Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Volume 11

Cover of Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Traditions and Innovations in Research Methodology


Table of contents

(11 chapters)

In this volume, we take the baton from previous editors Dave Ketchen and Don Bergh in the Research Methodology in Strategy and Management series. Our approach is to stand on the shoulders of these editors and authors who have published in the series. So, we begin, in this chapter, by highlighting innovative work published in this volume that has provided actionable and practical suggestions for problems researchers face in their work. We briefly describe the chapters, including the first two chapters in this volume from Kathleen M. Eisenhardt and Dennis Gioia, and introduce new methodologies and tools to guide researchers in their efforts to build high quality, publishable work. We also describe future work that, in our view, needs to be addressed for the fields of strategic management in particular and management more generally to continue to evolve.


This work describes and demonstrates a novel measurement system refered to as videometrics. Videometrics uses third-party ratings of video samples to assess individuals’ characteristics with psychometrically validated instruments of the measures of interest. Videometrics is argued to help ensure valid measurement in difficult to access subject pools, offering substantial promise for future research. This work explains the methodology and demonstrates the applicability and validity of videometrics in multiple studies in the context of a difficult to access subject pool – chief executive officers (CEOs). Finally, the applicability of the method to samples for which lack of access to individuals of interest has limited empirical investigation is discussed.


Designing a top-quality research study is a complex challenge. We introduce the research design canvas as a tool to help researchers manage this complexity and create better studies. Completing a research design canvas requires researchers to a priori articulate one or more research questions, identify a gap in the literature in need of closing, select a guiding theory or theories, construct hypotheses, choose a sample, select measures, recognize boundary conditions, plot a data analysis strategy, ascertain a study’s limitations, clarify the value added of key research partners, pinpoint a target journal for potential publication, and think ahead about their backup plans in case the research process goes awry. Many studies are doomed to bad fates by poor decisions about these elements. Using the research design canvas can help researchers ensure that they have selected a valid approach to each element, reason through the interrelationships among each decision point within the canvas to ensure that there is consistency among them, and critically assess whether the design as a whole provides the basis for a new advance. By doing so, scholars may be able to improve their chances of defying the high rejection rates of leading journals.


Visuals are a crucial part of strategizing, whether it be through the use of body gesture, the crafting of strategy presentations, or the use of new media technologies from videoconferencing through to data visualization. Yet studying these aspects of the strategy process is methodologically challenging and requires careful attention to how the data is collected and what questions the data analysis can address. In this chapter, we lay out choices for scholars and the opportunities these afford to new and promising agendas in strategy and management research.


This chapter examines existing approaches to conducting qualitative process research (i.e., studies that view phenomena as becoming or evolving over time) by analyzing published process research in six premier organizational journals from 2010 to 2017. We identify four modes of performing process research that we label evolutionary process stories, performative process stories, narrative process stories and toolkit-driven process stories, and explore the particular ways in which they formulate and link empirical and theoretical elements. We also identify some of their specific challenges and suggest directions for the future.


While qualitative work has a long tradition in the strategy field and has recently regained popularity, we have not paused to take stock of how such work offers contributions. We address this oversight with a review of qualitative studies of strategy published in five top-tier journals over an extended period of 15 years (2003–2017). In an attempt to organize the field, we develop an empirically grounded organizing framework. We identify 12 designs that are evident in the literature, or “designs-in-use” as we call them. Acknowledging important similarities and differences between the various approaches to qualitative strategy research (QSR), we group these designs into three “families” based on their philosophical orientation. We use these designs and families to identify trends in QSR. We then engage those trends to orient the future development of qualitative methods in the strategy field.


Research in entrepreneurship is increasingly exploring how archetypes, taxonomies, typologies, and configurations can help scholars understand complex entrepreneurial phenomena. We illustrate the potential for set-theoretic methods to inform this literature by offering best practices regarding how qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) can be used to explore research questions of interest to entrepreneurship scholars. Specifically, we introduce QCA, document how this approach has been used in management research, and provide step-by-step guidance to empower scholars to use this family of methods. We put a particular emphasis on the analytical procedures and offer solutions to dealing with potential pitfalls when using QCA-based methods and highlight opportunities for future entrepreneurship research.

Cover of Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
Publication date
Book series
Research Methodology in Strategy and Management
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
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