Advancing Research Methodology in the African Context: Techniques, Methods, and Designs: Volume 10

Table of contents

(15 chapters)
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List of Contributors

Pages vii-viii
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Introduction

Pages ix-xii
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Purpose

The purpose of this study is to review the literature on strategic management in Africa with special emphasis on how strategy constructs have been measured and present a roadmap to help improve strategy research in Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

A content analysis of empirical research on strategic management published in journals using data from Africa from 2000 to 2013 is conducted to examine construct measurement practices.

Findings

The findings indicate that the average sample sizes in strategy research in Africa is not large as strategy research in general, and have low statistical power. While the studies rely heavily on single-indicator measures, there were also several studies using scale or multiple measures that report reliabilities.

Research limitations

Limitations of the research include small number of studies used, inability to examine journal effects’ of the findings due to few numbers of papers from many of the journals, and lack of examination of the influence of the context and topical areas of the articles on the use of the construct measurement techniques.

Practical implications

The study provides information about the use of construct measurement techniques and power analysis in strategy research in Africa. It further encourages the use of larger sample sizes, the examination of power, and more focus on variables which allow the assessment of reliabilities and validity.

Originality and value

Little is known about construct measurement practices of the empirical research in and about Africa in the discipline of strategic management. This chapter builds on extant research on construct measurement issues in strategic management research, but with the unique value-added contribution of focusing on the African environment where the discipline is beginning to take hold.

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Purpose

We discuss how experimental analysis can be integrated into strategic human resources management (SHRM) research in Africa so as to develop theory and value principles to guide executives.

Design/methodology/approach

The model we propose – experiment-based SHRM – is predicated on the use of experimental approaches to demonstrate the value of SHRM and to derive principles that guide research and practice in Africa.

Findings

We illustrate how scholars can conduct experiments from an SHRM perspective.

Research limitations/implications

We discuss the strengths and limitations of the model and suggest ways of maximizing its potential.

Practical implications

The technique is a resource for scholars of SHRM in Africa. They can use it to supplement other approaches for studying SHRM.

Originality/value

This chapter discusses a typology of experimental analysis. The lack of such a typology in the context of Africa makes it a valuable contribution. Thus, it fills a contextual gap in the SHRM research methodology literature. It can therefore help graduate students and junior faculty improve their research.

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Purpose

In this chapter, I proposed the use of structured behavioral analysis (SBA) as a methodological approach to address critical questions in organizational behavior research in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methodology/approach

The chapter is a conceptual paper that reviews the extant literature on research tools aimed at coding and analyzing behavior, with a particular focus on employee behavior in African organizations.

Findings

SBA requires the researcher to act as both an organizational scholar and an anthropologist. As an organizational scholar, the researcher will identify predetermined behaviors that he/she intends to study. Thus, the observation and analysis will be geared toward such behaviors. As an anthropologist, the organizational researcher will observe behaviors that are displayed by employees and managers and use them as the basis for explanation and theory building.

Research limitations/implications (if applicable)

SBA can be used to study behaviors that often occur in African organizations, such as nepotism, corruption, the role of tribal status, and the impact of family generosity, the forced solidarity tax, and obligations on employee behavior.

Practical implications (if applicable)

Findings from SBA could help design interventions to address the detrimental effects of negative behaviors while reinforcing positive behaviors in African organizations.

Originality/value of chapter

As a research methodology, SBA is relatively new in the African context although some versions of the method are used in industrial/organizational psychology and ergonomics.

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Purpose

To explain for doctoral students and new faculty, the appropriate techniques for using event study methods while identifying problems that make the method difficult for use in the context of African markets.

Methodology/approach

We review the finance and strategy literature on event studies, provide an illustrative example of the technique, summarize the prior use of the method in research using African samples, and indicate remedies for problems encountered when using the technique in African markets.

Findings

We find limited use of the technique in African markets due to limited data availability which is attributable to problems of infrequent trading, thin markets, and inadequate access to free data.

Research limitations

Our review of the literature on event studies using African data is limited to English-language journals and sources accessible through our library research databases.

Practical implications

More often, researchers will need to use nonparametric techniques to evaluate market responses for companies in or events affecting the African markets.

Originality/value of the chapter

We make a contribution with this chapter by giving a more detailed description of event study methods and by identifying solutions to problems in using the technique in African markets.

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Purpose

My purpose is to describe for strategic management scholars in Africa, particularly graduate students and new faculty members, dynamic analysis and its significance in the African context so as to assist in the study of dynamic phenomena.

Design/methodology/approach

I discuss various types and methods of dynamic analysis. Dynamic analysis has been used extensively in such fields as cognitive psychology, social psychology, and management in Western countries.

Findings

I illustrate the various dynamics by reviewing four illustrative studies. I also provide procedures for studying dynamics in the African context.

Research limitations/implications

I discuss the strengths and limitations of dynamic analysis and suggest ways of maximizing its potential.

Practical implications

The technique is a source particularly for graduate students of strategy in Africa. They can use it to supplement other approaches in studying strategic management phenomena.

Originality/value

This chapter discusses a typology of dynamic analysis consistent with empirical or variable modeling approaches. The lack of such a typology in the context of Africa makes it a valuable contribution. Thus, it fills a contextual gap in the research methodology literature.

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Purpose

We believe that management and strategy scholars should engage in research around the role of informal economic activity in the perpetuation of poverty on the African continent.

Design/methodology/approach

We argue that the study of informal economic activity, because of its explicit and often purposefully created hidden nature, requires a new method of inquiry and we propose that the practice of hermeneutics provides such a method. Our chapter describes the foundations of hermeneutic research and outlines key principles to guide inquiry.

Findings

We move from a rigorous introduction to the general method (a form of hermeneutic investigation) and its implementation in the narrative interview. The chapter concludes with a set of practical guidelines to help researchers employ narrative interviews to uncover collective memory structures and gain deeper insight and real understanding of the workings of informal economies.

Originality/value

We believe this chapter will motivate management and strategy scholars to examine the role of informal economic activity in the perpetuation of poverty in Africa and provide a starting point for developing the tools necessary to engage in research that creates a real and deep understanding of the contexts of poverty on the African continent.

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Purpose

To introduce researchers to useful techniques and methodologies that are effective in the African environment that reflect both the unique context, challenges, and opportunities of community-based research.

Methodology/approach

We argue that strategic research methods should be utilized that reflect the variation that is found environmentally and geographically. Because the field of strategy emerged in the United States followed by Europe, it lacks an adequate methodology to examine comparative underdevelopment by communities in Africa and the developing world. We provide a case study example of an action research project that highlights an effective way to introduce strategic change at the community level in an African context – a small rural town in Uganda.

Research limitations

Our example is based on a single case study in Uganda and may or may not have generalizable implications.

Originality/value

We explain the necessity and the process by which the action research takes place, longitudinally, providing a strategic solution to the problem of behavioral poverty. We introduce our process of community entrepreneurship as an alternative to strategic methods based primarily on existing organizations reflecting resource munificence. We demonstrate the importance of extensive community debate, collaborative decision making, and solidarity in supporting positive action-research outcomes.

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Purpose

To expose strategic management scholars in Africa, particularly graduate students and new faculty members, to bibliometrics, a fast-growing approach for examining the impact of individual and collective scholarly.

Design/methodology/approach

We review the bibliographic analysis approach by discussing its origin, development, and process. We then advance to a dynamic multilevel model that can be used to examine strategic management contributions at the individual and collective levels. Bibliometric analysis is being used extensively in such fields as library science, agriculture, economics, medicine, psychology, and more recently in management areas such as entrepreneurship, strategy, and international business. In addition to its wide application, bibliometric analysis has relevance for strategic management research in Africa which is characterized by major research constrains.

Findings

Illustrations are provided with procedures for conducting bibliometric analysis. We conclude by making recommendations on what to consider in using the approach for the study of strategic management in Africa.

Research limitations/implications

We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the approach as well as suggestions on maximizing its potential.

Practical implications

The approach is an invaluable source particularly for graduate students of strategy. They can be used to supplement other approaches in the study of strategic management impact.

Originality/value

To our knowledge, this chapter seems to be the first to propose bibliometric analysis for the study of strategic management in the African context. In that regard, it fills a gap in the research methodology literature. It can therefore help graduate students and junior faculty improve their careers.

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Purpose

The Truncated Levy Flight (TLF) model has been successfully used to model the return distribution of stock markets in developed economies and a few developing economies such as India. Our primary purpose is to use the TLF to model the S&P 500 and the firms operating in the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).

Methodology

We assess the predictive efficacy of the TLF model by comparing a simulation of the Standard and Poor's 500 (S&P 500) index and that of firms in the stock market in Ghana, using data from the same time period (June 2007–September 2013).

Finding

We find that the Levy models relatively accurately models the return distributions of the S&P 500 but does not accurately model the return distributions of firms in the Ghana stock market.

Limitations/implications

A major limitation is that we examined stock market data only from Ghana, while there are over 29 other African stock markets. We suggest that doctoral students and faculty can compare these stock markets either on the basis of age or the number of firms listed. For example, the oldest stock market was set up in 1883 in Egypt, while the more recent ones were set up in 2012 in the Seychelles and in Somalia.

Practical implications

Scholarly inquiry about the stock markets in Africa represents a rich area of research that we will encourage doctoral students and faculty to go into.

Originality/value

There has been little research done regarding the TLF model and African stock markets and this research has much utility and high level of originality.

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DOI
10.1108/S1479-8387201410
Publication date
2014-11-26
Book series
Research Methodology in Strategy and Management
Editor
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78441-489-4
Book series ISSN
1479-8387