Qualitative Case Study Summary

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The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the nature of communication processes of members in small consulting organizations with regard to the use of accurate information in a virtual community of practice. The problem was the superficial and often inaccurate nature of virtualinformation, which is characterized by ambiguity, lack of depth, unverified sources, and anonymity (Memmi, 2006). The nature of online communication in business setting is a problem because information that is not correct could have negative ramifications in the credibility of the business.
This chapter includes the methodology and research design of the study. The chapter is organized in the following sections: (a) research design and design appropriateness; …show more content…

RQ2: How does the use of internal communication compare to the use of external communication in a virtual community with respect to sharing of professional knowledge?
RQ3: What are the perceived advantages and disadvantages of implementing a virtual community of practice in a virtual consulting organization?
A qualitative case study research design was appropriate because the design allows flexibility in the use of different data types (Yin, 2010). The research design was also appropriate because the research questions for the study required a comprehensive use of multiple data collection sources. An exploratory case study design was employed because no definitive outcome wasexpected or required from the study. An exploratory approach was necessary to generate results that were rich, detailed, and provisional. A qualitative case methodology was the most suitable choice for investigating information technology, such as small consulting …show more content…

Based on the data and the purpose of the study, a number of possible analytic technique combinations might have been appropriate for conducting the data analysis. A qualitative case study can be conducted using grounded theory, phenomenology, content analysis (interview transcripts), or elements of all three methods.The purpose of the phenomenological method is to obtain the in-depth, lived experiences and perceptions of the participants (Strauss & Corbin, 2007); however, the phenomenological research method does not typically use noninterview data types, suchas were included in this study. Grounded theory would have been appropriate if the purpose of the study was to build a broad theory from the results, rather than as rich data methodologywith the added depth desired to support and expound upon the quantitative portion of the study.The study involved determining the following:
1. The perceptions of the employees and administrators in a small organization regarding virtual communities of

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