In this chapter, the authors focus on three challenges related to the attributes of the interactive business world and on the related implications for methodology. The first challenge is how to capture the continuity of business relationships, which implies: (1) Taking a two-sided (bilateral) view when researching business relationships, (2) collecting data on content and consequences of business relationships and (3) developing a research design to capture development over time. The second challenge is how to set boundaries and trace network-like structures, which implies: (1) identifying the relevant relationships that appear to affect each other in a network-like manner, (2) capturing interdependences among relationships (how they affect each other) and (3) researching forces generating network dynamics (how these interdependencies are established and change over time). The third challenge is how to observe and research interaction processes in business relationships, which leave little traces and are difficult to record. This requires the attention on (1) the choice of point(s) of observation, (2) the handling of the subjective understanding of interaction and (3) researching how interaction unfolds. The authors conclude with a discussion on the complexity of handling these challenges, and related methodological choices, when ‘research objects’ are interconnected.
Abrahamsen, M.H., Havenvid, M.I. and La Rocca, A. (2017), "Researching the Interactive Business Landscape", Håkansson, H. and Snehota, I. (Ed.) No Business is an Island, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 253-273. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78714-549-820171014
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