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Copyright, 1995-2002 1 Invitation to Research CASE STUDY: eBusiness Research Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni of.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright, 1995-2002 1 Invitation to Research CASE STUDY: eBusiness Research Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright, Invitation to Research CASE STUDY: eBusiness Research Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni of Hong Kong Visiting Fellow, Australian National University /70-eBus.ppt ebs, January 2003

2 Copyright, Characteristics of e-Business New and Exciting Youthfulness (although no longer virgin territory or a green-fields site) Rapid Change Hype-Quotient Casino-Mentality / dot.com fervour (now given way to dot.bomb negativity?) Inevitable Turkey-Factor

3 Copyright, Characteristics of e-Business Instability of the Phenomena Rapid Change in: Technologies and Processes Applications Participant Behaviour Perceptions of Need Rates of Change still increasing Directions of Change multiplying To date, Limited Convergence, Maturation

4 Copyright, Characteristics of e-Business Additional Confounding Variables Geographical Unboundedness Cultural Variation Ill-Definedness of Cultural Boundaries All compounded by Cultural Ignorance

5 Copyright, The Practice of e-Business Research The Audience(s) Other Researchers Research Grants Organisations Technology / Process Developers User Organisations Policy Workers Investors

6 Copyright, Research in e-Business What Sponsoring Audiences Want New Technologies / Processes Understanding About Them Profit The Right Answers or at least not the wrong ones The Right Motivation, Foci, Outcomes

7 Copyright, Intrumentalist Research in eBusiness Alternative Foci Technology / Process What is it? Applications What do I do with it? Adoption, Impediments How can I make sure it gets used? Impact What are/will be first-order effects? Implications What are/will be its second-order effects?

8 Copyright, e-Business Research papers in the leading 'issues' journal, plus 37 in 5 selected (non-EC) research journals in the issues journal: 25 theory, 1 survey, 8 case studies, 4 field studies in the 5 research journals: 10 theory 11 surveys, 3 interviews, 14 case studies, 1 field study EDI as subject-matter: 16 / 37 in the research journals 0 / 38 in the issues journal

9 Copyright, Common Problems – Methods Convenience Reference Theories applied unquestioningly Rogers innovation diffusion theory Hofstedes cultural factors theory Williamsons transaction costs theory Semi-structured interviews masquerade as case studies Lone Cases, Shallow Cases, Pseudo-Cases Consultancy as [Action] Research Surveys are used as the sole technique even when: in-depth information is needed as well in-depth information is needed instead Over-surveyed populations avoid responding

10 Copyright, Common Problems – Surveys Unclear Survey Objectives, and Survey Design Generally Unclear Definition of Population, Sampling Frame, Sample Convenience Samples, and Proxies instead of Principals Principal-Agent Problem Uncontrolled (Unappreciated?) Respondent Diversity Enormous and Uncontrolled Highly Ambiguous Terminology Differentially Interpreted Lists of Likert or not Data, Masquerading as Information Response-Rate Too Low Response-Count Too Low Non-Response Bias Inadequately Considered

11 Copyright, Common Problems – Survey Questions (Foddy) Answers to factual questions are often wrong What Respondents say and do are often different Respondents attitudes and opinions are unstable Small changes in wording can produce major changes in the distibution of responses Respondents commonly misinterpret questions The sequence of questions affects answers The sequence of options affects answers Open-ended and closed-ended ways of asking the same question elicit different results Many respondents who dont know answer anyway Cultural context affects answers

12 Copyright, e-Business Research Common Problems – Research Management Inadequate Relevance to attract industry funding Inadequate Resourcing to achieve the aims: Researcher Time Supervisor Time Travel Costs Infrastructure Costs Support Staffing Inadequate Timeframe: grant request, grant, candidate search, candidate prep time-variant phenomena demand longitudinal study

13 Copyright, e-Business Research Population Stratification – BUSINESS The Mythical SME: Micro-Enterprises (0-3 employees) Small Business Enterprises (3 - 20/100/200) Medium-Sized Business Enterprises (on up to 500) Large Business Enterprises ( ,000) Conglomerates, Multinational Corporations (MNCs) Independent Business Units (µ, S, M, L) Virtual Business Enterprises (Dynamic Networks)

14 Copyright, e-Business Research Population Stratification – GOVERNMENT By Function: Service Delivery: Insourced Outsourced (Purchaser/Provide r) Regulatory Policy By Level: Supra-National National Regional / State / Province / Land / Canton /... Local

15 Copyright, e-Business Research Population Stratification NON-PROFIT / NOT-FOR-PROFITS Industry Associations (industry sector) Chambers of Commerce (regional) Labour Unions Charities Co-operatives (economic purpose) Community Associations (P&C, Sport, etc.)...

16 Copyright, Non-Empirical Research Techniques A Taxonomy (8) Review of Existing Literature Scholarship Conceptual Research (Contemplative, Armchair) Futurism, especially Delphi Rounds Scenario-Building Game-Playing or Role-Playing Analytical and Simulation Modelling

17 Copyright, Scientific Research Techniques A Taxonomy (3+5) Laboratory Experimentation Field Experimentation and Quasi-Experimental Designs Forecasting...

18 Copyright, Interpretivist Research Techniques A Taxonomy (5+5) Descriptive/Interpretive Focus Group Action Research Ethnographic Research Grounded Theory...

19 Copyright, Research Techniques at the Boundary of Scientific and Interpretivist Research A Taxonomy (5) Field Study Questionnaire-Based Survey Interview-Based Survey Case Study Secondary Research

20 Copyright, Engineering Research Techniques A Taxonomy (5) Construction of an Artefact Conception (based on a body of theory) Design / Creation / Prototyping / Testing Application Destruction of an Artefact Testing Application

21 Copyright, e-Business Research Particularly Suitable Research Techniques Field Study / Observation / Case Studies complemented by Documents, Interviews, small Surveys Laboratory Experimentation : Prototype Development Prototype Usage Product Usage, but by Real People, not Proxies Field Experimentation : Metricated Trial Applications Surveys of tightly-defined and -segmented populations

22 Copyright, Research in e-Business Concluding Observations A Research Domain, not a Discipline In need of the insights of multiple disciplines Ill-served by existing bodies of theory Breadth and depth are both needed, but holism and integration are very challenging A Research Method generally requires several complementary Research Techniques Relevance as Objective; Rigour as Constraint Technology, Apps, Implications and Policy


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