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Sally rm 11


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  • 1. Business Research Methods 11. Research combining quantitative and qualitative techniques
  • 2. Theme 11
    • Mixed methods research
    • Quantitative and qualitative techniques
    • Mixed methods examples
    • Reflection on mixed methods
    • Case study research design
  • 3. Mixed methods
    • The concept of mixed methods is used to denote a research that integrates quantitative and qualitative research
    • Combining QUANTITATIVE and QUANLITATIVE data collection and data analysis techniques
    • Mixed methods use both approaches to “counterbalance” the weaknesses and strengths of each method
    Bryman & Bell (2007)
  • 4. Qualitative & quantitative methods and techniques
    • Techniques
    • Conversations
    • Unstructured
    • and semi-structured interviews
    Jankowicz (1991) Quantitative Qualitative
    • Techniques
    • Surveys/Self-completion questionnaires
    • Structured
    • interviews
    • Structured observations
    Qualitative Quantitative Ethnography Case Study Focus groups Longitudinal study Experiment Cross-sectional Methods (designs)
  • 5. Some controversies
    • There are many arguments against the compatibility of combining quantitative and qualitative studies
      • Epistemological and ontological considerations suggest incompatibility
      • A technical version supports the fusion of both quantities and qualitative methods
        • The connections between research and philosophical considerations are not fixed
          • They denote just predisposition
        • Both researches are compatible, feasible and desirable
        • “ Research method are much more free-floating that it sometimes supposed”
    Bryman & Bell (2007)
  • 6. Qualitative facilitating quantitative research
    • Providing hypotheses -e.g. Interviews
    • Aiding measurements -e.g. Survey/Metrics
    • Research applied
      • Edwards et al. (1998) studied employee attitude towards TQM
      • Conducting interview with quality managers, functional specialists in 6 case study organizations
      • Secondary data was also analyzed
      • Self-completion questionnaires were developed taking account of the valuable contextual information
      • Result: 63 % average response for the survey
    Bryman & Bell (2007)
  • 7. Quantitative facilitating qualitative research
    • Selection of people -e.g. Sampling process
    • Exploring new concepts -e.g. Surveys
    • Research applied I
      • Storey et al. (2002) studied flexible employment contract and product innovation
      • 2,700 self-completion questionnaires were sent to the industry
      • They identify their target population and approach the companies to conduct in-depth interviews
    • Research applied II
      • Hochschild (1983) study of ‘ emotional labour’ in Delta airlines
      • Self-completion questionnaires used as the initial conceptualization tool
    Bryman & Bell (2007)
  • 8. Triangulation
    • Triangulation is an approach of mixed methodology were different data collection methods are used to examine different aspects of organizational reality (Zamanou & Glases, 1994)
    • Ghauri et al. (1995) defines triangulation as the combination of methodologies to improve the accuracy of judgments of results
    • Webb et al. (1994) suggest that the confidence in the findings of quantitative research can be enhanced by using more than way of measuring a concept
  • 9. Triangulation
    • Three blind men were asked to describe a elephant by touching only one part of it
    • A single method will not be enough to get the whole picture!
    Ghauri et al. (1995)
  • 10. Case study research
    • Case study methods are enjoying a vogue in business reseach (Brannick & Roche, 1997)
    • Bryman and Bell (2007) suggest that qualitative and quantitative business research methods combined represent a common pattern in case studies so as to enhance generalizability
    • Case studies represents an “intensive” study of selected examples in order to gaining insight of a phenomenon (Ghauri et al.,1995)
    • This method is suitable when researchers have little control over events and when the focus is on a current phenomenon in a “real-life” context (Yin, 1989)
  • 11. Preparing for a case study
    • In many cases students first decide which method to use -e.g. Cases study or survey
      • and then they formulate their problem
      • Should we decide the method first, or the problem leading us to the method?
    • The problem and our objectives should lead us to the method
      • Explore/new theory
      • Generalize/retest
    Ghauri et al. (1995)
  • 12. Criteria to select a case
    • Target population for the investigation
      • Firms
      • Individuals
      • Groups
    • Assess accessibility
    • Time and other constraints
      • Smaller -e.g. Little time available
      • Big organizations -e.g. Complex issue
    Ghauri et al. (1995)
  • 13. How to conduct a case study
    • Case studies are frequently chosen because of the mistaken belief that they are easy to conduct (Brannick & Roche, 1997)
    • However, special skills and some caution are required for case study research
      • Data collection is very demanding (personally)
      • Exceptional communication skills
      • Good observer and listener
      • Special interpretation ability
        • Reading behind the lines
      • Avoiding bias for own interpretation
    Ghauri et al. (1995)
  • 14. Types of case study design
    • Multiple-case study
        • Not related to revelatory or rare phenomena
        • Testing established theory
        • Comparative design
        • Generalization
        • Inductive approach
    • Single-case study
        • Unique case
        • Testing established theory
        • Pilot and exploratory study
        • Explanations
        • Causality (longitudinal)
        • Inductive approach
        • Deductive approach at the fist stage
    • The use of particular case studies methods depend on the problem, objective and also on the methodology employed
    Yin (1989)
  • 15. Generalization & multiple-cases
    • Generalization in case studies is one of the most controversial issues
    • Statistical sampling may have some weaknesses
      • Sampling frame
      • Stratify
    • Theoretical sampling (Gummesson, 1991)
      • “ Mimicking” the generic logic of statistic sampling
      • 1 st qualitative selection
      • 2 nd apply the sampling principles iteratively
        • Representativeness
      • Generalization?
    Brannick & Roche (1997)
  • 16. Analytic generalization
    • Robert Yin (1994) argues that multiple case designs are properly viewed as the logical equivalent of repeated experiments, “theoretical replication”
      • Each of the cases should be carefully chosen
        • Same phenomenon under study
        • Contracting results
      • Rather than statistical generalization “Analytic generalization” involves using previously developed theory to compare case studies
    Brannick & Roche (1997)
  • 17. The famous “Aston” studies
    • Contingent features of organizational structure and power in organizations
      • 46 organizations sampled for reliable measures -i.e. metrics
      • Stratify them by product type and size
      • The unusual feature of the Aston research was to use:
        • statistical design principles and associated modes of generalization using small samples of organizations, and
        • using multiple data collection methods (triangulation)
      • However, the potential of this hybrid design remains to be explored
    Brannick & Roche (1997)
  • 18. Generalization
    • The remaining question is weather statistical sampling and generalization can have any place in the logic of multiple case design
    • Gummesson and Yin suggest categorically that the answer is NO
      • Statistical analysis should just support the arguments of case research studies
    Brannick & Roche (1997)
  • 19. A typical case research example
    • Kanter (1977) conduct a single case study at Indsco Supply Corporation
      • Postal surveys
      • Semi-structure interviews
      • Focus groups with employees
      • Participating in meetings and conversations with personnel
      • Secondary data (public documents, memoranda, etc.)
      • Although she did not claim generalization, she conducted interviews also in other corporations to conclude that Indsco was typical among other corporation
      • She finally suggest that Indsco’ story could be similar to other organizations
    Bryman & Bell (2007)
  • 20. Some final considerations
    • Mixed methods, and mono-methods, should be competently designed and conduced
    • No matter how many collection methods are employed
      • “ More is not better”
    • Mixed methods should be aligned with the type of research question
    • Very time consuming and financial resources
    • Good combination of qualitative and quantitative skills
    • In a nut shell, mixed methods are not universally applicable
      • It may provide better understanding
      • It may enhance confidence of findings
      • It may improve chances of access
    • However, it is subject to similar constraints and considerations as research relying on a single method of research strategy
    Bryman & Bell (2007)
  • 21. Key points
    • Mixed-methods
      • Counterbalancing their weaknesses
    • Triangulation mixed-method approach
    • Case study
      • Considerations for conducting case studies
      • Multiple-case studies
    • Generalization issues