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Mapping Research Methods

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DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.1419.3126
In book: Research Methods for Business and Management, Edition: 2nd, Chapter: 4, Publisher: Goodfellow Publishers Ltd, Editors: Kevin D O'Gorman, Robert MacIntosh, pp.50-74
Authors and Editors
Abstract
For no apparent reason, research philosophy tends to send dissertation students into a mild panic. The befuddlement caused by a range of new terminology relating to the philosophy of knowledge is unnecessary when all that you are trying to achieve is some clarity over the status of any knowledge claims you make in your study. Business and Management sits within the broader context of the social sciences, and this chapter offers a guide to the standard philosophical positions required to specify the particular form of research you plan to undertake. Collectively, these positions will define what we refer to as a research paradigm (see Figure 4.1: Methods Map). For us, a comprehensive articulation of a research design draws together five layers of interlocking choices that you, the researcher, should make when specifying how you plan to execute your research. There is no single ‘right’ way to undertake research, but there are distinct traditions, each of which tends to operate with its own, internally consistent, set of choices.
Research Methods
Business
Management
Second edition
for
&
GMS
Kevin O’Gorman
Robert MacIntosh
GMS
O’Gorman & MacIntosh
Research Methods for Business & Management
THE GLOBAL MANAGEMENT SERIES
C4TO PAPERBACK FINAL ARTWORK15mm
GMS SERIES 2015: RESEARCH METHODS C4TO CMYK
Goodfellow Publishers Limited
Oxford, UK.
www.goodfellowpublishers.com
“An invaluable guide to help you navigate one of the most difficult and intellectually challenging tasks in
business and management – writing a thesis or dissertation …an essential roadmap for anyone interested
in management research.”
Professor Roy Suddaby, Francis G. Winspear Chair of Business at University of Victoria, Canada
“A welcome addition to the literature on research methods, offering comprehensive coverage and
engaging with all the crucial questions …a core guide for students undertaking research projects and
dissertations.”
Professor Nic Beech, Dean of social Sciences, University of Dundee, Scotland
This updated and revised edition offers a comprehensive overview of key research methods and the main choices
available when undertaking research in business and management. New to this edition is a comprehensive, practical
guide on how to write your dissertation – invaluable to all. Central to this edition is the ‘methods map’ (see chapter
4), which sets out a logical process for researchers to articulate their position in relation to five key aspects of their
research philosophy. In addition, the editors have developed a free app to accompany the book and this enables novice
researchers to quickly develop a comprehensive justification of their particular research design in an interactive way.
Taking you through the entire life cycle of a dissertation, the text covers everything from the purposes of research,
using literature; quantitative and qualitative research; managing your research; using data and research ethics. Individual
chapters are allied to a powerful critical commentary showing how some of the world’s leading scholars have used
particular methods in their own research.
Carefully constructed to achieve the greatest clarity for the student the text gives the reader:
In-text exercises and end of chapter review questions with solutions In text exercises and end of chapter review
questions with ‘solutions’ on the book’s website see www.goodfellowpublishers.com/resmethodsforbusiness
Exemplar papers identified and discussed for each of the main methods
Directed further reading for developing understanding in key areas
It is an essential learning aid for upper level undergraduates and postgraduates across a wide range of business and
management courses and it comes with a range of supported learning materials including tutorials, lecture slides and
tutor notes.
The Global Management Series is a complete portfolio of global business and management texts that successfully
meets the needs of students on international undergraduate and postgraduate business and management degree
courses. Each book is a clear, concise and practical and has a thorough pedagogic structure to suit a 12 week
semester. The series offers a flexible ‘pick and mix’ choice of downloadable e-chapters, so that users can select and
build learning materials tailored to their specific needs. See www.goodfellowpublishers.com/GMS for details.
Each book in the series is edited and contributed to by a team of experienced academics based in the UK, Dubai and
Malaysia. It provides an essential learning aid for students across a wide range of business and management courses
and an invaluable teaching tool for lecturers and academics.
Edited by:
Kevin O’Gorman is Professor of Management and Business History and Head of Business Management in the School
of Languages and Management in Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. Using a wide range of methodological approaches
he has published over 80 journal articles, books, chapters, and conference papers in business and management studies.
Robert MacIntosh is Professor of Strategy and Head of the School of Management and Languages at Heriot-Watt
University. He trained as an engineer and has worked at the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde. His research on the
ways in which top teams develop strategy and on organizational change has been published in a wide range of outlets.
Research Methods for
Business & Management:
A Guide to Writing Your Dissertation
Firstly ... nothing exists;
secondly ... even if anything exists, it is incomprehensible by man;
thirdly .., even if anything is comprehensible, it is guaranteed to be inexpressible
and incommunicable to one’s neighbour.
Gorgias 500 BC, quoted in Aristotle, De Melisso Xenophane Gorgia 980a:19–20
(G)Goodfellow Publishers Ltd
THE GLOBAL MANAGEMENT SERIES
Research Methods
for Business
& Management
Second edition
A guide to writing your dissertation
Kevin O’Gorman and Robert MacIntosh
Published by Goodfellow Publishers Limited,
26 Home Close, Wolvercote, Oxford OX2 8PS
hp://www.goodfellowpublishers.com
First published 2014
This edition 2015
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data: a catalogue record for this
title is available from the British Library.
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: on le.
ISBN: 978-1-910158-52-4
Copyright © Kevin O’Gorman and Robert MacIntosh, 2014, 2015
All rights reserved. The text of this publication, or any part thereof, may not
be reproduced or transmied in any form or by any means, electronic or
mechanical, including photocopying, recording, storage in an information
retrieval system, or otherwise, without prior permission of the publisher or
under licence from the Copyright Licensing Agency Limited. Further details
of such licences (for reprographic reproduction) may be obtained from the
Copyright Licensing Agency Limited, of Saron House, 6–10 Kirby Street,
London EC1N 8TS.
All trademarks used herein are the property of their repective owners, The
use of trademarks or brand names in this text does not imply any aliation
with or endorsement of this book by such owners.
Design and typeseing by P.K. McBride, www.macbride.org.uk
Cover design by Cylinder
(G)
Contents
Biographies viii
Preface xv
Introduction to the Second Edition xvii
1 The Nature of Research 1
Robert MacIntosh and Nigel Caldwell
2 The Key is in the Reading: Finding a Project 15
Andrew MacLaren and Emma Hill
3 The Literature Review 31
Norin Arshed and Mike Danson
4 Mapping Research Methods 50
Kevin O’Gorman and Robert MacIntosh
5 Case Studies and Data 75
Angeliki Papachroni and Sean Lochrie
6 From Archives to the Internet 96
Keith Gori & Rodrigo Perez-Vega
7 Qualitative Data Gathering Techniques 118
Sean Lochrie, Ross Curran and Kevin O’Gorman
8 Qualitative Data Analysis Approaches 140
Katherine J C Sang and Rafał Sitko
9 Quantitative Data Gathering Techniques 155
Babak Taheri, Catherine Porter, Nikolaos Valantasis-Kanellos and Christian König
10 Quantitative Data Analysis Approaches 174
Babak Taheri, Catherine Porter, Christian König and Nikolaos Valantasis-Kanellos
11 Managing Ethics in Research Projects 196
James Richards, Lakshman Wimalasena and Gavin MacLean
12 Writing Up Your Research Project 212
Robert MacIntosh, Thomas Farrington and John Sanders
Appendices
A1 Managing Your Research Project 229
John Sanders, Vera Tens and Robert MacIntosh
A2 Assessing Your Research Project 240
Nigel Caldwell and Robert MacIntosh
A3 Project Structure and Word Counts 245
Kevin O’Gorman
Index 247
Dedications
To my beautiful wife Anne and our children Euan, Eilidh and
Eva. There is nothing beer in life than to spend time with you.
Thank you.
RMacI
To my mother for the constant and continued support, and Diana
and Keith for the never ending dinners, and Maggie for some
excellent words and rather ne sentences, I could not have done it
without you.
KDO
vii
Acknowledgments
The genesis of this book lay in a search for a text that could be used to guide
students through the challenges of preparing a dissertation. Having failed
to nd something which inspired us, we were struck by the vast experi-
ence available within our own institution. This book draws upon the talents
and accumulated wisdom of our colleagues in the School of Management
and Languages at Heriot-Wa University. To our colleagues at Goodfellow
Publishers, we remain indebted. Sally, Tim and Mac each showed a willing-
ness to help bring a complex project to market in an unrealistically short
time scale. Their calm and stoic acceptance of the production schedule were
much appreciated and the professionalism of their work was exceptional.
Thomas Farrington played a key role in checking and polishing the manu-
script and we are also indebted to him for the speed and accuracy of his
work.
KDO & RMacI
Biographies
Norin Arshed is an Associate Professor and the Programmes Director for
Leadership and Organisational Performance suite of programmes in the
Department of Business Management at Heriot-Wa University. She is an
economist by background, with professional experience both in the public
and private sectors. Her research concentrates on exploring and under-
standing the enterprise policy process. Institutional theory is the theoretical
lens used in her work to highlight the dynamics of enterprise policy process
at the macro and micro-levels. She is involved with numerous stakeholders
in undertaking her research which involve government institutions, think
tanks and the private sector.
Nigel Caldwell is a Reader at Heriot-Wa School of Management and
Languages. He has worked at Bradford, Plymouth and Bath Universities.
Prior to his academic career, he worked at a leading UK automotive
manufacturer; gaining rst-hand experience of Japanese supply techniques
such as JIT, Kanban and Total Quality Management implementation. His
research today explores the elds of Operations and Supply Management.
Nigel publishes in journals such as International Journal of Operations &
Production Management and Industrial Marketing Management. He has gener-
ated research income approaching three quarters of a million pounds from
the UK Engineering and Physical Research Council.
Ross Curran is a PhD student at Heriot-Wa University, Edinburgh, where
he is an active member of the Intercultural Research Centre. His primary
research interests focus on improving volunteer management practises in
the third sector, while he has published papers exploring PPT in the devel-
oped world, and authenticity consumption at tourist sites in Japan. His PhD
thesis is concerned with fostering greater utilisation of the heritage inherent
in many third sector organisations.
Mike Danson is Professor of Enterprise Policy at Heriot-Wa University
and has worked widely on issues about urban and regional economic
development, island and rural economies and enterprises, demographic
change, volunteering, Gaelic, microbreweries and poverty. He has pub-
lished 13 edited books and over 200 papers. He has advised parliaments,
governments, and such organisations as the OECD, European Commission,
Scoish Enterprise. Mike was recently awarded the prize for the best book
Biographies ix
in regional studies and graduated with the rst DLi from the University
of the West of Scotland in 2012. He is Treasurer of the Academy of Social
Sciences.
Thomas Farrington is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Management
and Organisation at Heriot-Wa University. His research examines con-
temporary issues in business and management, with particular emphasis
on marketing and cultural authenticity; management practice and business
ethics; consumer identity and tourism; colonial legacies and intercultural
studies. Thomas has taught at South East European University in Tetovo
and at the University of Edinburgh, from which he received his doctorate,
and where he was Co-Director of the Scoish Universities’ International
Summer School. His work has most recently appeared in the Journal of
American Studies, Research in Hospitality Management, and the Journal of
Marketing Management.
Keith Gori is a doctoral researcher in the School of Management and
Languages at Heriot-Wa University. His doctoral research engages with
Consumer Culture Theory, identity and consumer narratives in the context
of the British Home Front during World War Two. More widely his research
interests lie in consumer and marketing history, the historical develop-
ment of thinking surrounding the social responsibilities of business, and
experiential marketing. He has presented both historical and contemporary
research outputs at international marketing conferences and has published
work in the Journal of Marketing Management. He teaches on global manage-
ment and marketing courses in the Department of Business Management.
Emma Hill is a PhD student in the department of Languages and Intercultural
Studies at Heriot-Wa University. She holds a BA(Hons) in English Studies
from the University of Exeter and a MA in English Literary Studies from the
University of York. Her current research is focused on the ways in which
migrant peoples make themselves heard in both the public and private
spheres, particularly with reference to the Somali population in Glasgow.
More generally, her interests include topics concerning migration, identity,
memory, place and text.
Christian König is a PhD student in the School of Management and
Languages at Heriot-Wa University, Edinburgh. He is an active member
of the Logistics Research Centre and his primary research interests focus
on the outsourcing strategies of focal rms and the continuous develop-
ment of service providers. In his doctoral thesis, he investigates the role of
Research Methods for Business & Managementx
systems integrators in the logistics industry using an exploratory approach
Christian received an MSc. in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
with distinction from Heriot-Wa University in Edinburgh in 2012.
Sean Lochrie is a PhD student at Heriot-Wa University, Edinburgh, where
he is an active member of the Intercultural Research Centre. His primary
research interest focuses on the creation of custodianship behaviours within
World Heritage Site management. Sean received an MRes in Business and
Management (2012) and a BA Hons in Management and Tourism (2011),
both from The University of Strathclyde. Recent publications have explored
taverns, inns and economic development in the American West, and stew-
ardship in World Heritage Site management. Sean also teaches on the busi-
ness research methods course in the Department of Business Management
at Heriot-Wa University.
Robert MacIntosh is Professor of Strategy and Head of the School of
Management and Languages at Heriot-Wa University. He trained as an
engineer and has worked at the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde.
His research on the ways in which top teams develop strategy and on
organizational change has been published in a wide range of outlets. He has
a long-standing interest in research methods for business and management
studies and has published on the relevance of management research using
methods that include ethnography and action research. He has consulted
extensively with public and private sector organizations and sits on the
board of the charity Turning Point Scotland.
Andrew MacLaren is Programme Director of the MSc in International
Fashion Marketing in the Department of Business Management, Heriot-
Wa University. His PhD explored business elites in the international hotel
industry and his current research remains focussed on service products,
informed by literature relevant to leadership, entrepreneurship and con-
sumption. With diverse research links across luxury fashion, aviation and
the hotel industry, his outlook is international and he works closely with
industry throughout Europe, North America, the Middle East, India and
China. He has published widely in the eld on multiple topics, contributing
in the domains of theory, method and industry practice and he continues
to work towards interdisciplinary collaborations that engage with multiple
elds of research through his extensive industry network.
Biographies xi
Gavin Maclean is a PhD Student in the School of Management and Languages
at Heriot-Wa University. His PhD thesis examines the work of professional
musicians in terms of labour process theory and Pierre Bourdieu’s theory
of practice. More widely he is interested in sociological study of work and
employment and ‘symbolic’ forms of work, particularly cultural produc-
tion, public sector work and multilingualism in the workplace. He teaches
on Human Resource and Critical Approaches to Management courses.
Kevin O’Gorman is Professor of Management and Business History and
Head of Business Management in the School of Languages and Management
in Heriot-Wa University, Edinburgh. He trained in Glasgow, Salamanca
and Rome as a philosopher, theologian and historian. His research interests
have a dual focus: origins, history and cultural practices of hospitality, and
philosophical, ethical and cultural underpinnings of contemporary manage-
ment practices. Using a wide range of methodological approaches he has
published over 80 journal articles, books, chapters, and conference papers
in business and management.
Angeliki Papachroni is a Research Associate in the School of Management
and Languages at Heriot-Wa University. Her research focuses on issues
around strategy implementation, organizational change, paradox manage-
ment, innovation processes and organizational tensions. She holds a PhD on
organizational ambidexterity from Warwick Business School exploring how
organizations manage the conicting demands of encouraging innovation
and maintaining focus, a challenging topic with important strategic and
organizational implications. Angeliki has co-authored a number of strategic
teaching case studies including “Strategic Leadership and Innovation at
Apple Inc” which won the ECCH/Case Centre overall prize for 2013.
Rodrigo Perez Vega is an Assistant Professor in Marketing in the School of
Management and Languages at Heriot-Wa University Dubai Campus. His
research interests are around digital marketing, social media, and consumer
behaviour online. He has experience doing qualitative (i.e. interviews, con-
tent analysis) and quantitative (i.e. experiments and multivariate testing)
research in online environments. Rodrigo received an MRes in Management
(2011) by investigating the incidence of positive and negative incidence of
electronic word-of-mouth on Twier; he also has an MSc in Strategic Project
Management (2011) and a BA Hons in Marketing (2006). Prior to his PhD,
Rodrigo had marketing experience in several digital marketing and brand
management roles within FMCG and service industries.
Research Methods for Business & Managementxii
Catherine Porter is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Accountancy,
Economics and Finance at Heriot-Wa University. In the past she has been a
British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, and also worked for the public sector
in the UK Department for International Development. She is an economist,
specialising in the economics of developing countries, with a particular
focus on Africa. She has been involved in the design and eldwork of sev-
eral large-scale quantitative surveys in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam.
Her research involves the statistical analysis of such quantitative surveys to
answer questions around the measurement of poverty, and the eectiveness
of policies that aim to reduce poverty.
James Richards is an Associate Professor in Human Resource Management
in the School of Languages and Management in Heriot-Wa University,
and an Academic Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and
Development. James has published research in human resource manage-
ment journals, edited book collections and consultancy based reports. James’
research interests are grounded in industrial sociology and employment
relations. Early research projects looked at employee use of social media
for misbehaviour and resistance. His more recent research looks at hidden
disabilities in the workplace and he is currently working on a range of in-
work poverty projects. James is the Research Ethics Ocer for the School of
Management & Languages.
John Sanders is an Associate Professor in Management in the School of
Management and Languages at Heriot-Wa University. He teaches strategic
management courses to both undergraduate and post-graduate students.
In addition, he teaches a small business management course to nal year
undergraduate students. Strategic t within a university seing was the
subject of his PhD. His past research eorts have focused on Internet por-
tals, website quality, social networks and the market reach of rural small
rms in Scotland.
Katherine Sang is an Associate Professor of Management in the Department
of Business Management. Using feminist theory, her research examines how
gender inequality is maintained in male dominated professions, includ-
ing the creative industries and academia. In addition. Kate is researching
gender and in-work poverty and supervising PhDs exploring organisational
culture, gender and behaviour change. She is the Postgraduate Research
Coordinator for Business Management, as well as serving on the University
Undergraduate Studies Commiee and Equality and Diversity Advisory
Biographies xiii
Group. She chairs the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association UK &
Ireland, and coordinates (along with Dr Rebecca Finkel) Scoish Feminist
Academics.
Rafał Sitko is a Ph.D. student in Business and Management at Heriot-Wa
University with research interests primarily in diversity management and
inclusion. His work focuses on explaining intersections of privilege and
oppression in a workplace and their eects on migrants’ work experience.
Rafał received an MSc in International Human Resource Management and
Employment Relations from Queen Mary, University of London (2012) and
a BA in Psychology and Management (2011) from University of Bradford.
During student exchange programs Rafal also studied Employment
Relations at Hosei University in Tokyo (2010) and Business Administration
at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (2009).
Babak Taheri is Programme Director for the suite of MSc Marketing
Management Programmes in the School of Management and Languages,
Heriot-Wa University. His main research interests are in the areas of the
application of multivariate methods in management, consumer behaviour,
heritage marketing management, and experiential marketing. Prior to joining
Heriot-Wa University, he was Lecturer in Durham University and a teach-
ing fellow in Strathclyde Business School. His recent work has appeared in
Tourism Management, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Journal
of Marketing Management, Consumption, Markets & Culture and Advances in
Consumer Research. He is also Deputy Chair of heritage marketing special
interest group in the Academy of Marketing, UK.
Vera Tens is currently a PhD student in the Department of Business
Management at Heriot-Wa University, Edinburgh. She has an engineering
degree from a German university specialising in wood science and technol-
ogy. She worked in the German timber industry for several years before
coming to Edinburgh to do an MBA at Edinburgh Napier University. Before
joining Heriot-Wa’s PhD programme she worked for a family-owned
Scoish company, which raised the interest in doing a PhD in the eld of
family rms. Her current research interest is future family generations in
SMEs, using a stakeholder theory perspective.
Alastair Watson is an Assistant Professor with the School of Management
and Languages, Heriot-Wa University Dubai where his primary research
interest is the commitment and motivation of sta in the UK hospitality
industry, with a contextual application of Goman’s theory of Total
Institutions. Alastair’s work is driven by his active industry experience as a
senior operational manager and recruiter for a branded organisation. Other
projects include spirituality and commitment, and further understanding
people’s desire, as opposed to their need, to work.
Nikolaos Valantasis-Kanellos is a PhD student in the School of Management
and Languages at Heriot-Wa University, Edinburgh. His research draws
upon contemporary developments in operations management, and the value
creation within business networks. He currently researches the formation of
ports’ operations strategy in the era of servitisation with a particular focus
on UK container ports and the emerging trend of Port-centric-logistics.
Nikolaos received an MSc in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
from Heriot-Wa University (with distinction) and a BA in Economic and
Regional Development from the Panteion University, Athens.
Lakshman Wimalasena is an Assistant Professor of Management, in the
School of Management and Languages, Heriot-Wa University and obtained
his PhD in Management also from Herito-Wa University. He is a graduate
in human resource management (HRM) and also holds an MBA (with merit)
and a postgraduate diploma in social research methods (with distinction).
His main research interests are meaning of work (MoW), agential reexivity
and habitus. His doctoral study explores the MoW within a postcolonial
society – Sri Lanka. This study which develops a new integrated framework
to the study of MoW, also extends the applicability of realist reexive theory
and contributes to the ongoing debate ‘can reexivity and habitus work in
tandem’.
xv
Preface
After many years of working with undergraduate, postgraduate and research
students we recognise only too well the struggles that they often experience
wrestling with the somewhat strange and seemingly obtuse language used
to describe research philosophy. We once experienced similar diculties
and empathise with the confusion and lack of condence that ows from
being unclear whether you have really understood terms such as methodol-
ogy, ontology or epistemology. We set out to produce a text that dealt with two
problems. The rst was to provide something that guides novice research-
ers through the whole process from identifying a topic to the writing up of
ndings via engagement with the literature and a brief overview of both
qualitative and quantitative techniques. The second problem we wanted to
tackle related to what we often refer to as ‘the ologies’. Here we wanted to
oer a structured approach to familiarising yourself with the terminology
and to demonstrate how a nested set of descriptions builds towards a coher-
ent, comprehensive and consistent articulation of your research paradigm.
We are indebted to our colleagues for their help in delivering on the rst
of these two problems in the rst edition of the book. This was achieved at
a pace which seemed frankly ridiculous but which produced a remarkably
coherent guide for novice researchers. Despite positive feedback on many
aspects of the rst edition from both students and colleagues, we were how-
ever convinced that we could improve in relation to ‘the ologies’.
For this reason, the second edition features some relatively minor
changes to many chapters and a complete rewrite of our account of research
philosophy. Central to the revised text is the methods map (see Chapter 4),
which sets out a logical process for researchers to articulate their position
in relation to ve key aspects of their research philosophy. We have road
tested this approach with many colleagues and students to ensure that it is
clear and concise. In addition, we have developed a free app to accompany
the book and this enables novice researcher to quickly develop a compre-
hensive justication of their particular research design in an interactive way.
We would acknowledge that the methods map makes some simplications
and would suggest that for all but the most sophisticated of purposes, this
is entirely appropriate. Indeed, if you are well enough versed in the philo-
sophical nuances of knowledge explored in the method map then you are
probably not part of our intended audience since you already possess the
skills, condence and capacity to articulate and defend the underpinning
philosophical assumptions of your research. For everyone else, we hope
that the second edition of Research Methods for Business and Management
helps demystify the dreaded ‘ologies’.
xvii
Introduction to the Second Edition
Outside the academic community, the terms thesis and dissertation are inter-
changeable. At Heriot-Wa and other universities in the United Kingdom,
the term thesis is usually associated with a PhD (doctoral degree), while
dissertation is the more common term for a substantial project submied as
part of a taught masters degree (e.g. MSc) or an undergraduate degree (e.g.
MA, BSc, BBA etc.).
Often thinking about, rather even than writing, your dissertation is the
most stressful part of your degree. It does not need to be. Doing your dis-
sertation is not unrelated to the rest of the writing you have done during
your time at university. Many of the skills you already possess can be
applied to the dissertation writing process. Identifying the purpose of your
project, expressing originality and signicance, seing appropriate goals,
and maintaining strong organization will help you to develop a high quality
dissertation.
Regardless of the information given in this book the most important
advice is to engage with your supervisors! Be sure to speak with them
throughout the process of writing your dissertation. Be clear about goals
and deadlines. When you meet, have questions prepared and make sure
you understand their directions. Be proactive about solving problems,
rather than withdrawing. Take notes and use the time wisely.
Dissertations have always played a signicant role in the awarding of
a degree. Originally universities were established with advanced degrees
being oered in the vocations of medicine, law, and theology. Over time,
the universities have adapted to accommodate changing economic and
social structures and demand for skills. Indeed, Whitehead (1932, p. 138f) in
an essay welcoming the opening of the Harvard Business School observed,
“The universities are schools of education and schools of research. But
the primary reason for their existence is not to be found either in the
mere knowledge conveyed to the students or in the mere opportunities
for research aorded to the members of the faculty… The justication
for a university is that it preserves the connection between knowledge
and the zest for life, by uniting the young and the old in the imaginative
consideration of learning…”
Research Methods for Business & Managementxviii
When the Harvard Business School began, the university was the learn-
ing environment and some compromise had been reached between the
idealist liberal vision and what Newman (1907, p. 156) called “the disciples
of a low utilitarianism”. John Paul II (2000, p. 3) elaborates the mission of
a university and states that it is the duty of academics and researchers to
make “universities ‘cultural laboratories’ in which theology, philosophy,
human sciences and natural sciences may engage in constructive dialogue”
and observes that in universities “there is an increased tendency to reduce
the horizon of knowledge to what can be measured and to ignore any ques-
tion touching on the ultimate meaning of reality.” There is considerable
scope within a university business school for a genuine plurality of views
and disagreement leading to constructive dialogue and contributing to the
enhancement of scholarship.
Once, science, engineering and technology, medicine, the law, and divin-
ity were rmly established and a balance between the vocational and the
liberal was pursued. Today, some courses may need to recapture some of
the values and characteristics of the traditional higher vocations, however,
unfortunately, this is not always possible, so often contract trumps covenant
in a wide range of contemporary occupations. Far from the demise of the
middle class career predicted by some, professionalism and exibility are
highly desirable general features of graduateness; learning to learn and the
formation of capacities in general should take precedence over the acquisi-
tion of specic content. Imagination and creativeness must complement
exibility and cold hard knowledge as preparation for a world of rapid and
continuous change; it’s a question of balance.
In many sectors of our society, science is seen as being lile short of infal-
lible; anything else must be dismissed as fancy. Even in business journals
there is the tendency to trust the so-called hard facts of statistically analysed
quantitative data rather than the interpretive results that qualitative analy-
sis tends to produce. However, the physicist Richard Feynman warned his
students that when they did research, and before publishing their results,
they should think of every possible way in which they might be wrong;
whilst another physicist, Alan Lightman, explains the vital importance of
this self-questioning approach: “In science, as in other activities, there is a
tendency to nd what we’re looking for” (Lightman, 1996, p. 104. Feynman’s
comment is found on p106).
Introduction to the Second Edition xix
The ability to take an imaginative leap, beyond accepted scientic
dogma and the entrenched views of academic colleagues, disciplinary
boundaries, or even apparent common sense, has been at the heart of a
signicant number of scientic or technological advances in the last few
hundred years. For example, throughout most of the 20th century, in medi-
cal circles the conventional wisdom was gastric juice caused ulcers, until
a pioneering doctor infected himself with a bacterium thus proving that
conventional wisdom was incorrect and wining the Nobel Prize for medi-
cine (Van Der Weyden, Armstrong, & Gregory, 2005). In universities today,
ethical approval processes might challenge the wisdom, or at least the legal
probity, of infecting yourself or indeed others. Nevertheless, the undercur-
rent in any study of research methods is the slow realisation that everything
that we ‘know’, even in domains that appear to be based on objective fact
or cold hard logic can be questioned. As the physicist Max Planck said,
“New ideas are not generated by deduction, but by an artistically creative
imagination ... Science, like the humanities, like literature, is an aair of the
imagination”(McFague, 1982, p. 72).
Kevin O’Gorman & Robert MacIntosh
References
John Paul II. (2000). Jubilee Of University Professors: Address Of John Paul
II to University Professors of All Nations. Retrieved 06/07/14, from
hp://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/documents/
hf_jp-ii_spe_20000909_jubilteachers_en.html
Lightman, A. (1996). Dance for Two. London: Bloomsbury.
McFague, S. (1982). Metaphorical Theology: Models of God in Religious Language.
London: SCM Press.
Van Der Weyden, M. B., Armstrong, R. M., & Gregory, A. T. (2005). The 2005
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Medical Journal of Australia,
183(11/12), 612-614.
Whitehead, A. N. (1932). Aims of Education and Other Essays. London: Williams
& Norgate.
4 Mapping Research
Methods
Kevin O’Gorman and Robert MacIntosh
For no apparent reason, research philosophy tends to send dissertation
students into a mild panic. The befuddlement caused by a range of new
terminology relating to the philosophy of knowledge is unnecessary when
all that you are trying to achieve is some clarity over the status of any knowl-
edge claims you make in your study. Business and Management sits within
the broader context of the social sciences, and this chapter oers a guide to
the standard philosophical positions required to specify the particular form
of research you plan to undertake. Collectively, these positions will dene
what we refer to as a research paradigm (see Figure 4.1: Methods Map). For
us, a comprehensive articulation of a research design draws together ve
layers of interlocking choices that you, the researcher, should make when
specifying how you plan to execute your research. There is no single ‘right’
way to undertake research, but there are distinct traditions, each of which
tends to operate with its own, internally consistent, set of choices.
The Methods Map in Figure 4.1 oers a clear and structured approach
that will ensure that you can identify each of the choices you are making in
selecting your research design for your project. The process of developing
a research design begins with the location of your proposed work within
a particular research paradigm. Certain methods of data gathering and
analysis tend to follow from certain paradigms, although it is important to
notice that these implied pathways are not xed. What is truly important is
your ability to recognise and justify the interlocking choices which represent
your own research design. Later chapters will deconstruct and explain the
subsequent stages of the Map, namely those choices relating to both data
gathering and data analysis. The sections that follow in this chapter relate
to the starting point of the Methods Map, labelled ‘Research Paradigm.’ We
51
4
Mapping Research Methods
Template Analysis
Research Paradigm
Data Gathering
Data Analysis Approaches
Ontology
Epistemology
Methodology
Techniques
Deductive Inductive
Exploring rElationships: Correlation analysis;
Partial correlation analysis; Multiple
regression analysis; factor analysis
Interpretivist
Physical Artefacts
Comparing groups: t-test; ANOVA; MANOVA;
ANCOVA
Structural Equation Modelling
Thematic Analysis
Discourse Analysis
Hermeneutics
Grounded Theory
Positivist Critical
Realist
Action
Research
Big Data
Experiments
Surveys
Netnography
Interviews
Observation
Focus Groups
Audio Visual
Archives
Oral History
Ethnography
Objective Subjective
Quantitative Qualitative
Case Study
Figure 4.1: Methods Map
Research Methods for Business and Management52
shall rst consider the reasons for articulating a research philosophy, before
exploring objective and subjective ontologies, and the epistemological
positions known as positivism, critical realism, action research and inter-
pretivism. In passing, we will also look at rhetoric (the study of persuasive
language) and axiology (the study of value) as a means of rounding out
your understanding of some key phrases and concepts.
Whilst these concepts emanate from philosophy, it is not necessary to have
studied philosophy in order to make sense of the terminology. In essence,
the purpose of seing out your research philosophy is to help signal to other
researchers those claims you might make in your ndings, and the basis
on which you would make such claims. However, it is highly likely that
the same broad research question or objective could have been approached
using a very dierent style of research. All that you are required to do is
demonstrate that you engaged in a conscientious selection and defence of
what you deemed to be the most suitable approach, given your chosen topic.
Historically, certain paradigms may have been used for certain topics and
methods, yet it would be foolhardy to dismiss the potential for innovation
to be found in combining ideas and mixing methods.
Some of the ideas that follow may at rst seem challenging and dicult
to work with. As a health warning, we would acknowledge that we have
made some simplifying assumptions in the approach that we have set out.
Those well versed in the philosophy of knowledge may take issue with
some aspects of our presentation here. However, we are condent that the
structured approach we are proposing will suce for the vast majority of
individuals tasked with articulating a methods statement. Let’s rst look at
why this is important.
Articulating a research philosophy
When undertaking any research project it is considered good practice to
clearly outline the basis for claiming to know what we know. Kuhn (1971)
set in place the tradition that once a paradigm is chosen it is advisable for
the researcher to remain within it. For the purposes of this discussion, a
paradigm, as dened by Harré (1987, p. 3), is considered to be “a combi-
nation of a metaphysical theory about the nature of the objects in a certain
eld of interest and a consequential method which is tailor-made to acquire
knowledge of those objects.” At the philosophical level it could be perceived
as dualistic if the researcher were to argue simultaneously that they believe
53
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Mapping Research Methods
that social reality is separate and external, whilst maintaining that reality is
merely a construction of the mind. Hussey and Hussey (1997) emphasise the
importance of researchers recognising and understanding their philosophi-
cal orientations within the paradigm adopted for a specic project.
In 1781 Immanuel Kant published his Critique of Pure Reason (1780/1998)
and caused a revolution in philosophy. Kant argued that there are ways of
knowing about the world other than through direct observation, and that
people use these all the time. This proposition provided the platform for
the launch of many of the ideas associated with research philosophy. Kant’s
view proposes considering not how our representations may necessarily
conform to objects as such, but rather how objects may necessarily conform
to our representations.
Prior to this, objects were considered in isolation, separate, and unchange-
able. Kant theorised that things could be considered as objects of experi-
ence: phenomena, rather than things in themselves (specied negatively as
unknown beyond our experience): noumena. Therefore, if human faculties
of representation are used to study these phenomena, a priori conceptuali-
sations can be envisaged. An ‘a priori’ judgement is based on theory and
argument rather than veried by experiment. For example, if we had only
ever had the experience of siing in chairs before and we saw a stool for
the rst time, rather than categorise it as unknown, we could conceptualise
a priori that it would be possible to sit on a stool just like we do on a chair.
Kant also showed how awless logic can prove the existence of God and at
the same time prove that there is no God at all; illustrating that opposing
philosophies can be equally logical and at the same time contradictory and
incomplete: a salient warning to any emergent researcher defending their
philosophical stance.
The roots of research method
Gorgias, a fth century Sophist, is remembered for his provocative apho-
risms. The most notable is his treatise On What is Not:
“Firstly ... nothing exists;
secondly ... even if anything exists, it is incomprehensible by man;
thirdly .., even if anything is comprehensible, it is guaranteed to be inex-
pressible and incommunicable to one’s neighbour”
(Gorgias 500 BC, quoted in Arist. De Melisso Xenophane Gorgia 980a: 19–20)
Research Methods for Business and Management54
Gorgias’ treatise On What is Not is just a rhetorical parody of philological and
rhetorical philosophical doctrines. The aphorism deals with ontology, epis-
temology and introduces the problem of rhetoric and language in a world
where communication was shifting from the spoken to the wrien word.
Plato (Phaedrus) in 320 BC argued that writing would deteriorate memory,
wreak havoc on logical constructions, and create an articial reality. Yet
despite being wrien 2500 years ago, Gorgias’ writing neatly summarises
the central concepts of this chapter. Before exploring some philosophical
concepts (rst relating to ontology), Table 4.1 gives the meaning of some
commonly used terms:
Table 4.1: Some commonly used terms. Adapted from O’Gorman (2008)
Term Meaning
Axiology The branch of philosophy dealing with values, as those of ethics, aesthetics,
or religion.
Deduction a priori argument: deriving a proof or using evidence to test a hypotheses.
Epistemology The branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of knowledge, its
presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity.
The study of knowledge
Theories of what constitutes knowledge and understanding of
phenomena
How we explain ourselves as knowers, how we arrive at our beliefs
Induction a posteriori argument, deriving knowledge from empirical investigation.
Metaphysics The branch of philosophy concerned with the ultimate nature of existence.
Ontology The branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being and of reality.
Methodology The study and application of methods.
Paradigm Theoretical framework, within which research is conducted.
Philosophy The academic discipline concerned with making explicit the nature and
signicance of ordinary and scientic beliefs, and with investigating the
intelligibility of concepts by means of rational argument concerning their
presuppositions, implications, and interrelationships; in particular, the
rational investigation of the nature and structure of reality (metaphysics),
the resources and limits of knowledge (epistemology), the principles and
import of moral judgment (ethics), and the relationship between language
and reality (semantics).
Reexivity Critical self-awareness and examination of beliefs and knowledge-claims.
Need for conscious, reexive thinking about our own thinking, and
critique our pre-understandings, and their eect on our research
Rhetoric The art or study of using language eectively and persuasively.
In particular the style of speaking or writing, especially the language of a
particular subject as used in the dissertation process
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Mapping Research Methods
Ontology
As the Methods Map shows, the rst stage in formulating your research
design is to articulate your ontology. In the most basic sense this means that
you must articulate whether you see the world as objective or subjective.
We’ll dene both terms in a moment but rst let’s look at ontology. The term
ontology is rarely used beyond academic institutions and it can be dicult
to know how to use it condently. As with much specialist terminology,
a brief look at the linguistic components that form the word can help to
unlock a more practical meaning. If you can understand and use the word
‘biology’ (where ‘bios’ means life) then you can do the same with ontology
and epistemology. Biology is the study of life since the sux (‘-logy’) is
derived from ‘logos’, which in this context can be taken to mean the ‘study
of.’ The word ‘Ontos,’ which provides the root ‘onto-‘, at its most basic
means ‘being’ or ‘reality’. Therefore ontology is the study of being or reality.
In lay terms it may be considered as how we view reality.
Outside of science ction and fantasy novels, we might think of there
being only one reality, in which we live, breathe, and die. Yet the afore-
mentioned ctions are often inspired by the thought experiments through
which philosophers and theorists question our understanding of reality.
The most well-known of these is the brain-in-a-vat scenario, whereby a
scientist stimulates a disembodied brain with such precision as to simulate
an entirely realistic participation in what we call reality. Does the brain
experience reality, or is the experience of the scientist somehow more real?
In more contemporary terms, popular stories such as the Narnia novels or
the Matrix lm series are based on the premise of stepping into a dierent
reality. In ontological terms, the philosophical notion of solipsism asserts
that since we cannot know other minds, the world and those other minds do
not exist. Similarly, a nihilist ontology contends that knowledge is impos-
sible, and that there is no such thing as reality. A rather more mundane
example of an altered reality relates to illness or pain: do we experience the
world in the same way when we are suering? For example, if you were
asked to remove a hot dish from an oven, you would instinctively look to
put a protective glove on your hand to perform this task. You would do
this because you would expect to feel pain in your hand if you aempted
to remove the dish without protection. The pain would be caused by your
nervous system reacting to the heat of the dish so as to protect the skin
from being burned. If you were to remove the hot dish with an unprotected
Research Methods for Business and Management56
hand the pain you would suer as your skin burned would subconsciously
be associated with the dish itself: the dish is painful. However ontologi-
cally we can understand that the dish itself is simply hot and the body’s
reaction to the heat is to suer pain. Therefore, the interaction between the
two things (hand and dish) has ‘created’ or precipitated pain to be felt, but
we can ask ourselves: is the pain real? Can it be objectively measured? If it
is just our body trying to send a message to our conscious brain that lift-
ing the hot dish with unprotected hands is a bad idea, then surely we can
override this message and lift the dish anyway? Pain is possibly the most
visceral sensation we experience as human beings but the important word
to remember here, as with Husserl’s work on phenomenology, is experience.
The theoretical reality of pain, as simply a sensory message to our brains to
protect us from harm, versus our experiential reality of pain, as something
that is unpleasant and negative, presents the dierent ways in which ontol-
ogy can be considered. Despite knowing that viruses don’t intend to cause
their hosts any pain, don’t we sometimes feel a grudge against the natural
world when we get ill? Can suering even exist without being experienced?
As shown by the Methods Map, ontological assumptions can be broadly
divided into two fundamental congurations: objective and subjective.
Although these terms are far more commonly used, it may be helpful to
develop clear distinctions relating to their use in the context of research.
An objective perspective might be thought of as looking at reality as made
up of solid objects that can be measured and tested, and which exist even
when we are not directly perceiving or experiencing them. In particular, an
objective perspective would allow that something as simple as measuring
your height would result in the same answer, regardless of who does the
measuring. In more complex seings, we might aspire that our objectivity
allows us to make the judgements necessary to decide upon the guilt of a
defendant in a court of law. In contrast, a subjective perspective looks at
reality as made up of the perceptions and interactions of living subjects.
For instance, our response to a particular piece of music varies such that
we might nd something delightful whilst our friends nd the same piece
entirely unlistenable.
Having established these basic denitions, we can return to the process
of researching organizational seings. For instance, take the claim that hap-
pier workers are more productive. We might hold the belief that the lives of
others continue independently of our perceptions, and so we can measure
57
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Mapping Research Methods
and test their actions and reactions whilst maintaining our role as detached
observers. This belief, typical of enquiries into the physical sciences, would
be described as an objective ontology. An objective ontology thus assumes
that reality exists independently of our comprehension of it, and that it is
possible to establish and explain universal principles and facts through
robust, replicable methods. At this point, you may nd yourself agreeing
that this seems rather obvious and sensible. Alternatively, you may feel a
sense of discomfort at what you perceive to be an oversimplication of the
myriad factors that might inuence happiness, productivity, motivation,
duty or fear, each of which may be inuencing how productive an indi-
vidual worker is in a given circumstance on a given day.
In contrast to an objective stance, a subjective ontology assumes that our
perceptions are what shape reality, and this is a belief expressed in large
sections (though not all) of the social sciences. A subjective ontology sees
facts as culturally and historically located, and therefore subject to the vari-
able behaviours, aitudes, experiences, and interpretations what we call
the subjectivity – of both the observer and the observed. This is sometimes
known as a relativist ontology, although this is arguably misleading, as one
can appreciate the power of subjectivity without necessarily being a moral
or cultural relativist. Subjective ontology approaches reality as multiple in
the sense that each individual experiences their place and time in the world
in a dierent way. For example, the subjectivity of an African-American
woman in 1960s Mississippi is likely to be entirely dierent from that of
a Native American Indian male in the same time and place (although both
are likely to have their experiences shaped by severe oppression). You
may already notice a problem with the subjective approach, namely that it
seems to require a certain objectivity to make a universal claim for a subjec-
tive ontology. This is not a problem that we shall aempt to solve here. A
simpler criticism of an entirely subjective ontology would be to say that
there are things in the world with observable characteristics, without which
they would be something else. For instance, zinc, or ethanol. A subjective
approach might counter this by saying that these characteristics are only
observable relative to a particular vocabulary, set of assumptions, and
people who subscribe to them; that scientic knowledge is widely accepted
as true does not mean that it is universally accepted.
Questions of objective and subjective ontologies continue to fuel
philosophical debate, perhaps because they are largely irresolvable. Our
Research Methods for Business and Management58
perceptions of ourselves and of others are mutually inuential. Like it or
not, when interacting with other people we are constantly making subcon-
scious comparisons and judgements, to ascertain our position within that
interaction. We may change the way in which we act if we know that we are
investigating something, or indeed our actions are being investigated. At
the same time, it seems there is an observable reality that exists outside of
human interactions, the properties of which can be measured and predicted.
As such, it should be understood that objective and subjective ontologies are
not mutually exclusive, and many researchers delineate their positions in
relation to these poles, somewhere between the two.
If this leaves you uncertain as to which way of studying reality is the
most appropriate for your research, then take some comfort from the fact
that this is a healthy sign that you are engaging with an exploration of the
underlying philosophy of your research. At the beginning of any project
(and often towards the end!) this uncertainty is entirely warranted, and
very much desirable. Ontological questions require careful and continuous
answering, and there will always be a valid argument against any position
you select. The one certainty is that considerations of how the researcher and
the act of researching might unwiingly impact upon that being researched
must be expressed, in order for the study to demonstrate an appropriate
depth of investigation. In academic research (particularly within the social
sciences) asserting our ontological position is crucial, since this sets out the
basis on which we view reality. All that we can really hope for is a general
consensus within the parameters deemed acceptable by a given community,
and it is therefore important to recognise that the somewhat manufactured
and exaggerated opposition between objective and subjective ontologies
acts as a catalyst for critical thinking.
Following the Methods Map from our considerations of ontology, we
now encounter and must make decisions about our epistemology.
Epistemology
Epistemology concerns the way in which we obtain valid knowledge. The
Methods Map illustrates four epistemological positions: positivist, critical
realist, action research, and interpretivist. Although there are others, articu-
lating your epistemological position in relation to these four allows you to
dene your own ideas about the way in which we decide what constitutes
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Mapping Research Methods
reliable knowledge. For instance, if you are asked for the time, and guess it
correctly without a watch, is this reliable knowledge? Or should this guess
be veried somehow? Would hearing a time announcement on the radio
represent conrmation, or would you be unseled to know that digital
transmission of radio signals introduces a small delay? The importance
placed on the veried accuracy of the time would depend upon the context
in which you need conrmation, e.g. you may want to catch a connecting
ight, announce the turning of a new calendar year on live television or you
may want to measure the heartbeat of a newborn baby.
The term epistemology can be deconstructed in a similar way to ontol-
ogy. ‘Episteme’ means knowledge and therefore, epistemology is the study
of knowledge. By being clear about the way in which we might obtain valid
knowledge we are in turn being clear about the nature of any knowledge
claim that we might make. For instance, the observation that happier work-
ers tend to be more productive is a form of knowledge claim. In everyday
life we might engage in a debate as to the validity of such a claim, citing
other factors that might inuence happiness, productivity, or the relation-
ship between the two. However, as researchers, we are required to draw
connections between the assumptions we hold about reality (ontology) and
the ways in which we might develop valid knowledge (epistemology).
Again referring to the Methods Map we can see a ‘positivist’ epistemol-
ogy on one side, opposed to an ‘interpretivist’ epistemology on the other.
These are placed in similar opposition to objective and subjective ontolo-
gies, as representing two dierent ways of thinking about knowledge. As
implied by the vertical ow of the Map, an objective ontology is typically
aligned with what is called a positivist (sometimes ‘foundationalist’) epis-
temological approach to knowledge, while subjectivity tends to be driven
by an interpretivist (sometimes ‘constructivist’, although there are dier-
ences) epistemology. Again, these are specialist terms that can seem dicult
to grasp, but a useful shorthand is to think of positivists positing and
explaining principles, and interpretivists interpreting and understanding
relationships. As we progress, it will be become clear that a research study
expressing an objective ontology with a positivist epistemological approach
might naturally be aligned with a quantitative methodology, whilst a study
expressing a subjective ontology with an interpretivist approach tends to be
aligned with a qualitative methodology.
Research Methods for Business and Management60
Positivist paradigm Interpretivist paradigm
Focus on facts
Look for causality and
fundamental laws
Reduce phenomena to
simplest elements
Formulate hypotheses and
test them
Operationalise concepts so
that they can be measured
Take large samples
Focus on meaning(s)
Try to understand what is
happening
Look at the totality of each
situation
Develop ideas through induction
from the data
dierent views of phenomena
Small samples investigated in
depth over time
Figure 4.2: Epistemologies with Positive and Interpretivist inuence
There now follows a presentation of four dierent epistemologies in
social science research: Positivism, Critical Realism, Action Research and
Interpretivism. There are many others being applied within social sciences
research, however, particularly when it comes to undergraduate and post-
graduate research, a solid understanding of these epistemologies is neces-
sary to make an informed decision about the approach you will take.
Positivism
Positivism is most commonly associated with the natural sciences, but there
are advocates who suggest that social science would benet from adopting
the same basic assumptions (see Donaldson, 1996). Three assertions are
associated with positivism:
Methodological procedures of natural science may be directly adapted to
the study of human social actions;
The outcomes of research in the social sciences will take the form of
causal laws; and
The results of social research are value-free.
Comte (1830/1853) rst used the term positivism; he had envisaged that soci-
ology was to be the apex of positivism. This view is summarised in Giddens
(1974, p. 1) as “the science of man completed the historical evolution of the
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Mapping Research Methods
hierarchy of the scientic disciplines, and for the rst time made possible an
adequate understanding of that evolution”. Durkheim (1895/1964) was to
defend Comte’s (1830/1853) traditional version of positivism, which accen-
tuated the supremacy of logic and scientic knowledge as the paradigm
of all valid knowledge; the solution to the major practical problems facing
mankind. Durkheim (1895/1964) understood sociology to be the objective
study of ‘social facts’; and that social facts were to be considered as things.
However positivism was used in a derogatory sense by the Frankfurt School
(typical examples can be seen in Horkheimer and Adorno (1944/1988),
Marcuse (1967), Adorno (1969)), in the 1960s, to describe the assertions of
Popper (1957) that science oers the best method in the pursuit of objective
knowledge. Popper (1957) describes the scientic method as the “method of
bold conjectures (hypotheses) and ingenious and severe aempts to refute
them (falsication)” (cited in Checkland 1999, p. 57). Popper (1957) argues
that sociologists must adopt the procedural rules, standards and intellectual
conventions of science and embrace the point that there are no such things
as ‘truth’ other than conjectural, relative truth.
The popularity of positivism in business research is probably because the
data used is highly specic and precise. Babbie (1998) argues the place for
positivism in social research and points out the interacting links between
positivism and phenomenology by noting that “every observation is
qualitative at the outset” (Babbie, 1998, p. 36), whilst observing the reason
“qualitative data seem richer in meaning is partly a function of ambiguity”
(Babbie, 1998, p. 37). In social science, unlike physical sciences, paradigms
cannot be true or false, as ways of looking; they can only be more or less
useful.
Critical realism
Critical realism is a relatively recently articulated epistemological posi-
tion, derived from both objective and subjective ontologies, and chiey
espoused by Roy Bhaskar (1978; 1989; 1993). Critical realists assume that
there is a reality that exists independently of human perceptions, but that
our access to this reality is always limited and skewed by those perceptions.
Our perceptions are both physically limited (e.g. we can’t see into the past
or future) and ideologically limited (e.g. we are biased by personal experi-
ences). Although the critical realist makes assumptions about the world in
order to produce knowledge from observations grounded in reality, it is
Research Methods for Business and Management62
accepted that these assumptions only create a temporary reality, which may
well take on a dierent appearance from another perspective. Put simply,
this position is ‘realist’ in believing in an external reality, but ‘critical’ of our
ability to access and measure it.
Building on this, critical realists hold that although it is not possible to
objectively verify universal characteristics of reality, humans nevertheless
behave as if this were possible. We interpret and act upon situations as
though causal relationships (e.g. if I drop this then it will fall) exist inde-
pendently of our perceptions and actions. This view assumes that the power
of perceptions can and does shape the world, but at the same time sees the
eect of that shaping as the construction of often reliable and measurable
circumstances. For example, when I strike a match, I assume that the ame
will not be so large as to engulf and ignite the rest of the box. Furthermore,
even when performing the same action with the unshakeable belief that the
striking of a single match would ignite the box, this wouldn’t happen unless
an unusual set of physical conditions were met to make it so. Our percep-
tions inform and guide our decision-making, yet many scientic theories
have physical consequences independent of human experience.
This layering of reality is expressed by critical realists as stratication,
which is a principal feature of this perspective, although there is arguably
some ambiguity in the application of the term. Briey, stratied reality con-
sists of a hierarchy of overlapping layers, with lower (or deeper, invisible)
levels causing eects at higher (more easily perceived) levels. We might
consider this as the distinction between what we can see happening, the
events leading up to this, and the various forces that may or may not come
into play at a given moment. This uniquely structured interaction of layers
produces a particular outcome that cannot be reduced to its constituent
parts, but nevertheless can be observed at the higher levels of stratication.
This becomes more complicated when we start to think about social
reality, such as the case of happy workers. Phenomena such as happiness
are subject to similarly layered distinctions based on what we assume to
be reality, and again tempered by our limited ability to perceive what is
occurring. Critical realists are particularly interested in the dierences and
interactions between the individual and society, and between individual
actions and social structures. Although this is not the space to fully explore
the stratication of reality, nor the ‘emergent’ powers stemming from its
layers, it might be helpful to consider the stratication of this small sec-
63
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Mapping Research Methods
tion of the chapter. We (the author and imagined reader) acknowledge that
there is something called ‘critical realism’ in the real world, but we can only
gain access to this through language. We can read the words on these pages
without having access to the process of writing, the chemical properties of
ink, the historical chance and measurement that led to the printed word,
or to the discussions that preceded the decision to write. The way in which
we read these words is likely to be altered if, for instance, we have had
an unfortunate prior experience with a spontaneously combusting box of
matches. Such idiosyncratic elements of human experience and biography
come together to create a perspective on critical realism that is completely
individual, yet refers to something that certainly seems to exist.
Even if this all seems quite remarkably unrealistic in its apprehension of
what we understand as reality, it is hoped that this brief summation of criti-
cal realism will both prompt further investigation and generate searching
questions about the nature of one’s philosophical inquiries.
Action research
Far from being a single approach, Action Research is an umbrella term used
to cover a wide range of styles of research unied by a shared emphasis on
eecting change to the situation being studied. One of the most commonly
used denitions of action research is that it involves working with organiza-
tional members on maers of genuine concern to them and over which they
have a genuine need to take action (Eden and Huxham, 2001). It is therefore
a highly applied and engaged form of research which sees managers and
researchers collaborate to foster change.
Kurt Lewin introduced the term in 1946 to denote a new approach to
social research that combined generation of theory with changing a social
system through the researcher acting on or in the social system. He suggested
that action research was concerned with two rather dierent questions “the
study of general laws and the diagnosis of a specic situation” (Lewin, 1946:
36). Lewin’s early Action Research projects concerned critical social prob-
lems, like racism and anti-Semitism, since he believed traditional science
was failing to make an adequate response to such problems. Sadly, Lewin
only wrote 22 pages on the topic of Action Research (Peters and Robinson,
1984), and died suddenly in 1947, aged 57 years old. Nevertheless, Action
Research evolved in two related but distinct traditions. In the US, with the
help of Douglas McGregor, Lewin set up the Center for Group Dynamics at
Research Methods for Business and Management64
MIT and then at the University of Michigan. Working with Lewin’s guid-
ance Cook, Chein and Harding outlined four varieties of action research
– diagnostic, participant, empirical and experimental. (see Cunningham,
1993:15). In the UK, a group of war-time researchers who later formed the
Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London, developed their own
variant of Action Research using a steering commiee to develop a strategy
for carrying out the research and implementing the ndings in a particular
context. Researchers would gather background data, perform analysis
and implement changes, often in the rst instance using a test area of the
organization.
Today there are a number of variants of Action Research in use (see Reason
and Bradbury, 2001 for a comprehensive overview). Some approaches to
Action Research use “survey feedback” where systematic feedback of data
from, for example, a company-wide employee aitude survey would be
used to bring about change through group discussion and involvement.
However, Action Research is more commonly associated with qualitative
data. Indeed, MacIntosh and Bonnet (2007 p. 321) note:
“Qualitative research is sometimes styled as the poor cousin of ‘real
science’… if this is the case, action research is the poor cousin’s downtrodden
neighbour”.
The validity of Action Research is often challenged precisely because it
places heavy emphasis on developing a deep understanding of one specic
seing, thus critics claim it has a limited capacity to develop generalizable
knowledge. Despite its popularity as a method, only a handful of empirical
publications in the most prestigious journals feature Action Research in
their method statements. Researchers considering Action Research there-
fore face two challenges. First, they must nd a host organization willing
to (a) participate in the research and (b) commied to taking action on the
basis of the research conducted. Second, they may face greater diculty in
publishing their ndings in mainstream peer-reviewed journals.
Interpretivism
Interpretivism is often considered the generic paradigm of the social sci-
ences and was developed in reaction to the dominance of positivism in the
19th and 20th centuries. Interpretivism identies that there are fundamental
dierences between the natural and human sciences and these distinctions
stemmed from the dierent aims – explanation versus understanding.
65
4
Mapping Research Methods
Weber (1924), a key proponent of this paradigm, argued that the social sci-
ences seek to ‘understand’ social phenomena in terms of ‘meaningful’ cat-
egories of human experience and therefore, the ‘causal-functional’ approach
of the natural sciences is not applicable in social inquiry. Weber (1924)
recognised the nature of ‘subjectivity’ in studying humans, and noted that
whilst physical systems cannot react to predictions made about them, social
systems can. He pointed out that the ‘self-consciousness’ of human beings
and the ‘freedom of choice’, which that consciousness entails, implies that
an observer can never obtain an up-to-date account of the subject’s state of
mind, which would be correct for the agent to accept. Hence in the interpre-
tivist tradition, the social scientist can only reveal ‘trends’ rather than ‘laws’.
Weber’s interpretive social science, based on the ‘aribution of meaning’,
is closely related to Husserl’s (1950/1964) work on phenomenology. The
basic premise of the interpretivist paradigm is that unlike the physical sci-
ences, which deal with objects external to the researcher, the social sciences
deal with action and behaviour generated from within the human mind.
There is a clear interrelationship between investigators and the investigated,
researcher and the researched. Verication of what actually exists in the
social and human world depends on the researcher’s interpretation; the
researchers’ beliefs regarding the metaphysical realm could inuence their
interpretation of the physical realm.
In essence, the interpretive paradigm takes into account the multiple
realities which are inevitably revealed by the perspectives of dierent
individual(s), the context of the phenomenon under investigation, the con-
textual understanding and interpretation of the collected data and the nature
and depth of the researcher’s involvement. Broadly speaking, interpretivism
allows the focus to be xed on understanding what is happening in a given
context rather than just measuring it (Paon, 1990; Klein & Myers, 1999).
A note on (research) paradigms
St Anselm, the 11th century philosopher and Archbishop of Canterbury,
wrote, “I do not seek to understand so that I may believe, but I believe so
that I may understand” (Anselm Proslogion 154-5). St Anselm asserts that
nothing is achieved or ascertained by merely speculating from the sidelines;
a certain level of commied involvement is necessary. Indeed, dierent
research vantage points would yield dierent types of understanding, whilst
Research Methods for Business and Management66
accentuating these diverse perspectives does not negate the existence of an
external reality. Hammersley (1992) referred to ‘subtle realism’; the accept-
ance that the social world does exist independently of individual subjective
understanding, although highlighting that the social world is regulated
by normative expectations and shared understandings. The theory of the
independent existence of the social world was established by Aristotle (circa
350BC) when he argued that something exists apart from the concrete thing:
“If, on the one hand, there is nothing apart from individual beings, and
the individuals are innite in number, how is it possible to get knowledge of
the innite individuals? For all things that we know, we know in so far as
they have some unity and identity, and in so far as some aribute belongs to
them universally. But if this is necessary, and there must be something apart
from the individuals, it will be necessary that something exists apart from the
concrete thing” (Aristotle Metaphysics 999a 25 – 28).
At the ontological level, the scientic method has been questioned with
observations that there are many more social processes at play than are usu-
ally acknowledged in the development of new scientic ‘facts’ (Latour and
Woolgar, 1986). Also, developments in chaos theory and quantum physics
have led to an increasing number of studies questioning whether the natu-
ral world is as stable and law-like as had been previously supposed (see for
example Prigogine and Stengers, 1984). Businesses, events, organisations,
and even individuals do not, in themselves, possess meaning; meaning is
conferred on them by and via interaction. Interpretivism seeks to observe
the general trends and perceptions of a social phenomenon. Fundamentally,
qualitative methods are useful for unravelling and understanding what lies
behind any phenomenon about which lile is known. Management is a
practice rather than a science and even proponents of the unity of science
(such as Popper (1957) who assumes that facts can be gathered in the social
sciences in much the same way as in natural sciences) have unfortunately
devoted lile aention to the particular problems of social science.
Recognition also needs to be given to the importance of being as objec-
tive and neutral as possible in the interpretation and presentation of the
research. Current thinking would consider it essential for a research project
to be framed within one philosophical paradigm, and to remain within it:
the philosophical paradigm and the basic research assumptions must be
compatible and clearly understood. Whilst mixed methods are increasingly
popular, we would contend that mixed philosophies are likely to be a recipe
67
4
Mapping Research Methods
for confusion. In summary, the research assumptions which relate to the
philosophical paradigm are:
Ontological issue (nature of reality);
Epistemological issue (relationship of the researcher to that being
researched);
Rhetorical issue (language selection in research); and
Axiological issue (role of values in a study).
We shall now turn to the eective use of language, before considering the
role of values in your research.
Rhetoric or the use of language in a dissertation
Rhetoric is the art or study of using language eectively and persuasively,
and within the context of the research process it normally applies to the
particular style of speaking or writing, especially the language of a particu-
lar subject. This section briey explores two aspects of rhetoric which are
central to the dissertation and underpinned by your research philosophy:
metadiscourse and authorial voice. You are more familiar with this subject
than you think. For a start we all use rhetoric every day to serve our agendas
in conversation with friends and family, at university or at work. A rhetorical
question is a question used in a context where the question in itself drives a
particular agenda without needing answered, for example if someone asked
you if you liked ice cream, your likely response would be yes but instead of
simply saying yes, you might choose to drive a persuasive rhetorical agenda
by responding with the rhetorical question, “Do sh live in water!?!”. By
responding in the form of a rhetorical question you are enforcing the idea
that someone shouldn’t have to ask if you like ice cream because everyone
likes ice cream.
Metadiscourse is a term for words used by an author to mark the direction
and purpose of a text. It refers to all those devices which you use to organ-
ise the text for the reader and can include textual as well as interpersonal
functions. It includes use of language, rst person pronouns, and evaluative
expressions. When you are writing your dissertation you should consider
the reader looking over your shoulder. You write to meet the reader’s needs
at the time, and you must always consider your hypothetical reader when
writing. In the case of this book the reader is multifaceted: students who are
Research Methods for Business and Management68
taught by the authors and other students; colleagues who also engage their
own students; the wider academic community who have an interest in the
subject; and there is always the possibility of other readers looking at the
content as an example of how to write a text book. In writing a dissertation
you must address your reader who is probably your marker too, whilst
proving you are making a contribution and demonstrating yourself as a
competent member of the academic discipline.
How you use aspects of metadiscourse will also help shape your autho-
rial voice – the way in which you write to dierentiate yourself from other
authors. This does not mean that as an author you have to write the same
way all the time, just as dierent social occasions require dierent dress
codes, dierent texts require dierent writing styles. A reective essay
would require a strong personal voice whereas a report or an exam would
require a more formal tone. This view of authorial voice also has close paral-
lels with a major tenet of post-structuralist thought. According to Foucault
(1981) people have, by their very nature, multiple instead of unitary person-
alities or subjectivities. The Russian literary and linguistics scholar Bakhtin
(1986) proposed the notion of heteroglossia, (from the Greek meaning many
tongues). All language is made up of words, phrases, and ideas in eect
borrowed from other authors and infused with their intentions; an author’s
voice is inevitably multiple, intertextual, and appropriate to the situation.
Most academic writers develop an autobiographical self, the identity they
bring with them to their writing.
The underpinning philosophy that informs the research design that you
adopt for your study will shape how you write your dissertation. If you
adopt an interpretivist stance then you might be more inclined to write in
a personal voice, using personal pronouns (if considered appropriate by
your supervisor) and the tone could highlight the evolving decision making
which took place during the research process. Whereas if you were positiv-
ist in your approach, your writing might more naturally take a more formal
tone, based on set denitions and with a rather impersonal voice. As has
been implicitly mentioned in this chapter, language itself is a construction
that we use to communicate our work and our ideas. Within the area you
are studying there will be prevailing assumptions relating to the meaning
of words and phrases and their appropriate uses. With the same precision
that you would seek to spell and arrange words appropriately, you must
endeavour to be aware of the meaning of the language you use to the par-
69
4
Mapping Research Methods
ticular literature space to which your dissertation will belong. For example,
you may intend to interview for your dissertation business owners who
could legitimately be described interchangeably as entrepreneurs, leaders and
managers. However, each of these three terms has a vast area of literature
that inform their meanings, and thus by using all three your metadiscourse
would be weakened, thereby jeopardising the strength and validity of your
conclusions. Your writing style and language choices will inuence your
marker, and should be appropriate to your academic community. Finally,
and most importantly, it should be readable. This might seem like an obvi-
ous thing to say but how often have we read academic papers that are full of
incomprehensible words and groaning under a writing style so impenetra-
ble that the text is rendered unreadable. Writing should use language that is
accessible to as many people as possible.
Axiological considerations
Axiology is the philosophical study of value, often seen as the collective
term for ethics and aesthetics; the two branches of philosophy that depend
on notions of value. This is distinct from Research Ethics which should
inform your data collection. Values here inform the bias, which you as an
individual bring to the research project. We all have biases; it is how we deal
with them or at the very least acknowledge them that is important.
One of the dening features of contemporary industrial society is post-
modernity and the development of reexivity or self-consciousness. Simply
put, reexivity is that stage beyond reection: reecting back on oneself.
Reexive modernity or postmodernity, and the vagaries of the post-modern
condition are virtually unavoidable in contemporary research within the
social sciences, which include business management. Personal subjective
experiences are often central to the choice of research path, and should not
go unacknowledged.
In social science research we deal with human interaction and feelings,
not the cold hard facts normally studied in the natural sciences and engi-
neering. This can present individuals in sensitive and demanding situations,
such as the complex dynamics studied in Alexanderet al. (2012), where the
subjective interpretation of the concept of bullying is dealt with among
organisational teams. In his address to the universities, Pope John Paul II
(2000, p.3) states that it is the duty of academics and researchers to make
Research Methods for Business and Management70
“universities ‘cultural laboratories’ in which theology, philosophy, human
sciences and natural sciences may engage in constructive dialogue” and
observes that in universities “there is an increased tendency to reduce the
horizon of knowledge to what can be measured and to ignore any question
touching on the ultimate meaning of reality.”
In the research process a positivist axiological approach would be a
value-free and unbiased process, whereas interpretivism could be more
value-laden and biased. That said we might also keep in mind the words
of Benedict XVI (2005, p.2) when he observes that today “we are building a
dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as denitive and
whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.” Now, it
seems likely that Benedict had his own bias when he said that, after all he
was a Cardinal at the time, and he made that speech to the other Cardinals
the day before he was elected Pope. Most texts are value-laden and have
inherent bias.
Assumption Question Positivism Critical Realism Action Research Interpretivist
Ontological What is the
nature of
reality?
Reality is
singular, set
apart from the
researcher
Reality is stratied
and engaged with
by the researcher
Reality is knowable
through interaction
with the specics of
a given situation
Reality is
multiple and
interpreted by
the researcher
Epistemo-
logical
How do
we obtain
knowledge
of that
reality?
Researcher is
independent
from that
being
researched
Interdependent
but analytically
distinct nature of
society, culture
(structure) and
individual (agency)
Researcher interacts
with what is being
researched with the
express intention
of changing the
situation
Researcher
interacts with
that being
researched
Rhetorical How is
language
used in the
research?
Formal
based on set
denitions;
impersonal
voice
Formal as well as
considers rst and
third person voice
Tends toward the
rst person voice
Informal
evolving
decisions;
personal voice
Axiological What is
the role of
values?
Value-free and
unbiased
Considers the
inuence of values
as experience
The values of the
researcher are
imposed through
the overt attempt
to eect a particular
kind of change
Value-laden
and biased
Figure 4.3: Research assumptions and positivistic and interpretivist paradigms. Adapted from
O’Gorman (2008)
71
4
Mapping Research Methods
Once you have formed your research paradigm, a further set of choices
can be made relating to the approach that you take to gathering your data.
As illustrated by the Methods Map, this involves the selection of a general
methodology, and specic techniques. Chapter 5 looks at case studies, and
Chapter 6 explores dierent sources of data. Chapter 7 oers a discussion of
qualitative data gathering techniques, while Chapter 8 looks at quantitative
data gathering techniques. Again, following the Map, you will then come
to select an appropriate approach to data analysis. These approaches are
broadly categorised as deductive, which typically works to analyse quan-
titative data, and inductive, which tends to be used to analyse qualitative
data. Chapters 8 and 10 provide the accompanying discussions on analys-
ing qualitative and quantitative data respectively.
Only since the era of the Enlightenment, and the rise of rationalism –
with its rigid view of a nature governed by intractable rules – has the writ-
ten word been straitjacketed by very clear ideas of just what is and is not
physically possible. Imagination and a refusal to take things at face value
play a big part in scientic understanding, research and discovery. For
instance the King James Bible, rst published in 1611, refers several times to
the unicorn, while dragons were often hunted in the Dark Ages. The abil-
ity to take an imaginative leap beyond accepted scientic dogma and the
entrenched views of academic colleagues, disciplinary boundaries or even
apparent common sense has been at the heart of a signicant number of
scientic or technological advances in the last few hundred years. For exam-
ple, throughout most of the 20th century, the conventional wisdom was
that peptic ulcers were caused by gastric juice. Only by a pioneering doctor
infecting himself with a bacterium (Helicobacter pylori) could he prove that
conventional wisdom was incorrect and win the Nobel Prize for medicine.
This is true even for advances that seem to be based on objective fact or cold
hard logic, as the physicist Max Planck said: “New ideas are not generated
by deduction, but by an artistically creative imagination ... Science, like
the humanities, like literature, is an aair of the imagination” (McFague
1982, p.75). After all, as Shakespeare’s Hamlet tells Horatio “There are more
things in heaven and earth, than are dreamt of in your philosophy” (Hamlet
Act 1 Scene v).
Research Methods for Business and Management72
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Research Methods
Business
Management
Second edition
for
&
GMS
Kevin O’Gorman
Robert MacIntosh
GMS
O’Gorman & MacIntosh
Research Methods for Business & Management
THE GLOBAL MANAGEMENT SERIES
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Goodfellow Publishers Limited
Oxford, UK.
www.goodfellowpublishers.com
“An invaluable guide to help you navigate one of the most difficult and intellectually challenging tasks in
business and management – writing a thesis or dissertation …an essential roadmap for anyone interested
in management research.”
Professor Roy Suddaby, Francis G. Winspear Chair of Business at University of Victoria, Canada
“A welcome addition to the literature on research methods, offering comprehensive coverage and
engaging with all the crucial questions …a core guide for students undertaking research projects and
dissertations.”
Professor Nic Beech, Dean of social Sciences, University of Dundee, Scotland
This updated and revised edition offers a comprehensive overview of key research methods and the main choices
available when undertaking research in business and management. New to this edition is a comprehensive, practical
guide on how to write your dissertation – invaluable to all. Central to this edition is the ‘methods map’ (see chapter
4), which sets out a logical process for researchers to articulate their position in relation to five key aspects of their
research philosophy. In addition, the editors have developed a free app to accompany the book and this enables novice
researchers to quickly develop a comprehensive justification of their particular research design in an interactive way.
Taking you through the entire life cycle of a dissertation, the text covers everything from the purposes of research,
using literature; quantitative and qualitative research; managing your research; using data and research ethics. Individual
chapters are allied to a powerful critical commentary showing how some of the world’s leading scholars have used
particular methods in their own research.
Carefully constructed to achieve the greatest clarity for the student the text gives the reader:
In-text exercises and end of chapter review questions with solutions In text exercises and end of chapter review
questions with ‘solutions’ on the book’s website see www.goodfellowpublishers.com/resmethodsforbusiness
Exemplar papers identified and discussed for each of the main methods
Directed further reading for developing understanding in key areas
It is an essential learning aid for upper level undergraduates and postgraduates across a wide range of business and
management courses and it comes with a range of supported learning materials including tutorials, lecture slides and
tutor notes.
The Global Management Series is a complete portfolio of global business and management texts that successfully
meets the needs of students on international undergraduate and postgraduate business and management degree
courses. Each book is a clear, concise and practical and has a thorough pedagogic structure to suit a 12 week
semester. The series offers a flexible ‘pick and mix’ choice of downloadable e-chapters, so that users can select and
build learning materials tailored to their specific needs. See www.goodfellowpublishers.com/GMS for details.
Each book in the series is edited and contributed to by a team of experienced academics based in the UK, Dubai and
Malaysia. It provides an essential learning aid for students across a wide range of business and management courses
and an invaluable teaching tool for lecturers and academics.
Edited by:
Kevin O’Gorman is Professor of Management and Business History and Head of Business Management in the School
of Languages and Management in Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. Using a wide range of methodological approaches
he has published over 80 journal articles, books, chapters, and conference papers in business and management studies.
Robert MacIntosh is Professor of Strategy and Head of the School of Management and Languages at Heriot-Watt
University. He trained as an engineer and has worked at the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde. His research on the
ways in which top teams develop strategy and on organizational change has been published in a wide range of outlets.

Comments

November 6, 2017
Liverpool John Moores University
I would certainly recommend this to all of my PhD students
 
February 23, 2017
Birmingham City University
i have used as my guidance for my research . It is simple and easy to follow. ighy recomanded
 
February 6, 2017
University of Kelaniya
This is really useful as it provides valuable information on writing a dissertation.
 
Project
Having examined hundreds of methodology chapters we came to the conclusion that students needed a clear, interactive and simple guide to basic concepts relating to philosophy of knowledge. The Meth…" [more]
Project
The project is in two parts the first explores how volunteers and managed and motivated whilst the second investigates how management takes place in low authority environments.
Project
Developing and continuing previous work exploring the evolution of the commercial hospitality industry this research is aimed at investigating the underpinning motivations that lead to the concepti…" [more]
Project
This is part of a wider project exploring the philosophical, ethical and cultural underpinnings of contemporary management practices
Chapter
Full-text available
September 2015
    Chapter
    September 2016
      An essential text for accounting and finance students undertaking research for the first time. It demystifies the research process by providing the novice researcher with a must-have guide through all of the stages of the research process, from identifying a research topic to the finished project.
      Book
      Full-text available
      September 2014
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