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Copyright, 1995-2002 1 Invitation to Research RECAPITULATION Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni of Hong Kong Visiting.

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

1 Copyright, 1995-2002 1 Invitation to Research RECAPITULATION Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni of Hong Kong Visiting Fellow, Australian National University /90-Recap.ppt ebs, 16-20 January 2003

2 Copyright, 1995-2002 2 Invitation to Research Objectives Provide candidates with: Meta-Theory and Theory re the Process of Research An Overview of Research Techniques Practical Guidance re Research Process and Product Motivation Establish a Common Intellectual Platform to support individual candidates, Professors and Institutes

3 Copyright, 1995-2002 3 Invitation to Research Syllabus Introduction (1 hr) Key Insights from the Philosophy of Science (c. 7 hrs) Research Techniques (c. 8 hrs) The Research Process (c. 3 hrs) Case Study: eBusiness(1 hr) The Research Product (c. 2 hrs) Recapitulation (1 hr)

4 Copyright, 1995-2002 4 Invitation to Research What You Wont Get From This Seminar Information Specific to Your Particular Discipline Details on Specific Research Techniques Statistical Analysis Techniques Descriptions of Specific Theories... How to Conduct Your Research Project

5 Copyright, 1995-2002 5 The Conventional Ontological and Epistemological Positions Things around me exist Knowledge that a person has of a thing is not the thing itself, but rather an internal model of the thing That is not inconsistent with the empirical view: we learn about things by sensing or measuring them It is also not inconsistent with the apriori view: each persons perceptual and cognitive apparatus (eyes and ears, optic and auditory nerves, sensory nervous system, brain, etc.) mediate their experience of the external things

6 Copyright, 1995-2002 6 Data Information (Codified) Knowledge (Tacit) Wisdom

7 Copyright, 1995-2002 7 Communication Data and Information are not simply transferrable from one person to another, but are subject to constraints of: the sender, e.g. effectors, motivations the medium, e.g. capacity, noise the receiver, e.g. perceptive and cognitive apparatus Data and Information are expressed in a Language, often a specialised Dialect, which is subject to lingual and cultural ambiguity

8 Copyright, 1995-2002 8 Recapitulation of the Conventional Assumptions There is a reality, outside the human mind Humans cannot directly capture those things Humans: sense and measure those things construct an internalised model of them The acts of sensing and measurement are enabled by, and constrained by, the human perceptual apparatus (anatomy and physiology) and mental processes Knowledge exists at two levels: within individual humans captured, expressed, and stored for recovery

9 Copyright, 1995-2002 9 Theory Formal Theory: A coherent group of general propositions that enable a systematic description of Phenomena within a particular Domain (and possibly explanation and even prediction) As distinct from Ad Hoc Theory: A conjectural, as-yet-untested description Nets to catch what we call the world, to rationalise, to explain, and to master it (Popper)

10 Copyright, 1995-2002 10 The Process of Science Theory has an ideal form (Axioms, Logic, Inferences, Inferences Operationally Defined) A Scientific Theory enables propositions to be generated which are in principle 'Refutable' by comparison against observations of the real world A Paradigm (a body of language, shared precepts, theory and methods) enables normal science, and a program develops around it. Anomalies gradually accumulate, and Paradigm Shift occurs

11 Copyright, 1995-2002 11 Systems Models Cybernetics Complexity of: System Model Behaviour

12 Copyright, 1995-2002 12 Categories of Models Deterministic Models – Automata Computable by Analytical Methods Too Complex to Compute, hence Requiring Numerical Methods Probabilistic Models Non-Deterministic / Stochastic Models Entities exercising Self-Determination / Free Will e.g. Humans and Organisations

13 Copyright, 1995-2002 13 The Conventional Scientific Research Process - 6 of 6

14 Copyright, 1995-2002 14 Conventional, Scientific Research Key Features Investigates Research Questions within a Domain Is driven by theories that: are founded on axioms comprise trees of deductive inference generate refutable Hypotheses Is designed to test the Hypotheses Exercises control over confounding variables Leads to theory extension or refinement

15 Copyright, 1995-2002 15 Conventional Scientific Research Meta-Physical Assumptions There is a Real World The phenomena in that Real World are stable Data gathered by observing the Real World are factual, truthful and unambiguous The domain of study is not affected by either the research, or the researcher The language in which Theory is expressed is unambiguous, and contains no value judgements

16 Copyright, 1995-2002 16 Interpretivist Research Meta-Physical Assumptions The Observer's Perspective is a Factor: in the selection and formulation of Theory in the formulation of Hypotheses in choices made in the Research Design process in the selectiveness of observation in the process of observation

17 Copyright, 1995-2002 17 Conventional Scientific Research Data Assumptions Data must be Objective Objective means relatively proximate to Truth Subjective means relatively distant from Truth The notion of Objectivity presumes: the existence of Truth its accessibility by humans Objective Data is Quantified Data, i.e. expressed in terms that place it on a scale

18 Copyright, 1995-2002 18 Interpretivist Research Data Assumptions Objectivity, in the sense in which it is used in Scientific Research, is meaningless, because: it presumes the existence of a unitary Truth it presumes that Truth to be accessible by humans it overlooks the fact that entities within the domain think they can exercise free will An Alternative Interpretation: Try to identify Researcher Biases Try to avoid or allow for Researcher Biases Enable evaluators to assess Researcher Biasses

19 Copyright, 1995-2002 19 Critical Theory-Informed Research A More Extreme Reaction against Positivism Examines Phenomena within Context, rather than artificially isolating them Study of Social Life with the intentions of: demystifying technological imperatives challenging managerial rationalism revealing hidden agendas, the exercise of power, and manipulation Attempts Disciplined Reflection

20 Copyright, 1995-2002 20 Engineering Research Make Artefacts To enable effective interventions to be undertaken in a particular domain Break Artefacts To identify the limits of their applicability, effectiveness or usefulness

21 Copyright, 1995-2002 21 Alternative Motivations for Research Pure Research because its there contribute to abstract, theoretical understanding Applied Research I have a hammer, so go and find me a nail Instrumentalist Research I have a problem, so go and find me a solution

22 Copyright, 1995-2002 22 The Nature of Research Outcomes Exploratory The first depiction of something new Descriptive The depiction of a behaviour or a domain Explanatory Systemic explanation of how past behaviours arose Ascription of causes to prior occurrences Predictive Statement of what occurrences will arise Systemic explanation of how behaviours will arise Statement and explanation of the effect particular interventions will have Normative Statement of interventions necessary to achieve desired outcomes Statement of desired outcomes

23 Copyright, 1995-2002 23 The Nature of Data (Measurement Scales) Quantitative Ratioa natural zero Cardinal / Intervalno natural zero Ranked Ordinalsequence (numbers) Qualitative Category Ordinalsequence (text) Nominaldifferentiation Dichotomousit is or it isnt

24 Copyright, 1995-2002 24 Unit of Analysis A Person An Event An Object A Body of Individuals Group, Organisational Unit, Organisation A Relationship, e.g. a Dyad An Aggregate Census District, Industry Segment or Sector

25 Copyright, 1995-2002 25 Causality ?

26 Copyright, 1995-2002 26 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

27 Copyright, 1995-2002 27 Scientific Research Techniques A Taxonomy (3+5) Laboratory Experimentation Field Experimentation and Quasi-Experimental Designs Forecasting...

28 Copyright, 1995-2002 28 Hermeneutics The study of the interpretation of texts Text is to be understood generically Four Approaches: Conservative Critical Dialogical Radical

29 Copyright, 1995-2002 29 Interpretivist Research Techniques A Taxonomy (5+5) Descriptive/Interpretive Focus Group Action Research Ethnographic Research Grounded Theory...

30 Copyright, 1995-2002 30 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

31 Copyright, 1995-2002 31 Questionnaire-Based Survey The Traditional, Positivist Model

32 Copyright, 1995-2002 32 Questionnaire-Based Survey The Symbolic Interactionist View

33 Copyright, 1995-2002 33 Case Study – Alternative Perspectives Positivist Orientation Theory-Driven Variables Pre-Defined Purposeful Collection Quantitative Data Causality Replicability Interpretivist Orientation Theory-Driven or Not Variables Emerge A Moderate Focus Qualitative Data Understanding Likely Ambiguity

34 Copyright, 1995-2002 34 Engineering Research Techniques A Taxonomy (5) Construction of an Artefact Conception (based on a body of theory) Design / Creation / Prototyping / Demonstration / Proof of Concept Metrication of Artefact Usage Destruction of an Artefact Testing Application

35 Copyright, 1995-2002 35 The 3-Year Model

36 Copyright, 1995-2002 36 The Importance of Careful and Comprehensive Literature Review Stand on the shoulders of others Participate in normal science – Fix the world later, not in your PhD Contribute to the cumulative tradition Avoid accidental re-invention (although conscious replication is tenable) If you steal from one author, its plagiarism; if you steal from many, its research Attrib. Wilson Mizner (1876-1933)

37 Copyright, 1995-2002 37 The Proposal – Structure Title Page Introduction Literature Research Annotated Bibliography Literature Review The Research Question(s) The Research Method Anticipated Outcomes Their Significance Project Plan Reference List Bibliography

38 Copyright, 1995-2002 38 A Warning: Rationality of Product, but not of Process In seeking a path to the top of the mountain, I took what seemed like a sensible path. But it turned out to be tortuous and exhausting, with many dead ends. I eventually emerged at the top, tired and hungry, and scratched from head to toe. I then saw a right royal road from the valley to the summit of the mountain. I avoided telling my colleagues how I did the climb, instead helping them to find that right, royal road. After Poincaré

39 Copyright, 1995-2002 39 Ethical Issues Involving Research Subjects Researcher power over subjects Researcher duplicity regarding the purposes of the research Subject de-briefing Subject Safety, including against stress Subject loss of control over personal space, including their behaviour and their data Impact of the results

40 Copyright, 1995-2002 40 Ethical Issues Involving The Researcher Conference paper from incomplete research Glossed research method Anticipated outcomes Citation and authorship More details required for method, outcomes An eerily familiar block of text Incomplete references

41 Copyright, 1995-2002 41 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

42 Copyright, 1995-2002 42 The Concept Dissertation An original, rigorous work of research Carried out by the candidate with substantial independence Developing from a base of knowledge in the research domain Applying appropriate techniques in an appropriate manner Advancing knowledge in the domain Presented in a logical fashion

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