Qualitative methods in business studies

Getting Better at Sensemaking

ISBN: 978-0-76230-633-6, eISBN: 978-1-84950-043-2

ISSN: 1069-0964

Publication date: 2 February 2001


This paper focuses on the use of qualitative studies in business to business research. It highlights some of the differences and similarities between qualitative methods to illustrate the methodological consequences of choosing one method in preference to another. Three methods are presented: The Case Study Method, Grounded Theory, and the Humanistic Inquiry. A general presentation of each of the methods is followed by a description of their use in practice—how is research planned and performed according to each method? Finally, a critical review of the three methods is made. it is emphasized that choice and use of qualitative method must be consistent with the problem, the type of explanation to be used, and the theory in use. Further, it is demonstrated how the choice of method will have crucial consequences for the direction and conclusion of a study. To use qualitative methods in business to business studies the researcher must meet critical methodological demands; why a method is chosen, how it can be used, and in which way it is possible to triangulate with other methods.


Damgaard, T., Freytag, P. and Darmer, P. (2001), "Qualitative methods in business studies", Woodside, A. (Ed.) Getting Better at Sensemaking (Advances in Business Marketing and Purchasing, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 143-186. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1069-0964(00)09005-0

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