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 2, ECRM 2011 Special issue / Sep 2011  pp87‑197

Editor: Ann Brown

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Experiences from Sequential Use of Mixed Methods  pp87‑95

Stefan Cronholm

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Mixed Methods Research: The Five Ps Framework  pp96‑108

Roslyn Cameron

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Design Science Research: The Case of the IT Capability Maturity Framework (IT CMF)  pp109‑118

Marian Carcary

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Incorporating Design Science Research and Critical Research Into an Introductory Business Research Methods Course  pp119‑129

John R Venable

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Abstract

Research in business can address a variety of goals, including explanation or evaluation of extant business practices, development of new business practices, critiquing business practice, and examining business goals other than profit. Empirical research about extant business practices is conducted in one or both of the positivist and interpretive research paradigms. Development of new business practices, rather than simply examining existing ones, is conducted by research within the Design Science Research (DSR) paradigm. The DSR paradigm emphasises the invention, design, and development of new technologies, techniques, and methods, yet still achieving research rigour. Critically examining organisational practices and goals other than profit, such as business ethics, sustainability, and the triple bottom line, is much better conducted within the Critical Research (CR) paradigm, which critically examines the purpose, goals, and social and societal impacts of business and other practices. Unfortunately, the Introduction to Business Research Methods courses and textbooks that develop the business research community’s fledgling members’ ability to conduct, interpret, and critique and develop high quality research typically place heavy if not exclusive emphasis on positivist and interpretive research paradigms and methods at the expense of other research paradigms and methods. Such exclusive emphasis on positivist and interpretive research at the expense of other paradigms handicaps new researchers and severely limits their future ability to conduct, interpret, critique, and develop high quality research. To address this problem, this paper describes how DSR and CR have been successfully incorporated within an introductory business research methods course, which introduces students, regardless of their specific business discipline, to business research. The paper describes how it (1) deals with textbooks that have a limited perspective on business research paradigms and methods and (2) provides a needed, holistic perspective on business research, regardless of the specific discipline. To accomplish the above, the new course does four specific things. First, it situates business research as an applied discipline, along with other applied disciplines, such as medicine and engineering, and in contrast to non‑applied disciplines, such as physics or psychology. Second, it includes a key new framework that contrasts the assumptions and perspectives of different research paradigms, including business research knowledge goals, the role of values in research, and epistemological issues. Third, it modifies and extends frameworks and figures from a popular business research methods textbook to supplement the limited perspective of the textbook with alternative research goals and paradigms. Fourth, the new course adds relevant introductory readings. The paper presents these extensions to the course, including how and where they are included within the course presentation, materials, and assessments, as a model for others wishing to enhance their introductory business research methods courses. 

 

Keywords: business research, research methods, design science research, critical research, curriculum design, teaching

 

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Demystifying the Arduous Doctoral Journey: The Eagle Vision of a Research Proposal  pp130‑140

Rahinah Ibrahim

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Research Methodologies and Professional Practice: Considerations and Practicalities  pp141‑151

Caroline Cole, Steven Chase, Oliver Couch, Murray Clark

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Project Management Bodies of Knowledge; Conjectures and Refutations  pp152‑158

Miles Shepherd, Roger Atkinson

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Deciding on the Scale Granularity of Response Categories of Likert type Scales: The Case of a 21‑Point Scale  pp159‑171

Noel Pearse

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Inciting Advanced Levels of Practitioner Reflection Through Progressive Graphic Elicitation  pp172‑184

Gillian Green, Robert Campbell, Mark Grimshaw

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

Nicola Swan

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Book Review: The Mixed Methods Reader edited by Clark and Creswell  pp195‑196

Dan Remenyi

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Book Review: Writing a Research Proposal – Practical guidelines for business students  pp197‑197

Dan Remenyi

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