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Book part
Publication date: 6 January 2016

Qiang Zha and Derrick Tu

Mixed methods research is an approach for blending quantitative and qualitative data analyses in a single study. It emerged as an alternative to the dichotomy of…

Abstract

Mixed methods research is an approach for blending quantitative and qualitative data analyses in a single study. It emerged as an alternative to the dichotomy of qualitative and quantitative traditions in the past 20 years. Some strengths of mixed methods research include the ability to generate and test theory, the capability to answer complex research questions, and the possibility of corroborating findings.

We argue the mixed methods approach fits well with comparative education studies because they seek to acquire data to make sound and meaningful comparisons about the experience and performance of education systems in different countries. By nature, comparative education attempts to explain why educational systems vary and to explore how education relates to wider social factors and forces. It consists of both confirmatory and exploratory inquiries that are based on the fundamental belief that education can be improved in all nations. Essentially, the mixed methods approach can adequately support the goals of comparative education studies, with its quantitative components serving the confirmatory objectives and the qualitative components attending to the exploratory end.

In this study, we conducted a survey of articles published between 2000 and 2014 in Comparative Education Review, Comparative Education, and Compare to discern the changes in patterns and preferences of dominant research methods. By surveying the three major journals in the field, we hope to reveal the means by which comparative education is conducted in its constituency. At the very least, we believe our study can provide important reference points for speculation about where comparative education might be headed in terms of methodology and methods.

Details

Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2015
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-297-9

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Documents on and from the History of Economic Thought and Methodology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84663-909-8

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Book part
Publication date: 31 July 2009

Rodney Lacey and Peer C. Fiss

The contrast of multilevel and comparative research may seem counterintuitive at first. After all, one might argue that comparative research on organizations by necessity…

Abstract

The contrast of multilevel and comparative research may seem counterintuitive at first. After all, one might argue that comparative research on organizations by necessity spans several levels of analysis (Rokkan, 1966). Yet, multilevel and comparative research on organizations present rather distinct traditions in organization studies, each with its own epistemological assumptions and associated methods. Accordingly, an approach that aims to incorporate both multilevel and comparative ideas needs to start with taking inventory of these prior literatures to situate itself. In the following, we thus turn to the literatures on multilevel and comparative research as different traditions with surprisingly little overlap.

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Studying Differences between Organizations: Comparative Approaches to Organizational Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-647-8

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Book part
Publication date: 7 May 2015

Alexander W. Wiseman and Nikolay Popov

Systematic, consistent, and holistic reflection on comparative methodologies across different disciplines and fields is rare. This chapter, however, develops a framework…

Abstract

Systematic, consistent, and holistic reflection on comparative methodologies across different disciplines and fields is rare. This chapter, however, develops a framework for both understanding and operationalizing comparative research. First, the basic characteristics of comparison and how it is used in social science research is described. Then, the benefits of comparing for identifying similarities versus differences and the contexts that determine the appropriateness of comparison are discussed. Next, several questions are posed that serve as guides in the operationalization of both the promises and the pitfalls of comparison. Finally, these questions are used to frame both conceptual and practical approaches to inter- as well as intra-disciplinary comparative research.

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Comparative Sciences: Interdisciplinary Approaches
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-456-5

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Book part
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Petrina M. Davidson, Calley Stevens Taylor, Maureen Park, Nino Dzotsenidze and Alexander W. Wiseman

Consistent and systematic reflective practice is a key element of professionalization. Reflecting on the current status and trends highlights areas of success and areas…

Abstract

Consistent and systematic reflective practice is a key element of professionalization. Reflecting on the current status and trends highlights areas of success and areas for further examination within the field of comparative and international education (CIE). This research examines the characteristics of articles in peer-reviewed comparative and international education journals from the last three years in order to identify how the field has changed. Data explored include number of authors, author(s) institutional location(s), research methodology, content or context of analysis, and keywords. Results were compared to questions and recommendations posed by Bereday in 1964 and in the initial Annual Review in 2013. Single-country studies continued to dominate the field for the third year; however, there has been a shift in methodological approaches, with more balance between qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Collaboration, evidenced by an increase in co-authored articles, has increased across the field. Findings from keyword analysis show that although six keywords have remained at the top of the field across the three years, there are few topics which unite the field. These results indicate that although one strength of the field has been cited as its diversity, CIE lacks a common focus on methods, theories, or contents that set it apart from other education-affiliated disciplines. Scholars are encouraged to continue consistent and systematic reflection in determining future directions of the field by identifying unique approaches to distinguish CIE.

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Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2017
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-765-4

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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2019

David A. Turner

This chapter looks at how various scholars have attempted to structure the “infinite field” by defining the appropriate theory and methods. These efforts have centered on…

Abstract

This chapter looks at how various scholars have attempted to structure the “infinite field” by defining the appropriate theory and methods. These efforts have centered on a conception of what it would take to make comparative education a “science,” and how one could achieve “objective knowledge.” While these concerns were important for comparative educationists throughout the nineteenth century, who mostly favored a historical approach, the debate became more heated and more urgent in the 1960s when a number of key players published competing positions. This coincided with a time when the claim to a basis in science was being used to introduce a range of new subjects to higher education and establish disciplines like sociology on a firm institutional footing. Subsequently some of the heat went out of the debate about theory and method. A number of possible causes can be identified, including (i) that it became apparent comparative education was not going to achieve disciplinary status on a par with sociology; (ii) de facto comparative educationists handed the palm to Bereday, and carried on doing comparative education as he had described it; and (iii) the appetite for global theorizing waned to be replaced by partial theories, many of them based on general concerns for social justice and drawing on a broadly Marxist definition of “science.” The chapter concludes with reflections on the fact that healthy debate about methodology and theory can drive the development of the field, and that in the absence of explicit debate there is the danger that certain assumptions, especially assumptions that do not recognize the importance of context, can come to dominate the field by stealth.

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Comparative and International Education: Survey of an Infinite Field
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-392-2

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Book part
Publication date: 7 May 2015

Olga Fedotova and Oksana Chigisheva

Contemporary comparative pedagogical discourses are becoming increasingly popular and strongly modify the policy and practice of education worldwide. Intensification of…

Abstract

Contemporary comparative pedagogical discourses are becoming increasingly popular and strongly modify the policy and practice of education worldwide. Intensification of empirical studies naturally leads to the decrease of the research interest in purely methodological issues that stand apart from practical application of comparative analysis and comparative method. This chapter attempts to fill in the methodological lacuna in the study of comparative method and its potential when doing research determined by the ideological context. The authors state two main research questions, the first one concerning the potential of comparative analysis for the detection of the technologies and facts of ideological indoctrination and the second one focusing on its functional possibilities in revealing the transformations in the vision of pedagogical reality by the theorist under the influence of the complete change of the state’s ideology. Statistical analysis of the units, content and comparative analysis, quantification, interpretation, and analogy were used for the comprehensive comparative study of the small volume of text by A. S. Makarenko Beseda s rabochim aktivom na zavode ‘Sharikopodshipnik’ (Conversation with Working Active Members at the Plant ‘Ball-bearing’) with comments published in Russian and its analogue issued in German by Makarenko-Referat laboratory and two text versions of “Zadachi i metody narodnoj shkoly” (“Objectives and Methods of National School”) by P. P. Blonsky issued under the same title in 1916 and 1917. General outcomes of the research vividly demonstrate how micro- and macro contexts may widen the horizons of the comparative method and significantly differentiate comparative research schemes.

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Comparative Sciences: Interdisciplinary Approaches
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-456-5

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2010

Catriona Paisey and Nicholas J. Paisey

Although many of the problems currently being faced in accounting education have also been expressed in educational debates within other professions such as medicine, law…

Abstract

Purpose

Although many of the problems currently being faced in accounting education have also been expressed in educational debates within other professions such as medicine, law and architecture, changes in accounting education policy and practice have not been greatly influenced by comparative study of other professions. This paper aims to examine the potentiality of the comparative research method in order to inform the future direction of accounting education.

Design/methodology/approach

Comparative methodology has been defined as “a method of analysis that focuses on several objects of study in order to identify similarities and differences”. This paper begins by critiquing the comparative research method before considering how comparative research can make a contribution to research into accounting education policy and professional issues. The extent to which comparative research has been undertaken in accounting education research is then examined.

Findings

The potentiality of incorporating ideas from other professional education systems has not been fully exploited in accounting education.

Research limitations/implications

This paper advocates comparing accounting education with that in other professions. Other types of comparative research, for example, international comparisons, are not covered in detail.

Practical implications

Accounting educators and education policy setters should be encouraged to explore the accounting systems of similar professions to generate new ideas for change.

Originality/value

The paper discusses how comparative study, with particular reference to other professions, can be used to inform change in accounting education policy.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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Book part
Publication date: 7 May 2015

C. C. Wolhuter

Comparative Education is conceptually difficult to define. It has been described as having an unusually wide terrain. It suffers from a host of identity crises, and this…

Abstract

Comparative Education is conceptually difficult to define. It has been described as having an unusually wide terrain. It suffers from a host of identity crises, and this chapter enumerates and explains 10: deciding whether Comparative Education is a discipline, a field or a method, what does ‘comparison’ in Comparative Education denote?, the minuscule place of the comparative method in Comparative Education, the dominance of single unit studies, the dearth of taxonomies, the problem that globalization makes Comparative Education seems like a field past its shelf-life, the question as to whether Comparative Education should graduate to International Education, the fact that it can show very little evidence of achieving the lofty goals it purports to pursue, the many pitfalls in practicing Comparative Education and the lack of autochthonous Comparative Education theory. The chapter concludes by indicating the potential from other comparative sciences, in order to address this problem.

Details

Comparative Sciences: Interdisciplinary Approaches
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-456-5

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Hongwei Wang, Song Gao, Pei Yin and James Nga-Kwok Liu

Comparative opinions widely exist in online reviews as a common way of expressing consumers’ ideas or preferences toward certain products. Such opinion-rich texts are key…

Abstract

Purpose

Comparative opinions widely exist in online reviews as a common way of expressing consumers’ ideas or preferences toward certain products. Such opinion-rich texts are key proxies for detecting product competitiveness. The purpose of this paper is to set up a model for competitiveness analysis by identifying comparative relations from online reviews for restaurants based on both pattern matching and machine learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors define the sub-category of comparative sentences according to Chinese linguistics. Classification rules are set up for each type of comparative relations through class sequence rule. To improve the accuracy of classification, a comparative entity dictionary is then introduced for further identifying comparative sentences. Finally, the authors collect reviews for restaurants from Dianping.com to conduct experiments for testing the proposed model.

Findings

The experiments show that the proposed method outperforms the baseline methods in terms of precision in identifying comparative sentences. On the basis of such comparison-rich sentences, product features and comparative relations are extracted for sentiment analysis, and sentimental score is assigned to each comparative relation to facilitate competitiveness analysis.

Research limitations/implications

Only the explicit comparative relations are discussed, neglecting the implicit ones. Besides that, the study is grounded in the assumption that all features are homogeneous. In some cases, however, the weights to different aspects are not of the same importance to market.

Practical implications

On the basis of comparative relation mining, product features and comparative opinions are extracted for competitiveness analysis, which is of interest to businesses for finding weakness or strength of products, as well as to consumers for making better purchase decisions.

Social implications

Comparative relation mining could be possibly applied in social media for identifying relations among users or products, and ranking users or products, as well as helping companies target and track competitors to enhance competitiveness.

Originality/value

The authors propose a research framework for restaurant competitiveness analysis by mining comparative relations from online consumer reviews. The results would be able to differentiate one restaurant from another in some aspects of interest to consumers, and reveal the changes in these differences over time.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 117 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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