An Interdisciplinary Assessment
Chapter 4: Detecting boundary spanners and examining their activities
Given the ambiguity in the conceptualization and measurement of boundary spanners, this chapter goes deeper into various activities distinguished in the literature and discusses methodological considerations in researching boundary spanners. It discusses the wide spectrum of methods and measurements used in the study of boundary spanners, varying from ethnographic research in profiling boundary spanners to quantitative and mixed method designs. Whereas the quantitative studies generally aim to measure certain types of boundary spanning activity, try to explain variation in boundary spanning behavior and test the effects of boundary spanning, qualitative studies pay more attention to typifying and contextualizing boundary spanning activity. In general the purpose of this chapter is to critically reflect on and compare different methods and research designs in studying boundary spanners in order to enhance and support future research. It thereby also aims to remove the ambiguity in detecting and examining boundary spanners and to come with a more solid and balanced methodological approach.
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