Research methods in entrepreneurship


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Research methods in entrepreneurship

  1. 1. RESEARCHMETHODS IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP<br />By<br />Mahdikazemi<br />Presented to the Faculty of Entrepreneurship<br />University of Tehran<br />Under the Supervision of Professor A.Arabiun, PhD,<br />2010<br />Tehran, Iran<br />
  2. 2. This slides is an abstract for chapter one (Pages 134-140) from:<br />Handbook of Qualitative Research Methodsin EntrepreneurshipEdited by<br />HelleNeergaard(Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, the Aarhus School of Business, Denmark)<br />John ParmUlhøi(Professor in Organization and Management Theory, the<br />Aarhus School of Business, Denmark)Published By<br />Edward Elgar Publishing Limited<br />
  3. 3. Chapter Five :<br />Building grounded theory in entrepreneurship research<br />
  4. 4. Feasibility of the grounded theory methodology<br />Newness of the research area is often mentioned as a justification for building<br />grounded theory. Theory-building can often benefit from qualitative research in which researchers identify important constructs from a novel viewpoint. Thereafter, theory-testing researchers can deduce hypotheses<br />from constructs proposed by theory-builders.<br />
  5. 5. grounded theory<br />Grounded theory fits well with situations where<br />there is little empirical validation of current perspectives<br />or where existing perspectives conflict<br />3)or where a new perspective is sought<br />The collection and analysis of qualitative data may enable researchers to drill deep into phenomena<br />where obtaining reliable quantitative data would be troublesome<br />
  6. 6. grounded theory in entrepreneurship<br />Our analysis of grounded theory entrepreneurship research showed that<br />entrepreneurship researchers most often justified their use of the grounded theory methodology by the often-used argument of the inadequacy or inexistence of theory on the subject<br />
  7. 7. grounded theory in entrepreneurship<br />Complexity of the studied phenomenon<br />was also cited as a motivation to engage in grounded theory research<br />Another argument was that boundaries between the phenomenon and its environment were not evident<br />
  8. 8. substantive theory and formal theory<br />weurge authors of future entrepreneurship studies using the grounded theory approach to aim to produce not only substantive theory (theory specific to a substantive domain) but also formal theory (theory of a higher level of generality).<br />We do not by any means belittle the value of substantive theory, because such theory, if properly built, can be important by itself in some domains and help in building theory of a higher level of generality.<br />
  9. 9. The research process in grounded theory <br />Designing research<br />Research problem and initial constructs<br />Planning for quality<br />Data collection<br />Data analysis<br />
  10. 10. Designing research<br />Research design can usefully be defined as a ‘logical sequence that connects the empirical data to a study’s initial research questions and, ultimately, to its conclusions’, involving an action plan to getting from the initial research question to conclusions We begin our overview of the research process by discussing the definition of the research problem, potential initial constructs and planning for quality.<br />
  11. 11. Research problem<br />At the start of research, researchers should carefully define the research problem. Often it is useful to present the problem in the form of a research question. Explicit formulation of the research question entails the ability to articulate a justification for using the grounded theory methodology and to define a focus for the study. It also helps in specifying the type of people or organizations that should be approached for data collection and the type of data to be collected.<br />
  12. 12. It is our experience that in addition to specifying the research question, it is often useful to specify some early constructs before beginning data collection. <br />We also feel that researchers should be cognizant of relevant prior literature so that they can effectively focus their efforts on probing new issues and taking useful standpoints and inquiring into all relevant phenomena during their data collection. <br />However, researchers should be aware of the potential biases in findings that may result from certain ways of using prior constructs as indicated in earlier literature.<br />
  13. 13. Planning for quality<br />The focal goal of research design is to maximize<br />research quality. There is no universally accepted standard for developing a high-quality<br />study. Standards for evaluating quantitative research should not be directly applied to grounded theory. we maintain that criteria for evaluating grounded theory are meant as guidelines and should not be understood as<br />‘hard-and-fast evaluative rules’. <br />
  14. 14. quality assessment methods<br />Our review of grounded theory entrepreneurship research points out that a majority of the articles do not have an explicit quality assessment. We suggest that grounded theory researchers take up, to present in their<br />reports, an analysis of<br />theory–data compatibility<br />(2)consistency of process<br />(3) the generalizability, reproducibility and significance of the theory generated<br />
  15. 15. Keys to achieving high quality<br />Keys to achieving high quality are in<br />1)designing research carefully<br />2)maintaining a strictly analytical grip during the research process<br />3) Documentation of the process<br />4) and rigorous iteration between data, emerging theory and prior literature. <br />
  16. 16. Sampling<br />Sampling issues are important in increasing the quality of grounded theory studies. Theoretical sampling allows the grounded theorist to build variation into theory, thus enhancing its explanatory potential Another alternative, random sampling, is possible and may be justified in rare situations, but will often hinder the discovery of variations.<br />It often makes sense for the grounded theorist to select extreme cases in which variation is easily observable<br />
  17. 17. Data collection<br />Data collection in grounded theory research is similar to other qualitative research. Yin (1994) presented a thorough description of potential sources of evidence that is useful to grounded theorists.<br />
  18. 18. Triangulation<br />Triangulation is an important issue and tool in qualitative research generally. Many aspects of triangulation closely pertain to the data collection phase. Triangulation refers to:<br />1) the combination of multiple methods<br />2) empirical materials<br />3) observers or perspectives in a single study<br />The use of triangulation is an attempt to obtain a deeper understanding of the studied phenomenon and may add rigor and breadth. In grounded theory research, triangulation provides an important means to reduce the likelihood of <br />misinterpretation, and thus its use is generally recommended.<br />
  19. 19. Overlap of the collection and analysis of data<br />Generally, an important feature of many qualitative research efforts is that there is significant overlap between the data collection and analysis phases. This enables the study to be properly refocused and the appropriate theoretical sampling to be conducted during the course of research<br />
  20. 20. Data analysis<br />Literature illustrates a variety of approaches that can be taken to qualitative data analysis. Analysis is the phase of grounded theory research which can perhaps more than any other phase make use of methods that are distinct just to grounded theory.<br />In this phase, the grounded theorist attempts<br />to conceptualize, reduce, elaborate and relate data and categories to integrate them as novel theory. One way to do this is to conduct coding in three<br />Phases In the following, we briefly introduce these phases<br />
  21. 21. open coding<br />The first phase, open coding, comprises finding and naming categories and discovering their properties and dimensions. Researchers should try to generate as many categories as possible to make sure that this phase of the analysis is open to whatever is going on in the data. They should engage in open coding each time a new insight emerges, or if there are ambiguities in existing categories<br />
  22. 22. axial coding<br />In the second phase, axial coding, researchers relate categories to their subcategories by coding around the axis of a single category at a time, linking categories at the level of dimensions and properties. In this phase, the extent to which a category fits the data should be checked. In axial coding, cumulative knowledge is produced about the relationship between the focal category and others.<br />
  23. 23. selective coding<br />The third phase, selective coding, comprises coding systematically for those core categories that best hold categories together as a coherent framework. In this phase, researchers refine these categories and integrate them into a parsimonious theory. Selective coding is a process of searching for the main problem<br />
  24. 24. Discussion and conclusions<br />We have attempted to distinguish this chapter from many prior grounded theory methodology reviews primarily by two means:<br />First, we have presented an explicit discussion on how the paradigmatic position of grounded theory can be and has been viewed, and how these views affect the use of grounded theory.We have purposefully presented this discussion to allow for linking our approach better to the entire array of potential approaches to grounded theory.<br />
  25. 25. Discussion and conclusions<br />Second, we particularly discussed grounded theory as a research methodology within the entrepreneurship domain. We facilitated our discussion by looking at an analysis of 42 prior papers that presented grounded theory-based entrepreneurship research.<br />
  26. 26. most important areas<br />The most important areas that call for improvement are:<br />(1) presenting a justification for using the grounded theory methodology<br />(2) carefully planning and conducting appropriate sampling<br />(3) using a rigorous and systematic analysis process and describing the process to the reader<br />(4) explicitly assessing the quality of research in the report.<br />
  27. 27. Building theory is imperative for knowledge creation. It constantly complements testing theory; some form of theory-building is, in fact, a necessary antecedent for testing. Based on our discussion of the feasibility of grounded theory, we encourage entrepreneurship scholars to explore the potential of their research questions to accommodate rigorous grounded theory research and to dare to go on using this methodology with all research problems that could benefit from building theory and that allow for empirical inquiry.<br />
  28. 28. THE END<br />
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