44

David Douglas

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

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Abstract

Grounded theory has frequently been referred to, but infrequently applied in business research. This article addresses such a deficiency by advancing two focal aims. Firstly, it seeks to de‑mystify the methodology known as grounded theory by applying this established research practice within the comparatively new context of business research. Secondly, in so doing, it integrates naturalistic examples drawn from the author's business research, hence explicating the efficacy of grounded theory methodology in gaining deeper understanding of business bounded phenomena. It is from such a socially focused methodology that key questions of what is happening and why leads to the generation of substantive theories and underpinning knowledge.

 

Keywords: grounded theory methodology, qualitative, inductive, small business

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 8 Issue 2, ECRM Special Issue Part 1 / Dec 2010  pp63‑162

Editor: Ann Brown, David Douglas, Marian Carcary, Jose Esteves

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Editorial

Introduction to the ECRM conference issues

The subject of research methods in business is showing an extraordinary level of activity and innovation and this conference (the 9th European Conference on Research Methods in Business and Management) reflected this. Papers ranged from those offering insight and help in applying such favorite methods as Grounded Theory (Douglas and Nunes et al) to those introducing new ideas such as the application of subtextual phenomenology (Valleck). Papers fell naturally into fourteen main themes and these formed the basis of the conference streams. The quality of the papers was of such a high level that it was decided to publish two conference issues, A & B.  Issue A has the best papers on: Grounded Theory, Mixed Methods, Reflecting and Researching one’s own professional practice, Research Methods in Business and Research Methods in Strategy‑as‑practice. Issue B has the best papers on: Qualitative Data Analysis, Research Methodology and methodology issues, Teaching Research Methods and Methodologies and Trust and Ethics

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 these two issues 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.

Issue A

These papers dealt with the problems facing management researchers in a variety of ways. Two papers develop new ideas (Valleck, Venkateswaran and Prabhu). Vallek’s paper introduces a relatively new method for researching in that it advocates the use of personal experience through the application of subtextual phenomenology (Valleck). The paper by Venkateswaran and Prabhu claim that their topic ‑ strategy‑as‑Practice is just emerging as a new subject. This is the study of individual and organizational actions in the process of strategizing. The paper gives an insightful view of the problems of taking a holistic view of such actions. The two papers on Grounded Theory could not have been more different in their aims, one (Douglas) shows us how the method can be used to identify the differing perspectives of stakeholders, while the second (Nunes et al) offers a valuable insight into managing the key initial stage of the method through the use of pilot studies. The papers on mixed methods (Papadimitriou, Molina‑Azorin and Cameron) both offer insight into how and when to use this method. Papadimitriou is a helpful paper to others in understanding the MMs approach to research. Whereas Molina‑Azorin and Cameron carry out a survey of the way Mixed methods has been applied in a number of key organizational research journals. The remaining three papers offer valuable insights into key steps of the research process: O'hEocha et al give a review of the use of focus groups from the literature which offers us insight into the value and appropriateness of using this technique. Heine uses an example of analyzing the behavior of a niche group to discuss the twin problems of surveys – that of reaching the target group and then motivating them to respond.  Beck et al address the practical problems of making use of data (on major change projects) over which the researcher has little control as to choice or the conditions within which the collection takes place.

 

Keywords: grounded theory, small business, entrepreneurship, pilot studies, context, research design, multilevel mixed design, quality management, higher education, neo-institutional theory, mixed methods research, strategic management, organizational behaviour, quantitative methods, qualitative methods, subtextual phenomenology; phenomenology; arts-based research; first-person research, transcendental phenomenology, intuitive research, focus group, information systems development, evaluation criteria, luxury products, luxury brands, luxury consumers, survey participant acquisition, survey response, viral marketing, field research, external validity, induction, statistical generalization, theoretical generalization, strategy-as-practice, research methods, strategy research, clinical research, review

 

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