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 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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What Can We Learn from Gender Research  pp1‑9

Eileen Trauth

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Evidence Analysis using CAQDAS: Insights from a Qualitative Researcher  pp10‑24

Marian Carcary

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Uncovering Hidden Meanings, Values and Insights Through Photos  pp25‑34

Maria Ryan, Madeleine Ogilvie

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

Sebastian Reiter

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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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Counting on an Iterative Process: Initial Lessons from the Research Assessment Exercise 2008  pp47‑56

Deborah Knowles, Elisabeth Michielsens

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The use of the case study method in theory testing: the example of steel trading and electronic markets  pp57‑65

Jessica Claudia Iacono, Ann Brown, Clive Holtham

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Research Methodology by Numbers  pp66‑77

Graham Trevor Myers

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

Martin Rich

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