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 Critique of Using Grounded Theory as a Research Method  pp1-10

George Allan

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

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Abstract

Grounded Theory is a powerful research method for collecting and analysing research data. It was 'discovered' by Glaser & Strauss (1967) in the 1960s but is still not widely used or understood by researchers in some industries or PhD students in some science disciplines. This paper demonstrates the steps in the method and describes the difficulties encountered in applying Grounded Theory (GT). A fundamental part of the analysis method in GT is the derivation of codes, concepts and categories. Codes and coding are explained and illustrated in Section 3. Merging the codes to discover emerging concepts is a central part of the GT method and is shown in Section 4. Glaser and Strauss's constant comparison step is applied and illustrated so that the emerging categories can be seen coming from the concepts and leading to the emergent theory grounded in the data in Section 5. However, the initial applications of the GT method did have difficulties. Problems encountered when using the method are described to inform the reader of the realities of the approach. The data used in the illustrative analysis comes from recent ISIT Case Study research into configuration management (CM) and the use of commercially available computer products (COTS). Why and how the GT approach was appropriate is explained in Section 6. However, the focus is on reporting GT as a research method rather than the results of the Case Study.

 

Keywords: Grounded Theory, codes, concepts, emerging categories, emergent theory

 

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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 Article

Grounded Theory and the 'And' in Entrepreneurship Research  pp85-94

David Douglas

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

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Abstract

The paper puts forward the researching of entrepreneurship through the application of grounded theory methodology. Like much business and management research it contends that entrepreneurship research should both embrace the complex processes of enterprise activity and the inherent contextual factors that effect entrepreneurial behaviour. Accounts from other fields of social inquiry have conveyed the worthiness of grounded theory in phenomenological studies. The paper considers grounded theory methodology against the canons of accomplishing worthy social (scientific) inquiry. It addresses grounded theory as a means of emphasising how socially constructed experience is created and given meaning. It concludes that the requisite properties of grounded theory whilst addressing the principles of substantive social inquiry, as in entrepreneurship research, with some contextual and methodological considerations, offers an inductive approach to revealing complex characteristics of enterprise management, and potentially other business areas of inquiry.

 

Keywords: Grounded Theory, Research, Naturalistic, Canons, Entrepreneurship

 

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Journal Article

Using the Glaserian Approach in Grounded Studies of Emerging Business Practices  pp109-120

Walter Fernandez

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

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Abstract

Based on a recently completed major study of an emerging business practice in the area of information systems management, this paper explains and discusses several important aspects of using the "Glaserian" approach to grounded theory. Grounded theory is an effective approach to produce rigorous research that is simultaneously relevant to business and management theory development and to professional practice. The paper presents a research model and delineates a number of characteristics, risks and demands intrinsic to the method, which can help researchers contemplating the use of grounded theory methodology for their studies.

 

Keywords: Grounded Theory, Glaserian Approach, Information Systems Research, Socio-technical Studies

 

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Journal Article

Grounded Theory: Its Diversification and Application Through two Examples From Research Studies on Knowledge and Value Management  pp57-68

Kirsty Hunter, Subashini Hari, Charles Egbu, John Kelly

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

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Abstract

The grounded theory research method has been adopted by researchers across a range of different disciplines. Two different examples that are currently using the method as part of individual research programmes are explained. These two examples form part of two separate PhD programmes that are currently at similar stages of development making for a timely comparison of the different applications of the grounded theory research method. Both examples involve research conducted in the construction related fields of knowledge management (km) and value management (vm). A background is provided for each study and the similarities and differences between each application are outlined as well as the process and stages involved in the research investigations undertaken. The use of computer software packages is explored and a case for and against using such a tool is made to the effect that this will largely depend on the nature of the problem under investigation. The paper concludes with the suggestion that grounded theory is a method that can be adapted to suit the nature of the research problem provided that the fundamental aspect is adhered to which is to ensure that the theory derived is 'grounded' in the data.

 

Keywords: grounded theory, knowledge management, value management, software packages

 

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Journal Article

Grounded in Practice: Using Interpretive Research to Build Theory  pp81-92

Bruce H. Rowlands

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

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Abstract

This paper provides guidance for carrying out research using an interpretive framework to build theory of IS practice. The purpose of the paper is to provide an example of (a) factors influencing the choice of interpretive methods, (b) developing a theoretical framework, (c) particulars of data collection and analysis, and (d) an application of evaluative criteria applicable to interpretive research. This paper is different in that the focus is on describing the research process, conceptual issues and the research methods used rather than the findings. This format is important given that there is no accepted general model for communicating interpretive research, and few guidelines exist for conducting the inductive process central to interpretive research.

 

Keywords: interpretive perspective, case study, grounded theory, qualitative research

 

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Journal Article

Applying Multidimensional Item Response Theory Analysis to a Measure of Meta‑Perspective Performance  pp23-30

K. Michele Kacmar, William L. Farmer, Suzanne Zivnuska, L. A. Witt

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

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Abstract

The authors introduce a scale to measure meta‑perspectives, my view of your view of me, about one's performance in an organizational setting. Applied to the performance appraisal process, this perspective allows the authors to investigate how employees think their supervisors view their performance. Meta‑perspectives thereby enrich our understanding of the relationship effects inherent in the performance appraisal process. Due to the desirable properties of item response theory (non‑sample specific item parameter estimates), a multidimensional item response theory (MIRT) model was applied to the data. This allowed for the simultaneous estimation of dimensionality and item threshold values. Data collected from 1,255 full‑time workers in two different organizations reveal that the items did not lie along a unidimensional continuum, but that three dimensions underlie the proposed scale: employee perceptions of the supervisor's view of employee work ethic, work product, and self‑regulation. The authors offer suggestions for refinement of the scale and future research.

 

Keywords: Item response theory, scale development

 

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Journal Article

Research Dilemmas in Management and Business Studies  pp49-60

John Mendy

© Jul 2007 Volume 5 Issue 2, ECRM 2007, Editor: Ann Brown, pp37 - 124

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Abstract

This paper examines some of the philosophical and practical dilemmas that are faced by researchers in management and business studies — in the context of the epistemological and ontological assumptions introduced. The relevant methodological frameworks to be used stem from Strauss and Quinn (1997). The importance of employee language and organisational discourses are presented from the empirical data on "Aspects of Organisational Culture and Change" in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire to demonstrate the epistemological and ontological dilemmas faced by researchers in organisational analysis. Symbolic interactionism and stories are also used to highlight the importance of speech actors within an organisational change context in order to surface some of these dilemmas in business studies in general and management research in particular. These two provide alternative positions to Strauss and Quinn's "maintained" analysis of how organisations and managers implement change interventions and employees' reactions to these. Amongst some of my principal objectives is to demonstrate what can be contributed when researchers focus on what can be considered credible and valid knowledge that can be generalised in organisational and management studies.

 

Keywords: language, methodological dilemmas, epistemology, theory and practice

 

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