Friday, November 9, 2012

Theoretical Research Strategy: Seven Step Approach - Introduction

Academic norms

Scholarly work is inter-subjective: every scholar draws upon the work of other members of the community in terms of theories and problem awareness, and also contributes to the community by offering new insights.
Scholarly work is self-critical. Self-criticism is important for rendering valuable contributions to the academic community. The scholar has to take responsibility for his or her own work.
Scholarly work is argumentative: it recognizes that personal bias is in the way of every scholar’s attempts to explain the world, and therefore tries to convince the readers, by awareness-building, consistent argumentation, and critical questioning.
Scholarly work is precise: it checks the matter debated critically, it questions various possible conclusions or claims made, in order to back-up one's theses more safely, explaining them clearly.
Scholarly work is explicit: The scholar has to explicitly define his or her concepts which are subjectively relevant, and clearly explain the line of argumentation so that others can understand what s/he is saying.

A Seven-step Approach for Theoretical Research

Research question formulation
 Literature review
Concept reflection and identification
Theoretical conjecture formulation
Discourse with peers and other knowledgeable individuals
Theoretical conjecture refinement and acceptance
Discussion on the impact of theory


Research Skills in the Liberal Arts Paradigm

Dan Remenyi and Arthur Money, “Theoretical Research and Management Studies:Some Preliminary Thoughts”, in 3rd European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies: University of Reading, Reading UK, 19-30 April 2004 By Ann Brown, Dan Remenyi (Ed.),  Academic Conferences Limited. 

Lee Freese, “Formal Theorizing” Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 6, (1980), pp. 187-212   


The Ph.d. Process - What it Takes to Get it Done

On the Nature of Theoretical Research:

A Tutorial on Survey Research: From Constructs to theory

Theory Building in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Ten Years of Entrepreneurial Education and Research: Theoretical contributions - Gives categorization of researchers 2012


Originally posted by me in

Friday, November 2, 2012

Case Study Research Methodology - Introduction and Bibliography

In case study research, limited number of instances of a phenomenon are studied in detail to develop theory or test theory. The sample is selected on the basis of convenience or power to develop the theory.

Yin wrote a book on case study research methodology.

See a note giving various questions to be answered in developing case study research proposal.

What is the difference between proposition and hypothesis?

In research methodology also, these words were used with different meanings by different authors, and there is sufficient confusion now.

One view is that in theory building, a set of assumptions are developed and from these assumption through deduction, theoretical propositions are created. From these propositions, once again through deduction hypothesis is derived. This hypothesis is now tested. This explanation is given in a nice way in a summary of  "A Primer of Theory Construction"

It was made clear that theory has to use abstract concepts which are applicable over time and space and hypothesis has to use variables which are present in the observation to be made now.

But a slightly different explanation which does not use the word proposition is given in
the research methodology course material on economics by Prof. Yang.

Wikipedia note on hypothesis follows Yang's way.

My preference is for the first explantion. Theory builder first builds a theoretical proposition out of abstract concepts and then derives the hypothesis.