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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2014

Seonaidh McDonald and Barbara Simpson

The purpose of this paper is to provide some context for the special issue and to introduce the collection of invited commentaries and research papers that follow. It also…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide some context for the special issue and to introduce the collection of invited commentaries and research papers that follow. It also sets out to clarify the contribution that shadowing methods can make to the study of organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

This is done by briefly outlining the ways in which shadowing methods have developed in parallel within a number of disciplines. In order to tackle the question of why this has happened, a grounded approach is taken which centres on data excerpts generated by a shadowing method and three of its closest methodological neighbours: interviews, observation and participant observation. The paper further develops this analysis through the presentation of a set of illustrative analogies which use the idea of the researcher's gaze as a beam of light.

Findings

Similarities and differences between shadowing, interviews, observation and participant observation are identified, which support the articulation of shadowing as a family of following methods.

Research limitations/implications

Taken together, the contributions from the invited commentaries and research papers, suggest a number of ways in which the debate surrounding shadowing research in organizations needs to be developed going forward.

Originality/value

The reflexive, comparative methodological approach taken here provides for the first time a systematic comparison of shadowing in relation to other common qualitative data elicitation methods. Further, the development of a critique of the extant literature on shadowing provides a basis on which to progress the field, both in terms of shadowing practices themselves and writing about them within disciplines and across the research methods literature.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2004

Eti Herman

Reports the preliminary conclusions derived from the initial, pathfinder phase of a study devoted to a re‐assessment of the information needs of academic researchers. This…

Abstract

Reports the preliminary conclusions derived from the initial, pathfinder phase of a study devoted to a re‐assessment of the information needs of academic researchers. This exploration of researchers’ current information requirements and information seeking practices has been undertaken with a special emphasis on examining the validity of anything and everything we have customarily been holding true as to the information component of academic research work. The groundwork for the investigation has been laid down in a pilot project of seven in‐depth critical incident method based information needs interviews with faculty at the University of Haifa (Israel). The qualitative data thus obtained as to researchers’ information needs, how they go about meeting these needs, and the barriers they encounter in the process have been analysed within the comprehensive framework proposed for a systematic description of information needs. The ensuing evaluation considers 11 aspects of the present‐day academic researcher’s information needs: subject, function, nature, intellectual level, viewpoint, quantity, quality/authority, date/currency, speed of delivery, place of publication/origin, and processing/packaging.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 56 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1979

Roger Bennett

For a variety of reasons (some good, others not so) “research” has almost become a dirty word. To many people it smacks of intellectual aloofness; to others it appears the…

Abstract

For a variety of reasons (some good, others not so) “research” has almost become a dirty word. To many people it smacks of intellectual aloofness; to others it appears the plaything of arrogant academics; whilst by some it is regarded as a luxury which can seldom be enjoyed just to let boffins pursue fallacious flights of fancy. Some people say that research has no real role therefore, and at worst must be tolerated; it is not the practical way of life.

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Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 3 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1985

V.L. BREMBER and P. LEGGATE

The paper reports an intensive survey of medical library users in the Oxford teaching hospitals and the University science departments. Six survey techniques were used and…

Abstract

The paper reports an intensive survey of medical library users in the Oxford teaching hospitals and the University science departments. Six survey techniques were used and selected results are given for each. It was concluded that the characteristic having most influence on information‐seeking behaviour and library usage was the relative amounts of the user's time devoted to clinical practice and to research respectively. Three distinct user types were identified and ‘rich picture’ descriptions based on the survey evidence are given for each. A second paper will describe a systems study which linked the survey to library management decision‐making.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 41 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 6 April 2011

Anton Neville Isaacs, Hugh Pepper, Priscilla Pyett, Hilton A. Gruis, Peter Waples‐Crowe and Mark A. Oakley‐Browne

Evidence on the methods followed by non‐Indigenous researchers for conducting research that involves Indigenous people in Australia is sparse. This paper describes the…

Abstract

Evidence on the methods followed by non‐Indigenous researchers for conducting research that involves Indigenous people in Australia is sparse. This paper describes the methodology and steps followed by a non‐Indigenous researcher for engaging with men from an Aboriginal community in rural Victoria in conducting mental health services research. It describes the process adopted to initiate research and build research capacity within an Indigenous community where Indigenous researchers were unavailable and the local communities were ill‐equipped to conduct research themselves. The methodology followed was informed by the values and ethics guidelines of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, the decolonising methodology of Linda Tuhiwai Smith as well as methods suggested by other authors. Lessons learnt included providing for a long time frame, which is necessary to develop relationships and trust with individuals and their Communities, adopting a flexible approach and engaging cultural advisers who represent different sections of the Community.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2019

Signe Bruskin

The purpose of this paper is to explore the fluidity of the fieldwork roles “insider” and “outsider.” The paper aims to move the discussion of insiders from an a priori…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the fluidity of the fieldwork roles “insider” and “outsider.” The paper aims to move the discussion of insiders from an a priori categorized status and contribute to the literary insider–outsider debate by unfolding the micro process of how the role of an insider is shaped in situ. Grounded in empirical examples, the paper illustrates how the researcher’s role is shaped through interactions with organizational members and by context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on an ethnographic study in an IT department of a Nordic bank and draws on empirical material generated through a combination of data: shadowing, interviews, observations and documents. Excerpts from fieldnotes are included to invite the reader into “the scenes” played out in the field and are analyzed in order to illustrate the shaping of roles in situ.

Findings

The study finds that, independent of the researcher’s role as sponsored by the organization, the interactions with organizational members and context determine whether the researcher is assigned a role as insider or outsider, or even both within the same context.

Originality/value

The paper contributes with a new discussion of how the roles of insiders and outsiders are fluid by discussing the shaping of the roles in situ. By drawing on relational identity theories, the paper illustrates how interactions and context influence the researcher’s role, grounded in empirical examples. In addition, the paper discusses what the assigned roles enable and constrain for the ethnographer in that particular situation.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1988

LYLE WHAN

The study of Malcolm Tims, principal at Boobook Primary School, is one example of the descriptive case studies written for ten primary school principals in one N.S.W…

Abstract

The study of Malcolm Tims, principal at Boobook Primary School, is one example of the descriptive case studies written for ten primary school principals in one N.S.W. Inspectorate. The Stephens Tissue Perfusion Monitor was used as a physiological device to monitor the levels of stress. A plethysmograph worn by the principal and connected to a small transmitter relayed signals to a receiver connected to the Tissue Perfusion Monitor. As stress levels increased, the amount of blood flowing to the tissues decreased and this was shown on the meter and numerically represented as the Tissue Perfusion Index (TPI). As stress levels decreased the TPI levels rose. Each principal was observed for several days and detailed notes were made of the various factors that caused the stress levels to vary. Changes of staff, conflicting values, attitudes and behaviours in teachers and executive staff, staff meetings and poor performance of ancillary staff were common stressors. Recalcitrant pupils, dissatisfied parents, and dealings with other officials, curriculum and policy changes, problems with school buildings and equipment (including break‐and‐enters), work overload and time pressures were also significant stressors. Principals' days seemed to be characterised by a large number of “hassles” and “uplifts”, with intervening periods of either heavy of severe stress or periods of relative calm. Stress levels were found to decrease when positive and beneficial events occurred. The study was able to determine 14 categories of such “uplifts”. Positive support, a “challenge” mentality, confidence, a higher locus of control, as well as individual application of techniques for relaxation, appeared to assist principals in lowering stress levels.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2006

Jane Hemsley‐Brown and Izhar Oplatka

The purpose of this systematic review was to explore the nature of the marketing of higher education (HE) and universities in an international context. The objectives of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this systematic review was to explore the nature of the marketing of higher education (HE) and universities in an international context. The objectives of the review were to: systematically collect, document, scrutinise and critically analyse the current research literature on supply‐side higher education marketing; establish the scope of higher education marketing; identify gaps in the research literature; and make recommendations for further research in this field.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach for this study entailed extensive searches of relevant business management and education databases. The intention was to ensure that, as far as possible, all literature in the field was identified – while keeping the focus on literature of greatest pertinence to the research questions.

Findings

The paper finds that potential benefits of applying marketing theories and concepts that have been effective in the business world are gradually being recognised by researchers in the field of HE marketing. However, the literature on HE marketing is incoherent, even inchoate, and lacks theoretical models that reflect upon the particular context of HE and the nature of their services.

Research limitations/implications

The research field of HE marketing is still at a relatively pioneer stage with much research still to be carried out both from a problem identification and strategic perspective.

Originality/value

Despite the substantial literature on the marketisation of HE and consumer behaviour, scholarship to provide evidence of the marketing strategies that have been implemented by HE institutions on the supply‐side remains limited, and this is relatively uncharted territory. This paper reviews the literature in the field, focusing on marketing strategies in the rapidly developing HE international market.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2019

Sergio Henrique Rocha Franco

The purpose of this paper is to indicate how place making and belonging are still largely governed by race in Brazil and South Africa. As such, it engages with debates…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to indicate how place making and belonging are still largely governed by race in Brazil and South Africa. As such, it engages with debates about the postracial informed by the study of two urban settings that are discernible by their relationship with race issues: Rio de Janeiro’s favelas and Johannesburg’s townships.

Design/methodology/approach

The study provides a brief account of post-racial discourses in each country: Brazilian racial democracy and South Africa’s self-imagination as rainbow nation. Subsequently, these two major national self-understandings are probed using data gathered in the fieldwork (participant observation and in-depth interviews) carried out in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas and Johannesburg’s townships between 2013 and 2015.

Findings

The main accomplishment of the study is to approach debates about senses of place, understood here as place making and belonging, from the everyday experiences of favela and township inhabitants. The study suggests discrepancies between the racialized senses of place in Brazilian and South African urban milieus and any sort of post-racial rhetoric. Despite the existence of norms and institutions promoting equal rights of citizenship in Brazil and South Africa, place making is still largely encumbered by the legacy of racial domination in both countries.

Originality/value

By adding new evidence to the research on everyday racism, the study explores the mutual influences between senses of place and the persistent patterns of racial segregation in two urban contexts of the global South. Beyond this, it offers a comparative approach that connects micro-level social dynamics and macro-level discourses.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 39 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1994

David F. Birks

There is great emphasis in local authorities for strategydevelopment to reflect the characteristics and views of a localpopulace. Initiating research which effectively…

Abstract

There is great emphasis in local authorities for strategy development to reflect the characteristics and views of a local populace. Initiating research which effectively supports strategy development is problematic, as the gaps in strategists′ knowledge of a populace are not self‐evident. Examines the problems of initiating effective research which can support strategy development, and the barriers existing in local authorities which can prevent the successful development of research. Presents a format for a research brief that is seen as a means to develop negotiations between the strategist and the researcher. The brief is seen as a means to test the nature of skills in problem diagnosis and data interpretation of the researcher, in addition to their skills of measurement. It is a test of what the researcher can bring to the demanding tasks of strategy development.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 7 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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