- New Horizons in Management series
Chapter 5: Research Methods and the Organizations Studied
5. Research methods and the organizations studied The present book is based on research findings from a five-year (2004–08) ethnographic project. Organizational anthropology has enjoyed growing popularity in the academic world recently. As some authors have indicated, general qualitative and interpretative research methods have in recent years become gradually more important for organizational and management theories than have approaches that are purely quantitative (Prasad and Prasad, 2002). Methodological and paradigmatic pluralism in science and management theory can be seen as both an advantage and a disadvantage in the field. There was a very fierce discussion at the beginning of the 1990s in two of the most frequently cited management journals, between Jeffrey Pfeffer (Stanford University) and John Van Maanen (MIT). The first argued (Pfeffer, 1993, 1995) that the implementation of only one type of research (quantitative) would help to focus on the most important problems, whereas the latter (Van Maanen, 1995a, 1995b) believed that a variety of different approaches and interdisciplinary inquiry in the field of management study is an important source of its power. A similar opinion to that of Van Maanen, though more balanced, was expressed by other authors (Cannella and Paetzold, 1994). It is difficult to decide unequivocally which side is right (and there are no neutral parties in that argument); however it has become clear that Pfeffer’s stance, although recognized as part of the scholarly environment, has not significantly influenced any change within the scientific field for 15 years. There are still many competing paradigms...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.