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Description of Different Management Research Methods

Akademische Arbeit 2018 7 Seiten

BWL - Offline-Marketing und Online-Marketing

Leseprobe

Management Research Methodology

Research has been noted to be one of the most motivating features of any course since it offers an individual the ability of measuring one’s control as well as autonomy over the acquired knowledge. In simple terms, research can be defined as an enquiry and exploratory process, which comprises of distinct features ranging from systematic, ethical and even methodical. Consequently, research has been observed to offer opportunities to corroborate, discover, pursue and even elucidate novel aspects of the topic or subject an individual is interested in. In addition, research helps in solving practical problems as well as increasing knowledge.

Evidently, there are diverse types of research including explanatory, descriptive, analytical and predictive. Firstly, explanatory research takes place where few or no preceding studies exist; it comprises of case studies, observations and reviews. Descriptive research may be applied in identifying and classifying elements of features of the subject and its typical research techniques are used in collecting, analysing and summarising data (Walford, 2005). On the other side, analytical research extends the descriptive approach, comprising of a major feature of locating and identifying the distinct variable or factors involved. Lastly, predictive research aims at intelligently speculating on future possibilities on the basis of a close analysis of the available cause and effect evidence.

Basically, research can be approached in three main ways including; quantitative/qualitative, applied/basic and deductive/inductive. However, a research philosophy has the power of impacting on the methodology that is adopted for the research project (Flyvbjerg, 2006). In this sense, the term methodology has been described as the general approaches as well as perspectives the process of research as a whole, and comprises of issues such as the purpose of data collection, the collected data, the site of data collection, the manner by which it was collected and manner it was analysed. Thus, a research method includes tools such as questionnaires, interview checklists, data analysis software among others. The major research methodologies can be linked to positivistic and phenomenological positions of research or approaches. Positivistic approaches include surveys, experimental studies, longitudinal studies and cross-sectional studies while phenomenological include case studies, action research, participative enquiry, grounded theory, feminist perspectives and participant observation (Williams, 2007). Therefore, qualitative approach, this paper will describe case studies as a research methodology.

Case study has been defined by researchers as a phenomenon where a researcher deeply explores a program, process, people, an activity or event. In other words, case study enables the individual behind the study to closely examine the data bound by context (Walford, 2005). In addition, a case study requires time frame and can either be a single case or a case that is bound both by time as well as place. Mostly, this approach has been noted to involve the selection of a small geographical scale or a limited number of the people to act as the research subjects. Essentially, case study aims at investigating real-life phenomenon via a thorough analysis of the context of the limited number of conditions along with their relationships.

Notably, some case studies assume a deep longitudinal examination of a single event or case. In this case, this examination provides a methodical way of events observation, data collection, and information analysis alongside results reporting over a long time. The collected data via observations are then recorded in order to ascertain a child’s language development. In simple terms, it can be concluded that case studies are unique approaches of observing any natural trend that exists in a set of data.

Concerning the design of a case study, it remains evident that this method has been critiqued on the basis of its lack of heftiness as a major tool of research. Thus, formulating case study design remains to be highly significant. Researchers may acquire either a design of single- or multiple-case design, depending on the involved issues. According to diverse literature, in areas where there is absence of other cases that are available for replication the individual doing the research may adopt the single-case design (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004). On the contrary, single-case design has a drawback in the sense that it does not have the ability of providing a generalized conclusion, mostly in situations where the events are rare. Fortunately, this challenge can be overcome by triangulating the research with diverse methods so as to confirm the process’s validity.

On the other hand, multiple-case design may be adopted for real-life events that portray several sources of substantiation via replication instead of sampling logic. Multiple-case design aids at enhancing as well as supporting the preceding results by case replication through matching patterns, a technique that connects numerous data pieces from the same case to some hypothetical proposition. As a result, this phenomenon aids in raising the confidence level in terms of the strength of the approach (Nespor, 2000).

According to research, case study research method can be categorised in three, including, explanatory, descriptive along with exploratory (Williams, 2007). The first category; exploratory case studies are set in a manner to explore any observable fact found in the information that supplies the researcher with a point of interest. In this category, the researcher presents general questions that are geared at opening up the door for auxiliary assessment of the observed facts. Again, before the study questions and hypotheses have been proposed, earlier fieldworks as well as small-scale collection of data. Therefore, it remains possible and easy in crafting study framework.

The descriptive case studies on the other side are aimed at describing the natural facts that happen around the data in query, for example, the diverse strategies that have been applied by the reader and the manner by which the reader uses them. The researcher’s goal or objective remains to be describing the information as it happens. Several scholars have maintained that descriptive case studies may be in a form of narration (Nespor, 2000). However, there is a major challenge facing a descriptive case study, whereby the researcher has to start with a descriptive theory in aiding the description of the story or observable facts. In case this concept fails, there is always a likeness of lack of severity together with occurrence of problems during the project.

The last case study category, the so called explanatory case study refers to examination of data narrowly at a surface on top of deep level, so as to explain the facts that are evident in the data. In addition, these case studies may be set up for casual researches whereby pattern matching may be applied in investigating certain incidents in highly complicated as well as multivariate cases (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004). Notably, these stated multivariate cases and complex cases may be described by three deeply researched theories which include, a problem-solving theory, knowledge-driven together with a social-interaction theory (Lovell, 2003). Concerning knowledge-driven theory, it is understood that ultimate commercial products ground the results of ideas along with basic study discoveries. In contrast, products in this theory are mainly drawn from sources from the outside instead of being derived from the research. On the other hand, socio-interaction theory proposes that the overlying profession network will cause researchers as well as the users to frequently converse with one another. Moreover, other scholars have also proposed other categories of case studies such as interpretive and evaluative case studies.

However, a rich description of case study has to distinguish three main types that include intrinsic, instrumental and collective case studies. Intrinsic basically refers to internal, thus, in this type, the individual studying the information has to assess the case for its own good. Concerning the instrumental type of case study, the researcher aims at selecting a small group of subjects so as to assess a certain behavioural pattern, for instance, by observing the manner through which tertiary students prepare for examinations (Mingers, 2001). On the other side, collective case study assumes a situation where the individual behind the study synchronizes information from distinct sources, for example, from schools or individuals. Both instrumental and collective cases studies have the capacity of allowing the generalization of the results to a bigger population, an aspect that is not found in intrinsic case studies which only aims at solving specific individual problems.

Essentially, case study methodology has over the years proved to infer several advantages compared with many other research methods. First and foremost, data examination in case study method is time and again carried out within the context of its application. In other words, this means that it occurs in the situation where the activity has taken place (Zainal, 2007). Therefore, the individual behind the research has to deeply observe the topic within her environment so as to explore the strategies used by the reader. In this sense, the environment may include reading in classrooms or even leisure reading.

Another advantage of using case study method is that case studies allow for qualitative as well as quantitative data analyses. Arguably, these analyses are mainly fostered by variations on the bases of intrinsic, collective and instrumental approaches to case studies (Mingers, 2001). For example, some longitudinal research on individual subjects mainly depends on qualitative data that is obtained from journal writings that convey descriptive behavioural accounts. On the contrary, there are also a number of case studies that look numerical along with categorical reactions of the individual subjects.

Furthermore, apart from these detailed qualitative accounts helping in exploring or describing information in real-life environment, they have been realized to elucidate the intricacies of real life circumstances that may not have been captured via survey or experimental researches. For instance, a case study that involves the use of strategy reading by an individual subject, has the capacity of giving access to numerical information on the used strategies on top of the explaining the reasons behind the application of the strategy (Williams, 2007). Again, in this context, it may expound the manner by which the strategies were used in connection with other strategies. Evidently, since reading behaviours comprise of complex cognitive processes, every strategy of reading can never be assessed in solitary but instead in conjunction with the other set strategies.

In spite of the several advantages aforementioned, case study methodology has also been hit by some disadvantages. Critiques of this method have grounded their arguments on the lack of rigour by case studies (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004). Concerning this criticism, it is argued that in case studies, the researcher is always seen to be sloppy, not to mention that he/she allows ambiguous and predisposed opinions to steer the directions of his/her results as well as conclusions.

Again, a different disadvantage put forward by critiques concerning case studies is that they have been portrayed to present little foundation for scientific generalization, simply because they use limited number of subjects. In this case, they base their argument on that an individual cannot generalize something from a single case (Nespor, 2000).

The other disadvantage of case studies is that they are too long, very difficult to conduct and that they produce a huge documentation amount. A lot of time and a great deal of data have been experienced in several researches, particularly in case studies of ethnographic and longitudinal nature. As a result, there is always a great danger of misleading results especially at times when these huge data are not systematically managed and organized.

Case study methodology has, however, been observed to present distinct ethical issues that may have been overlooked over the years. In a case whereby this methodology involves collection of data via interviews or even other methods that include people, it is highly significant to treat the participants with a high degree of respect, care and dignity (Williams, 2007). Again, confidentiality has to be highly regarded and practised, in addition to protecting the identity of the individuals involved as well as the research locations, even though the anonymity obligation has always being in question.

Besides, during the investigation of an individual’s pedagogical practices or the curriculum, especially where the involved subjects are one’s colleagues or students, conscientious care has to be seriously taken. Clearly, since confidentiality may prove to be hard to maintain in day-to-day interactions and even location anonymity remains to be a virtual impracticality while distributing results, researchers can acquire advice of formal reviews from the ethics board before undertaking a case study (Nespor, 2000).

To sum up, as abovementioned, case studies remain to be highly useful in research since they enable individuals behind research to look at the information at the micro level. As one of the major alternatives to qualitative or quantitative research, case studies may become the major practical solution in circumstances where sample population has proved to be difficult in obtaining. Essentially, case study methodology has over the years proved to infer several advantages compared with many other research methods. First and foremost, data examination in case study method is time and again carried out within the context of its application. In other words, this means that it occurs in the situation where the activity has taken place. Another advantage of using case study method is that case studies allow for qualitative as well as quantitative data analyses. Arguably, these analyses are mainly fostered by variations on the bases of intrinsic, collective and instrumental approaches to case studies.

In spite of these several advantages aforementioned, case study methodology has also been hit by some disadvantages. Critiques of this method have grounded their arguments on the lack of rigour by case studies. Concerning this criticism, it is argued that in case studies, the researcher is always seen to be sloppy, not to mention that he/she allows ambiguous and predisposed opinions to steer the directions of his/her results as well as conclusions. Another disadvantage put forward by critiques of case studies is that they have been portrayed to present little foundation for scientific generalization, simply because they use limited number of subjects. In this case, they base their argument on that an individual cannot generalize something from a single case. The other disadvantage of case studies is that they are too long, very difficult to conduct and that they produce a huge documentation amount.

Case study methodology has, however, been observed to present distinct ethical issues that may have been overlooked over the years. In a case whereby this methodology involves collection of data via interviews or even other methods that include people, it is highly significant to treat the participants with a high degree of respect, care and dignity. Again, confidentiality has to be highly regarded and practised, in addition to protecting the identity of the individuals involved as well as the research locations, even though the anonymity obligation has always being in question.

Besides, during the investigation of an individual’s educational practices or the curriculum, especially where the involved subjects are one’s colleagues or students, conscientious care has to be seriously taken. Clearly, since confidentiality may prove to be hard to maintain in day-to-day interactions and even location anonymity remains to be a virtual impracticality while distributing results, researchers can acquire advice of formal reviews from the ethics board before undertaking a case study.

References

Flyvbjerg, B. (2006). Five misunderstandings about case-study research. Qualitative Inquiry, 12(2), 219-245. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1077800405284363

Johnson, R. B. & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2004). Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33(7), 14-26.

Lovell, G.I., (2006). Justice Excused: The Deployment Of Law In Everyday Political Encounters. Law & Society Review, 40 (2): 283-324 June.

Mingers, J. (2001). Combining IS research methods: Towards a pluralist methodology. Information Systems Research, 12(3), 240-259.

Nespor, J. (2000). Anonymity and place in qualitative inquiry. Qualitative Inquiry, 6(4), 546-569. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/107780040000600408

Walford, G. (2005). Research ethical guidelines and anonymity. International Journal of Research and Method in Education, 28(1), 83-93. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01406720500036786

Williams, C. 2007. Research Methods: Journal of Business & Economic Research, 5(3), 65-75

Zainal, Z. 2007. Case study as a research method. Jurnal Kemanusiaan bil.9. http://psyking.net/htmlobj-3837/case_study_as_a_research_method.pdf

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Details

Seiten
7
Jahr
2018
ISBN (eBook)
9783668732650
ISBN (Buch)
9783668732667
Dateigröße
462 KB
Sprache
Englisch
Katalognummer
v429527
Note
A
Schlagworte
Management Research Methods Marketing

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Titel: Description of Different Management Research Methods