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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2008

Margaret K. Hogg and Pauline Maclaran

The purpose of this paper is to examine how consumer researchers working in the interpretivist tradition go about composing well founded theorized storylines, in order to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how consumer researchers working in the interpretivist tradition go about composing well founded theorized storylines, in order to convince audiences of the soundness of the theory‐building which emanates from their studies.

Design/methodology/approach

An analytical framework was derived from Golden‐Biddle and Locke's study of organizational ethnographers to see how they made their accounts convincing to their audiences. Golden‐Biddle and Locke's analysis revealed 3Ds – authenticity, plausibility and criticality (each with a variety of sub‐dimensions) – that played key rhetorical roles in convincing readers.

Findings

Using this analytical framework (summarized in three tables), examples from a variety of authors' work in Journal of Consumer Research ( JCR) were drawn upon to illustrate how interpretivist consumer behaviour authors tackled these three key dimensions: authenticity, plausibility and criticality.

Research limitations/implications

Only a limited set of JCR studies out of an extensive field of qualitative research in consumer behaviour were analyzed.

Originality/value

Little attention has been paid hitherto to the actual practices of writing qualitative research within the marketing field. The more basic writing techniques involved in qualitative research tend to be regarded as implicit, skills that are acquired by osmosis rather than being formally taught or made explicit. This can make it particularly difficult for less‐experienced interpretivist researchers to learn the tools of their qualitative trade, which are often taken for granted by longer standing researchers. The paper seeks to make some of these writing practices more transparent and some of the rhetorical devices more explicit for authors who may wish to improve their own writing styles or strengthen their ability to use rhetoric.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Isabelle Szmigin and Gordon Foxall

Considers the history and current position of interpretive consumer research within the marketing paradigm. It focuses on the conflict that has developed between the…

Abstract

Considers the history and current position of interpretive consumer research within the marketing paradigm. It focuses on the conflict that has developed between the positivist tradition and the relatively new interpretive approach. In doing so it considers the merits of interpretive research in consumer behaviour and criticisms made against it. Methodological issues centring on the trustworthiness of this type of research are explored, as well as the friction that traditionally has existed between art and science. An argument is made for an inclusive rather than exclusive approach, allowing the existence of differing approaches and assuming each has a contribution to make to the furtherance of consumer behaviour research.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2020

Neil Towers, Ismail Abushaikha, James Ritchie and Andreas Holter

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the non-academic impact in supply chain management (SCM) research through the application of three distinctive approaches to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the non-academic impact in supply chain management (SCM) research through the application of three distinctive approaches to phenomenological methodology in different contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

Evidence-based examples from three case studies using interpretivist, social constructivist and critical realist methodologies are presented. They reflect non-positivist approaches commonly used in phenomenological methodology and adopted in SCM investigative research.

Findings

Different types of non-academic reach and significance from each research methodology are discussed to illustrate the non-academic impact benefits from each case. The three distinctive phenomenological approaches have been shown to contribute to innovative research methodology development on their own philosophical merit and produced novel contributions to SCM research in particular.

Research limitations/implications

The non-academic impact examples have been shown to have wider influence and implication to business, the economy and society at large.

Originality/value

The paper highlights the relevance of phenomenological research methodology for SCM. It also contributes to the development of the SCM subject area and is hoped to encourage further reporting of non-academic impact of supply chain research.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2008

Glyn Thomas

Descriptions of research conducted within the interpretive research paradigm do not always capture its messy and unpredictable nature. The naturalistic inquiry described…

Abstract

Descriptions of research conducted within the interpretive research paradigm do not always capture its messy and unpredictable nature. The naturalistic inquiry described in this paper attempts to provide a candid account of some of the challenges encountered in such research. Interestingly, many of those challenges were consistent with the challenges associated with the process of learning to be a facilitator, which was the focus of my study. The study sought to describe the theories and practices of facilitator educators preparing facilitators to work in community organisations, training or education contexts, and business management settings. Following a brief description of the methodology and methods of the study, some of the unexpected symmetries between learning to be a facilitator and conducting interpretivist research are discussed. These included the need for selfawareness, practising intentionality, and managing conflicting roles. The strategies I used to respond to the research challenges I describe are also discussed and I encourage others to reflect on, and share, the trials and tribulations encountered during their research.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

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Article
Publication date: 24 October 2019

Emmanuel Mastio and Kenneth Dovey

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the role of abstract forms of power in organizational change by exploring the role of such forms of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the role of abstract forms of power in organizational change by exploring the role of such forms of power in the recent structural transformation of an iconic Australian Intellectual Property law firm. The research literature reflects relatively few studies on the increasing complexity of power dynamics in organizational and institutional arrangements.

Design/methodology/approach

The complexity of the investigated phenomena led to the adoption of three qualitative methods in order to access the specific forms of data that were perceived to be relevant to answering the research question (“How did abstract power dynamics influence the nature and outcomes of the firm’s structural transformation?”). Ethnography was used in the attempt to discern, through participation and observation, the assumptions that manifested in action and/or inaction; phenomenology in the exploration through unstructured interviews with 41 staff members and 4 clients of the firm, of their interpretation and “sense-making” of their “lived experience” of “what was going on” in the firm; and narrative enquiry in establishing a narrative of critical events, and their impact on “what was going on” in the firm, including those that had occurred over the years prior to this research initiative.

Findings

The research shows the effects of contradicting forms of abstract power (namely, hegemonic (ideological) power, dominant institutional logic and structural power) as the firm struggled to address challenges to its existence. The impact of these forms of power upon the partners’ apprehension and interpretation of the emerging challenges to the firm’s business performance remained inconspicuous throughout the period of transformation. However, these contradictory forms of abstract power insidiously created tensions within the organization which were poorly addressed, resulting in organizational dysfunction and destructive sectarian conflict. The results show that the inability of partners to discern the nature of the forms of power which were influencing their responses to the crisis was a consequence of under-developed collectively reflexive capabilities and an absence of collaborative problem-solving practices. This resulted in a negative outcome for the firm.

Research limitations/implications

The research has significant implications for collective endeavor in global business operations that are becoming increasingly complex. In particular, the complexity of power relations, as insidious ideological forces supported by ubiquitous technologies threaten to subsume agentic power in ways that domesticate and neutralize it, requires the development of sophisticated forms of collective ways of “working with power” – capabilities that include the ability to demystify the abstract forms of power that can shape the experience of social realities as “inevitable and natural.” Further research into these forms of power, and the surreptitious role they play in organizational arrangements, is an important requirement. With respect to limitations, as the research is located in the interpretivist research paradigm, the issue of interpretation is problematic. A strong effort was made to limit unwitting interpretive bias but the possibility of such bias cannot be ruled out, especially as, in some cases, the data are an interpretation of prior interpretations of events and/or experiences (as, e.g., in the interview data).

Practical implications

Working constructively with various forms of power is becoming a critical capability within organizations. This has implications for the relational and communicative skills that underpin effective collaboration of staff and other stakeholders. Such collaboration needs to include the collective ability to make explicit through critical dialogue the surreptitious influence of abstract forms of power upon the prevailing organizational arrangements and routines. To achieve this, these forms of power have to become demystified through constructive critique of the taken-for-granted aspects of everyday organizational life. This has important implications for leadership development practices and educational programs.

Social implications

Unless leaders develop the ability to make the influences of abstract forms of power more conspicuous, and develop collaborative capabilities to work with insight into their management, they run the risk of agentic power becoming subsumed and neutralized by such forms of power. This has important implications for organizational agency and, especially, for the creative agency of the individuals who work within organizations. On a broader scale, it has implications for institutional arrangements and for the critical apprehension of global ideologies.

Originality/value

Studies of abstract forms of power are relatively rare in the research literature. This is probably a result of the long-standing dominance of positivism, with its realist ontological assumptions and its objectivist epistemological assumptions. In exploring the influence exerted by abstract forms of power on the inability of the partners of a professional services firm to apprehend their situation more accurately, and to interpret their strategic options with greater insight, this research makes an original contribution to the understanding of the influence of abstract power dynamics in organizational change, and in organizational arrangements more generally.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 39 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 26 July 2018

Tendai Ramona Mbumbwa and Joel Chigada

The purpose of this paper is to analyse factors influencing black South African millennials when considering African Ankara fabric fashion. Fashion adoption, particularly…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse factors influencing black South African millennials when considering African Ankara fabric fashion. Fashion adoption, particularly consumers’ intentions to adopt new fashion is valuable to companies and marketers of the vibrant clothing product. Therefore, this study helped to create awareness to marketers on what characteristics to look for and address when dealing with millennials.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was informed by the interpretivist research paradigm resulting in the adoption and use of a qualitative research methodology. The exploratory research design helped the authors to collect data for this study because the objective was to address a subject where the problem was not well understood and there was little research on the subject matter. In addition, the exploratory research design helped to identify the boundaries in which the research problems and situations of interest resided, thus, the “what if” type of questions were addressed in the study.

Findings

The study established that black South African millennials were aware and conversant with African Ankara fabric fashion because it communicated African culture as well as personality. It was revealed that attitude, influence of fashion involvement, country-of-origin effect, consumer ethnocentrism and opinion leaders played significant roles in influencing millennials in fashion adoption. Particularly of importance, the study observed that celebrities influenced black South African millennials in fashion adoption and purchase intentions. Black South African millennials confirmed that their technologically savvy nature and social media usage had morphed them into depending on information communication technology.

Research limitations/implications

The sample for the study was composed of individuals from the University of Cape Town which excluded potential sample participants from the rest of South Africa. The exclusion of potential sample members was attributed to the research methodology adopted and data collection techniques used. The limitations would have been mitigated if a different research methodology had been used.

Practical implications

The practical implications identified in this study are black South African millennials who are frugal and fluid customers, whose tastes and preferences are difficult to understand unless thorough research is done by marketers; black South African millennials are technologically savvy, therefore firms and marketers should use information communication technologies if they are to win loyalty of black South African millennials. Utilisation of traditional marketing (bricks and mortar) approaches do not work for this cohort of consumers; when designing products or services, marketers and firms should engage and involve millennials as part of the design strategy.

Originality/value

This study investigated influencing factors on millennials when considering African Ankara fabric fashion. Most studies focussed on Western clothing fashion, yet African fashion was symbolic and it communicated African culture. Failure to research on African Ankara fabric fashion creates a gap and dearth of literature, which is the reason why this study was undertaken. This study has implications for clothing designers and manufacturers who are excluding African Ankara fabric fashion.

Details

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-6222

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Miguel Baptista Nunes, Fenio Annansingh, Barry Eaglestone and Richard Wakefield

The purpose of this paper is to present a study of knowledge management understanding and usage in small and medium knowledge‐intensive enterprises.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a study of knowledge management understanding and usage in small and medium knowledge‐intensive enterprises.

Design/methodology/approach

The study has taken an interpretitivist approach, using two knowledge‐intensive South Yorkshire (England) companies as case studies, both of which are characterised by the need to process and use knowledge on a daily basis in order to remain competitive. The case studies were analysed using qualitative research methodology, composed of interviews and concept mapping, thus deriving a characterisation of understandings, perceptions and requirements of SMEs in relation to knowledge management.

Findings

The study provides evidence that, while SMEs, including knowledge intensive ones, acknowledge that adequately capturing, storing, sharing and disseminating knowledge can lead to greater innovation and productivity, their managers are not prepared to invest the relatively high effort on long term knowledge management goals for which they have difficulty in establishing the added value. Thus, knowledge management activities within SMEs tend to happen in an informal way, rarely supported by purposely designed ICT systems.

Research limitations/implications

This paper proposes that further studies in this field are required that focus on organisational and practical issues in order to close the gap between theoretical propositions and the reality of practice.

Practical implications

The study suggests that in order to implement an appropriate knowledge management strategy in SMEs cultural, behavioural, and organisational issues need to be tackled before even considering technical issues.

Originality/value

KM seems to have been successfully applied in large companies, but it is largely disregarded by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). This has been attributed primarily to a lack of a formal approach to the sharing, recording, transferring, auditing and exploiting of organisational knowledge, together with a lack of utilisation of available information technologies. This paper debates these concepts from a research findings point of view.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 62 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2007

Peter McInnes, Paul Hibbert and Nic Beech

The paper aims to explore the problematics of validity that are inherent to the conduct of an action research project because of the disparate language games of both…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to explore the problematics of validity that are inherent to the conduct of an action research project because of the disparate language games of both practitioners and academics.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploration is offered of the tensions between different understandings of a research setting at different stages of the research process.

Findings

In each phase of the research there are a number of tensions between different epistemological assumptions about the “reality” of the research setting. Validity is not, therefore, about capturing a singular objective picture of the organisation, but rather it is produced through the negotiation of a temporary intersection of language games.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides a framework for understanding the role of the researcher in the research process and the issues underlying validity claims made from different epistemological positions.

Practical implications

The paper provides insights in to the mechanisms through which practitioners and academics come to understand each other and the limitations of this knowledge.

Originality/value

The article raises awareness of the different normative assumptions at play within a variety of action research contexts.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 31 December 2020

Maria Jakubik

Practical wisdom (PW; phronesis), as one of the human virtues, is experiencing a renewal in the contemporary management literature. The aim of this conceptual paper is…

Abstract

Purpose

Practical wisdom (PW; phronesis), as one of the human virtues, is experiencing a renewal in the contemporary management literature. The aim of this conceptual paper is first, to explore the core practices of managers and leaders in the literature and second, to demonstrate how PW can manifest itself in these practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The research follows the interpretivist research philosophy, inductive approach, qualitative method and the theory-building research strategy. The data collection method is a literature review. The practice ecosystem framework is applied to demonstrate the presence of PW in the core practices of managers and leaders.

Findings

The paper proposes a practice-based paradigm of management and leadership. From the literature study, envisioning, enabling, energizing, engaging and executing as five fundamental practices are identified.

Research limitations/implications

The most significant literature was selected based on decisions of the author. Therefore, it might be that important sources were overlooked. The paper proposes future research questions, and it calls for an empirical validation of the proposed conceptual model in management and leadership practices context.

Practical implications

The practical implications for managers and leaders are in applying the framework developed in this paper as a tool or guidelines to cultivate PW in their practices. The paper offers implications for management education, traditional educational institutions and educational practitioners because they are the key influencers of wise thinking and actions of future managers and leaders.

Originality/value

The novelty of this paper is in making explicit how the eight features of PW can manifest themselves in the everyday actions of managers and leaders. Applying the practice ecosystem framework for this purpose is an original contribution.

Details

Vilakshan - XIMB Journal of Management, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0973-1954

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2020

Falaq Assad Nazir, David John Edwards, Mark Shelbourn, Igor Martek, Wellington Didibhuku Didibhuku Thwala and Hatem El-Gohary

Housing completions in the UK have fallen to 125,000 annually, while government targets have risen to 300,000. This dramatic shortfall raises concerns as to whether…

Abstract

Purpose

Housing completions in the UK have fallen to 125,000 annually, while government targets have risen to 300,000. This dramatic shortfall raises concerns as to whether current traditional construction approaches remain appropriate. This study aims to compare the traditional approach with modular construction, with a view to assessing whether a shift in construction systems offers the potential to alleviate the UK's domestic housing crisis.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive interpretivist review of the available relevant literature is undertaken on construction methods within the UK; advantages and disadvantages. A bibliometric analysis is conducted to extract trends and findings relevant to the comparison at hand. The database is Web of Science; the analysis software is the VOS viewer.

Findings

The research illustrates that the UK housing market is in a state of crisis. A toxic combination of a rising UK population combined falling rates of housing delivery has resulted in an ever-widening housing supply gap. The construction industry’s capacity to meet this observed dearth in supply is further exacerbated by a number of chronic factors such as: falling participation in the construction sector workforce; lowering skill levels; reducing profitability; time to delivery pressures; and cost blow-outs.

Originality/value

While much information on the various construction methods are available, including comparative material, this study is the first to assemble the various comparative parameters regarding traditional and modular UK residential construction in one place. Thus, this study provides a definitive assessment of the relative advantages and disadvantages of these forms of construction.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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