The qualitative component of the module will be a 2000 word piece of coursework. 500 on each question
For this, you are required to critically evaluate two of the four main papers discussed during the module. You should do this by answering the two set questions associated with each of the two papers. For both papers, then, the questions you need to answer are those labelled “Questions for Group Discussion” (see previous pages of this document for full details of the questions). The four questions are worth equal marks.
Identify the two chosen papers
- Use the two set questions from each paper as sub-headings
- Answer each question by writing around 500 words
- Include a word count on the last page. The word count includes the answers to the four set questions only and must not exceed 2000 words (maximum limit)
- Add a single Reference list (not included in the word count)of all the material cited in the answer.
Key Assessment Criteria for Individual Assignment
- Knowledge of the subject matter, including understanding of the concepts introduced in the module and presented in the coursework
- Critical evaluation (the ability to analyse the advantages and the limitations of a particular view point)
- Organization, logical clarity in presenting arguments and justifying statements made, consistency, and completeness
- Quality and originality of ideas (in contrast to regurgitation)
- Proper citation of the literature
Other important things
Understanding: arguments are considered and sophisticated – not just regurgitated
Knowledge: cite relevant literature beyond what lectures covered – demonstrate a range of reading outside set texts
The article’s questions are on the next pages
The full articles will be attached on the files
The first article with questions
This session will begin with an introduction to ethnography. This will be followed by a group discussion of a paper by Russell (2005), group presentations of answers to the set questions and a summary.
Russell, L. (2005). It’s a question of trust: Balancing the relationship between students and teachers in ethnographic fieldwork. Qualitative Research, 5(2): 181-199.
Thorpe R. and Holt, R. (2008). The Sage dictionary of qualitative management research, London: Sage. (“Ethnography” pp. 89-91, “Ethics” pp.87-89)
- Given Russell’s aim of developing an in-depth view of students’ perspectives on the sensitive topic of resistance to schooling she claims “to learn from the students, trust between the researcher and the researched had to be developed” (p.185). How did this influence Russell’s decision to undertake an ethnographic study, her methods of data collection and the sequence in which she employed these methods?
- ‘The AoM Code of Ethical Conduct states that it is the responsibility of the researcher to assess carefully the possibility of harm to research participants, and, to the extent that it can be, the possibility of harm should be minimized” (Bryman and Bell, 2015, p.135). With reference to ethical principles for research, explain the particular challenges Russell faced in minimising harm to the participants in her study. Discuss whether you feel the steps she took to protect the participants from harm were adequate.
You are advised also to read:
Thorpe R. and Holt, R. (2008). The Sage dictionary of qualitative management research, London: Sage. (“Fieldnotes” pp. 97-99 and “Field Research” pp. 99-100)
Silverman, D. (2013). Doing qualitative research. (4th edition), London: Sage. (“Ethnographies” pp. 49-51; “Collecting ethnographic data” pp. 213-224, “Fieldnotes” pp. 242-253 and Chapter 10)
Bryman, A. and Bell, E. (2015). Business research methods (4th edition), Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Chapters 6 and 19 and “Qualitative interviewing versus participant observation”, pp. 504-508).
Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. and Jackson, P.R. (2015). Management research (5′ edition), London: Sage (“Ethics” pp. 120-127).
Cassell, C. and Symon, G. (2004). Essential guide to qualitative methods in
organizational research, London, Sage. (Chapter 25)
Korczynski, M. (2011). The Dialectical Sense of Humour: Routine Joking in a Taylorized Factory, Organization Studies, 32 (10): 1421-1439.
Learmonth, M. (2009). Girls working together without teams: how to avoid the colonization of management language. Human Relations, 62(12): 1887-1906.
McDonald, S. (2005). Studying actions in context: A qualitative shadowing method for organizational research, Qualitative Research, 5(4): 455-473.
The second article with questions
This session will begin with an introduction to conducting qualitative interviews and focus groups. This will be followed by a group discussion of a paper by Kamenou (2008), group presentations of answers to the set questions and a summary.
Kamenou, N. (2008). Reconsidering work-life balance debates: Challenging limited understandings of the ‘life’ component in the context of ethnic minority women’s experiences, British Journal of Management, 19: S99-S109.
Thorpe R. and Holt, R. (2008). The Sage dictionary of qualitative management research. London: (“Access” pp. 13-15, “Focus groups pp. 100-102”, “Interviews” pp. 118-120 and “Reflexivity” pp.183-185).
- Kamenou states that “approximately 20 organizations were initially contacted and invited to participate in the study” (2008, pS102). However, only 2 agreed to take part in her research. What reasons might these 18 organizations have had for declining Kamenou’s request for research access?
- Kamenou explains that “in order to investigate the experiences and views of ethnic minority women, primary data were collected in the form of semi-structured, in depth interviews with minority female participants” (2008, pS102). Why might Kamenou have chosen to conduct interviews rather than focus groups in her study?
You are advised also to read:
Thorpe R. and Holt, R. (2008). The Sage dictionary of qualitative management research. London: (“Interviewing”, pp. 116-118, “Interviews —Electronic”, “Interviews — Groups” pp. 120-124 and “Reflexivity” pp.183-185).
Silverman, D. (2013). Doing qualitative research. (4th edition), London: Sage. (“Collecting interview and focus group data” pp. 199-213; “Interviews” pp. 237-242)
Overview of the session
Questions for group discussion (based around paper by Kamenou, 2008)
Bryman, A. and Bell, E. (2015). Business research methods (4th edition), Oxford: Oxford University Press. (“Access” pp. 448-452, “Qualitative research using online focus groups/personal interviews” pp.670-675).
Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. and Jackson, P.R. (2015). Management research (5th edition), London: Sage (“Politics of Access” pp. 116-120).
Cassell, C. and Symon, G. (2004). Essential guide to qualitative methods in organizational research, London, Sage. (Chapters 2 and 3)
Harris, R. et al., (2008). Accessing elite nurses for research: Reflections on the theoretical and practical issues of telephone interviewing. Journal of Research in Nursing, 13(3): 236-248.
Munday J. (2006). Identity in focus: The use of focus groups to study the construction of collective identity. Sociology, 40(1): 89-105.
Finlay, L. (2002).”Outing” the researcher: The provenance, process and practice of reflexivity. Qualitative Health Research, 12(4): 531-545.
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