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

Learning from a Doctoral Research Project: Structure and Content of a Research Proposal  pp11-20

Javed Iqbal

© Jul 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, Editor: Ann Brown, pp1 - 36

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Abstract

Students have to present a formal research proposal at the time of admission or at the end of their first year study in the case of a doctorate. Many of them feel uncomfortable in preparing such proposals due to lack of experience or knowledge. This paper describes the way a research proposal may be prepared for doctoral projects in social sciences. The paper provides a road map to write a suitable proposal acceptable to their supervisors or examination committee. The proposal is based on a case study undertaken by the author and addresses key issues in preparing a postgraduate proposal including researcher's professional background, selection of topic, research question, research objectives, and importance of the study, scope, methodology, conceptual framework and potential outcome. These themes have been grouped under four parts: the context, the content, the process and the product.

 

Keywords: research proposal, social sciences, postgraduate study, case study

 

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Journal Article

Social Physics, Crowdsourcing and Multicultural Collaborative Research Practice in the Social Sciences: E Pluribus Unum?  pp17-28

David A.L Coldwell

© Apr 2017 Volume 15 Issue 1, Editor: Ann Brown, pp1 - 56

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Abstract

The possibility of there being an investigator with the knowledge and ability to understand, let alone digest the data embraced by the boundaries of social scientific disciplines seems very remote. However research investigators in the human sciences might in their quest for greater validity and wider generalization in their concepts and theories, adopt a different scientific perspective in addition to its currently most prevalent hypothetico‑deductive approach. The proposed approach made in the paper corresponds more to Baconian‑type methods and those adopted by Darwin in his theory of evolution and involves the use of large data sets of the kind made available by the methodological approaches of social physics and crowdsourcing. The paper suggests that large data sets can be analyzed effectively in multi‑disciplinary, cross‑cultural collaborative research contexts, and a case study illustrating a collaborative research process is described in detail to demonstrate this point. The paper maintains that through the combined utilization of scientific approaches and large data gathering techniques made available through new technologies, it may be possible to generate comprehensively valid empirical and theoretical wholes across the human sciences.

 

Keywords: Social Physics, crowdsourcing, multicultural, multidisciplinary, collaborative research, social sciences.

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 15 Issue 1 / Apr 2017  pp1‑56

Editor: Ann Brown

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Keywords: big data, business intelligence, qualitative research method, social media analysis, text mining, text analytics, Social Physics, crowdsourcing, multicultural, multidisciplinary, collaborative research, social sciences, Knowledge Cafés, Theory refinement, Theoretical conjectures, Research Methodology, Hermeneutics, Multiple imputation by chained equations, MICE, missing data, guidelines, review, R

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 5 Issue 1 / Jul 2007  pp1‑36

Editor: Ann Brown

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Editorial

For Business Schools and management departments, research methods are emerging as a subject not only as a core for staff and business students at all levels but also of increasing complexity. The subject is ramifying into a number of separate but related issues. The four papers in this issue of EJBRM reflect a number of these current concerns:

The quality and nature of business and management research methods and the practical value of the results achieved (Coldwell)

The scale and nature of the ethical responsibility of organizations, researchers and students (Lindorff, Naimi)

The training and supervision of doctoral candidates (Iqbal)

Coldwell argues that although truly causally adequate explanation is beyond the capacity of social science and management research and that adequate explanation on the level of meaning also is, at best, problematical, nonetheless it is possible to adopt a methodological approach that is capable of producing practically useable research outcomes. He proposes a methodology based on critical realism and offers considerable help in the practical steps to be taken when following this approach.

Two papers consider ethical issues in business research and teaching (Lindorff, Naimi). Lindorff is concerned with researchers’ ethical obligations to participants in their research. She presents a fairly bleak view of current practice, contrasting the comparatively indifferent attitude of almost all published business research with the central role that ethical practice takes within medical and psychology research methods literature. Her view that business researchers lack training on this aspect of research is neatly met by Naimi’s paper. This paper argues that we live in a cheating culture and claims that there has been a decline in ethical conduct and “right thinking” in society today. It proposes that universities need to incorporate modules on ethics into their degree courses and suggests some of the topics that such courses might include.

Iqbal provides a road map for the process of writing a suitable doctoral proposal. He is particularly concerned with the range of choices facing the new candidate at each step of the proposal. He offers a structured approach for navigating these decisions based on his own experience.

 

Keywords: adequacy at the level of meaning, alignment, beneficence, business, case study, causal adequacy, critical realism, dialectical triangulation, dualism, enterprise integration, ethics, evidence-based research, framework, grounded research, imponderable evidence, informed consent, justice, metadata interoperability, methodological triangulation, phenomenology, piecemeal social engineer, postgraduate study, research ethics, research proposal, respect for persons, social sciences

 

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