Factors that influence methods choice in organisational research

Buchanan and Bryman have identified six types of factor that can influence researcher’s choice of methods in organisational research:

  • Organisational:  this involves factors like organisational size and pace of change. For eg: ‘What is your job title?’ got a bemused response from mangers whose responsibilities shifted every week.
  • Historical: this may relate to old studies of the topic that is taken into consideration as organisational research is rarely cumulative.
  • Political: this kind of influence includes negotiating research objectives, to obtain permission in order to find access to respondents, aligning with stakeholder. It also includes the way different methods are perceived by journals that can affect researcher’s ability to publish their findings.
  • Ethical: this is in regard to the increased ethical scrutiny that is often faced by researchers and the kind of role of ethical review in putting regulation of their conduct.
  • Evidential: this confirms to the practices regarding different expectations that managerial and academic audiences have for business research, the former wants knowledge and insight and the later one want practical recommendations. The rise of evidence based management has only increased these tensions and debates.
  • Personal: researchers also depend upon personal factors like face to face contact, some researchers opt for methods that depend upon interpersonal interaction and others selecting methods that restrict them to the computer screen.

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