دستیابی به دقت، تعمیم به شرایط، و پیچیدگی در نظریه ها و فرآیندهای تصمیم گیری بنگاه به بنگاه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23861||2013||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10744 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 42, Issue 3, April 2013, Pages 382–393
This article describes field research methods that provide advances in developing accurate theories of business-to-business (B2B) decision processes. The article supports and extends prior work by Woodside (2010) that bridging qualitative and quantitative research method is possible to achieve accuracy, complexity, and generality across cases in B2B decision processes. As an aid in doing so, the article argues for the study of a few (n = 5 to 50) cases via case study research (CSR). The article defines CSR, and describes several CSR theories and methods that are useful for describing, explaining, and forecasting processes occurring in business-to-business (B2B) contexts. The discussion includes summaries of six B2B case studies spanning more than 60 years of research. This article advocates embracing the view that isomorphic theory of realities of B2B processes is possible via advances in CSR methods. The discussion advocates rejecting the dominant logic of attempting to describe and explain B2B processes by arms-length fixed-point surveys that usually involve responses from one executive per firm with no data-matching of firms in specific B2B relationships—such surveys lack details and accuracy necessary for understanding, describing, and forecasting B2B processes.
This article points out how researchers of business-to-business (B2B) decisions can strengthen both the theoretical and the analytical basis of their research by broadening their range of research tools to include advances in case study research (CSR). As Hult (2011) points out, marketing researchers, including business-to-business (B2B) researchers, use an eclectic mix of theoretical bases for the understanding of phenomena. These theories include general-level theories of marketing, such as Hult's proposal of a marketing organization theory (MOT) and the Vargo and Lusch service-dominant logic (2004) proposal; general theories from other disciplines such as the work of economist Penrose (1959); and mid-level bridging theories such as the contemporary marketing practices (Brodie, Saren, & Pels, 2011). Because B2B decision researchers are likely to continue to use a broad range of theoretical bases they will need a broader range of epistemologies and methodologies in future in order to investigate marketing phenomena in full depth using these theories (Nicholson, Lindgreen, & Kitchen, 2009). The application of Giddens (1979) structuration theory is an example. Researchers apply structuration concepts to marketing problems (Vallaster & de Chernatony, 2006). Nicholson et al. (2009) propose structuration theory for wider application to relationship marketing to encompass multiple ontological paradigms and to cope with issues of time and space in longitudinal research. Structuration can also help account for both human agency and social structure, which would be beneficial at a fine-grained level of research (Hult, 2011) into the activities of the single human actor in a relationship (Baxter & Olesen, 2008). Different general level theories, whether scholars use them individually or in blended forms that incorporate more than one theory or paradigm, can potentially inform marketing research in different ways. However, ontological and epistemological tensions may occur in adopting theories, particularly when they embrace a wide range of paradigms. For example, studies that use structuration often apply it with an interpretivist approach such as the work of Orlikowski (1992) that recognizes multiple realities, whereas marketing tends to look for “one reality”, with realism as the predominant ontology (Healy & Perry, 2000). Nicholson et al. (2009) argue that structuration can cope with multiple paradigms. However, debate rages about this in the literature (e.g. DeSanctis and Poole, 1994 and Sarason et al., 2006). The use of structuration may involve a conflict of paradigms and thus involve epistemological and hence methodological conflict. These issues of possible incommensurability of paradigms may or may not present problems, but B2B decision researchers do need to consider them. They need to do so particularly when they blend theories and paradigms because of the potential problems that blending brings (Okhuysen & Bonardi, 2011). Researchers certainly need to understand how these epistemological issues affect the best choice of methodologies to deal with differing paradigms, which is relevant to the focus of this article. Although an orientation towards the more positivist, objectivist, and quantitative approaches may have served marketing researchers well in the past, researchers will continue to need a wider range of techniques. This article addresses some of the methodological issues and provides tools to deal with them. Even if researchers take the approach to research that there is “one imperfectly apprehensible reality” (Healy & Perry, 2000), they need to recognize multiple perspectives within that approach. Such recognition requires at least a multiple-respondent approach if not a multiple-technique approach, with triangulation of data sources. Advances in CSR can help to apply these approaches (Woodside, 2010). Before moving on to discussion of CSR foundations and specific techniques in more depth, the article now discusses what CSR is. In doing so, the article principally takes realism's one-reality multiple-perspective view. Although this discussion will not address the deeper ontological and epistemological issues that the use of new and blended theories and lenses potentially brings, it does provide a rationale for moving to a wider range of methodologies and analysis techniques and a basis for doing so.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
CSR is an inquiry focusing on describing, understanding, predicting, and/or controlling the individual (i.e., process, animal, person, household, organization, group, industry, culture, or nationality). Any combination of the following purposes may serve as the major objective of CSR: description, understanding, prediction, or control. However, that deep understanding of the actors, interactions, sentiments, and behaviors occurring for a specific process through time is the principal objective by the case study researcher. The researcher should consider using explicit auto-driving tools to aid in bringing-up unconscious mental processes among informants (e.g., the hermeneutic spiral that Woodside et al., 2005, and Pattinson & Woodside, 2008, describe) to overcome the cognitive limitations of reports noted in core assumptions (3) to (6) above. A mental model of a process provided by a participant interviewed in a case study is an emic representation of reality. The interpretation of the same process provided by the case study researcher is an etic representation of reality. Etic representation in CSR often includes description and explanation of emic meaning as well as building composite accounts of the process based on data from triangulation. Triangulation includes: (1) direct observation by the researcher within the environments of the case, (2) probing by asking case participants for explanations and interpretations of operational data, and (3) analyses of written documents and natural sites occurring in case environments. Core criticisms made by case study researchers of large sample surveys consisting of interviews of one person, informal group, or organization include: (1) the failure to confirm reported conversations, behaviors, and events, (2) the failure to collect the necessary detail for gaining deep understanding of the mechanics and reasons embedded in the processes examined, and the (3) use of response scales too far removed from reality of what they intend to measure. In contrast, when researchers use multiple data sources and techniques, they are more likely to deal effectively with both the environmental issues and the cognitive limitations noted in the six core assumptions early in this article than if they use single-instrument single-informant cross-sectional studies. They are also able to deal better with a variety of theories and paradigms, whether used individually or in blended form. This is important for marketing researchers as they use a wide range of theories. Core variables in CSR include individual and group behaviors through time resulting in a sequence of paths of events (decisions, performance outcomes, and revelatory incidents). Beliefs and sentiments held by individuals and groups are additional core variables that CSR reports. No one CSR method is appropriate for all studies: a range of tools is appropriate. Explanations with examples of additional CSR methods are available elsewhere (e.g., Woodside, 2010). The coverage here serves only to introduce some methods useful for advancing theory of B2B decision processes that provides accurate descriptions and explanations and generalizes beyond an individual case study.