Building Better Theory by Bridging theQuantitative–Qualitative Divide*Journal of Management Studies 43:8 December 2006 0022-2380Sonali K. Shah and Kevin G. CorleyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign; ArizonaState UniversityReporter: 陳錦玉長榮大學經管所博士生2013.6.5
ABSTRACT• Qualitative methods for data collection and analysis arenot mystical, but they are powerful, particularly when usedto build new or refine 改善 existing theories.• This article provides an introduction to qualitative methodsand an overview 概要 of tactics 策略 for ensuring rigor 確保嚴謹 inqualitative research useful for the novice 初學者 researcher, aswell as more experienced researchers interested inexpanding their methodological repertoire 全部技能 or seekingguidance on how to evaluate qualitative research.• We focus our discussion on the qualitative analyticaltechnique of grounded theory building, and suggest thatorganizational research has much to gain by coupling 結合 ofuse of qualitative and quantitative research methods.
INTRODUCTION• A theory tries to make sense of out of the observableworld by ordering the relationships among elementsthat constitute the theorist’s focus of attention.(Dubin, 1978, p.26)• As Mintzberg (1979, p. 584) put it, ‘data don’tgenerate theory – only researchers do that’. Datadescribe the empirical patterns observed, whiletheory explains why empirical patterns are observedor expected. Theory building often requires the richknowledge that only qualitative methods canprovide:
Theory building seems to require rich description, therichness that comes from anecdote( 趣聞 , 軼事 ). We uncoverall kinds of relationships in our ‘hard’ data, but it is onlythrough the use of this ‘soft’ data that we are able to‘explain’ them, and explanation is, of course, thepurpose of research. I believe that the researcher whonever goes near the water, who collects quantitativedata from a distance without anecdote to support them,will always have difficulty explaining interestingrelationships …… (Mintzberg,1979, p. 113)
Echambadi, Campbell and Agarwal (2006) provide acritique of cross-sectional( 代表性的 ), survey-based datacollection and analysis methods and suggest a numberof alternative( 替換物 , 供選擇的 ) quantitative methods fortesting theory.Empirically( 經驗主義地 ) grounded theory is most oftendeveloped through the use of qualitative methods asresearchers generate( 產生 , 導致 ) a detailed understandingand thick description of the phenomenon of interest;they collect information on many aspects of aphenomenon and attempt to document theperspectives( 遠景 , 透視 , 看法 ) of all key participants.
FUNDAMENTAL DISTINCTIONS INUNDERLYING PHILOSOPHIES 對於潛在哲學的基本區別• All science is based on paradigmatic thinkinginvolving distinct assumptions on the nature of reality(ontology), how we can come to know that reality(epistemology), and how we can systematicallyaccess what can be known about that reality(methodology) (Guba and Lincoln, 1994).• we will focus on the differences between only twohere, functionalism 功能主義 , and interpretivism 解釋主義 ,because they lie at the heart of the quantitative–qualitative divide in management research.
• The essential( 必要的 , 本質的 , 重要的 ) differencebetween functionalism and interpretivism isthe ultimate( 終極 , 根本 ) goal of the analysis(Burrell and Morgan, 1979).• data should be collected and analysed in sucha way that another researcher collecting andanalysing similar data under similarconditions will find similar results, thushelping establishing the veracity( 真實性 , 誠實 ) ofthe theory.
• These goals are based in the ontologicalassumption of objectivity 客觀性 (the world existsindependent of those observing 觀察 , 遵守 , 注意 , 評論it, thus there is an objective reality that can beaccessed) and the epistemological heritage 遺產; 傳統 ; 繼承權 of positivism 實證主義 , 實證論 (the search forregularities 規則性 , 一致性 and causal relationshipsamong basic components 構成要素 ; 成分 ), and aremost often achieved through theethodological 方法論的 traditions of quantitativedata collection and statistical analysis.
• the goal is neither replication 複制 , 答辯 nor theory testing.Instead, what is important is that results arerepresentative 代表 , 典型 of the interpretations 解釋 ,翻譯 of those experiencing the phenomenon under studyand that they embody 具體表達 ; 包含 a rigorous 嚴格的 ; 苛刻的interpretation of the phenomenon such that plausible 貌似有理 ( 真實 ) 的 theory development is possible.• ‘Because interpretive research implicitly 含蓄 ( 暗示 ) 地assumes 假定 , 設想 that every person conducting 引導 , 管理 aresearch study will have a unique interpretation of theresults’ data analysis cannot be judged on whether ornot the results are replicable 可複制的 by anotherresearcher.
• Multiple social realities can exist around a phenomenonbecause those involved interpret the phenomenondifferently. This results in different people reachingdifferent conclusions about the causality 緣由 , 因果關系 of thephenomenon, the implications 含意 , 暗示 of thephenomenon, and the relationships other phenomenahave with the focal 焦點的 phenomenon.• By placing oneself in the context where thephenomenon is occurring and developinginterpretations of the phenomenon based on personalexperiences, as well as the experiences of those living it,a researcher develops insights 洞察力 , 見識 not possiblethrough other methods of analysis.
本節小結提問 : 質化研究法或量化研究法 , 何者較佳 ? 兩者如何結合以擴展組織現象研究領域在理論上的認知 ?• Neither one is better than the other (Morgan andSmircich, 1982); each has strengths and weaknessesand may be more or less appropriate 適當的 depending onthe research question being investigated 調查 , 研究 .• With these basic ontological and epistemologicaldistinctions in place, it is now possible to go into moredepth concerning the methodological aspects ofqualitative research and, most importantly, howqualitative methods can be combined withquantitative methods to expand our theoreticalunderstanding of organizational phenomena.
A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO QUALITATIVEMETHODS• Qualitative methods are a set of data collection andanalysis techniques that can be used to providedescription, build theory, and to test theory (VanMaanen, 1979).• The primary benefits of qualitative methods are thatthey allow the researcher to discover new variables 變數 and relationships, to reveal and understand complexprocesses, and to illustrate 舉例說明 the influence of thesocial context 環境 , 背景 .
• Qualitative methods began to take root 建立 in the socialsciences in the early 1900s. In sociology, the ‘ChicagoSchool’ adopted a qualitative approach 方法 to studyinggroup life (Barl ey, 1989).• In anthropology 人類學 , scholars including Bateson, Boaz,Evans-Pritchard, Malinowski, and Radcliffe-Brownestablished a tradition of fieldwork 實地調查 aimed atcreating ethnographic 民族志 ( 人種志 ) 學的 , accounts 描述 , 估計 oflife in different cultures (Denzin and Lincoln, 1994).• 表 I. 質化研究的典範在管理及相關的領域• Table I lists a small sampling of well-known exemplars of qualitative researchdrawn from management and related fields. It includes a few classics and afew more recent pieces and is in no way meant to be an exhaustive list. 表 I 列出的一小部分知名的典範來自管理及相關領域的定性研究。它包括一些經典和一些更近的部分，並且絕不意味著是一個詳盡的列表
• As we will discuss in this piece, qualitative researchers use formaland systematic methods for data collection and analysis toensure that the trustworthiness 可靠 , 確實性 of their work isunassailable 無懈可擊的 .• And, because qualitative researchers often use multiple modesof data collection, they tend to describe their data collection andanalysis methods in detail, an act that both openly reveals theirmethods for peer review 同行評審 and shows that their methodsmeet rigorous standards 方法符合嚴格的標準 .• To ensure the negative impressions 負面印象 of qualitative researchare completely overcome 戰勝 , 克服 , qualitative researchers mustbe vigilant 警戒著的 as they write and review papers, ensuring thatpapers are methodologically sound and consistent in their use ofterminology 用辭 , 術語學 .
QUALITATIVE METHODS FOR DATAANALYSIS AND COLLECTION 質化方法的數據分析和收集• The qualitative research tradition is comprised of distinctmethods for data collection and data analysis. For thoseresearchers unfamiliar with or just becoming familiar withqualitative research, it is easy not to appreciate thedistinction between qualitative techniques for data collectionand analysis, and even misuse 誤用 , 濫用 terms 條件 , 措辭 such as‘field research’, ‘grounded theory’, ‘case study research’,‘ethnography 民族誌學’ and ‘qualitative methods’ or use theterms interchangeably 術語交替 . This obviously createsconfusion and can damage perceptions of the methodology.
• Just as quantitative researchers take care to distinguishbetween various methods – rarely does one see researchmisusing the term ANOVA for event history analysis 很少見到一個研究濫用方差分析對事件史分析– so should researchers be clear abouttheir use of terms describing qualitative techniques. 所以研究人員應該清楚他們使用的術語來描述質性技術 .• We order our discussion in this way for two reasons. First, thisallows the discussion to better mirror the early stages of aninductive research process – where the researcher firstchooses a question of interest, then the analytic method, andthen the specific data collection methods based on theparticular context being researched. Second, while groundedtheorists engage in a lengthy period of data analysis followingdata collection, they also engage in analysis concurrent withdata collection.
Grounded Theory as an Analytical Tool紮根理論作為分析工具• We focus our discussion on grounded theory building for tworeasons:first, proper use of the technique can result in thecreation of novel and illuminating 闡明 , 啟蒙 theoreticalconcepts (thus moving beyond the limitation of theory testinginherent 固有 ( 內在 ) 的 in cross-sectional 代表性的 , 橫斷面的 surveyresearch); and second, its prevalence 傳播 , 流行 , 普及 in theliterature on organizations.• Grounded theory’s distinctive features are its commitment toresearch and discovery through direct contact with the socialworld, coupled with a rejection of a priori theorizing (Locke,2001). 紮根理論的鮮明特色是其承諾通過直接接觸社會的世界，加上拒絕先驗的理論研究和發現
• In fact, researchers must be intimately familiar with thecontent, nuances, and weaknesses of existing theories. 事實上，研究人員必須熟悉現有理論的內容，細微之處和弱點。• It does mean that researchers should not allow preconceivedconstructs and hypotheses to guide data collection. 研究人員不應該讓先入為主的結構和假設來指導數據收集。• While a priori theorizing is shunned, ex-post theorizing isrequired with a contextualization of the findings and noveltheoretical contributions within the framework provided byexisting theory. 雖然先驗的理論是避之唯恐不及，需要事後的理論與語境化現有的理論框架內所提供的調查結果和新的理論貢獻。• Glaser and Strauss (1967) argue that researchers mustgenerate formal theories out of their data collectionexperiences in order to advance understanding of the socialworld. 研究人員必須產生正式的理論，從其數據收集的經驗，以推進社會世界的理解。
• The question.• Research questions best addressed 最好的解決 bygrounded theory building include those thatexplore new areas, seek to uncover processes,understand poorly understood phenomena,attempt to understand unspecified variablesor ill-structured linkages, or examine variablesthat cannot be studied via experimentation(Glaser and Strauss, 1967; Marshall andRossman, 1995; Miles and Huberman, 1994;Yin, 2003).
• Theoretical sampling.• The rationale 基本原理 behind theoretical sampling is to directdata gathering efforts towards collecting information that willbest support the development of the theoretical framework(Locke, 2001).• Researchers might choose samples in which they expect tosupport the emergent theory 突生 ( 新興 , 應變 ) 理論 or samples inwhich they expect to refine and extend the emergent theory.• The latter is often accomplished by choosing data collectioncontexts that represent polar types – to show that their theoryapplies across a variety of contexts or to define the boundariesof the theory – or that highlight dissenting 異議 views to helpdemarcate 劃分 ( 界 )the boundaries of the emergent theory. Forthese reasons, random 隨機地 selection is neither necessary noreven preferable (Eisenhardt, 1989a).
• Constant comparisons.• Glaser and Strauss (1967) introduced the constant comparisonmethod as the process by which researchers assign 分派 ( 配 )andcreate meaning from the observations 觀察 recorded in the data.• The constant comparative method is conceptualized 概念化 anddescribed in terms of 就 . 而言 , 在 . 方面 four stages 四個階段 which span橫跨 the entire study 整個研究 , beginning with comparing incidents 事件 applicable 適用的 to each category 種類 , 類別 , 範疇 (coding,comparing, and memoing are important components of thisstage), integrating categories 綜合類 and their properties 屬性 , 財產 , 性質 , focusing the theory 聚焦的理論 , and writing the theory 編寫理論 .• ‘all stages are in operation throughout the analysis’• Throughout the course of data collection, the researcher willmake constant comparisons among the nuggets 珍品 ( 聞 )ofinformation that they are collecting in order to identify patterns.
• Data analysis continues until theoreticalsaturation 理論飽和 is reached, or when no newinformation indicating that categories or therelationships between them should be refinedis uncovered through the analysis or collectionof additional data.
Common Qualitative Data Collection Methods常見的定性數據收集方法• Grounded theory building favours data collection methods thatgather rich data directly from those people directlyexperiencing the phenomenon. Although a number ofqualitative data collection methods exist, grounded theoryresearch in management generally relies on three datagathering techniques: interviews, observation (both direct andparticipant), and the analysis of archival information (Marshalland Rossman, 1989). Each of these data collection methodshas its own standards, best practices, and rules. The use ofeach of these techniques – particularly observation andinterviews – is common in management research, with manystudies combining the use of all three methodologies.
• Interviews.Interviewing presumes 假定 that one can understand howthe world is known by asking informants to answer open-ended 自由回答的 (but structured) questions about theirexperiences.Interviews differ in the degree to which informants set theagenda 議程 , but in all instances 例證 , 情況 informants describetheir own experiences at length 詳細地 , including personalnarratives 敘述 or life histories. In-depth interviews arefrequently used to collect differing perspectives 視角 on a topic.While most data collection efforts call for strong similarities 相似點 in the questions asked across informants (to aid 幫助 in theconstant 常數 , 不變地 comparison process), the nature ofgrounded theory calls for 呼籲 flexibility 靈活 ( 彈 , 適應 ) 性 inquestioning to allow each informant some control overdeciding what aspects of the phenomenon are most
• Observation.The goal of observation is to understand what it means to be aparticipant in the social situation – to understand how the socialcontext influences individual behaviour and how individualbehaviour influences the social context.Qualitative observation is fundamentally naturalistic inessence 基本的自然元素 ; it occurs in the natural context ofoccurrence, among the actors 行動者 , 參與者 who would naturallybe participating in the interaction 互動 , and follows the naturalstream of everyday life. As such, it enjoys the advantage ofdrawing the observer into the phenomenological complexity ofthe world, where connections 前後關係 , 連接點 , correlations 相關性 ,and causes can be witnessed as and how they unfold. (Adlerand Adler, 1994, p. 40)
• The researcher might observe a group,community, or social context as either aparticipant observer or simply an outsideobserver, based on the degree to which theyinteract with other participants.• The researcher may choose to explain his orher research interests to other participants ormay (covertly 祕密地 ; 偷偷摸摸地 ) collect data withoutexplanation.
• Archival data 檔案數據 .Archival data include pre-existing documents, photographs,email exchanges, audio and video recordings, and otherartefacts 加工品 ; 藝術品 .Archival data is most often used in conjunction with interviewsand observations to develop a better understanding of thephenomenon of interest and the context in which thatphenomenon is occurring.Archival data may be used independently 獨立使用 as well,particularly when attempting to understand historical incidentsor economic or social systems. ……archival data often take asupporting role to interviews and observation inmanagement research.
ENSURING RIGOR IN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH確保嚴格定性研究• While many have claimed a bias against qualitative researchin our field’s top journals, most top journal editors haveshown an increased interest in high-quality qualitativeresearch.• Many journal editors find themselves confronted with poorlyexecuted 不當執行 qualitative research that must be rejectednot because it is qualitatively-based, but simply because itsrigor 嚴謹 does not meet 不符合 the high standards of thejournal.• To help with this problem, we provide a brief discussion ofrigor in qualitative methods using Lincoln and Guba’s (1985)notion of ‘trustworthiness’ and Locke’s (2001) suggestionsfor how to judge grounded-theory research.
• Lincoln and Guba (1985) explain that becauseinterpretive research is based on a different set ofontological and epistemological assumptions thanfunctionally-based research, the traditional notions 概念 , 想法 of validity 有效性 , 正確性 ; and reliability 可靠性 do notapply in the same fashion.• They furnish an alternative 選擇性的 set of criteria 標準 ; 規範 by which to judge the rigor of qualitative research.Credibility 確實性 , Transferability 可轉移性 , Dependability可依賴性 , and Confirmability.• Each criterion includes a set of specific actions aresearcher can take to help meet the criterion, aslisted in Table II.
Table II. Techniques to ensure the trustworthiness of qualitativeresearch 。表 II : 以確保技術的可信性定性研究• For judging grounded theory-based research in particular,Locke (2001) suggests three metrics: the extent to which it ispragmatically useful, its credibility, and its theoreticalcontribution. Pragmatic usefulness is at the heart ofgrounded theory practice because its purpose is tounderstand a phenomenon from the perspective of thoseliving it, in their daily practice, or as Locke (2001, p. 59)explains, ‘good theory is one that will be practicallyuseful in the course of daily events, not only tosocial scientists, but also to laymen’. She goes on tocite Glaser and Strauss’s (1967) four aspects of practicalusefulness – fit,
SUCCESSFULLY PAIRING QUALITATIVE ANDQUANTITATIVE RESEARCH 成功配對的質化和量化研究• Theory building involves trade-offs (Fine and Elsbach, 2000)• Weick (1979) discusses a simple framework for assessingtheory along three dimensions 維度 : simplicity (i.e. ease ofunderstanding or application), accuracy (i.e. conformity to thetruth) and generalizability (i.e. extension to other domains).• Qualitative research is often accurate and potentiallygeneralizable 潛在的可概括性 , but often overly complex 過於複雜 .Large-sample quantitative studies often use proxies 代理人 tomeasure aspects of the phenomenon of interest and might becategorized 分類 as being simple and generalizable, but lackingin accuracy.
• Weick (1979) suggests that the solution is not to search for amethod that combines all three elements (accuracy,generalizability, and simplicity) but to build theory byalternating 輪流 , 交替 among sets of data that provide one ormore of these elements or by incorporating 合併 , 具體表現complementary 互補的 research conducted 引導 , 管理 by others.• Several researchers have provided examples and guidance onhow to combine the use of these paradigms within a researchstream and even within a single study.
CONCLUSION• We began this article with the argument that qualitativemethods overcome a key limitation of most quantitativeresearch: the inability 無能 ; 無力 to build theory.• While we stand firmly behind this message and itsimplications for the future of organizational research, we alsobelieve that the increased use of multiple methods isnecessary to build accurate, generalizable, and practicallyuseful theory in a field as inherently complex as managementresearch.• As illustrated by the examples in the preceding section, thebenefits of combining qualitative and quantitative methods toform a more complete picture of a phenomenon far outweighthe costs of time and effort.
• Implementing this more complete methodologicalstrategy, however, requires organizationalresearchers to be more familiar and comfortablewith the ontological, epistemological, andmethodological foundations of both qualitative andquantitative research.• Unfortunately, this is not the norm for most of us, and willrequire some re-education as we expand ourmethodological repertoires beyond the safety of ourpreferred perspective.• We hope that this set of essays provides a starting point forthose interested in becoming more complete organizationalresearchers capable of testing, refining, and building theory.
Thank you for your listening!Here are some questions to discuss with you:1. Can you explain what is qualitative research?2. Can you realize what is Grounded Theory?3. Do you know what methods in qualitative research?If you can answer above problems, then I have tocongratulate to you that you have already pass the basedtest to research organization research.