Qualitative Research Methods

6311 Words Jun 23rd, 2006 26 Pages
MODERN ORGANIZATION THEORY

TERM PROJECT

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS
FROM AN ORGANIZATION MANAGEMENT PERSPECTIVE

Ýhsan Ulaþ Kocaoðlu

JANUARY 2006

CONTENTS
Definition of Qualitative Research in Social Sciences
Approaches to Management Research
Positivism versus Phenomenology
Deductive and Inductive
Schools of Thought in Management Research
Major Qualitaitve Research Approaches
Ethnographic Approach
Phenomenology
Field Research
Grounded Theory
Case study
Action Research

Narrative research

Qualitative Data Collection Techniques

Interviews Workshops / Focus Groups

Literature Review

Participant Observation

Nonparticipant Observation

Data Analysis and Analytic Techniques

Analytic induction
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case studies, ethnography, observation and interviews (Denzin and Lincoln, 1994). Phenomenology is often referred to in a variety of terms e.g. Constructivism, Interpretivism, Naturalistic Inquiry, Qualitative Enquiry, Ethnographic, Post Positivism, Hermeneutics and Humanism (Young, 2005 in Robson, 1983 and Easterby-Smith et. al., 1991). Table 1 summarises the key differences between the two perspectives.

Deductive and Inductive
As presented in Table 1, the Positivist and Phenomenological perspectives use, respectively, a Deductive research approach and an Inductive research approach. The deductive research involves beginning a study with a theory or a hypothesis that needs to be tested using gathered data, leading to acceptance or rejection of the theory. (Young, 2005)
Robson (1993) describes this deductive (Positivist) approach as having five sequential steps:
1. Deducing a hypothesis from theory.
2. Expressing the hypothesis in operational terms that propose a relationship between two specific variables.
3. Testing the operational hypothesis by experiment or some other form of empirical inquiry. 4. Examining the outcome (to confirm or indicate the need for modifying the theory).
5. If necessary, modifying the theory in the light of the findings and repeating the cycle so as to verify the revised theory.
In contrast the inductive research approach
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