research strategies

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Research Strategies : 

Research Strategies By Lucell Larawan

Nature of business research : 

Nature of business research Business research does not exist in a bubble, hermetically sealed off from the social sciences and the various intellectual allegiances that their practitioners hold. Academic researchers and management consultants place a different emphasis on theory and practice.

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Backed by bits and pieces of theory, the consultants contributes to practice, whereas the scholar contributes to theory supported by fragments of practice. The process of knowledge production falls into two types: Mode 1: Knowledge production is driven primarily by an academic agenda. Knowledge build up in a linear fashion. Only limited emphasis is placed on the practical dissemination of knowledge; the academic community is the most important audience or consumer of knowledge

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Mode 2: Draws attention to the role of transdisciplinarity in research. Findings are closely related to context and may not be easily replicated. Knowledge is less of a linear process. Production of knowledge is not confined to academic institutions. Production of knowledge is not confined to academic institutions; instead, it involves academics, policy-makers, and practitioners. Knowledge is disseminated more rapidly.

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Questions about the nature and purpose of management research: What is the aim and function of business research? Is it conducted primarily in order to find ways of improving organizational performance through increased effectiveness and efficiency? Or is it mainly about increasing our understanding of how organizations work, and their impact on individuals and on society?

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The previous questions are the subject of considerable debate about the nature and status of business research. Being aware of them is important in understanding what influences your choice of topic and how you address it.

Theory and Research : 

Theory and Research Issues: First, there is a question of what form of theory one is talking about. Second, whether data are collected to test or build theories.

What type of theory? : 

What type of theory? The common meaning of “theory” is as an explanation of observed regularities, to explain, for example, why women and ethnic minorities are under-represented in higher-paid managerial positions Theories of middle range (example) vs grand theories (operate at a more abstract level)

Deductive and inductive theory : 

Deductive and inductive theory Deductive theory—the researcher, on the basis of what is known about a particular domain and of theoretical considerations in relation to that domain, deduces a hypothesis that must then be subjected to empirical scrutiny.

Process of deduction : 

Process of deduction Theory Hypothesis Data Collection Findings Hypothesis confirmed or rejected Revision of theory

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With the inductive stance, theory is the outcome of research. In other words, the process of induction involves drawing generalizable inferences out of observations.

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Deduction entails a process in which: With induction, it is reversed: Theory Observations/findings Theory Observations/findings

Epistemological considerations : 

Epistemological considerations An epistimological issue concerns with what is (or should be) regarded as acceptable knowledge in a discipline.

A natural science epistemology: positivism : 

A natural science epistemology: positivism Positivism—is an epistemological position that advocates the application of the methods of the natural sciences to the study of social reality and beyond. Principles of positivism: 1) Only phenomena and hence knowledge confirmed by the senses can genuinely be warranted as knowledge (phenomenalism).

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2) The purpose of theory is to generate hypotheses that can be tested and that will thereby allow explanations of laws to be assessed (deductivism). 3) Knowledge is arrived through the gathering of facts that provide the basis for laws (the principle of inductivism). 4) Science must (and presumably can) be conducted in a way that is value-free (that is, objective). 5) There is a clear distinction between scientific statements and normative statements and a belief that the former are the true domain of the scientist.

What is realism? : 

What is realism? Realism shares two features with positivism: a belief that the natural and the social sciences can and should apply the same kinds of approach to the collection of data and to explanation, and a commitment to the view that there is an external reality to which scientists direct their attention (that is, there is a reality separate from our descriptions of it).

Interpretivism : 

Interpretivism Interpretivism—is taken to denote an alternative to the positivist orthodoxy that has held sway for decades. It is predicated upon the view that a strategy is required that respects the differences between people and the objects of the natural sciences and therefore requires the social scientist to grasp the subjective meaning of social action.

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Its intellectual heritage includes: Weber’s notion of Verstehen; the hemeneutic-phenomenological tradition; and symbolic interactionalism.

Ontological considerations : 

Ontological considerations Questions of social ontology are concerned with the nature of social entities. The central point of orientation here is the question of whether social entities can and should be considered objective entities that have a reality external to social actors, or whether they can and should be considered social constructions built up from the perceptions and actions of social actors (objectivism vs constructionism).

Objectivism vs constructionism : 

Objectivism vs constructionism Objectivism is an ontological position that asserts that social phenomena and their meanings have an existence that is independent of social actors. It implies that social phenomena and the categories that we use in everyday discourse have an existence that is independent or separate from actors.

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Constructionism is an ontological position (also referred to as constructivism) which asserts that social phenomena and their meanings are continually being accomplished by social actors. It implies that social phenomena and categories are not only produced through social interaction but that they are in a constant state of revision.

Relationship of epistemology and ontology : 

Relationship of epistemology and ontology Ontological assumptions and commitments will feed into the ways in which research questions are formulated and research is carried out. A key influence on understanding the epistemological and ontological foundations of business research has been Burrell and Morgan’s four paradigms.

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A paradigm is a cluster of beliefs and dictates which for scientists in a particular discipline influence what should be studied.

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Paradigms can be represented as either: 1) objectivist 2) subjectivist Paradigms also make assumptions about function and purpose of scientific research which can be: 1) regulatory 2) radical

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Four paradigmatic positions for the study of organizations: 1) functionalist—the dominant framework for the study of organizations based on problem-solving orientation which leads to rational explanation 2) interpretative—questions whether organizations exist in any real sense beyond the conceptions of social actors, so understanding must be based on the experience of those who work within them.

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3) radical humanist– sees an organization as a social arrangement from which individuals need to be emancipated and research as guided by the need for change 4) radical structuralist—views the organization as a product of structural power relationships, which results in conflict

Research strategy: quantitative and qualitative : 

Research strategy: quantitative and qualitative

Factors that influence choice of methods in research : 

Factors that influence choice of methods in research

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…cont.

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