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

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

Building Knowledge — Developing a Grounded Theory of Knowledge Management for Construction  pp175-182

Brian Graham, Ken Thomas

© Nov 2008 Volume 6 Issue 2, Editor: Ann Brown, pp123 - 216

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Abstract

As part of an on‑going doctoral study, a constructivist approach to grounded theory is being used to develop an integrated model of knowledge management (KM) for the leading Irish construction organisations. Using multiple data collection methods; employees in a number of these organisations have participated, from recent graduates through to senior managers. While the need to effectively manage knowledge within large construction organisations is well recognised, a gap exists between the theory of KM and its implementation in practice. This paper considers the research in terms of its philosophical position, the use of grounded theory and the research methods utilised, from theoretical and practical perspectives. Progress in the study thus far is presented and future directions considered in achieving theoretical saturation and a well developed model. It is anticipated that the study will contribute to the field of construction management where further empirical research into KM is required. Much previous research in the area of KM in construction has focussed solely on technological, cultural or strategic issues in the development of KM models. The developed integrated model will form the basis of education and guidance resources on KM for the leading Irish construction organisations. As a traditional and pragmatic industry, the rationale for using grounded theory is provided from the viewpoint that it requires researchers to focus upon developing theory which produces explanations that are recognisable to the subjects of the research. In order to ensure the credibility of the developed model, it will be evaluated by industry as part of a pilot KM education programme, with further refinement if necessary.

 

Keywords: Construction, constructivism, grounded theory, knowledge management, mixed methods

 

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Journal Article

Contextual Sensitivity in Grounded Theory: The Role of Pilot Studies  pp73-84

Miguel Baptista Nunes et al

© 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

Grounded Theory is an established methodological approach for context specific inductive theory building. The grounded nature of the methodology refers to these specific contexts from which emergent propositions are drawn. Thus, any grounded theory study requires not only theoretical sensitivity, but also a good insight on how to design the research in the human activity systems to be studied. The lack of this insight may result in inefficient theoretical sampling or even erroneous purposeful sampling. These problems would not necessarily be critical, as it could be argued that through the elliptical process that characterizes grounded theory, remedial loops would always bring the researcher to the core of the theory. However, these elliptical remedial processes can take very long periods of time and result in catastrophic delays in research projects. As a strategy, this paper discusses, contrasts and compares the use of pilot studies in four different grounded theory projects. Each pilot brought different insights about the context, resulting in changes of focus, guidance to improve data collection instruments and informing theoretical sampling. Additionally, as all four projects were undertaken by researchers with little experience of inductive approaches in general and grounded theory in particular, the pilot studies also served the purpose of training in interviewing, relating to interviewees, memoing, constant comparison and coding. This last outcome of the pilot study was actually not planned initially, but revealed itself to be a crucial success factor in the running of the projects. The paper concludes with a theoretical proposition for the concept of contextual sensitivity and for the inclusion of the pilot study in grounded theory research designs

 

Keywords: pilot studies, grounded theory, context, research design

 

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Journal Article

A Strategy for Delayed Research Method Selection: Deciding Between Grounded Theory and Phenomenology  pp35-46

Sebastian Reiter

© 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

TThis paper presents a strategy for delayed research method selection in a qualitative interpretivist research. An exemplary case details how explorative interviews were designed and conducted in accordance with a paradigm prior to deciding whether to adopt grounded theory or phenomenology for data analysis. The focus here is to determine the most appropriate research strategy in this case the methodological framing to conduct research and represent findings, both of which are detailed. Research addressing current management issues requires both a flexible framework and the capability to consider the research problem from various angles, to derive tangible results for academia with immediate application to business demands. Researchers, and in particular novices, often struggle to decide on an appropriate research method suitable to address their research problem. This often applies to interpretative qualitative research where it is not always immediately clear which is the most appropriate method to use, as the research objectives shift and crystallize over time. This paper uses an exemplary case to reveal how the strategy for delayed research method selection contributes to deciding whether to adopt grounded theory or phenomenology in the initial phase of a PhD research project. In this case, semi‑structured interviews were used for data generation framed in an interpretivist approach, situated in a business context. Research questions for this study were thoroughly defined and carefully framed in accordance with the research paradigm’s principles, while at the same time ensuring that the requirements of both potential research methods were met. The grounded theory and phenomenology methods were compared and contrasted to determine their suitability and whether they meet the research objectives based on a pilot study. The strategy proposed in this paper is an alternative to the more ‘traditional’ approach, which initially selects the methodological formulation, followed by data generation. In conclusion, the suggested strategy for delayed research method selection intends to help researchers identify and apply the most appropriate method to their research. This strategy is based on explorations of data generation and analysis in order to derive faithful results from the data generated.

 

Keywords: research method selection, qualitative research, grounded theory, phenomenology

 

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Journal Article

Exposing the Influencing Factors on Software Project Delay with Actor‑Network Theory  pp139-153

Zana Ahmedshareef, Robert Hughes, Miltos Petridis

© Nov 2014 Volume 12 Issue 2, ECRM 2014, Editor: Ann Brown, pp75 - 167

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Abstract

Abstract: Managing large software projects through global development teams is a complex undertaking; it involves managing interdependent problems and dynamic situations that are constantly changing. The research and practice bodies of knowledge need to m atch that complexity if they are to provide practical solutions to the challenges facing such projects. This research investigates the interdependent influences exerted on project progress that emerge during project execution and cause schedule delay. Thi s paper aims to demonstrate the value of integrating different research methods and techniques from the technical and social domains in order to address such complexity, in particular the utility of actor‑network theory (ANT) to expose the influencing f actors on project schedule delay. The research approach (Mixed method) was applied to empirical data from a global software provider, integrating quantitative analysis (project metrics) with qualitative analysis (grounded theory) and culminating in the development of an explanation model (ANT). The findings demonstrate that considerable benefit can be gained from the fuller understanding of the management dynamics during project execution provided by this approach. ANT makes researchers look at th e networks of influence at play between human and nonhuman elements of the project, thus offering a richer picture of the project.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Research methods, Actor-network theory, Grounded theory, Project management, Information systems development, Software development

 

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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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