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  • Series: Handbooks of Research Methods in Management series x
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Cinla Akinci and Mark N.K. Saunders

This chapter provides an overview of the design and use of questionnaire surveys in Human Resource Development (HRD) research, focusing on the commonly occurring methodological issues and associated concerns. These are illustrated drawing upon personal experience of four projects within a large UK public sector organisation.

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Jim Stewart and Victoria Harte

Online surveys are complex, with many factors affecting rates of response. Reasons for non-response are argued here to fall into three main categories: questionnaire design, personal motivation of respondents and distribution methods. The last category is particularly significant in relation to the assumed online preference of Generation X and Y.

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Maura Sheehan, Mark N.K. Saunders and Catherine L. Wang

This chapter provides an overview of the literature on improving survey response, focussing upon ways of tailoring the survey design to leverage potential respondents’ decision to participate, and uses a case study to examine an application of leverage-saliency theory. Techniques likely to be effective in maximising telephone survey participation in HRD research are detailed.

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Regina H. Mulder

The Critical Incident Technique and Vignette Technique and their possible use in HRD research is explored. Examples of own research on informal learning and behaviour at work illustrate how challenges caused by the nature of the object of investigation and the complexity of the real work setting can be dealt with.

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Christoph König, Gerhard Messmann, Regina H. Mulder and Sven De Maeyer

The interdependence between organizations and their members confronts HRD with complex research problems. Structural equation modelling (SEM) offers a useful tool to account for this complexity. Using examples, this chapter illustrates and discusses the possibilities, limitations and caveats of using SEM in HRD research.

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Rob F. Poell

This chapter provides an overview of systematic content analysis (SCA) as an approach to analysing qualitative data. SCA aims to summarise the meaning of (textual) communication. The chapter looks briefly at its history, main characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. Its use is then illustrated presenting an empirical HRD study and discussed.

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Jamie L. Callahan and Gary Connor

In this chapter, we challenge the hegemonic notion that the underlying values of critical paradigms necessitate qualitative research. We argue that a solitary focus on epistemological underpinnings is counterproductive to achieving critical social transformation. We offer an example of the interplay of quantitative and qualitative research toward addressing a Critical Human Resource Development (CHRD) issue.

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Steven Tam and David E. Gray

Mixed methods design can contribute great value to academic research. The purpose of this chapter is to share with readers an empirical HRD study which used both quantitative and qualitative methods as part of the research design. It discusses how the research was designed and implemented, why mixed methods suited the study and what critical insights emerged from the research.

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Sharon Mavin and Jannine Williams

This chapter outlines key issues for gender researchers. It introduces the importance of women leaders and gender aware HRD and a range of issues in gender research. The key issues in practice are presented and illustrated through research that operationalizes a Multi-Stakeholder Framework for analysing gendered media constructions of women leaders.

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Carole Elliott and Valerie Stead

In this chapter we explore how adopting a post-structuralist sensitivity to leadership development practice opens opportunities for ‘research in action’ within the classroom. Within it we present examples of how leadership development methods can also act simultaneously as methods of enquiry, constituting a research–teaching cycle.