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Research and Knowledge Building In Management Studies

This paper revolves around the nature of methodologies employed in research published in some of the top business and management journals, published to enable the understanding of the creation of management knowledge. This research is based on the review of earlier research methodologies, and identifies its bias in favour of positivism and quantitative methodologies, which subsequently evolved onto the recognition of potential contribution of phenomenological research design and qualitative methodologies. The analysis is based on an in-depth analysis of 120 articles drawn from twenty leading management journals published between 1991 and 2000. The importance of this study lies in the need for understanding the research methodologies used in management study, to identify and investigate potential patterns emerging over the last two decades of the twentieth century, as also get some insights into the possible future development of research methodology. A structured methodology has been followed to achieve the overall aim of this paper. The selected articles were employed to answer a set of research questions, identified in line with the overall aim of the paper. The selection of the journals was through an iterative process based on a set of Index rankings. The articles were selected from these journals on a random sampling basis. Each article was subsequently read to explore the nature of various research methodologies applied based on relevant research variables. Each article was then assigned coding dimensions. Theses dimensions included authors job title, authors gender, and place of publication, in addition to the following aspects of the methodological approach adopted by the research reported in the article: Random Sampling, Cluster Sampling, Non Random Sampling, Nature of data used, questionnaire, interview, observation, case study, standard deviations, correlation analysis, regression analysis, grand theory amongst others. The list of descriptors relating to the methodology was generated through an analysis of various packages and research methodology texts. Methodology Aim: The main aim of the research paper was to explore the methodology employed in management research. Steps executed in the actual process: (a) 120 referred journal articles published between 1991 and 2000 in the top management journals selected through an iterative process based on Social Science Citation Index ranking. (b) Based on the articles various question were identified which included job titles, gender of the author, quantitative versus qualitative research, sampling method, data collection method, data analysis methods. (c) The articles have being selected on a random sampling method; each of these articles was assigned up to 36 coding dimensions. These dimension included author's job title, author's gender, place of publication, and date of publication. (d) Descriptors relating to research methodology such as Simple Random, Stratified Random, Cluster, Non Random sampling etc, was generated through an analysis of statistical packages such as SPSS, and research methodology text, data collection and analysis, and the generation of knowledge and meaning discussed in the management research methods literature. (e) The data dictionary was created in order to create a data matrix that was handled by SPSS.

Classification of Methodology Three different view points can be considered for classifying the research involved in the preparation of the given research paper. 1. Application 2. Objective 3. Inquiry Mode Application: From the applications view point the research done seems to be pure research. The aim of the research is to identify the trends in research method used for management research. The knowledge so generated can be used to identify the appropriateness of different research methods for different research agendas. However no immediate commercial application of this research is apparent. Objective: The research aims at identifying the prevalent research methodology trends in management research. This suggests that the research conducted for this paper is Descriptive in nature. Inquiry Mode: The research conducted for this paper seems to employ an amalgamation of qualitative and quantitative approach. The research dealt with data (regarding gender, age, designation) that can be easily analysed quantitatively along with qualitative evaluation of 120 journals and assigning as many as 36 coding dimensions to it. Learning The Research and methodology employed has many learning. It helps understand the nature of management knowledge, potential and mechanisms and relating theory to practice, and it makes familiar with research training priorities and curricula. From the article, it is necessary: 1. To understand aspects of creation of management knowledge. 2. The article focuses on different designs and methodologies. The Research article stresses on normative aspects and makes familiar with the different qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The objective of the article was inductive on character. Earlier the sample size taken for surveys was small. They lent a very narrow view of the situation being analysed. The results could not be employed for any concrete conclusion. Taking a cue from this, the sample sizes employed in todays surveys are large and diversified so as to cater to all facets of the situation. The researches conducted today are used over and over again for developing new business plans or improving the old ones. The research article familiarises us with the changes in methodologies employed over the years in conducting researches. It started in the beginning with strategies being less normative and more of a generalized nature. But then as the years progressed and experiences increased, researches grew empirical and concentrated on relationship between variables. The basic theme underlying a research is this: When you start with a research, you look for regularities. Any research starts with an 3

assumption based in solid facts. It could be ontological in nature, which involves the study of being, asking questions about what could really exist. Associated with this ontological issue, is a second set of assumptions of an epistemological nature. Epistemology involves the study of theories of knowledge. A third set of assumptions concerning human nature and in particular the relationship between human beings and their environment; their view is that human beings and their experiences should be regarded as products of the environment. The three sets of assumptions outlined above have direct implications of a methodological nature. Each one has important consequences for the way in which one attempts to investigate and obtain "knowledge" about the social world. The Findings of the research gave the following learnings: The researches today give results divided on major other criteria of classification like gender, academic qualification, papers written etc. It us necessary to look into the personal characteristics of the authors which helped understand the fact how a certain tone of articles is written and appreciated by a group of people having similar traits. Different types of data clusters require different sampling and data mining techniques to arrive at concrete results. The major learning is in the realisation that business researches require the correct blend of quantitative and qualitative methods. Knowledge should be quantified for better understanding. It is also necessary to understand that researches are constrained by narrow methodological perspectives.