European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies 2023-09-11T00:00:00+00:00 Louise Remenyi Open Journal Systems <p>The European Conference on Research Methods has been run on an annual basis since 2001. Conference Proceedings have been published each year and authors have been encouraged to upload their papers to university repositories. In addition the proceedings are indexed by a number of indexing bodies.</p> <p>From 2022 the publishers have decided to make all conference proceedings fully open access. Individual papers and full proceedings can be accessed via this system.</p> <p><strong>PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU WISH TO SUBMIT A PAPER TO THIS CONFERENCE YOU SHOULD VISIT THE CONFERENCE WEBSITE AT<a href=""></a> THIS PORTAL IS FOR AUTHORS OF ACCEPTED PAPERS ONLY.</strong></p> The influence of brand avoidance on consumers purchasing decision 2023-08-23T20:14:49+00:00 Aloysius Sabog George Yaw Bludo Miloslava Chovancova <p><strong>ABSTRACT</strong></p> <p>One of the most important factors affecting a company's capacity to achieve a competitive advantage over its rivals is its brand. This paper seeks to examine the impact of brand avoidance on consumer purchasing decisions. Consumers are more likely to be satisfied and have higher expectations when brand managers can offer them high-quality products. Additionally, quality brands have a favourable impact on the consumer's purchasing decision. This study uses a qualitative methodology, notably document analysis, to uncover relevant sources on the subject to achieve the study’s aim. Furthermore, a keyword-based search of the databases of Web of Science, Google Scholar, and Scopus was carried out to find seventeen useful scientific papers to reach the study's objective. The findings of the study showed that identity avoidance, moral avoidance, and deficit-value avoidance all had a significant impact on consumers' purchasing decisions through the literature reviewed. As a result, the study offers both theoretical and practical directions on how to succeed in getting away from the underlying reasons for disregard for brands so that consumers make insightful purchase decisions.</p> <p><strong>Keywords: Brand Avoidance, Consumer Purchasing Decision</strong></p> 2023-08-29T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Decentralized Decision Authority, Balanced Scorecard and Managerial Satisfaction: PLS-SEM Analysis 2023-08-09T12:28:31+00:00 Cihan Alphun Nuray Türker Ruggero Sainaghi <p>Organisations has recently experienced many operational difficulties hence the performance measurement systems (PMSs) have a great deal of importance in understanding organisational effectiveness in the wake of pandemic. Organisations use different types of PMSs according to their specific conditions. This situation is explained by contingency theory that the environmental and/or firm-specific factors cause organisations to use different types of PMSs. One of the organisational factors is the management's structure; particularly decentralised decision authority, is described as the delegation of decision rights throughout the organisation. In this type of an organisational structure, innovative PMS such as the balanced scorecard (BSC) is more effective to meet the information needs of organisations. Numerous studies investigated the relationship between the decentralised decision authority, different PMSs and organisational effectiveness. Nevertheless, researchers emphasise the need for a better understanding of factors influencing the use of innovative PMSs. Furthermore, previous studies only investigated organisational performance but, managerial satisfaction is another outcome of performance measurement implementation and given the received scant attention, it is needed to advance our understanding on this topic. Reviewed literature also indicates the need for more research on the firm’s contingent factors, PMS, and managerial satisfaction relationship. In light of methodological developments in PLS-SEM domain, the current study answers this call by conducting research in the hotel industry. Hotel industry is a dynamic industry hence, decentralised decision authority enables to provide effective and timely decisions for arising conditions. Therefore, using the contingency theory, this study proposes and tests a research model which investigates the BSC as a mediator between decentralised decision authority and managerial satisfaction. Data was collected from hotel managers in Turkey and analysed using PLS-SEM. The findings demonstrate that decentralised decision authority has a positive effect on the BSC use which gives rise to increase managerial satisfaction. The results thus reveal that decentralised decision authority is related with the managerial satisfaction only through the BSC. This study makes a significant contribution to the largely neglected area in the hospitality performance measurement literature by investigating the aforementioned relationships. It also provides managerial practical implications of the findings.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Semi-Structured Interview of Industry 4.0 for SMEs in the Malaysian Construction Industry 2023-05-17T13:16:34+00:00 Nor Azmi Bakhary <p>Industry 4.0 (IR 4.0) is becoming a trend in various sectors despite being originated from the manufacturing industry. This concept has even grasped the attention of the construction sector due to its various benefits such as increased in product quality, productivity, and cost savings. In order to adopt this concept for the construction industry, focuses should be placed upon the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) since they play a major part in influencing the economy. This paper aims to examine the challenges, enablers of IR 4.0, investigate the readiness and identify the ways to improve the implementation of IR 4.0 for the SMEs in the Malaysian construction industry. This study employed a semi-structured interview amongst twenty (20) industrial construction players around the Klang Valley. The collected data was then analysed and the results showed that they agreed that the main challenges in adopting IR 4.0 concept for the construction SMEs were lack of financial resources, ineffective process change strategy and low experiences in utilizing skilled applications and technologies. The interviewees believed that the important enablers for IR 4.0 in the construction industry were Building Information Modelling (BIM), cloud technology, and Industrialised Building System (IBS). BIM is also becoming a growing trend in the construction industry. The interviewees mentioned that the current readiness of the IR 4.0 concept for the construction SMEs is still below par yet there is still potential to be improved especially in terms of the organisations management, awareness, and implementation level. Government and its agencies need to play the biggest roles as the driving force in ensuring advanced technologies are successfully implemented in the construction industry. The results from this research will be used to produce a robust framework to hasten the adoption of IR 4.0 for the construction industry SMEs.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Navigating the Intersection of Innovation and Cybersecurity: A Framework 2023-06-26T14:04:59+00:00 Danielle Botha-Badenhorst <p>Reliance on digital technologies for innovation management is unavoidable in current contexts. While digital processes and business models have been prioritised as key factors to drive innovation and value creation within firms, cybersecurity concerns are still rife. Increased levels and severity of cybersecurity breaches (CSBs) have had adverse effects on trust, caused significant revenue losses, and inflicted reputational damage on many firms. Further exacerbating these concerns is an observation made in the Global Risks Report of 2022, the World Economic Forum: cybersecurity measures taken by businesses are becoming increasingly obsolete. Many firms face severe consequences without implementing strategic objectives to limit the threats posed by CSBs. Cybersecurity breaches (CSBs) have a significant long-term impact on firm-level innovation and investment decisions. However, many firms are reluctant to examine or enhance their existing cybersecurity practices because of concerns that they may limit their innovation ability. Determining a method to limit CSBs and retain capabilities to perform necessary innovative processes is a delicate balance, with trade-offs to be considered within each process.</p> <p>This paper aims to address the delicate balance between limiting CSBs and preserving the ability to undertake necessary innovative processes. Building upon the Cyber Security Maturity and Innovation matrix introduced by Nelson and Madnick (2017), this paper expands the framework by providing specific suggestions for each quadrant. The matrix classifies firms into different quadrants based on their reliance on innovation and their assessment of cyber risk. We then detail measures to improve cybersecurity maturity for firms in each quadrant, incorporating the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework Version 1.1 (CSF) as a reference. By making well-informed decisions and implementing appropriate measures, firms can effectively mitigate CSB risks while continuing to drive innovation and create value. This expanded framework serves as a valuable tool for firms seeking to align their cybersecurity practices with their innovation objectives, in accordance with the NIST CSF.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Autoethnography as a research method in happiness studies 2023-07-11T09:59:59+00:00 Ana Margarida Casau Marta Ferreira Dias Gabriel Leite Mota Manuel Au-Yong-Oliveira <p>The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal that has been studied by philosophers, theologians, and scientists for centuries. Despite its universal importance, the definition and means of achieving happiness vary greatly across cultures and individual experiences (Uchida, Norasakkunkit and Kitayama, 2004). Cultures have different beliefs, values, and customs that shape their understanding of happiness. For example, some cultures may place a higher value on material wealth and success, while others may prioritize spiritual fulfilment or strong relationships (Joshanloo and Weijers, 2014). In this autoethnographic paper, I reflect on my own personal journey towards happiness during a one-year travel across 22 countries within southern Africa, southeast Asia, and south America, focusing on the first part of the trip – southern Africa. Autoethnography is a qualitative research method that involves the researcher reflecting on their personal experiences and cultural positionality in order to understand and analyse cultural phenomena (Bunyan, 2021). It combines elements of autobiography and ethnography, as the researcher uses their own experiences as a way to explore and understand the cultural context in which they participate (Hamilton, Smith and Worthington, 2008). Through the use of personal narrative and cultural analysis, I delve into the ways in which my own cultural background and societal expectations shaped my understanding of happiness. I also explore the ways in which immersing myself in a new culture and community impacted my pursuit of happiness and well-being. By reflecting on my own experiences and observations, I aim to shed light on the complexities of the pursuit of happiness and the potential for personal and cultural growth that can result from stepping outside of one's comfort zone. Through this autoethnographic lens, we hope to offer a unique and personal perspective on the pursuit of happiness, and to encourage readers to consider the cultural and individual factors that influence their own pursuit of this universal goal. We also reflect on how innovation and technology, essential to business, may not be as important to achieve happiness in certain contexts. This essay is a call for reflection on what truly matters in life.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Data-Driven Approach to Teaching Research Methods: iMethod, a Proof-of-Concept 2023-08-07T14:21:07+00:00 Ben Daniel <p>Courses in research methods play a critical role in postgraduate education. However, postgraduate students face considerable challenges in learning the subject matter. The present paper introduces <strong>i</strong>Method, a software application designed to track students' engagement with the content of research methods courses. <strong><em>i</em></strong>Method harvested data, analysed students' engagement, and presented the outcome to a teacher through a dashboard rendered in real-time. As a proof-of-concept, a usability study on <strong><em>i</em></strong>Method was conducted with a sample of postgraduate students and early career academics (n=37) at a research-intensive university in New Zealand. Key findings suggest that students and academic staff found <strong><em>i</em></strong>Method a valuable application for enhancing research methods learning. In particular, students value its content for understanding fundamental concepts while valuing its inquiry facilitation and providing helpful information on research methods. Participants said <strong>i</strong>Method could expand knowledge, offers guidance, and the content is accessible to a diverse range of students. Lastly, participants reported that <strong>i</strong>Method facilitated easy knowledge sharing, and the interface design was user-friendly and intuitive. The paper contributes to the growing need to promote research into the curriculum design of research methodology programmes and the quality of teaching research methods courses.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Likert scales and questions: uses and abuses 2023-08-14T15:17:37+00:00 Geoffrey Darnton <p>when conducting business and management research, the most common strategy employed for collecting primary data is either interviews or questionnaires (or both). When questionnaires are used to collect primary data a very common approach used is to construct questions which can be called Likert-type questions or Likert scales. Numbers are allocated to the question responses of each question.. Often, this is followed by performing arithmetic or statistical operations on the allocated numbers. In many cases encountered by the author, the analysis has even included techniques such as parametric statistics and factor analysis. This paper explains why such simplistic approaches are completely invalid and should never be used. It goes on to explain how analysis can be done whilst avoiding typical hazards. Often, the writers of such papers do not understand or explain levels of measurement. Of course, Likert scales are at an ordinal level of measurement which would normally preclude the use of arithmetic, statistical, factor analysis techniques there is an additional problem of reliability because different people will interpret terms such as strongly disagree and disagree, differently. Likert was aware of these problems when writing the original paper in 1932 although at that time the term “levels of measurement” was not in use. This paper provides approaches and suggestions for avoiding the problems of data analysis when using Likert-type questions. This paper should be of assistance to those who intend to use Likert-type questions in the questionnaire.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Development of the Methodology for Residential Investment Management During the Covid-19 Pandemic 2023-06-25T23:36:53+00:00 Celal Erdogdu Inese Spica <p>Investing in residential property is a good investment instrument for individuals. The benefit of investing in a residential property is the potential for long-term appreciation in value. Historically, property values have increased over time, providing a solid return on investment for those who hold onto their properties for a significant amount; property provides a source of passive income through rental income. Investing in property is an attractive investment opportunity in emerging markets. Turkey is considered an emerging market. Like many emerging markets, it faces several economic and political challenges, including high inflation, a large current account deficit, and political instability. Investing in property in emerging markets also comes with certain risks, including currency fluctuations, political instability, and uncertain legal and regulatory environments. During the SARS outbreak, the property market in Hong Kong was significantly affected. The Spanish flu pandemic had a significant impact on the property market. During the 19th-century cholera pandemics, there were instances of substantial disruption to property markets. The COVID-19 had significant impacts on the residential market. Developing a methodology for individuals to use for their residential investment can be challenging, as it requires consideration of various factors. There are a variety of resources available for individuals who are interested in learning more about investing in property, and people are able to educate themselves in the field of property investment. In this study, we examined individuals' residential property investments in Turkey during COVID-19, and the factors that influenced their investments. We examined whether individuals' consideration of a single advantage in residential investments provides them with financial benefits. We examined the parameters that residential investors can follow to achieve success with their investments.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies The Impact Of Remote Work On Organisational Climate Of Agile-Software Development Teams 2023-06-27T19:11:29+00:00 Karolina Grobelna <p><u>Purpose:</u> As a result of the changing labor market in a post-pandemic world, remote work in the IT sector is becoming almost a standard. It is known intuitively that the organisational climate changed compared to the stationary work, but it is difficult to determine how and what elements are going through the change. The aim of the article is to present the aspect of organisational climate in agile development teams working remotely compared to their stationary work. <u>Methodology:</u> The study was conducted using author own personally designed assessment questionnaire among ten programming teams using agile software development methodology. The number of members of the analysed teams varies from four to eight. This paper compares changes in each dimension of the organisational climate that have occurred in teams after switching to remote work. Using Cohen's d statistic, it determines the magnitude of the impact of these changes. <u>Findings:</u> The article is an attempt to answer which elements (dimensions) of the organisational climate, in what direction (positive vs negative) and to what extent (size effect) is remote work influencing in the context of agile software development teams. <u>Value:</u> Such knowledge will allow appropriate modeling of organisational climate factors, thus affecting performance and the well-being of team members. This is the first step to verify, whether the previous research about the impact of the organisational climate on agile development teams still applies to those teams working remotely.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Quantitative Evaluation of Assessment Items of the Technology Audit Method for Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) 2023-06-08T08:43:59+00:00 Fabian Hecklau <p>Applied research and development (R&amp;D) organisations strive to develop technological solutions that translate results from research and science into state-of-the-art products and services. As advanced technological capability is essential to their competitiveness, they need to be able to analyse and evaluate their technological capabilities. Hence, a tool or method is required that objectively and practically assesses the technological capability of Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) while meeting their unique requirements. The <em>technology audit</em> enables the assessment of the technological capability and thus the technological maturity of an RTO. It focuses on the analysis of the research activities in the R&amp;D service areas of the RTO. This allows for a comprehensive understanding of the technologies used, the research competencies, the technologies developed, and the established technology partnerships of the RTO. In this context of the development of a suitable technology audit methodology, this paper aims to describe the process of validation of assessment items for evaluating the technological maturity of applied R&amp;D organisations. After a brief overview of the technology audit method and the assessment dimensions and items, the focus is placed on the process of its validation. An expert survey using a questionnaire was created and used to evaluate the relevance of the 11 assessment items for the technology audit instrument in the three dimensions of <em>Technology Base</em>, <em>Products &amp; Services</em> and <em>Cooperation</em>, as well as the respective aspects within each assessment item. This evaluation is intended to validate the selection of the items and to specify their respective importance to ultimately optimise the process of auditing applied R&amp;D organisations.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Structuring Complex or Wicked Problems: A Multimethod Approach in Practice 2023-07-10T23:13:47+00:00 Alejandro Hernandez <p>Complex or wicked problems necessarily require multidisciplinary approaches to shape the issue(s) into a structure that can lead to viable solutions. This paper presents a case in which a systematic approach was used to combine structuring methods to support a research design that intended to quantitatively relate variables which have been insufficiently defined. Misconstrued definitions of variables and the dearth or missing data are just some of the characteristics that make this problem “complex.” The scientist’s primary work in the early stages of this type of research effort is to apply a series of techniques that meaningfully define the variables, specify relevant data to support development of quantitative models, and generate and\or collect that data. The sequence of discussion in this paper is a multimethod outline for addressing complex problems. This paper begins by defining complex or wicked problems. Next, an illustrative military problem that exhibits complex characteristics is presented. Sequentially, various structuring techniques from several fields of study such as systems engineering, operations research, and computer science are discussed and applied to the problem. Activities began with a workshop to learn about the problem and provide context. This venue allowed primary stakeholders to describe the variables from their stance. During the workshop, participants conceptualized relationships among the variables. An in-depth literature review before and after the workshop informed development of theories and hypotheses about the variables and plausible connections among them. Using functional decomposition, the team broke down the variables into their fundamental components. Relational matrices and causal loop diagrams formed initial ideas for how the components may be linked. Functional decomposition syntax also led to relevant, quantifiable measures that afforded an opportunity to mathematically formulate relationships among components, thereby achieving the primary objective of the problem. Blending techniques from different disciplines and their respective structuring methods is a powerful approach for creating conditions to solve complex or wicked problems. The utility of this study is in identifying the critical properties of a complex or wicked problem and mapping suitable methods to “tame” them. The overall approach is applicable to complex problems found in industry, government, and scientific research.</p> 2023-08-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Design science for small scale studies: Recommendations for undergraduates and junior researchers 2023-08-03T18:27:59+00:00 Niklas Humble Peter Mozelius <p>Design science is a research methodology that can be applied for both small scale studies at undergraduate level and for large scale application in the industry. Design science is a research methodology with several branches, with slightly different processes built around a common foundation. This paper has a focus on the branch developed by Johannesson and Perjons, and the five-phase model that is included in this branch: 1) explicate problem, 2) define requirements, 3) design and develop artefact, 4) demonstrate artefact, and 5) evaluate artefact. All these five phases must of course be carried out in a complete large-scale project in many real-world developments. However, the problem with applying a design science research project for undergraduates is that a thorough implementation of all the five phases is often too demanding for a Bachelor’s or a Master's thesis. A reason for this is that several of the phases are better carried out in an iterative manner to obtain a quality result, which is time-consuming. The aim of this paper is to discuss the challenges and opportunities in applying design science for small scale studies, such as those conducted by undergraduates in their theses or by researchers new to the field. Based on this discussion, the paper concludes with a set of recommendations for how the design science methodology can be modified and applied to accommodate these smaller studies. The main recommendation is, as the principle for quality research, to delimit and to choose a specific focus that is carried out in depth. Some examples of focuses, that also are recommended by Johannesson and Perjons, are requirements and development focused design science research or evaluation focused design science research. An interesting follow-up to this position paper would be to study the application of design science in Bachelor’s theses and where the emphasis is placed? Moreover, it would be interesting to investigate how design science is applied by researchers and compare if their emphasis in the design science methodology differs from that of undergraduates.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Are we There yet? Thematic Analysis, NLP, and Machine Learning for Research 2023-07-19T13:01:53+00:00 Elena Fitkov-Norris Nataliya Kocheva <p>Thematic analysis is a well-established technique for qualitative analysis which is covered in traditional research methods training. The objective of thematic analysis is to elicit themes and significant topics from discursive data such as free style discussions and semi structured or unstructured interviews or comments. The approach is laborious and time consuming and requires a significant input from researchers for identifying and coding the themes although software tools such as NVivo, T-Lab and IRaMuTeQ can aid with results presentation. Recent developments in Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) have boosted interest in text analytics and its applications to social science research. For example, automatic topic identification using ML NLP offers valuable insights in social media analytics. However, machine learning techniques conventionally rely on large data sets to enable the algorithm to elicit themes. More recent research efforts have turned to the performance of machine learning approaches with smaller data sets. This study aims to compare and contrast the effectiveness of Machine Learning NLP vs human generated themes using the text analytics tools NVivo, T-Lab, IRaMuTeQ, as well as the low-code ML tool KNIME for automatically eliciting themes from academic literature review in the contexts of service operations management research and semi-structured customer interviews. Results indicate that the ML NLP approach has the potential to automatically detect research themes even with small data sets, although the results vary across the different tools and are dependent on the capabilities of the built-in text analytic algorithms. In particular, T-Lab offered the best mapping of machine learning derived topics to researcher themes, and KNIME proved the most robust software, able to derive meaningful topics even with very small sample sizes. The implications for training research students are also significant as they suggest that the inclusion of ML NLP tools and algorithms in the training curriculum of social scientists may be beneficial.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies The Double Cognitive Bias of Mistakes: A Measurement Method 2023-06-03T10:57:34+00:00 Wioleta Kucharska Denise A.D. Bedford Aleksandra Kopytko <p>There is no learning without mistakes. However, making mistakes among knowledge workers is still seeing shameful. There is a clash between positive attitudes and beliefs regarding the power of gaining new (tacit) knowledge by acting in new contexts and negative attitudes and beliefs toward accompanying mistakes that are sources of learning. These contradictory attitudes create a bias that is doubled by the other shared solid belief that “BOSSES NEVER MAKE MISTAKES.” The double cognitive bias of mistakes introduced by Kucharska and Bedford (2023) is assumed in this paper to harm organizational learning and collective intelligence development. To justify this point empirically in this paper, the authors propose a procedure enabling the measurement of the double cognitive bias of mistakes. Moreover, to validate the proposed method, authors empirically examine the influence of the KLC cultures’ synergy on knowledge sharing and organizational intelligence and compare obtained results with the effect observed for the sample free of the double bias of mistakes. Novelty: this study is the first to propose identifying the double bias of mistakes and empirically exposing its impacts.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Quantitative Analyses of the Role of Relational Capital on Absorptive Capacity in Knowledge-intensive SME's 2023-06-23T13:39:22+00:00 Graciele Tonial Florinda Matos Alessandra Cassol Márcio Luiz Marietto Nathalia Berger Werlang <p>The research aimed to measure the relational capital influence (RC) on absorption capacity in knowledge-intensive companies. The direct relationship between the different components of relational capital and absorption capacity was analysed through a model of structural equations of partial least squares (PLS-SEM), tested in SmartPLS. This method was chosen for the following reasons: the use of SEM-PLS allows testing causal paths between second-order latent variables, and in addition to offering extensive and flexible causal modelling resources, the technique is recommended for more complex models, with constructs composed of a greater number of variables and with a smaller number of data, as observed in this research. The method is also justified because this research is based on a composite measurement model with a reflective design approach, which means there are correlations between indicators and dimensions. The SmartPLS 3.0 Software was used to carry out the global model evaluation and measurement and structural model evaluation steps. These analyses were conducted in a sample of 174 small and medium-sized technology enterprises (SMEs) that are part of different innovation networks in Brazil. This study highlights that the development of relational capital is supported by collaborative relations of cooperation, trust, communication, and resources invested by enterprises established in different networks. The proposed statistical model allowed proving the relationship factors that help strengthen the relations between the network actors that facilitate the transfer of knowledge. This relationship still needs to be investigated, especially for small and medium-sized knowledge-intensive companies in emerging countries like Brazil. The research conclusion supported the research hypothesis and proved that relational capital is an independent variable that directly and positively influences the absorption capacity process. This study, quantitatively combining the external perspective of relational capital and the internal organisational dimension of absorption capacity, provides valuable information about using quantitative methodologies to explore intangible organisational resources to promote innovation.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Towards a Comprehensive Model for CSR in Iran: A Systematic Literature Review 2023-08-02T14:47:55+00:00 Seyed Ali Modarres Dezfooli Jorge F.S. Gomes Tania M.G. Marques <p>Although the start of the studies on corporate social responsibility (CSR) goes back to the 1960s, it has not been long since businesses have paid attention to it in Iran. In this study, English and Persian articles have been reviewed to explore the CSR models which are being used in both contexts to understand the crucial dimensions of their models. Having two different CSR models, English/Persian, and their dimensions, allows a comparative approach and some recommendations for the Iranian context to benefit more from CSR activities. In this regard, a systematic literature review of CSR models in Iran was conducted using secondary data with a qualitative approach and practical purpose. At first, the focus was on English articles in the field of CSR in the period from 2018 to 2022, and then the review of Persian articles in the same field at the same period of time. Starting with 2013 English articles and 733 Persian ones, excluding&nbsp;inappropriate articles based on Tranfield et al. (2003) suggestion in four steps, a final sample of 23 English and 16 Persian articles was obtained. The classification of the extracted codes showed 21 CSR dimensions in English, and 13 ones for Persian models, while 9 of them had overlap in both.&nbsp;The main finding of the article was knowing the point that although there are similarities between the dimensions of the CSR models being used in Iran and other countries, the differences can be divided into two categories: The first group of the differences, which can be caused by the culture, laws, religions, and perceptions of CSR, and changing them if not impossible, but very difficult and maybe not necessary. On the other hand, taking steps to reform the second group of differences requires some actions from the policymakers, government, and businesses.&nbsp;</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Digging Deeper with Delphi: The Four Step Alberta Approach 2023-05-08T11:40:38+00:00 Peter Mozelius Martha Cleveland-Innes Marcia Håkansson Lindqvist Jimmy Jaldemark <p>Originally the Delphi method was created as a systematic research process for establishing agreement and structured forecasts in groups of experts. The method is based around the idea that the agreed judgement from several experts is more accurate and valuable than the judgement from a single expert. In a traditional Delphi study, the selected experts respond to several rounds of questionnaires with aggregated and shared answers among the expert group. A highlighted strength of the Delphi method is its ability to progress into new forms and implementations. Delphi studies have been used for different purposes such as identifying trends, creating guidelines and to develop theory. The aim of this study is to describe and discuss the Delphi study approach that has been developed by researchers in Alberta, Canada. In an effort to dig deeper into the ongoing transformation of higher education for technology enhanced and lifelong learning, the four steps were further modified in a Swedish Canadian study. In a qualitative Delphi study, the four steps were implemented as 1) A literature study to explore the chosen topic, with the selected publications sent out to the expert panel, 2) A survey with questions to the experts based on the findings in the literature study, 3) Email interviews to dig deeper into the answers from the survey, and finally 4) Focus group interviews based on the results from the previous steps. Findings from the various steps have been presented at conferences and published in research journals. The conclusion is that this modified and extended Delphi process has generated a rich set of data that can be used to develop a theoretical framework. At the same time the presented four step approach is time consuming and requires a research team that can work together during a longer time period.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Structured Literature Reviews for Business Professional Doctorates: 2023-07-10T19:54:07+00:00 Rafaela Ganga Hannah Wilson Matthew Tucker <p>The first significant piece of writing a Professional Doctorate must undertake is reviewing the literature within their elected field, allowing them to synthesise relevant theories and concepts underpinning their research (Pickering &amp; Byrne, 2014). The task involves searching, assessing, screening and synthesis a significant literature volume. Often this task is perceived as daunting, potentially leading to periods of demotivation, where students feel stuck, particularly in Professional Doctorates (Wisker, 2015). A basic principle of Professional Doctorates is that candidates contend with the tensions of professional practice and academic scholarship, making sense of the intricacies of crossing intellectual boundaries (Wasserman &amp; Kram, 2009). However, many professional doctorate students have been absent from higher education learning for a long period of time (Allen et al., 2002), to which the literature review process is crucial for doctoral students as it is their opportunity to cross ‘conceptual thresholds’, which is crucial for gaining new insights into a topic (Wisker, 2015). For professional doctorate students, this process is interconnected with their deep understanding of their professional practice, which drives knowledge production (Costley, 2013). This paper discusses the characteristics of using structured literature reviews as a pedagogical strategy in a credit-bearing taught module for professional business doctorates. It aims to assess the value of structured literature reviews to improve learning outcomes, doctoral completions and publishing opportunities. The analysis is drawn on a critical case study of the Literature Review module within the Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) programme at Liverpool John Moore's University. The DBA is used as a critical case study for this research, as it represents the most mature and developed professional doctorate in the University. It reviews the module's internal structure addressing the coherent contents-aims/content-learning outcomes connection and learning techniques (Leger &amp; Sirichand, 2015), the value of research-informed teaching (Joseph-Richard, Almpanis, Wu, &amp; Jamil, 2021), and an exploratory review of students' satisfaction levels (Pickering &amp; Byrne, 2014).</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Combining Phenomenology and Grounded Theory in Software Engineering: An Experience 2023-07-03T15:51:55+00:00 Rozilawati Razali Humairath Abu Bakar <p>Phenomenology and grounded theory are two prominent qualitative methods, particularly used in social sciences research. Phenomenology is carried out to understand the individuals’ actual experience regarding a phenomenon. The method describes "what" individuals experience and "how" they experience it. The focus is on the meaning of the exposures experienced by individuals regarding the phenomenon. Grounded theory on the other hand allows researchers to explore a phenomenon in depth with individuals, by which a theory is then generated. The goal is to go beyond the understanding of phenomenon by producing a theory that describes comprehensively the problem being studied. Although these two methods are initiated by similar motivations, namely to understand a phenomenon, they however employ slightly different approaches during execution. The differences make them fit complementary together to produce a more concrete and holistic outcome. To research that occasionally use qualitative methods such as Software Engineering, these methods bring new and multifaceted experience. Software Engineering research opts for qualitative methods to promote understanding, as many phenomena in the field have yet to be understood by its community. In that respect, grounded theory is becoming quite a norm in Software Engineering research in recent years, phenomenology however is relatively sporadic. This paper shares the experience of employing as well as combining phenomenology and grounded theory in Software Engineering research. The sharing is intended to inspire future research in twofold: more technical fields such as Software Engineering to employ qualitative methods in research; and leveraging the benefits of combining two qualitative methods complementarily in one study.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies The Rise and Fall of the Undergraduate Research Project 2023-07-23T16:58:35+00:00 Martin Rich <p>A project carried out as an independent piece of work, either by an individual student or a very small group, is often included in Business and Management degrees as a capstone activity. At undergraduate level historically the expectation in the British system is that some form of independent study is an essential part of an honours degree although typically this is not formally stated in university regulations. Historically such a project, even at undergraduate level, would have included an element of research and provided an opportunity for students to carry out their own inquiry into an area which had caught their interest. This provided students with research skills which could be adapted to carrying out some form of useful intellectual inquiry in their subsequent careers and gives them an opportunity to focus on particular areas where they have interests. Some students report finding the project a valuable source of material for subsequent job interviews. In recent years there has been a tangible move away from expecting students to do a project at undergraduate level. An effective project needs one-to-one supervision which often places a strain on faculty resources. It is hard to define exactly what would count as an acceptable level of independent scholarship for an undergraduate. It is very hard to ensure a consistently good student experience given a large group of supervisors and a wide range of subjects. Students frequently struggle to see the relevance of research methods to their intended careers. At its worst the project can appear to students as a time when they are left to their own devices with very little support and unclear expectations of what is required of them. Drawing on experiences from a UK business school with a large undergraduate cohort, where the policy up to now has been to retain an independent project in some form within students’ final year, this paper discusses the challenges associated with the move away from independent projects and some ways in which they can be met.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Contribution of Grounded Theory in management research between 2013 and 2022 2023-07-16T19:21:15+00:00 Rosa Rodrigues Paula Lopes Miguel Varela <p>The importance attributed to the qualitative methodology has been increasing in recent years, since it is becoming consensual that it has a relevant role when one wants to deepen topics that are traditionally studied through methodologies anchored in the quantitative approach. This article aims to analyze the contribution of Grounded Theory (GT) in research in the field of management, since it is essential to begin to approach this area from methodologies that are more sensitive to the institutional and cultural context in which organizations are inserted. Therefore, it seeks to identify and justify the application of GT in this topic, since it is a methodology little explored in this area of knowledge, which emphasizes the relevance of taking stock of the articles published between 2013 and 2022. Through a bibliometric approach with the support of visual maps of the research indexed to the Web of Science, created with VOSViewer, it was intended to give a panoramic view of the studies published in this scientific area. The results indicate that although the number of published articles has been increasing in recent years, there are still few publications that use GT in the area of management, which may be due to the practical nature of management studies, where the measurement and analysis of numerical data are considered more objective and reliable. In addition, many management studies have tight timelines and limited budgets, which may make it difficult to implement such a resource-intensive approach. Nevertheless, GT contributes to generating new knowledge and insights in the field of management. By challenging existing theories, it fosters the development of new perspectives that enhance the understanding of organizational phenomena, which contributes to the advancement of knowledge in the field of management.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Sustained Competitive Advantage and Complexity: A Configurational Approach 2023-08-15T16:52:26+00:00 José Carlos Rodríguez Ubochioma Udo S. Osuigwe Motshedisi Mathibe Elisa Calderón-Altamirano <p>In recent years, Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) has emerged as a research approach to get insight into social science and business complexity. In contrast to the inferential methods that measure the net effect of an independent variable into a dependent variable, the QCA approach uncovers the necessary and sufficient conditions leading to a desired outcome. This paper discusses complexity in social science and business from the QCA perspective. In this regard, there are three streams of literature in strategic management aiming to explain how some firms outperform others: Porter´s competitive advantage approach, Barney´s sustained competitive advantage perspective, and D´Aveni´s temporary advantage. However, the sustained competitive advantage approach suggests that generating economic rents must be understood as a complex phenomenon characterised by three features: i) path dependency (e.g., some resources and capabilities can only be developed over long periods, ii) social complexity (e.g., it may not always be clear how some firms develop some capabilities in short to medium term), and iii) causal ambiguity (e.g., some resources and capabilities cannot be bought and sold in markets). Therefore, this framework draws from a complex (or complexity) process that establishes logical connections between combinations of causal conditions (i.e., resources and capabilities) and a desired outcome (i.e., economic rents). The research methodology for business from the QCA perspective thus may raise some critical questions: How do some firms accumulate and deploy resources and capabilities more efficiently than their competitors to internally (not in markets) acquire and sustain a competitive advantage? And what is the nature of a firm´s economic rents? In short, this paper discusses the nature of sustained competitive advantage (i.e., desired outcome) as a complex process (and not as a linear process) in that some firms outperform others, managing and deploying different resources and capabilities (i.e., conditions).</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies An Exploratory Sequential Mixed Methods Design to Identify Criteria for Continuous Performance Evaluation 2023-08-23T15:22:26+00:00 Sreejith S S <p>An alternative to the ubiquitous annual performance evaluation is continuous performance evaluation that is posed to give more objective, frequent and constructive feedbacks. Despite researchers recommending following a continuous performance evaluation for employees, there are hardly any progress in this regard. One of the hindrances is in identifying the evaluation criteria. Identifying the relevant criteria – both from employers and employee’s perspective – is important for the success of a continuous performance evaluation process. Given its novelty, it calls for an exploration to understand a holistic set of criteria. For this purpose, an exploratory sequential mixed method was adopted in the Information Technology Industry in India. In the first phase, an unstructured interview was conducted among 11 software engineers (employees). Based on the responses, a semi-structured interview was conducted among 52 software engineers. A qualitative content analysis of the interview transcripts resulted in 33 criteria. Criteria that were similar, synonymous and complementary were combined. An acceptable interrater reliability was obtained in the content coding and categorization process (Krippendorff’s α = 0.822). This was followed by a focus group discussion among employers (represented by 15 project managers) and 11 criteria were eliminated and seven were added. In the second phase, the importance of 28 criteria were sought using a questionnaire based survey. A simple random sampling was adopted and 498 responses were received. (Cronbach’s α = 0.786). After elimination for incompleteness and erratic information, responses from 443 participants were considered for quantitative analysis. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted on the responses with 28 criteria subjected to exploratory factor analysis. Two criteria were not included for analysis due to a low mean sampling error value. The 26 most relevant criteria were categorized into six factors based on their factor loading. The main criteria factors were titled: Diagnostic, Dynamic, Proactive, Prompt, Resourceful and Responsible. These factors and the criteria within these factors can be used for continuously evaluating the performance of employees.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Development of a Design Science Artefact to Teach Computing Students a Systematic Literature Review 2023-06-11T12:43:38+00:00 Mmatshuene Anna Segooa Ignitia Motjolopane Florah Sewela Modiba <p>Teaching students to conduct a rigorous systematic literature review (SLR) may be challenging, given the growing output of scientific literature and the increasing plethora of supporting software and artificial intelligence tools such as ChatGPT. A SLR supported by design science artefacts and emerging artificial intelligence tools have the potential to overcome the challenges posed by increasing scientific literature. However, guidelines and steps required to conduct a SLR still need to be clarified in the existing literature. Furthermore, existing design science artefacts and software tools do not support teaching students to conduct rigorous systematic reviews. This paper presents guidelines on the required steps for a rigorous SLR and proposes a Researchbuddie artefact to support teaching SLR. Using a systematic review and design science findings, identify SLRs four main phases of planning, conducting, evaluating and reporting reviews, each supported by itemised sub-steps. Furthermore, a design science artefact Researchbuddie is proposed to support teaching SLR. Therefore, the paper contributes to guidelines for teaching SLR for Information Systems students with phases, sub-steps and a proposed Researchbuddie artefact.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Consumers’ Attitude Towards Useability of Cashless Transactions in the Thai Nakhon Ratchasima Province : A Structural Equation Modeling Approach 2023-07-04T04:37:02+00:00 Adisak Suvittawat <p>The rapid adoption of new financial technology affects consumers’ attitudes toward cashless transactions and helps entrepreneurs understand how consumers’ behavioral changes are significant. This research investigates the variables that influence consumers’ attitudes toward cashless transactions. The questionnaire was a research tool, and the sampling method was a non-probability sampling technique. Two hundred participants with experience and knowledge about cashless transactions were considered the research sample. The questionnaires were used face-to-face, and the researchers explained the unclear questions until they were clear to the participants. The research data analysis included descriptive and inferential statistics, which were imposed using structural equation modeling (SEM). Based on the research findings, consumers’ perceived risk has a significant and positive relationship with consumers’ lifestyles, as consumers are aware of the information leaking and data disclosure, which affects consumers’ activities and interests. Consumer purchasing behavior in the clothing industry is rapidly changing as new technology for purchasing support has changed. Consumers’ attitudes towards sustainability have a significant impact on their purchasing intentions. Consumers’ perceived value is fundamental to their product performance. Consumers are willing to pay for the best product value, such as price differentiation, ease of use, and transaction costs. Consumers’ lifestyles directly influence their attitudes, as they are more interested in new financial transaction tools. Furthermore, consumers’ lifestyle is a mediator variable between consumers’ perceived risk and attitude, and consumers’ perceived value is a mediator variable between consumers’ perceived risk and attitudes. Based on the research findings, the suggestions that consumers’ attitude towards the usability of cashless transactions is very positive, then entrepreneurs will adapt to cashless transactions for business operations. This is the value creation of a cashless society and business operations.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Reaping Research Skills from the Rigorous Application of Design Thinking 2023-07-07T19:42:24+00:00 Marita Turpin Lizette Weilbach Sean Kruger <p>This paper investigates the relationship between design thinking and the research process, and argues that design thinking can foster the development of research skills. The paper reports on a case where first year Information Systems students apply Design Thinking (DT) in an Internet of Things (IoT) practical assignment. The Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI)’s design thinking process is applied, which entails five phases: empathise, define, ideate, prototype and test. In the Empathise phase, students must collect and analyse data in order to understand user needs. This enables them to arrive at an evidence-based problem definition in the define phase. Later, during the test phase, data is again collected and documented on the user’s experience of the prototype. User feedback is then compared with the documented user needs and adjustments are made to address the possible gap. While design thinking is not a conventional research methodology, its use in this manner adds rigour and a scientific base for devising creative solutions. In the group assignment, students were required to document their implementation of the five DT phases by means of a group blog, which was used to assess their projects. While assessing the blogs, the lecturers noted that the students who were more thorough and meticulous in documenting and analysing the user need data, were able to arrive at designs that more appropriately responded to the user’s needs. Furthermore, students who provided quotes and/or transcripts of their user interviews, followed by similarly documented feedback during the demonstration and testing of their prototypes, not only convinced that they addressed the real user problem, but the rigour they applied facilitated more innovative designs. This was an interesting finding, because the innovation itself is usually associated with the creative phases (ideate and prototype) rather than the empathise and test phases. This paper argues that when applying DT in a rigorous manner, students are enabled not only to produce better designs, but they also gain valuable research skills for their future benefit.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Conducting Research in Virtual Reality: Experiences of Interviewing Inside the Metaverse 2023-05-03T11:03:57+00:00 Savannah Althoff-Thomson Jean-Paul Van Belle JEAN-PAUL.VANBELLE@UCT.AC.ZA <p>Recent technological developments in the “Metaverse” have made the immersive virtual reality an imminent reality. Most existing metaverse research focuses on the use case and business potential of the metaverse and virtual reality technologies, but little research has been conducted to understand the experiences of early adopters and the motivators and inhibitors which affect their adoption and continued use. We set out to research the use cases of the metaverse among early adopters. A qualitative approach was employed for research, given its strengths in exploring unforeseen themes and allowing early adopters to raise issues which matter most to them. However, we adopted a novel, albeit entirely appropriate, research methodology which offers possible emulation: our interviews were conducted within a popular metaverse application, <em>RecRoom</em>, with semi-structured interviews taking place between avatars. We discovered some interesting differences between interviews in virtual reality, as compared to face-to-face and online interviews, due to the unique affordances of the metaverse. We discuss some of our experiences with interviewing in virtual reality. These include positive experiences which build on the affordances of the virtual reality space; apart from the anonymity (not one’s <em>real </em>face), interview participants experienced a greater social presence afforded by gestures indicating emphasis and emotional expressions. However, we also found some potential problems, such as harassment of the researcher and the difficulties with multi-tasking. Alongside capturing metaverse use cases by early adopters at this juncture of metaverse development, our experiences provide some insights and suggestions which might be useful for future metaverse researchers who intend conducting their research with participants while immersed in a virtual reality space.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Do researchers practice what they preach? An empirical analysis of evaluation criteria 2023-05-25T07:13:32+00:00 Ludger Voigt Johannes Schmidt Dietrich von der Oelsnitz <p>In our project, we take part in the debate about evaluation criteria in qualitative management and organisational science (MOS) research. Since the use of quantitative research criteria to evaluate qualitative research, as well as specific theoretically derived qualitative criteria, has been criticised, we look at this topic from an empirical perspective. Based on a comprehensive analysis of 449 articles published from 2011 to 2021 in five top-tier MOS-journals (Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Management, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal), we analyse how researchers address the issues of rigor and quality. Focusing on the most common evaluation criteria in the articles (validity and trustworthiness), our results indicate that scholars use qualitative evaluation criteria in a pragmatic way. This shows that, in contrast to the epistemological and methodological differences in theoretically derived evaluation criteria, researchers apply similar techniques to ensure validity and trustworthiness. Given that we only had access to published articles demonstrating the state of the art of using evaluation criteria, the current use of evaluation criteria during the research process remains a ‘black box.’ Therefore, to uncover such implicit evaluation criteria, we suggest a follow-up interview study to gain a deeper understanding of this relevant ‘black box’. In doing so, we aim to explore the intentions and experiences of authors who published qualitative research in top-tier journals on the question, “How to deal with evaluation criteria in research practice as well as during the review process?”. As publishing articles in leading journals is very competitive, we argue that these criteria are mainly the outcome of institutional practices, such as the review process and editorial policies. Our follow-up interview study proposes a way to shed light not only on the explicitly mentioned criteria in published articles but also on the underlying implicit criteria in-use during the research process up to publication.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Research on an assessment method : student feedback on video-feedback on mandatory assignments 2023-08-03T22:18:21+00:00 Tone Vold Souad Slyman Ole Jørgen Ranglund <p>At the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway, we have a study programme called Knowledge Management. Here we have tested out video-feedback on mandatory assignments. In order to assess how students perceive this type of feedback. Previous studies show that students value feedback and supervision almost higher than lectures and other learning activities. Feedback and supervision will guide improvement and is thought to support the experienced learning outcome. However, our experiences are that students are mostly concerned whether or not the assignments are approved. Hence, providing targeted feedback may or may not be reflected upon. In order to obtain the students’ attention to the feedback provided, we have tested out video-feedback. The idea is that a video file may make it more personal and thus be perceived as more targeted to their assignment. Through our research we would like to unveil several issues; if it contributes to the students’ learning outcome, if they find it useful, and if they understand how to improve their assignments. In this paper, we will argue for an abductive method towards researching this topic as we will iterate between theory that will enlighten us as we are conducting the study. We chose to view this as a case study and as we are interested in the students’ perceptions, we argue for a qualitative study where we conduct semi-structured interviews, both individually and in groups. We will present the research method in detail as well as our discussion of the appropriateness of this qualitative method.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Using Actor-Network-Theory as a Means of Exploring the Management of Community Development Networks 2023-08-09T09:43:07+00:00 Úna Quinn Paul McCusker Padraig Gallagher <p>This paper explores the use of Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) as a means of understanding the management of community development networks. This was undertaken through the application of ANT as a theoretical methodology to the case of ‘Organisation A’, a community development organisation operating in Ireland which has grown rapidly over the past 10 years and is embarking on a strategic review intended to examine all aspects of the organisation. The data collection methodology is qualitative and involved senior managers participating in semi-structured interviews. An analysis framework based on ANT was developed with the aim of understanding and articulating the management of this organisation as a complex network. The application of ANT is used to map the state of affairs of a network through the use of conceptual tools. Central to this is identifying key patterns of action as translations. These patterns are then used to explore how translations are negotiated through to completion. In the case of Organisation A, this highlights the management of operations in a network of varied stakeholders. A key output of this study was in identifying the centres of controversy, as areas where translations fail, and need to be further explored. Identifying these areas creates a map which can be used by stakeholders to further assess and develop the empirical state of the network.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Democratic centralism: The root cause of poor municipal performance in South Africa 2023-08-01T18:47:44+00:00 Basia Bless <p>This paper is a product of a Doctoral study that applied grounded theory to derive a performance improvement model for a particular Municipality in South Africa. Drawing from this study, this paper argues that democratic centralism, which manifests in politicised bureaucracy and implemented through the ANC policy of cadre deployment, is the root cause of poor performance across South African municipalities. In advancing this argument, the paper interrogates public management literature to conceptualise poor municipal performance and justify the relevance of the politics-administration dichotomy as a framework for positioning democratic centralism as the root cause of poor performance in South African municipalities. In addition, interrogating public management literature allowed the author to identify methodological limitations of past studies and select grounded theory as the most appropriate research design to address these limitations. In applying grounded theory, the author used purposive sampling to identify research participants who were subsequently interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. In preparation for data analysis, the author recorded and transcribed the information obtained from the interviews. Thereafter, the author used open coding with particular emphasis on constant comparative analysis and theoretical sampling. The use of these techniques allowed the author to move the level of abstraction from open codes through to empirical categories leading to generation of empirical explanations that link democratic centralism to poor performance in South African municipalities. To this end, the paper empirically linked poor municipal performance, often displayed through violent protests, to democratic centralism, a phenomenon entrenched into the South African public service through the ANC policy of cadre deployment.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Be Fair: A qualitative Investigation of Pay Inequity Experiences 2023-04-26T12:56:45+00:00 Rebecca Burke <p>This study explores the topic of pay inequity, with a particular focus on how it impacts on women working in the UK today. Theoretical and methodological gaps exist across the literature, which to date have focussed on quantitative approaches to hypothesis connected to (i) equity theory (Adams, 1965; Homans, 1958), (ii) the gender pay gap (Olson, 2013; Metcalf, 2009; Rubery, 2015) and (iii) equal pay law (The Equal Pay Act, 1970). This study seeks to address these gaps by taking a feminist and qualitative approach to the collection of narratives that describe the lived experience of female pay inequity victims. Semi-structured interviews are used to collect the rich narratives and unique perceptions of women who have experienced this phenomenon for themselves, and provides us with deep insights into the events, behaviours and perceptions that surround their experiences (Blaikie, 2007; Oakley, 1981). This paper provides justification for the methodological approach, and how it has been used to address the gaps in our knowledge that are preventing the theoretical advancement of the topic. As this study is currently in the data collection and analysis phase for a PhD project, no findings are presented in this paper.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Business research methods: A perspective of street traders in the informal economy 2023-04-27T11:05:37+00:00 Dumisani Godfrey Mabasa <p>Many people, despites being educated or not, struggle to find decent jobs in the formal economy. Some end-up working in the informal economy as self-employed/own-account workers. Informal economy is the largest employer with more potentials, employing approximately 61 percent of the global labour force. Despite different forms of occupations, street trading is the most visible occupation in the informal economy. There is a research gap between formal and informal economy, with most research done in the formal economy. It is recommended that micro-level individuals must be included in research to broaden knowledge. The informal economic activities are not reported in government statistics. It is odd because the informal economy is the largest global employer and street trading is found in both developed and developing economies. Informal economic activities are however associated with lack of growth and social security, money laundering, and financing of terrorist activities. The study was conducted to determine work engagement of street traders using the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES). The UWES is validated and used for quantitative studies in the formal economy. The instrument was pretested and piloted for quality appraisal purposes for validation and use in the informal economy. The general lack of credible records of street trading activities, makes it difficult for researchers to conduct studies using different methodologies in the informal economy. The convenience sampling strategy, a nonprobability sampling startegy, was used in choosing participants, and &nbsp;was most valid for solving the problem of the study, choosing participants accidentally on availability. Most quantitative studies involving street traders are restricted to using nonprobabiliity sampling, which is a concern. The high birth and/or mortality rate of street trading businesses make the database inconsistent to use as some do not report when exiting or entering. The lack of credible records/database of street trading activities, and over reliance on nonprobability sampling strategy, restrict the holistic generation of knowledge. The street traders’ activities must be registered to develop from knowledge generated through research.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies Datafication in Smart Cities: Understanding how the Public Experience Urban Environments 2023-07-12T13:26:46+00:00 Jie Qi Suvodeep Mazumdar Ana Vasconcelos <p style="font-weight: 400;">Datafication has become a prominent feature of smart cities, where sensors, monitoring devices, and AI are being integrated with city infrastructures and facilities, resulting in rapidly changing urban areas informed by data-driven decision-making processes. Although there is a vast amount of data being generated about urban environments and citizens, research on understanding citizens’ social experience in smart cities has been limited. This study proposes a three-stage research design that provides datafication solutions to understand citizens’ experience of urban environment in a synergistic manner. We employ a mixed methods approach drawing upon multiple data collected by the researcher, from the citizens, and sourced across smart cities open data platforms. It is designed to undertake a place-based and citizen-centric approach to understand the lived social experiences of citizens in urban environments. This work will contribute to our current understanding in developing socially sustainable smart cities, providing methodological insights for future research on how datafication process can be leveraged to improve quality of urban life.</p> 2023-08-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies