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Research Design Presentation

Research Design Presentation



A presentation prpared for a Research Design module as part of a 3+1 Ph.D studentship at Cardiff University for the "+1" MSc. Social Science Research Methods (Business Track) course.

A presentation prpared for a Research Design module as part of a 3+1 Ph.D studentship at Cardiff University for the "+1" MSc. Social Science Research Methods (Business Track) course.



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    Research Design Presentation Research Design Presentation Presentation Transcript

    • Gavin D. J Harper
      • The Social, Economic & Political Impacts of Alternative Vehicles & Fuels.
        • Ph.D. Focus
          • Porterian Clustering In Organisations Delivering Components for Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Vehicles
        • MSc. Focus
          • What Can The UK Learn From the Californian Fuel Cell Cluster.
      • Critical realist ontology underpins my research.
      • The notion of hidden structure at a deep level underpins many of the ideas encapsulated in cluster theory.
      • There is a belief that clusters result in emergent properties of increased productivity and stimulation of innovation.
      • However, I embrace criticism of Porter’s model of clustering, and also consider weak constructionist view.
      • The fuel cell industry is relatively immature.
      • There is not a wealth of literature on the structure and characteristics of the fuel cell industry.
      • Cluster theory is a well-understood approach applied successfully to understand high-technology industries.
      • The techniques I will apply in my research will attempt to understand the fuel cell industry in the context of cluster theory using approaches which borrow from industrial and economic geography.
      • Cluster policy is influenced by a range of stakeholders.
      • It is important to capture the views of these stakeholders to ensure that a full picture of the situation is encapsulated within the study.
      • Cluster policy exists at the juncture of policies surrounding regional development; technology and innovation encouragement and industrial policy.
      • Within the MSc. Thesis Timeline
        • Hydrogen Valley Initiative
        • Birmingham Conference
        • Long Beach, California (DAMN)
      • Within the Ph.D Thesis Timeline
        • Vancouver, Canada – Ballard Fuel Cell Cluster
        • Iceland, Plans to be Hydrogen Economy by 2050
      • PURE Energy Centre, Shetland
      • Birmingham University Fuel Cells Group
      • Fuel Cell Store, U.S.
      • To some degree, time constraints are dictating the way that the MSc. Portion of my research is structure – seizing upon the opportunities that are available to me for data collection.
      • This limits the study to the collection of data in the UK, and in California during a two week visit in May.
      • The Ph.D portion of my research aims to be global in scope, capturing the major players in the Fuel Cell industry.
      • Dealing With Innovation, Information May Be Cutting-Edge & Commercially Sensitive
      • Companies may have commercial interests that they do not want disclosed.
      • Anonymity will be offered to all participants, however, in a small industry, where the ‘industry’ is the focus rather than the processes occurring, anonymity may be undesirable and hard to achieve.
      • This may result in a greater degree of comments and data being tacit or ‘off the record’.
      • Less Data Access Issues
      • University Information Perceived To Be ‘Easier’ To Collect
      • Existing Academic Contacts Could Smooth The Path To ‘Data Collection’
      • Qualitative Data gleaned from structured interviews.
      • A common format allows meaningful comparison to be made between different locations, however there is sufficient flexibility within this format to gather additional ‘rich data’.
      • Qualitative methods suit exploratory nature of research.
      • Interviews with partners both from university and spin out firm.
        • There may be differences of opinion in where firm is located.
        • Issues of power and control.
      • Initial interviews may follow up with questionnaire to harvest ‘quantitative’ data to support arguments.
      • Interviews will create the opportunity to form ideas more thoroughly and gain appreciation of the environment in which clusters operate.
      • Ensuring Validity With Qualitative Methods
        • To ensure the robustness of my research, rich description is required.
        • Triangulation of methods may be employed later in the study, with some quantitative data supporting qualitative findings.
        • Knowledge will be ‘transferable’ to some degree, in that this is another study of a high-tech industry using the clustering approach, which has successfully been applied before.