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

Towards a Second Order Research Methodology  pp25-36

Jim Brown, Petia Sice

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

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Abstract

This paper addresses the need for re‑examining the cognitive perspective on the role of language in social research. From the autopoietic perspective, language is not a tool to reveal an objective world; rather language is a venue for action, coupling the cognitive domains of two or more agents. Responsible research enquiry would seek to create systemic communication practices that allow the co‑existence of differing understandings within. Creating a dialogue for exploring and emerging meaning is essential in developing understanding and validating the research results.

 

Keywords: autopoiesis, social systems, language, dialogue, research method, systems thinking

 

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Journal Article

Researching Sustainable Development of the Rural Poor in India  pp185-194

Nicola Swan

© Sep 2011 Volume 9 Issue 2, ECRM 2011 Special issue, Editor: Ann Brown, pp87 - 197

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Abstract

This paper examines the methodology undertaken by one PhD researcher in a rural Indian context. The research built an in‑depth understanding of how to deliver an improvement in the sustainable development of local rural Indian villages. The sustainable development projects are developed and implemented by Non‑Governmental Organisations (NGOs) but are part funded through the corporate responsibility programme of a multi national Bank. The research focused on the processes used in the projects, how they were implemented and the outcomes achieved. The research is unusual in management research, in that it takes a stakeholder perspective rather than the more customary corporate perspective. Consequently the focus is on understanding the processes, implementation and outcomes from the perspective of three groups of stakeholders. The three groups are the Bank, the NGOs and the villagers who are the end recipients of the projects. This paper does not explore the outcomes of this research but rather describes the research methodology undertaken to effectively execute the research. The research methodology chosen was that of case study with an interpretivist stance. Whilst case study can be an umbrella term for multiple data collection tools, there was a focus on collecting data via discussion and observation, in line with the interpretivist paradigm. To achieve the required level of discussion and observation was facilitated by undertaking an ethnographically‑styled approach. This ethnographic‑styled approach included the researcher spending time living in the Indian villages with respondents to understand the outcomes of the sustainable development projects which had been undertaken from their perspective. The data gathering processes include structured, semi‑structured and in‑depth interviews across the three primary stakeholder groups of respondents. Other data gathering included observation, documentation, artefacts, video and photographs. In summary this paper provides an insight into a method for undertaking research in a local rural developing country context. It particularly focuses on taking a stakeholder perspective to corporate interventions in a community, rather than the more usual company focused approach. It further contributes to the development of appropriate methodology for contexts where the researcher is from a different cultural and linguistic background to the respondents.

 

Keywords: interpretivist case study, language barriers in research, video research, research in a developing country, ethnographic-styled approach

 

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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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Journal Issue

Volume 5 Issue 2, ECRM 2007 / Jul 2007  pp37‑124

Editor: Ann Brown

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Editorial

The 5th European Conference on Research Methods in Business and Management attracted a wide range of papers. The conference fell naturally into a number of key themes organized into mini tracks. These included a number of different methods (Action research, Grounded Theory, Ethnography), specific issues (Teaching Research Methods) and philosophical paradigms (Critical approaches to research). A strong sub theme within all tracks was the concern with the complex problems that business and management research poses. The quality of the papers was high and the selection of those papers for the Journal presented a difficult choice. The papers selected were chosen for their quality of writing and 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.

The papers deal with the problems facing management researchers in a variety of ways. Most papers focus on the problems of applying research qualitative methods. The papers by Chester et al, Gehrels, Rodon and Pastor, and Vasconcelos all present case examples analysed from an interpretivist view using methods like Action Research and Grounded Theory Methods. Several papers confront the ambiguity and conflict inherent in researching people and their actions as they carry out their jobs (Mendy, Wagner and Brooke). The teaching research mini track was received with particular enthusiasm and one of the chosen papers is from this group (Sayce). A few papers adopt a traditional positivist stance creating new constructs (Schutz et al; Phillips and Phillips).

 

Keywords: action diagrams, arenas/social worlds theory, assessment, case study, coding paradigm, compliance, critical research, deep learning, discourse analysis, driving powers, epistemology, grounded theory, grounded theory, hospitality management curricula, ICT security, information systems adaptation, international students, inter-organizational IS implementation, language, learning, methodological dilemmas, mini-viva, organizational misbehaviour, performance assessment, performance constructs, print-catalogs, public transit, research methods, stakeholder, Straussian approach, theory and practice, transit performance, upper segment restaurants, usability scale implementation, value systems, verbal protocols

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 6 Issue 1, ECRM 2008 / Sep 2008  pp1‑94

Editor: Ann Brown

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Editorial

The 7th European Conference on Research Methods in Business and Management attracted a wide range of papers. The conference fell naturally into a number of key themes organized into mini tracks. These included a number of different methods (Action Research, Grounded Theory, Mixed Methods), specific issues (Teaching Research Methods, Information Systems Research) and philosophical issues (the role of Paradigms). The quality of the papers was particularly high and the selection from 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 as many of the major themes of the conference as possible.

The papers dealt with the problems facing management researchers in a variety of ways. The majority of the papers focused on the problems of applying a variety of techniques – some through the discussion of theoretical issues, others by case examples. The technique of mixed methods was discussed at the conference for the first time and two papers have been chosen to represent this theme – both of which describe case examples using the tool (Branka Krivokapic‑Skoko and Grant O'Neill, Barbara Crump and Keri Logan). This technique combines both qualitative and quantitative tools. Two papers have been chosen for their contribution towards improving our understanding of quantitative analysis tools (Daire Hooper, Joseph Coughlan and Michael R. Mullen; Elisa Chami‑Castaldi, Nina Reynolds and James Wallace). One of the tracks was on ‘researching sensitive issues’. For most contributors this meant an exploration of ethical issues for researchers or the complexity inherent in researching the life world of people as they carry out their jobs. One paper stood out from this track (Gisela Schulte‑Agyeman) for its insight and practical advice when researching such topics. Grounded Theory and the challenge of coaxing meaning from the vast mass of qualitative data that this approach creates, was a major issue for several tracks. Three papers discuss this approach to qualitative research (Svetla Georgieva, Teresa Waring and David Wainwright, Linda Dawson). The track on teaching research methods attracted several papers and one was chosen from this group (Martin Rich). The paper by Peter Bednar and Christine Welch, revisited the important topic of paradigm choice and its impact on research methods.

 

Keywords: action diagrams, arenas/social worlds theory, assessment, case study, coding paradigm, compliance, critical research, deep learning, discourse analysis, driving powers, epistemology, grounded theory, grounded theory, hospitality management curricula, ICT security, information systems adaptation, international students, inter-organizational IS implementation, language, learning, methodological dilemmas, mini-viva, organizational misbehaviour, performance assessment, performance constructs, print-catalogs, public transit, research methods, stakeholder, Straussian approach, theory and practice, transit performance, upper segment restaurants, usability scale implementation, value systems, verbal protocols

 

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