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The Evolution of Qualitative Research: Choices and Debates

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Topicality of your research-based problem

Reflect on and discuss how your research-based problem or issue might be addressed in different ways by different types of qualitative research

My research based problem is that of knowledge hoarding in our organization. This problem might be addressed in different ways by different types of qualitative research. One of the qualitative research methods that can be used to address this issue is post-positivist qualitative research. Using this paradigm, I will generate information for my study by using both rigorous method and scientific method of data collection (Alvesson & Skoldberg, 2000). I may also use social constructivism to generate knowledge for solving the problem of knowledge hoarding that affects our team. When I use this type of qualitative research, I will consider the contributions given by my fellow team members concerning the factors that cause them to hold knowledge concerning new profitable investment ideas.


Which qualitative methodologies and approaches might enable you to address your research question most comprehensively?

The qualitative methodologies that will address my research questions most comprehensively are ethnographic research and grounded theory. I propose to use ethnographic research since this form of research concentrates on the culture of people. I believe that the members of our team have slowly adopted the culture of knowledge hoarding due to the beliefs that our organization may have. This is because I noticed that the problem has been progressing slowly since I took leadership in our investment team and this could be due to the culture that our organization might be having. I plan to use the approach of sense making when I use this methodology. In addition, I will also use grounded theory. This is methodology uses inductive approach and it aims at building an explanatory theory about an issue in the field (Creswell, 2013).

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Data and outcomes

In what way would each of the approaches give you different data and outcomes? Why?

The approaches used in ethnographic research and grounded theory will give me different data and outcomes in several ways. Ethnographic research mainly uses interviews, observation and other sources while collecting data from the field (Creswell, 2013). Since this approach relies on other sources while collecting data from the field, it is likely that the data will be unbiased. This is because the researcher will not be relying on personal judgement only while collecting data. In contrast, grounded theory mainly uses interviews while collecting data. Personal judgment may influence the data that I collect since I will be responsible for setting up the interview and conducting the actual interviews.

Etnographic research

Choose one of these key methodologies to read about more deeply. Agree within your group which of you will focus on which methodological approach. Read, for example, Hammersley (2003) on ethnography, or Corbin and Strauss (2008) on grounded theory, or Boje (2001) on narrative inquiry, or Yin (1994) on case studies.

The methodological approach that I plan to concentrate on is ethnographic research. The main reason that led me to choose this approach is that I believe that the problem of knowledge hoarding in our investment team is influenced largely by our organization culture. According to Hammersley (2003), ethnography concentrates mainly on the interpretation of culture of certain groups of people. Researchers argue that studying of organizational culture is very important when two companies are contemplating to enter into any merger agreement. It helps the researcher to know the values and beliefs of different employees and thus a researcher is able to make conclusions on how to promote teamwork in the new organization based on the cultures of the two organizations. Ethnographic research also relies on observations and interviews during data collection. It helps the researcher to get first hand information from the field, which is more reliable compared to second hand information (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe & Jackson, 2012)

Critical and poststructralist researches

What are the key arguments of critical and poststructuralist researchers? Discuss what insights you have taken from these ideas about what constitutes ‘good’ research

Critical and poststructuralist researchers argue that research should not be only based on fixed scientific assumptions and methodologies (Alvesson & Skoldberg, 2000). It should consider looking at new ideas that are relevant in the social world. In addition, they argue that management practitioners should be involved in the actual process of research. It helps to reduce the gap of relevance and rigor. I will consider these ideas while looking for a solution on the problem of knowledge hoarding. I plan to adopt a participatory form of research. It will help me to involve the employees during the research process. This will help in reducing overreliance on scientific assumptions.

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