Research Methods for Organizational Studies

By Donald P. Schwab | Go to book overview

PREFACE

This book introduces students to social science methods as applied broadly to the study of issues that arise as part of organizational life. These include issues involving organizational participants such as managers, teachers, customers, patients, and clients, and transactions within and between organizations. The material in the book is an outgrowth of nearly 30 years in teaching research classes to masters and beginning doctoral students at the Universities of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Purdue. Although these classes have been offered in management and/or industrial relations departments, students participating have come from many other programs including industrial/organizational and social psychology, educational administration, sociology, marketing, communication arts, operations management, nursing, health care administration, and industrial engineering.

Naturally, my views about research and about what constitutes good research practice have strongly influenced the content of this book. However, experiences while teaching have had the most significant impact on the organization, emphases, and tone of the book. Many students experience anxiety when they begin a course in research methods; not all students begin such a course enthusiastically. This book aims to reduce anxiety by presenting research methods in a straightforward and understandable fashion. It aims to enhance student motivation by providing practical skills needed to carry out research activities.


Why Another Book on Research Methods?

There is no shortage of research methods books; I've taught using many of them. However, students' reactions to these books have often been unfavorable. Some methods books, although encyclopedic in terminology and tech-

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