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

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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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

Proposals for Designing and Controlling a Doctoral Research Project in Management Sciences  pp31-38

Jacques Lauriol

© Nov 2006 Volume 4 Issue 1, Editor: Arthur Money, pp1 - 66

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Analysis of available literature on the design and control of a doctoral research project has led to the updating of a certain number of "constants" concerning the difficulties PhD students encounter during this process. These "constants" revolve around the crucial yet arduous issue of what comprises a "good thesis". The present article offers a response to this question. It begins by highlighting the characteristics of the institutional context in which a doctoral study is carried out before offering three topics for thought (definition of the research project, deployment and evaluation of results). It concludes by focusing on the tension underlying all scientific research between "dissidence" (i.e., the ability to question "normal science") and "conformity" (the study's fit in an institutional context).


Keywords: Designing and controlling a research project, doctoral research in strategic management


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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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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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