Skip to main content

Über dieses Buch

The Palgrave Handbook of Research Design in Business and Managemen t uses a new state-of-the-art research design typology model to guide researchers in creating the blueprints for their experiments. By focusing on theory and cutting-edge empirical best-practices, this handbook utilizes visual techniques to appease all learning styles.



Research Design Guidelines


1. Why Practitioner-Scholars Need a Research Design Typology

The Palgrave Handbook of Research Design in Business and Management is a scholarly peer-reviewed, edited book. The book’s scope was designed-in through team selection and review processes. Experienced practitioner-scholars and subject-matter experts were selected from accredited universities and respected organizations around the world. Edited and peer-reviewed involved at least two scholars reviewing each chapter through a double-blind methodology, plus the editor also reviewing each chapter. All chapters were double-blind peer reviewed including those written by the editor. The assistant editor, associate editor, and the staff at Palgrave Macmillan as well as Newgen Knowledge Works also reviewed the content for grammar, format and writing-style suitability.

2. Articulating a Research Design Ideology

A simplified conceptual diagram was introduced in the previous chapter. Figure 2.1 illustrates the research design typology model, with ideology highlighted for discussion in this chapter.

3. Developing a Goal-Driven Research Strategy

The research design typology model was introduced in chapter 1, and the ideology layer was explained in chapter 2. The strategy layer of the research design typology will be discussed in this chapter (as highlighted in figure 3.1).

4. Matching Research Method with Ideology and Strategy

The research design typology model was introduced in chapter 1. The ideology and strategy layers were explained in chapter 2 and chapter 3, respectively. The method layer of the research design typology as highlighted in figure 4.1, will be examined in this chapter.

5. Selecting Research Techniques for a Method and Strategy

The research design typology model was introduced in chapter 1. The ideology strategy and method layers were explained in chapter 2, chapter 3, and chapter 4, respectively. The technique layer of the research design typology will be discussed in this chapter (highlighted in figure 5.1).

6. Design Issues in Cross-Cultural Research: Suggestions for Researchers

This chapter builds on the first five chapters in this handbook that explained the research design typology. The focus here is on design issues in cross-cultural research. This chapter is intended to serve as a guide for practitioners to apply and integrate the research design typology layers into a scholarly manuscript. In contrast to the broad scope of the first five chapters, this chapter concentrates on how to integrate specific components of the typology regardless of which ideology the researcher holds on the continuum (positivist, post-positivist, pragmatist, interpretivist, or constructivist).

7. Establishing Rationale and Significance of Research

This chapter builds on the first five chapters in this handbook that explained the research design typology. The focus here is on establishing rationale and significance of research. This chapter is intended to serve as a guide for practitioners to apply and integrate the research design typology layers into a scholarly manuscript. In contrast to the broad scope of the first five chapters, this chapter concentrates on how to integrate specific components of the typology regardless of which ideology the researcher holds on the continuum (positivist, post-positivist, pragmatist, interpretivist, or constructivist).

8. Organizing and Conducting Scholarly Literature Reviews

This chapter builds on the first five chapters in this handbook that explained the research design typology. The focus here is on organizing and conducting scholarly literature reviews. This chapter is intended to serve as a guide for practitioners to apply and integrate the research design typology layers into a scholarly manuscript. In contrast to the broad scope of the first five chapters, this chapter concentrates on how to integrate specific components of the typology regardless of which ideology the researcher holds on the continuum (positivist, post-positivist, pragmatist, interpretivist, or constructivist).

9. Interpreting Findings and Discussing Implications for All Ideologies

In this chapter Rafoth, Semich, and Fuller build on the previous chapters in this handbook that explained how to design a scholarly study. In contrast to the broad scope of the first five chapters, this chapter is intended to serve as a guide for practitioner-scholars to interpret findings and discuss implications in the research technique layer, regardless of which ideology the researcher holds (positivist, post-positivist, pragmatist, interpretivist, or constructivist).

Positivist Applications


10. Implications of Experimental versus Quasi-Experimental Designs

In this chapter Grabbe contrasts the rationale for using the true experiment or a quasi-experiment method in a research design based on several of his studies. He clearly holds a positivist ideology. The unit of analysis in his research strategy was the treatment or preexisting condition for the nonequivalent groups. The level of analysis was group in these designs and the focus was between-groups rather than within-group. The heavy use of a priori factors from his literature review would suggest a deductive purpose with a generalization target to similar groups in business and management.

11. Structural Equation Modeling: Principles, Processes, and Practices

Kim, Sturman, and Kim clearly hold a positivist ideology. They explain how to design a study for a within-group factor comparison unit of analysis research strategy. This is an excellent discussion of the best practices for applying structural equation modeling (SEM). SEM is usually inductive in principle, although confirmatory factor analysis (the first phase of SEM) is deductive since it measures the reliability of an a priori construct using the sample data. They use applied examples drawn from their own studies.

12. Correlation to Logistic Regression Illustrated with a Victimization-Sexual Orientation Study

Dunton and Beaulieu hold a positivist ideology. In their chapter, they explain a common positivist technique: correlation. They go on to discuss regression and a specialty technique: logistic regression. Correlation and regression are generally deductive within-group unit of analysis strategies, since factors of interest are measured as predictors of the dependent variable. The factors and dependent variable of interest in the unit of analysis are established through a scholarly literature review. As with all true positivistic ideologies, hypotheses are developed to test the unit of analysis. A unique aspect of their example was the ex post facto use of logistic regression on existing data. Using correlation and regression is not considered mixed methods or multi-methods because researchers with a positivist ideology generally use correlation first to show evidence of the hypothesized relations between factors or between factors and the dependent variable, otherwise it may not be feasible to continue the analysis. Logistic regression has specific assumptions that must be met in order to be applied, and they discuss this.

13. Survey Method versus Longitudinal Surveys and Observation for Data Collection

In this chapter Gaski applies the positivist ideology using the critical analysis research method. This method applies the literature review and general analytic techniques (including pairwise t-tests and other parametric statistics). The unit of analysis in the research strategy was the “inconsistent use of semantics across the years and journals for the survey observation and experiment methods versus the incorrect use of these terms for data collection techniques,” a deductive between-groups focus. The level of analysis was the social science literature. The generalization target was all practitioner-scholars intending to use these methods in their research design. Since the unit of analysis was qualitative and complex, very few positivistic techniques were applicable. However, the ideology remains positivist rather than Pragmatist due to evidence cited and the lack of interpretation on the data content done by the researcher.

14. Cross-Sectional Survey and Multiple Correspondence Analysis of Financial Manager Behavior

This chapter is an applied example that explains how an empirical study was designed. The author’s ideology was stated in the study as positivistic. The cross-sectional survey is a technique that employs a questionnaire to collect data from human participants. Correspondence analysis is considered a de facto method although it is often described in the literature as a statistical technique in the general analytics method. An outline of the topics from the manuscript is given to illustrate the customary structure of a peer-reviewed article in the business and management discipline. Subsequent sections explain how each part of the paper relates to the research design typology. The applied example was based on an article published in the Journal of Asset Management. This was a relevant article to illustrate how various qualitative and quantitative techniques were integrated in the general analytics method, and especially how to collect qualitative data representing self-reports of professional behavior (financial portfolio asset managers were sampled from New York Stock Exchange listed companies).

15. Control Variables: Problematic Issues and Best Practices

Schjoedt and Sangboon hold a positivist ideology. In this chapter they discuss an important aspect of the unit of analysis strategy in research designs: How does one account for or control factors that the researcher is aware of in the model but are beyond the focus of a within-groups or between-groups comparison? In other words, control factors are confounding, moderating, or mediating variables. The reason it is important to identify and control (or account for) these factors is so that the researcher can generalize to other populations, that is, by identifying the confounding factors that are present but are beyond the unit of analysis interest. When participants are samples for a between-group unit of analysis comparison, individual attributes in each participant often differ. Designing control variables is one approach among others to address this.

16. Monte Carlo Simulation Using Excel: Case Study in Financial Forecasting

Modeling is the process of producing a model; a model is a representation of the construction and working of some system of interest. A model is similar to but simpler than the system it represents. One purpose of a model is to enable the analyst to predict the effect of changes to the system. On the one hand, a model should be a close approximation to the real system and incorporate most of its salient features. On the other hand, it should not be so complex that it is impossible to understand and experiment with it. A good model is a judicious tradeoff between realism and simplicity. Simulation practitioners recommend increasing the complexity of a model iteratively. An important issue in modeling is model validity. Model validation techniques include simulating the model under known input conditions and comparing model output with system output. Generally, a model intended for a simulation study is a mathematical model developed with the help of simulation software. Mathematical model classifications include deterministic (input and output variables are fixed values) or stochastic (at least one of the input or output variables is probabilistic) and static (time is not taken into account) or dynamic (time-varying interactions among variables are taken into account). Typically, simulation models are stochastic and dynamic.

Pragmatistic Applications


17. Critical Analysis Using Four Case Studies across Industries

In this chapter Graf discusses how she applied the pragmativist ideology using an integrated critical analysis with multiple case studies. This method applies the critical analysis literature review and interpretive critical thinking techniques (from the perspective of the researcher), as a multiple case study (N = 4). The cases were drawn from business, engineering, health care industries and from higher education. The unit of analysis in the research strategy was the “creative use of critical thinking skills in critical analysis across four case studies,” an inductive within-group focus (since there was an overall analysis and not a comparison between cases). The level of analysis was the organization. The generalization target was to all practitioner-scholars in academia and in organizations intending to use these methods.

18. Integrating Multiple Case Studies with a Merger and Acquisition Example

Schweizer appears to hold a post-positivist philosophy, which he nicely integrates into the pragmativist research design ideology. He does a thorough job at explaining the single and multiple case study methods, using several merger and acquisition examples to illustrate each, respectively. Researchers have a different epistemology in their ideology when using the case study method; the within-case focus is used instead of within-group, and cross-case analysis refers to a between-groups comparison. When researchers follow the post-positivist ideology, a single case study may be conducted like an experiment, observation, or field study method, using deductive theory-driven research questions (or hypotheses). In contrast, when researchers adpot a pragmatic ideology, they are more likely to use multiple case studies, with either a deductive or inductive unit of analysis, with a goal to generalize the findings to other populations.

19. Iterative-Pragmatic Case Study Method and Comparisons with Other Case Study Method Ideologies

In this chapter Steenhuis succinctly explains the differences in research ideology and strategy (deductive vs. inductive-driven) case study research methods. The post-positivist ideology form of case study method uses a deductive a priori theory-driven and strategy for the unit of analysis that has been popularized by thought leader Robert Yin (1994). The pragmatic ideology form of case study method (further right on the continuum, close to constructivist) uses an inductive-oriented, theory-grounded unit of analysis research strategy. This latter interpretivist form of case study follows the work of thought leaders Glaser and Strauss (2007) as well as Locke (1996). Steenhuis clearly has a pragmativist ideology, which he labels as leaning toward the Straussian and Glaserian school of grounded theory. After reviewing and contrasting the post-positivist versus interpretative-pragmatic forms of case study approaches in the literature, he introduces a new research methodology (with relevant techniques) to implement his approach: interactive-pragmatic case study method.

20. Action Research Applied with Two Single Case Studies

Lim and Seok Chai clearly follow the pragmatist research ideology. They expose many of the controversies in classifying the action research method, and then they apply it in two case studies (in Singapore and South Korea). As they cite from the literature, some writers position action research method under the pragmativist ideology, but as advocated in chapter 1, a pragmatic method can come under either the pragmativistic or constructivistic ideologies, according to how it is applied, because it requires the researcher to involve the participants in the process of the problem that they are trying to solve. There is agreement in the literature that action research uses an organizational problem as the unit of analysis to develop a solution for a deductive-inductive theory-building purpose. It starts as deductive so as to review any a priori best practices that may exist, but usually existing procedures require modification (inductively developing a new process model). Otherwise why would an action research project be needed? The generalization is often organization specific although the implications apply to the industry or more broadly. As the authors of this chapter clarify, action research requires the researcher to participate with and within the target community. This is similar to the continuous improvement paradigm of total quality management in the post-positivist ideology where operations research methods are applied.

21. Transportation Queue Action Research at an Australian Titanium Dioxide Mining Refinery

This chapter discusses an applied example of an empirical study featuring a combination of operations research (general analytics) with the action research method. The author holds an interpretative pragmatist ideology. An outline of the manuscript is provided to demonstrate the normative structure of a peer-reviewed article in business and management. Subsequent sections explain how each topic relates to the research design typology layers. Two example studies are used, but the majority of the chapter discusses the operations research article. The main article was taken from the European Journal of Operational Research, where queue theory was utilized to develop a model for a sand refinery plant in Western Australia. A contrast article was added from the International Journal of Internet and Enterprise Management to demonstrate the rationale of using grounded theory instead of action research or ethnography. The second study was designed using a far-right pragmatic ideology (close to constructivist), with a unit of analysis focused on discovering how a new product development team at a multinational company in Australia used creativity to develop cellular phone products.

22. Participant Observation as Ethnography or Ethnography as Participant Observation in Organizational Research

Sandiford’s contribution is a good example of the interpretative variation of the pragmatist research ideology, which is obviously his philosophy underlying this, and that which underlies the ethnography-observation-participation dilemma he critically analyzes in this chapter. His within-group qualitative unit of analysis focuses on “the implications of participating or only observing when conducting ethnography during organizational field studies” (editor’s interpretation). It is customary for a researcher at the far right of the pragmatist ideology—but not quite constructivist—to take an interpretative approach while encouraging participants to assist in the reflection and clarification in the meaning of the data and phenomena collected. His approach seems close to action research insofar as he advocates the researcher to participate in ethnography so as to promote a better expression of the phenomena from the socio-cultural perspectives of the participants as a whole. Speaking from my own experience, I advise researchers to clarify their research design ideology, otherwise they are likely to have their manuscripts returned from fundamentalists at the end of a double-blind peer-review process due to incorrectly applying a formal methodology.

Constructivist Applications


23. Constructivist Grounded Theory Applied to a Culture Study

Constructivist grounded theories, similar to phenomenology, are an empirical form of inquiry grounded in experiences (Charmaz, 2006; Charmaz & McMullen, 2011; Mills, Bonner & Francis, 2006; Shank, 2006). The difference between phenomenology and constructivist grounded theory is that phenomenologists analyze the contextual dimensions of experience that can be seen and shown by the researcher while constructivist grounded theorists believe that researchers may miss the hidden implications of social locations (Charmaz & McMullen, 2011). According to Mills et al. (2006), constructivist grounded theory reshapes the interaction between the researcher and the participants in the research process and highlights the role of the researcher as the author. Several authors have explained why constructivist grounded theories and phenomenology are useful, but few studies have dealt on how phenomenological studies are carried out using software such as NVivo. Gibbs (2002) uses NVivo to explain various qualitative data analysis methods but without focusing on constructivist grounded theory in particular. Researchers and students need applied examples using computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) such as NVivo to assist in the analysis of qualitative data. CAQDAS can assist a researcher in providing a comprehensive picture of data as well as in allowing the researcher to document the audit of the data analysis process (Welsh, 2002).

24. Phenomenology Variations from Traditional Approaches to Eidetic and Hermeneutic Applications

McCarthy discusses a constructivist research ideology using two phenomenology method variations: eidetic phenomenology and hermeneutic phenomenology. The unit of analysis when using the phenomenology method is usually the “lived experience” of a human participant and the level of analysis is individual within-group. As she explains, eidetic phenomenology is interpretative, which means the research is at the left of a constructivist ideology, having some researcher bias, by comparison to hermeneutic phenomenology where only the participants create the meaning of the data.

25. Hermeneutic and Eidetic Phenomenology Applied to a Clinical Health-Care Study

As an extension to her theoretical chapter, McCarthy goes through two examples from a constructivist research ideology perspective using two phenomenology method variations. She illustrates two positions on this continuum, an interpretive one with the eidetic phenomenology and the hermeneutic descriptive method. The unit of analysis in the research strategy for the first study was “the lived experience of telephone follow-up appointments for physicians and patients,” and “the lived experience of health care managers” for the second, both having an inductive within-group focus. The level of analysis was individual and the generalization target was to scholars in the health-care discipline (as an inductive model).

26. Structure of a Dissertation for a Participatory Phenomenology Design

Hahn clearly follows the constructivist research ideology. The interesting aspect of this chapter is that she integrates action research as a technique to become the participatory-phenomenology method. Compare this to the definition and application by Lim and Seok-Chai when using the pragmatist ideology (previous section). Furthermore, consider the interpretative eidetic versus descriptive hermeneutic phenomenology method variations discussed in the previous chapters by McCarthy. This is why action research is both a technique and a method that can be used in interpretative or constructivist ideologies, but phenomenology as a method is generally positioned under the constructivistic ideology. In this chapter, Hahn discusses how a researcher with a constructivist ideology would articulate and then apply the participatory-phenomenology method on a health-care nurse’s experience as an inductive within-group unit of analysis with a group level of analysis (the nurses at a particular hospital).

27. Emancipatory Phenomenology Applied to a Child Sex Offender Study

Alexander demonstrates how to apply the emancipatory-phenomenology method with the Van Kaam technique using a constructivist research ideology. As discussed in chapter 4 (research method) the emancipatory research method has been titled advocacy, social advocacy, or participant advocacy, and it is similar to action research except that the focus is purely on less advantaged individuals (as a group). This topic could present additional challenges for doctoral students and organizational researchers because the participants are often drawn from protected groups. The unit of analysis when using this variation of the phenomenology method is usually the “socially advocated problem” or the “extent of social advocacy for the problem.” This generalizes to other people in the community (generally practitioners) although it could also be generalized to researchers so as to motivate them to continue to investigate the phenomenon. The level of analysis is usually a group or community (within-group), although it could also be an individual (such as exploring the perceptions of rape victims so as to improve social policies). With the emancipatory or social advocacy method in a constructivist ideology, the researcher draws the meaning of the data or phenomenon from the community.

Final Generalizations and Descriptive Characteristics


28. Gaps to Address in Future Research Design Practices

In keeping with the unique visual exciting style of the handbook, we wanted to finish with a thinking-outside-the-box implication for future research design practices to question the status quo rather than summarize what is already articulated in the preface and introductory chapters. Four contributing authors volunteered to collaborate on this final concluding chapter. Each author brings a distinct sociocultural and ideological perspective to the table based on his or her contribution being in different sections of this book and his or her research experience being grounded in diverse epistemological disciplinary roots. In other words, each of us works in a different discipline, and we have different dominant research ideologies and ontological approaches to research.


Weitere Informationen

Premium Partner