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Writing the Review of Related Literature : 

Writing the Review of Related Literature Lucell Larawan

Study Questions: : 

Study Questions: At the end of this lesson, you are expected to: 1) define a review of related literature and discuss its importance; 2) identify the sources of literature review and how to evaluate them; 3) discuss guidelines literature review; 4) discuss how to structure your literature review; 5) get tips on what to do and what not to do in writing the literature review.

Study Question 1: definition and importance : 

Study Question 1: definition and importance A literature review is literally that, a re-view (or look again) at what has already been written about a subject. It involves the comprehensive documentation of published and unpublished materials relevant to the research problem. The literature review is where you demonstrate that you un- derstand that which has been done before, and can point to where this existing research is deficient in some ways.

Study Question 1: definition and importance : 

Study Question 1: definition and importance The review of related literature is important because: It serves as a source of research problems which can be gathered from existing studies. It ensures that important variables relevant to the study are not overlooked. It establishes the need/significance/justification in conducting the present study. It provides a historical background/perspective about the study. It serves as a basis for the development of the theoretical/conceptual framework. It avoids the unnecessary duplication of selecting a research problem which has been made before.

Study Question 1: definition and importance : 

Study Question 1: definition and importance 7) It helps to give more focus, direction, and clarity to the study. 8) It familiarizes the reader with previous studies done related to the present topic.

Study Question 1: definition and importance : 

Study Question 1: definition and importance Strauss and Corbin list several ways of using the literature: Concepts from the literature can be a source for making comparisons in data you have collected. To be familiar with the relevant literature can enhance sensitivity to subtle nuances in data. Published descriptive materials can give accurate descriptions of reality helpful for understanding your own material. Existing philosophical and theoretical knowledge can inspire you and give you an orientation in the field and material. The literature can be a secondary source of data—for example, quotations from interviews in articles may complement your own materials.

Study Question 1: definition and importance : 

Study Question 1: definition and importance 6) The literature can be used beforehand to formulate questions that help you as a springboard in early interviews and observations. 7) The literature may stimulate questions while you analyze your material. 8) Areas for theoretical sampling can be suggested by the literature. 9) The literature can be used for confirming findings or can be overcome by your findings.

Study Question 2: sources of literature and how to evaluate them : 

Study Question 2: sources of literature and how to evaluate them Relevant sources of literature to review may be obtained from published and unpublished works in libraries and offices. You may refer to indexes or catalogues that compile lists of journals, periodicals, books, magazines and the like. Technology makes them easy to access through databases, websites , CD-ROM and OPAC’s. There are four questions to ask in getting the sources of literature: Is it relevant? Does it come from a reputable source? Does it present a compelling theoretical argument, and/or rigorous empirical results? What were the motives of the author?

Study Question 2: sources of literature and how to evaluate them : 

Study Question 2: sources of literature and how to evaluate them Different types of literature can be grouped according to intended audience. It can be academic literature, teaching literature, practitioner-oriented literature, and the internet. Evaluating the literature can be done with the following “quality” criteria: Provenance: What are the author’s credentials, qualifications and affiliations? Are the ideas supported by evidence? Objectivity: Is the author’s views unbiased or prejudiced? Are contrary views and data considered in the piece or is certain pertinent information ignored to prove the author’s view?

Study Question 2: sources of literature and how to evaluate them : 

Study Question 2: sources of literature and how to evaluate them 3) Persuasiveness: Which of the author’s arguments are the most and least compelling? The peer review process should identify incorrect arguments, but subsequent work may challenge some assumptions and may invalidate the arguments on which the work is based. 4) Value: Are the author’s conclusions convincing? Does the work ultimately contribute in any significant way to an understanding of the subject?

Study Question 3: Guidelines in literature review : 

Study Question 3: Guidelines in literature review How to turn the literature search into the literature review: This is not simply a description of what has been published on your topic. You need to evaluate and discuss what you read in terms of what you are intending to do, pointing out a) the relevance, b) strengths, and c) weaknesses of the publication, both in its own right and for your purposes

Study Question 3: Guidelines in literature review : 

Study Question 3: Guidelines in literature review When examining your concepts in writing, you will need to address what readers will be looking for: What do we know about the key concepts or variables? What are their characteristics? What the potential relationships between concepts (researchable hypothesis)? What existing theories explain the relationships between these key concepts or variables?

Study Question 3: Guidelines in literature review : 

Study Question 3: Guidelines in literature review What research has been conducted to explore all of the above? Where is this research inconsistent, are variables always viewed as the same thing, or do some authors call different things by the same name, or the same thing by different names? What are the overriding characteristics of the concepts? Is empirical evidence available to confirm the existence of the concepts, and the relationships between them? If so, how have researchers defined and measured key concepts? Is empirical evidence consistent, inconclusive, contradictory or limited in some way? If so, why?

Study Question 3: Guidelines in literature review : 

Study Question 3: Guidelines in literature review What methodologies have been used? Where have data been collected? Are these satisfactory? How are they similar to what you propse? How are they different? Are there views in the literature that need to be examined in more detail? Why study (further) the research problem? What contribution can the present study be expected to make?

Study Question 4: How to structure your literature review : 

Study Question 4: How to structure your literature review Your literature review should be structured based on your research objectives. There are three to structure it: Chronological structure—may be useful if you wish to explore the evolution of a particular theory or body of know- ledge

Study Question 4: How to structure your literature review : 

Study Question 4: How to structure your literature review The following is an example of a chronological structure:

Study Question 4: How to structure your literature review : 

Study Question 4: How to structure your literature review 2) Conceptual and thematic structures—organizing into meaningful themes; organized around a topic under investigation The following gives an example:

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Study Question 4: How to structure your literature review : 

Study Question 4: How to structure your literature review 3) Methodological structure—differs from the above in that the focus usually is not the content of the material but rather the “methods” of the researcher Unless absolutely necessary, use this structure only as a sub-structure for a conceptual or thematically organized literature review. In this way, previous research examining the concepts in your conceptual model can be organized according to the methods that were used to conduct the research, but the overall arguments remain centered around the relationships between the constructs of interest.

Study Question 4: How to structure your literature review : 

Study Question 4: How to structure your literature review Reviewing the methodological literature in your area of research should help you to answer such questions as: What are the methodological traditions, alternatives, or controversies here? Are there any contradictory ways of using the methods, which you could take as a starting point?

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review Your literature review should aim to critically evaluate previous research, comparing and contrasting what has been done and what hasn’t, showing relationships between published works, and demonstrating how this relates to our research. Some final thoughts: The most important stage in a literature review is starting. Do not spend an age agonizing over where to start; just start somewhere. The second most important stage of the literature review is stopping. Eventually you will need to decide that it is time to move into the next stage of your research.

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review The aims of your research are important; they help focus and direct your reading. Reviewing academic literature is an iterative process; you will need to read papers several times, each time focusing on different aspects of the paper. You will use the literature to explain what is known in the field in which you are working and what is not known. What is not known forms part of the rationale for your thesis and motivates the work that you will be doing in your research project.

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review Critiquing literature is not the same as criticizing it, and in fact authors often critique their own work when they discuss the limitations of their research. Your literature can be organized in several ways, although thematic organization is often used.

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review Some things to avoid: Using only those papers that support your view. Trying to read everything. Reading without writing. What not to do: Leave out any important publications on your topic Discuss central ideas without citing or referencing whose ideas they are Be boring or tedious or pedantic Believe everything you read and reproduce it uncritically Use pretentious language or jargon

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review Denyer and Tranfield argue that researchers in management and organization studies have a significant opportunity to evaluate and learn from many other fields that have developed an evidence-based approach using systematic review as a key technique. Systematic review– is a specific methodology that locates existing studies, selects and evaluates contributions, analyses and synthesizes data, and reports the evidence in such a way that allows reasonably clear conclusions to be reached about what is and is not known. This should not be regarded as a literature review in the traditional sense, but as self-contained research project in itself that explores a clearly specified question, usually derived from a policy or practice problem, using existing studies.

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review The core principles traditionally applied to a standard systematic review are expected to be replicable, exclusive, aggregative, and algorithmic. Replicable—systematic reviews have been developed to synthesize research according to an explicit and reproducible methodology Exclusive—requires that if systematic reviews are to inform policy, practice, and future research, they should synthesize the best evidence available; validity is governed by the extent to which its design and conduct are likely to prevent systematic errors, or bias.

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review The hierarchy of evidence in medical science (Davies, Nutley and Smith, 1999:11)

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review Aggregative—alongside systematic review, statistical meta-analysis has become a preferred approach to research synthesis; a meta-analysis extracts and aggregates data from separate studies to increase the effective sample size, in order to calculate an overall effect size for an intervention Algorithmic—systematic reviews tend to focus on questions relating to the effectiveness of interventions; provide a comparison of two or more alternative treatments to identify which is the most effective.

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review Methodical challenges of traditional core principles of systematic review: Reviewing in management and organizational studies is particularly challenging due to the fragmented nature of the field. Management research is a nascent field still developing in terms of agenda and focus. Many reviews have been framed to answer theoretical questions for academics and do not address the problems that managers face in their work roles.

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review In answer to the challenges of the methodical principles of systematic review, Denyer and Tranfield propose that reviews be tested for their transparency, inclusivity, explanatory, and hueristic nature. Transparency—contends that the reasons for documenting the review methods is not to achieve replication or eradication of bias but rather to aid transparency; three aspects of transparency: 1) reviewers must be open and explicit about the processes and methods employed in the review 2) presentation of the findings of the review in such a way that there are clear links between the evidence found and the reviewer’s conclusions and recommendations

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review 3) the reviewer must clarify the assumptions underpinning the review and engaging in a mindful questioning of a priori beliefs regarding the scope and implications of relevant research. Reviewers make explicit their value stance towards the aspect of the social world they are studying. Inclusivity—systematic reviewers in the field of organization and management are likely to encounter difficulties in appraising the quality of information sources because of little uniformity in methods of data collection and analysis, failure of materials to detailedly report methods, non-identical questions, and contexts. Instead of a hierarchy of evidence, articles can be based on “fit for purpose.”

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review Using the inclusivity criteria, the worth of the study can only be determined through the synthesis by evaluating each study’s contribution to theory building, prioritizing the vital evidence from primary studies as the original researcher’s interpretations and explanations, not just the results. Hence, the scope of the review, according to Pawson, should include a wide range of studies, research types and data forms to promote a full understanding of the phenomenon of interest. Reviewers are best advised to guard against using proxies for research quality such as the quality rating of journals as basis for exclusion. Devise quality checklists appropriate to the subfield, justify the reasons for inclusion/exclusion of studies, and apply the criteria to all relevant studies.

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review Explanatory—unlike aggregative synthesis which seeks to avoid or mitigate bias, interpretive and explanatory synthesis are “active” and “creative” methods that go beyond a descriptive reporting of evidence. Being explanatory as criteria in systematic review means the process is one of conceptual innovation and reinterpretation while attempting to preserve the original study’s integrity or wholeness. The synthesis involves the process of bringing the pieces of individual texts together to make a synergy. The review entails the systematic organization of the data into formats and allow summary. This body of evidence is then probed, sifted, coded, and cross-tabulated in numerous ways. Each relevant published article is discussed in terms of its contribution to the emerging theory.

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review Heuristic—will allude to what works, and to why or how the relation occurs and in what circumstances but is relatively abstract and is best regarded by practitioner as “design exemplar. A heuristic rule may help in solving problem but is not guaranteed to provide a detailed solution. Outputs of systematic review in management and organization studies are likely to be rules, suggestions, guides, or prototype protocols that may be useful in making progress toward a solution of a problem rather than providing a detailed solution to a specific problem Rather than presenting the truth in the form of valid evidence, managers may be presented with some “clues/ideas”, “tools”, and “methods” that may help to guide design for effective implementation

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review Applying the new principles, the following are the steps in systematic review: Step 1) Question formulation—establishes focus By clearly formulating the question, criteria for primary study inclusion in the review become clear. In doing this step, it is best to involve the stakeholders (consumers, experts and policy makers) in the development of review questions and procedures. Pawson’s (2006) realist approach requires the reviewers to determine (or infer) context, mechanism, and outcome configurations through comparing and contrasting interventions in different contexts. Such an approach has the advantage of including different types of information, such as case studies, so long as they provide some insight into what works, why, where, and when. Denyer et al (2008) develop this argument using “CIMO”

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review The table below is about constructing review questions using the CIMO logic:

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review Cont…

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review Step 2) Locating studies Systematic reviews aim to locate, select , and appraise as much as possible of the research relevant to the review questions. The methods used to find studies (database searches, searches of specialist bibliiographies, hand-searching of likely journals, and attempts to track down unpublished research) need to be reported in some detail. Step 3) Study selection and evaluation Following the requirement for transpa- rency, of process, systematic reviews use a set of explicit selection criteria to assess the relevance of each study found to see if it actually does address the review question.

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review General quality checklists such as those produced by the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (2008) may be used to evaluate studies. Different perspectives on research quality for subfields of management is also important to consider. By combining general quality criteria and guidance from key journals in the field, it is possiblle to create a bespoke and quality appraisal tool. If studies are excluded on the basis of quality, it is crucial for the reviewer to document and justify the reasons for this exclusion.

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review Step 4) Analysis and synthesis The aim of the analysis is to break down individual studies into constituent parts and describe how each relates to the other. The aim of synthesis is to make associations between the parts identified in individual studies. The first step of analysis is to extract and store information on data extraction forms for every study included in the review.

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review The following questions for extracting were adapted from Wallace and Wray (2006) and Solesbury (2001): What are the general details of the study—author, title, journal, date, language? What are you seeking to understand or decide by reading this? What type of study is this (philosophical/discursive/conceptual, literature review, survey, case study, evaluation, experiment/quasi-experiment, etc.)? What are the authors trying to achieve in writing this? What are the broad aims of the study? What are the study research questions and/or hypotheses?

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review 5) How is the study informed by, or linked to, an existing body of empirical and/or theoretical research? 6) In which contexts (country, sector and setting, etc.) and which people (age, sex, ethnicity, occupation, role, etc.) or organizations was the study conducted? 7) What are the methodology, research design, sample, and methods of data collection and analysis? 8) What are the key findings?

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review 9) How relevant is this to what we are seeking to understand or decide? 10) How reliable/convincing is it—how well-founded theoretically/empirically is this (regardless of method)? 11) How representative is this of the population/context that concerns us? 12) In conclusion, what use can I make of this?

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review At the end of the systematic review, full tabulation of all included studies is displayed, providing a comprehensive summary representation of the field of study. By cross tabulating the studies, key issues can be identified. The resulting body of evidence is then explored, cross-tabulated and analyzed while engaging in rigorous reflection of any values, beliefs, and perspectives that might impact the interpretation. In a quantitative synthesis, the reviewer might highlight both the regularities and discrepancies in the data, whereas, in a qualitative synthesis, the reviewer could explore analogous and different meanings of respondents across studies.

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review Step 5) Reporting and using the results A systematic review is structured in a similar manner to a report or empirical research. The introduction provides the review questions. The methodology provides precise details of how the review was conducted—the search strategy, the selection criteria, and the analysis and synthesis criteria. The findings and discussion section contains a summary of all the studies in terms of the data extracted from the studies such as the percentage of studies in the field that are philosophical/discursive/conceptual, literature reviews, surveys, case studies, evaluations, or experiments/quasi-experiments. Also this section specifies what is known and unknown about the questions addressed in the review.

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review The conclusion section provides a summary of the review, the limitations of the study, and recommendations for policy and practice, and future research needs. Reviewers are encouraged to think about whether or not there is sufficient evidence to provide clear guidelines for practice by asking these: 1) Will the practice improve outcomes? 2) Should the practice be abandoned in the light of the available evidence? 3) Are there trade-offs between known benefits and known adverse effects?

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review : 

Study Question 5: Tips on what to do in writing the literature review If the review provides insufficient evidence to provide clear guidelines, three questions are raised: Is the practice promising but requires further evaluation? Does a practice that has been shown not to have the effects expected from it require further attention? Is there reasonable evidence that practice is not effective?

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