The Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods provides perspectives on topics relevant to research in the field of business and management
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Journal Issue
Volume 12 Issue 2, ECRM 2014 / Nov 2014  pp75‑167

Editor: Ann Brown

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Editorial for ECRM special issue  pp75‑76

Ann Brown

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Overcoming Barriers: Qualitative Interviews With German Elites  pp77‑86

Hilary Drew

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Equipping the Constructivist Researcher: The Combined use of Semi‑Structured Interviews and Decision‑Making maps  pp87‑95

Reza Mojtahed, Miguel Baptista Nunes, Jorge Tiago Martins, Alex Peng

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The Long, Brown Path Before me’: Story Elicitation and Analysis in Identity Studies  pp96‑106

Ali Rostron

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The Pervasiveness and Implications of Statistical Misconceptions Among Academics with a Special Interest in Business Research Methods  pp107‑120

Frank Bezzina, Mark Saunders

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Using a Learning Contract to Introduce Undergraduates to Research Projects  pp121‑130

Zelma Bone

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Abstract: Many undergraduate Business programs aim to orient students to the research through a single‑subject focussed on research design and conceptualisation. The focus of this paper is to case study a learning contract as it guides undergraduate stu dents through a research project in a non‑research methods subject and to determine the value of this process. The learning contract is a negotiated process between the learner and the academic supervisor. It is often the students first foray into resear ch so the staged guidelines provide supportive training wheels and a detailed recipe to follow. The process can be challenging for both parties as it is a scaffolded assessment with close monitoring and regular feedback. The contract has three distinc t stages. The contract proposal is the first step and is where the student can choose their focus for project by articulating a learning goal and justifying why this goal is important. This is followed by the second stage of the contract which includes a literature review, reflections on readings and a detailed methodology. The final component is the learning in action (describing what they did), analysis and evaluation of their findings and a reflection on their learning. The many advantages of this as sessment are it can be used in a variety of situations and with a diversity of learners; puts the students into the centre of the learning process; students can choose a learning goal that is relevant to their situation; and it can stimulate deep approach es to learning. The learning contract approach to completing a research project also develops the students abilities in aspects of (mainly) qualitative research design and reflective practice. This paper draws on the authors 20 year experience of intr oducing students to research by using an assessment method that has gained positive feedback, strong student performance and high student progression. 


Keywords: Keywords: Learning Contracts, Methodologies, Reflection, Assessment and Evaluation


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Learning Research Methods: How Personalised Should we be?  pp131‑138

Martin Rich

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Exposing the Influencing Factors on Software Project Delay with Actor‑Network Theory  pp139‑153

Zana Ahmedshareef, Robert Hughes, Miltos Petridis

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From Art for Arts Sake to Art as Means of Knowing: A Rationale for Advancing Arts‑Based Methods in Research, Practice and Pedagogy  pp154‑167

Sally Eaves

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