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Reflections on Business Research: Working Backwards, Forwards, Sideways

McCarthy, J (2012) Reflections on Business Research: Working Backwards, Forwards, Sideways. In: 15th Annual Doctoral Symposium 2012. (Unpublished)


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This reflective thought paper considers approaches to doing business research that are discussed in the extant literature. The purpose is to stimulate debate by reflecting on the process of developing a research methodology, drawing on evidence from my own experiences of conducting research into social media in football. The paper questions the ‘top-down’ linear approach encouraged by research methods texts and usually evident in the presentation of research (Theses, Journals, and Conferences). It is suggested that the developing of a research methodology can be ‘bottom-up’ and iterative, thus posing challenges for the researcher to present such work in the more common style of a post-hoc rationalisation. In doing so, the paper makes a contribution to business research methodology and invites fellow researchers to share their views and experiences, for the benefit of early career researchers.

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