Academic journal article Journal of Management and Organization

Mixed Methods in Business and Management: A Call to the 'First Generation'

Academic journal article Journal of Management and Organization

Mixed Methods in Business and Management: A Call to the 'First Generation'

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Mixed methods is a youthful but increasingly robust methodological movement characterised by: a growing body of trans-disciplinary literature; prominent research methodologists/authorities; the emergence of mixed method specific journals, research texts, and courses; a growth in popularity amongst research funding bodies. Mixed methods is being utilised and reported within business and management fields, despite the quantitative traditions attached to certain business and management disciplines. This paper has utilised a multistrand conversion mixed model research design to undertake a retrospective content analysis of refereed papers (n = 281) from the 21st Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Conference 2007. The aim of the study is to provide a methodological map of the management research reported at the conference, and in particular the use, quality and acceptance level of mixed methods research within business and management fields. Implications for further research are discussed along with a call to the 'first generation' of business and management mixed method researchers to instigate mixed methods research training and capacity building within their respective business schools, relevant academies and associated professional forums and publications.

Keywords: mixed methods, research training, management research, research design, data integration, multistrand conversion mixed model

INTRODUCTION

This paper reports findings from a content analysis of refereed conference papers from the annual ANZAM conference held in Sydney, 2007. ANZAM was founded in 1985 to advance management education, scholarship, research, and practice in Australia and New Zealand. The Academy is the primary professional body for management educators, researchers, and practitioners in Australia and New Zealand, with approximately 600 individual members and 50 institutional members (representing mostly Australian and New Zealand universities) as well as members from other countries. The main objective of ANZAM is:

* To facilitate the consideration and dissemination of management knowledge;

* To provide a range of services for the ongoing development of members;

* To provide an authoritative voice to advance the interests of the management discipline; and

* To promote greater collaboration between stakeholders. (www.anzam.org)

The papers at ANZAM are classified across a wide variety of business and management disciplines (16 streams) and contain many international submissions. Other studies that have investigated the use of mixed methods in business and management disciplines have tended to do this with a single discipline focus and have used academic discipline-based journals as the data sources. This study is unique in this respect as it has analysed conference papers from within a multidisciplinary forum.

The paper will briefly outline the rise of mixed methods as a third methodological movement (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2003, p. x) and discuss studies of the use of mixed methods across business and management disciplines before introducing the concept of acceptance levels of mixed methods within research fields. The importance of quality frameworks in reporting mixed methods studies is explained before detailing the aims, research design, methodology, and findings of the research study being reported. The study has taken an exploratory approach aimed at providing a methodological map of recent business and management research as represented by papers from the 2007 ANZAM conference. The overarching research question guiding this research is: What evidence exists to gauge the use, quality and acceptance levels of mixed methods research within management based research? The research has utilised a multistrand conversion mixed model research design with an overarching research question and separate quantitative and qualitative subquestions. The content analysis provides a broad based scan of methodological use of the 2007 ANZAM conference papers using the following paper categories: conceptual; qualitative; quantitative; and mixed methods. …

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