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

Millennial Students and Technology Choices for Information Searching  pp73-76

Martin Rich

© Sep 2008 Volume 6 Issue 1, ECRM 2008, Editor: Ann Brown, pp1 - 94

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Abstract

This paper draws together ideas about different generations of students, notably the 'millennial generation' (born from around 1982 to 2000) which encompasses a high proportion of current students in higher education, and ideas about the different types of technology available when searching for information. In the context of higher education, this is particularly relevant when students are encouraged to find out information for themselves, typically to relate this to taught material. This is connected with information literacy, as it reflects students' abilities to carry out simple or complex research. This paper focuses on why students choose particular technologies to support their research and the effect of these choices on their learning and on their written work. A particular current issue is the emergence of the generation of Internet resources collectively known as 'web 2.0' notably Blogs and Wikis — and the relationship of these to the way that students presently in universities favour structuring their work. These resources also introduce issues of authoritativeness. It is tempting to dismiss wikipedia as the work of amateurs, but where a blog has been created by a notable expert, author, or journalist, questions arise as to whether the blog should be regarded as of different value from the same person's written work. Therefore some consideration will be given to how students can be encouraged to recognise and draw on intelligent exploitation of these new resources. Underlying data for the paper is drawn from discussions with current students, both individually and in groups.

 

Keywords: Millennial students, Web 2.0, information literacy

 

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Journal Article

Using Personal and Online Repertory Grid Methods for the Development of a Luxury Brand Personality  pp25-38

Klaus Heine

© Dec 2009 Volume 7 Issue 1, ECRM 2009, Editor: Ann Brown, Joseph Azzopardi, Frank Bezzina, pp1 - 116

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Abstract

Interest has been growing in the brand personality concept, because it offers a systematic approach for developing symbolic benefits, which are becoming more and more essential for brand differentiation. Although they are a distinctive feature of luxury brands and often even exceed their functional benefits, there is still no personality concept designed especially for luxury brands. The aim of this article is therefore to develop and implement an appropriate methodology for developing a luxury brand personality. In contrast to the common quantitative approach, the article proposes a qualitative methodology including the Repertory Grid Method (RGM) and explains its benefits. It was implemented with a survey of 31 German millionaires who can be described as heavy luxury consumers. The content analyses of the data uncovered five personality dimensions including, for example, Modernity, which relates to the temporal perspective of a brand. The study extends the RGM areas of application and demonstrates its applicability in developing brand personality dimensions. The validity of the results improves if they are replicated with other studies and with varying research methodologies. To this end, recent developments in Web 2.0 provide a great source of inspiration. As a result, a complementary study was conducted to exploit these opportunities for online RGM and to allow for a more in‑depth understanding about the personality dimensions. The article builds upon an overview of qualitative online research, common online RGM and the idea of Web 2.0 to expand the methodological toolbox with collaborative RGM that allows respondents to build on the input of previous participants. The procedure was simplified in line with the explorative approach and implemented with a specially programmed online tool. The results support the five personality dimensions and give further insights into adequate brand personality traits. The article concludes with a discussion of the results and benefits of collaborative RGM for researchers and marketers.

 

Keywords: qualitative online research, Repertory Grid Method, Web 2.0, luxury brand, brand identity, brand personality

 

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Journal Article

Student Research in a Web 2 world: Learning to use new Technology to Gather Primary Data  pp78-86

Martin Rich

© Jan 2011 Volume 9 Issue 1, ECRM 2010 Special issue Part 2/Jan 2011, Editor: Ann Brown, David Douglas, Marian Carcary and Jose Esteves, pp1 - 87

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Abstract

In recent years there has been rapid growth in the number of resources available to conduct scholarly research with the assistance of the Internet. While the British Library’s (2009) survey revealed a reluctance among doctoral and post‑doctoral researchers to engage with new technologies, masters‑level students and final‑year undergraduates are often much more open to technological innovation, They are familiar with interactive tools in the classroom (King and Robinson, 2009), and used to the characteristics associated with Web 2.0 (O’Reilly, 2005), but could often benefit from guidance as to how to exploit these tools in their independent work. This paper discusses four general types of tool which can be used to gather primary data in research: Electronic web‑based surveys. These can be set up very simply using software such as ‘Surveymonkey’, Qualtrics, or the Bristol Online Surveys system developed specifically for the UK higher education sector. As a result they are popular with students, but their very ease of use often means that little attention is paid to sampling, or to interpreting the results with caution. Blogs. Again, these are easy to set up, but it is less clear to students how they can be used as a data gathering tool. However the current author has encountered a number of instances where a student has set up a blog to invite comments on a topic, and to gather opinions from readers that might contribute to the students’ work. Personal response systems or ‘clickers’ which are available as a computer peripheral and can be used to gather data from a group of people very rapidly. Conferencing systems which could be used in effect to conduct more or less structured interviews electronically. A simple exchange of emails would be a primitive way of achieving this, and would be asynchronous, in that the interviewee does not need to respond instantly. A synchronous equivalent could be provided using chat or instant messaging software. All four of these have the benefit of being instantly self‑documenting in that any data provided is stored electronically. This is a particularly attractive attribute for masters level students, or final year undergraduates, who may be under pressure to produce some independent and original work with very limited resources. As a general observation these tools offer enhanced scope for students to carry out original and distinctive work, and to place their own stamp on their findings. If nothing else, the use of unique primary data can differentiate one student’s work from that of others. But this needs to be tempered with an appreciation of the limitations of primary data and an understanding of how to use it realistically.

 

Keywords: Web 2, research training, primary data

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 7 Issue 1, ECRM 2009 / Dec 2009  pp1‑116

Editor: Ann Brown, Joseph Azzopardi, Frank Bezzina

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Editorial

The 8th European Conference on Research Methods in Business and Management attracted a wide range of papers. The conference fell naturally into four main themes: introducing relatively new techniques, in depth description of application of accepted research methods, overview of the whole research process and attempts to deal with intractable problems. The final selection of papers was agreed both the editor of the Journal and the editors of the conference proceedings, Joseph Azzopardi and Frank Bezzina. The comments of session chairs were taken into account in making the final selection of papers for this issue of the EJBRM.

The quality of the papers was particularly high and the selection of those papers for the Journal presented a difficult choice. 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 to represent the four major themes of the conference.

The papers dealt with the problems facing management researchers in a variety of ways. The papers proposed a number on new and unusual methods, including Psychogeography ( Knowles) and webometrics (Romero‑Frias). Both of these papers focused on explaining the technique and its appropriateness to business research. Techniques dealt with in previous issues were also well represented including mixed methods (Ryan); Grounded Theory (Noel & Kamyangale); REP Grid (Klaus). Several papers offered some valuable insights into key steps of the research process including audit trail (Carcary) and data collection problems and interpretation ( Iacono, Brown and Holtham; Rasmussen, and Heiko; Heiro and Reetta). The paper by Brooke and Parker introduced a new dimension (spirituality) to the philosophy of business research. One paper offered an intriguing review of leadership research (Mortimer).

 

Keywords: brand identity, brand personality, business intelligence, business management, business survey, critical management, essential self, fact-based, feminist research methods, focus groups, Foucault, grounded theory, health care professionals, higher education, information systems, information technology, internet studies, interpretivist paradigm, interview, leadership theory, London, longitudinal case work, luxury brand, meaning and work, methodology, multicultural data collection, nonresponse, organisations, organisations audit trail, organizational culture, participant observation, philosophy, Protestant Ethic, psychogeography, qualitative data, qualitative online research, qualitative research, qualitative research methods, regional development, religion, Repertory Grid Method, research confirmability, trustworthiness, research design, research methods , research strategies, safety in the field, self-selection, SMEs, spirituality, steel trading case, transferability, Web 2.0, Web minin

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 9 Issue 1, ECRM 2010 Special issue Part 2/Jan 2011 / Jan 2011  pp1‑87

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

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Editorial

These papers dealt with the problems facing management researchers in a variety of ways. The keynote paper by Eileen Trauth discusses the issues that gender research raise for business. Three papers offer advice on qualitative data analysis, of which the paper by Carcary deals with methods of collection using IT, Ryan and Ogilvie identify an unusual data source and the third (Reiter et al) deals with the problem of choosing the appropriate research method. The two papers on research methodology address entirely different types of issue. The paper by Knowles and Michielsens gives all a fascinating insight into research methods that top journals apparently prefer. Iacono et al demonstrate how effective case study methods can be in developing theory. The two final papers address the subject of teaching research methods but again offer widely different views.

 

Keywords: autodriving, building theory from case studies, CAQDAS, case study research, categorisation, coding, critical theory, diversity, epistemology, feminism, gender and IT, gender differences, grounded theory, individual differences, interpretive research, interpretivist research, interviews, iterative process, marking rubrics, memos, N-vivo, phenomenology, photoelicitation, positivist research, primary data, projective prompts, qualitative, qualitative data analysis, qualitative research, quantitative, RAE 2008, REF 2013, research audit trail, research in large classes, research mentors, research method selection, research methodology, research methods, research outcomes, research training, social inclusion, teaching quantitative research, theory, theory of gender , Web 2, women and IT workforce,

 

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