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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 10 March 2022

Jan A. Pfister, Peeter Peda and David Otley

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on how to apply the abductive research process for developing a theoretical explanation in studies on performance management and…

3605

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on how to apply the abductive research process for developing a theoretical explanation in studies on performance management and management control systems. This is important because theoretically ambitious research tends to require explanatory study outcomes, but prior research frameworks provide little guidance in this regard, potentially facilitating ill-defined research designs and a lack of common vocabulary and criteria for evaluating studies.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors introduce a methodological framework that distinguishes three interwoven theoretical abstraction levels: descriptive, analytical and explanatory. They use a recently published qualitative field study to illustrate an application of the framework.

Findings

The framework and its illustrated application make the systematic logic of the abductive research process visible and accessible to researchers. The authors explain how the framework supports moving from empirical description to theoretical explanation during the research process and where the three levels might open spaces for the positioning of novel practices and conceptual and theoretical innovations.

Originality/value

The framework provides guidance for an explanatory research design and theory-building purpose and has been developed in response to recent criticism in the field that highlights the wide gap between leading-edge practice and the lagging state of theory. It offers interdisciplinary vocabulary and evaluation criteria that can be applied by any accounting and management researcher regardless of whether they pursue critical, interpretive or positivist research and whether they primarily use qualitative or quantitative research methods.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2021

Katie N. Smith, Annie M. Wofford, Rachel E. Friedensen, Timothy D. Stanfield and Yolanda Jackson

Scholars in the field of higher education take many approaches to apply theory in empirical research. However, this wide array of theoretical applications has prompted…

Abstract

Scholars in the field of higher education take many approaches to apply theory in empirical research. However, this wide array of theoretical applications has prompted confusion among scholars who seek to integrate and understand how theory is situated in higher education research. This chapter explores the conceptualization, application, and visibility of theory in higher education research by presenting discourse from field leaders and discussing methodological definitions of theory, theoretical frameworks, and conceptual frameworks. Additionally, we conducted a summative content analysis of 239 empirical articles from the Review of Higher Education over a 10-year period, with the goal of understanding how theories were framed and applied in a subset of research. We conclude by reiterating the importance of theory in the study of higher education and providing strategies for effective theory application.

Details

Theory and Method in Higher Education Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-441-0

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 October 2018

Lynda C. Taylor

This paper focuses on the role of theory in the process of doing qualitative accounting research. It discusses the role of theory in qualitative accounting studies, and…

2786

Abstract

Purpose

This paper focuses on the role of theory in the process of doing qualitative accounting research. It discusses the role of theory in qualitative accounting studies, and provides and example of how theory can be reflected upon, reassessed and refined during a research process.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper provides an illustrative account of theorizing during the process of qualitative accounting research. The paper places specific emphasis on an abductive approach to theorizing. An abductive theoretical framework is used to reflect on the theorizing process.

Findings

The “findings” reflect on the use of theory and the process of theorizing during a research process. The paper finds that abduction may be a useful way of theorizing in qualitative accounting research because it encourages the researcher to remain open to alternative explanations of data, which may promote theoretical development. This paper does not report the accounting practices of an organization in the traditional sense, but illustrates how the empirical findings led to an initial theoretical framework being developed.

Practical implications

The paper is intended to be informative in showing how theory can be used and developed during research. It may be of value and interest to new and emerging researchers. It may also interest established researchers seeking to reflect on their use of theory in research.

Originality/value

There are few contributions that focus exclusively and explicitly on how theory is used and developed during the process of qualitative accounting research. Moreover, the abductive approach has received limited attention in accounting. This paper aims to address these gaps.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 June 2021

Laurie Wu, Alei Fan, Yang Yang and Zeya He

Taking a mixed-method approach, this research developed and validated a novel, value-centric experience framework delineating robotic involvement in the service encounter…

1533

Abstract

Purpose

Taking a mixed-method approach, this research developed and validated a novel, value-centric experience framework delineating robotic involvement in the service encounter and its subsequent impact on customers' experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

Focused on robotic restaurant businesses where robots are mainly involved in food production processes, this research utilized online customer review data and a multistage, mixed-method design for empirical examination. Automated thematic analysis was first adopted to facilitate a comprehensive understanding of the empirical reality as reflected in online customer reviews. Following an analytic induction process, a theoretical framework was developed integrating prior literature with the empirical reality to uncover the relationships across robotic involvement, experiential values and evaluative outcomes. A theory-driven, dictionary-based content analysis together with path analysis further enabled empirical validation of the developed theoretical framework.

Findings

The current research developed and validated a value-centric experience framework to theorize robotic involvement in the service encounter and its downstream impact on customers' experiences. Specifically, this framework conceptualizes robotic involvement as a five-dimensional composition of robotic visibility, competency, performanism, co-creativity and prominence. In addition, the framework specifies seven dimensions of experiential values revolving around high-tech–high-touch robotic service encounters, namely sensorial, utilitarian, hedonic, social, agentic, epistemic and aesthetic values. Following empirical validation, this framework sheds light on robotic involvement and experience design for high-tech–high-touch service businesses aiming to incorporate robots in their service encounters.

Originality/value

Drawing on classic service role theory and consumption value theory, this research developed and validated a novel theoretical model connecting robotic involvement dimensions with experiential consumption values and downstream customer evaluative outcomes. This research and theoretical framework open an exciting avenue for future research in robotic services and customer experiences.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 September 2019

Hayley Lockerbie and Dorothy Williams

The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a theoretical framework for understanding information literacy (IL) within the context of a small business workplace…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a theoretical framework for understanding information literacy (IL) within the context of a small business workplace environment. The theoretical framework developed related IL competencies to competencies for success as described by the psychologist Howard Gardner in his book “Five Minds for the Future”.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical framework was developed using the CILIP Seven Pillars for IL and Howard Gardner’s Five Minds theory. Indicative connections between the Seven Pillars and Five Minds were identified by the researchers. The framework was tested through analysis of transcripts from qualitative interviews conducted with four small business owners.

Findings

Connections were found between the Seven Pillars and the Five Minds; some which had been projected by the researchers and others which had not. The theoretical framework aided description of and understanding of IL within small business workplace environments.

Research limitations/implications

A small sample size limits the generalizability of the findings, and further testing of the framework is required. The findings do, however, suggest that the context in which IL manifests remains significant and should be further examined in wider and divergent contexts.

Originality/value

Using theory from psychology paired with a well-known theory of IL to develop a new theoretical framework is novel. The framework developed offers a new way of understanding the role of IL within the context of small business workplaces.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 July 2009

John Qin, Bernard O’Meara and Steven McEachern

Investigating diversity presents researchers with a paradox because extremely inconsistent and conflicting findings about the effects of diversity have emerged in this…

1226

Abstract

Purpose

Investigating diversity presents researchers with a paradox because extremely inconsistent and conflicting findings about the effects of diversity have emerged in this field of study. It has been argued that the theoretical frameworks used have contributed to the paradox. Different and contradictory effects concerning the influence of group diversity can be predicted using these frameworks. The purpose of this paper is to examine the application of the main theoretical frameworks in the context of researching diversity.

Design/methodology/approach

The focus of this paper is a critical examination of three theoretical frameworks in the field of diversity research – similarity‐attraction theory, social categorization theory and the information/decision‐making approach. These are commonly applied in researching diversity. The basic elements of each theory, its applications in diversity research and its strengths and limitations are considered.

Findings

The discussion suggests that the paradox in diversity research emerges from a research tradition that views the three frameworks as being best applied separately because each framework predicts different and even contradictory outcomes. These differences are a consequence of distinctive theoretical operations. In addition, the strengths and limitations associated with each theoretical framework suggest that they might be integrated and subsequently applied in specific settings according to their respective strengths and limitations.

Research limitations/implications

In order to produce more consistent results in research on diversity, it is suggested that future researchers should not rely solely on a single theoretical framework to predict the effects of diversity. In particular, different theoretical frameworks may work well with certain types of diversity as well as certain levels of analysis.

Originality/value

The paper provides a framework for dissecting the diversity paradox and a foundation for designing fresh approaches that might produce findings that are more consistent.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 32 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 March 2018

Naief Alhazmi

The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretical framework to improve understanding of physical asset management (AM) practices contained in well-known AM standards…

1031

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretical framework to improve understanding of physical asset management (AM) practices contained in well-known AM standards and guidelines.

Design/methodology/approach

Textual thematic analysis of physical AM standards and guidelines was carried out after developing a priori template derived from existing theories in management knowledge. Triangulation to validate the developed theoretical framework was used based on a deductive logic of inquiry equipped with semi-structured interview. The interviewees were managers of physical asset departments of 15 out of 24 ministries of Saudi public sector.

Findings

The developed theoretical framework called “systematic asset management practices” (SAMP) explains the logic behind physical AM practices contained in well-known standards and guidelines in terms of the essence of directly related practices for the life cycle of physical assets. SAMP shows that all AM standards and guidelines use a similar logic for managing the life cycles of physical assets.

Practical implications

AM developers can use the SAMP theoretical framework to develop and improve AM guidelines. In addition, the framework enables practitioners to further understand differences among standards and guidelines in addition to their potential future development.

Originality/value

This paper provides an original theory for AM practices, which originally evolved from informal to formal on the basis of practitioners’ logic.

Details

Facilities, vol. 36 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 October 2011

Yi An, Howard Davey and Ian R.C. Eggleton

This paper aims to construct a comprehensive theoretical framework for interpreting voluntary IC disclosure practices by organizations.

5290

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to construct a comprehensive theoretical framework for interpreting voluntary IC disclosure practices by organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Four most‐commonly used theories in the area, namely agency theory, stakeholder theory, signalling theory, and legitimacy theory, were integrated in terms of the interrelated concepts relating to voluntary IC disclosure.

Findings

The constructed theoretical framework includes three concepts: to reduce information asymmetry; to discharge accountability to various stakeholders; and to signal organizational legitimacy and excellence (or superior quality) to society, which are seen as motivations for organizations to disclose their IC on a voluntary basis.

Research limitations/implications

The framework ignores some other theoretical perspectives which are also relevant to voluntary IC disclosure; the framework is not justified by any empirical evidence.

Originality/value

This research is the first attempt to construct a comprehensive theoretical framework for the voluntary disclosure of IC; the constructed framework can be employed as a theoretical foundation for future empirical studies in relation to voluntary IC disclosure.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 September 2022

Roohollah Taherkhani

The discourse of construction practitioners and decision-makers worldwide has begun to appreciate and acknowledge the advantages of sustainable building. Toward this goal…

Abstract

Purpose

The discourse of construction practitioners and decision-makers worldwide has begun to appreciate and acknowledge the advantages of sustainable building. Toward this goal, one of the main steps is creating a control mechanism, which provides the context for moving to sustainable buildings by monitoring the environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainability. The previous research studies indicate the social dimension has received far less attention than the economic and environmental aspects. Therefore, this study aims at developing a social sustainability framework to evaluate building systems.

Design/methodology/approach

This research has chosen the Parsons sociological theory as its theoretical framework basis and acquires the research theoretical framework with its modification and completion by grounded theory (GT). In the next step, to realize the GT structure validity and model fitting, the confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used and the research hypotheses were tested.

Findings

An integrated social sustainable framework is presented with five subsystems: socio-political, socio-cultural, socio-institutional, socio-economic and socio-environmental. This research addresses the void of a comprehensive social sustainability framework in the construction industry, and the findings can contribute to construction industry practitioners and decision-makers to evaluate building systems socially.

Originality/value

The application of this framework is not limited to the construction industry and building systems. It can deliver a general use for integrating social perspectives into decision-making on various subjects. Localization and specialization of current research's social sustainability components and factors can be a high potential research topic for future studies, in all fields and scopes. This framework can be a significant contribution to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) as a basis for creating comparable models to assess social aspects of buildings, campuses and urban sustainability.

Details

Open House International, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

Keywords

Abstract

Details

AI in Fashion Industry
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-633-9

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