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Research methodology for strategy as practice
Published on February 5, 2014 48 min
A selection of talks on Strategy
Hello my name is Ann Langley I'm a professor in Management and I hold the Canada Research Chair in Strategic Management and Pluralistic Settings at HEC Montreal. The chair is dedicated to the study of strategic management processes in complex organizations. This talk will be about the research methodology for strategy as practice research with a particular emphasis on providing a general overview of different kinds of methodological approaches. There are very useful but more narrowly focused talks on methods in the strategy as practice collection, for example Curtis LeBaron's talk on video ethnography and Eero Vaara's talk on discursive methods that I recommend as complementary to the present talk. You'll also find hints about methods in some of the other talks on specific phenomena.
Here's the outline of my talk today. First, I will present my understanding of the overall domain of 'strategy as practice' research to set the scene for what follows. I will then divide my discussion of methods into four sections that approximately reflect the sequence of decisions that need to be made in designing and executing a study. We'll move from epistemological choices and research strategies to sampling and research design access data collection and ethics and finally to analysis and theorizing. My talk is very much inspired by a book I co-authored with Gerry Johnson, Leif Melin, and Richard Whittington. In that book, we drew on a series of exemplar articles to illustrate our points about theory and method and I will follow the same approach here. If you wish for more information on what I will discuss then I recommend reading the book. Of course, it is hard to cover all aspects of research methodology in a one-hour or so talk, so it would be important for you to explore further. I hope however to give you the flavor of some different perspectives on doing research in the area of strategy as practice.