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 18 Issue 2 / Dec 2020  pp72‑190

Editor: Ann Brown

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Assessment of Conventional and Advanced Methodologies: Application of Configurational Approach and Fuzzy Set Theory in Emotional Labor Research  pp72‑83

Saman Javed, Noshaba Batool

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Pedagogy and Evaluation: The Challenge for Business and Management Degree Courses in the 21st Century  pp84‑99

Ann Brown, Martin Rich

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Business School Teaching of Research Methods – A Review of Literature and Initial Data Collection for Undergraduate Business School Students  pp100‑114

Anthony Mitchell, Martin Rich

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The Three Positions for Interorganizational Interventionist Researcher: Navigating in the Supplier‑Customer Dyad  pp115‑128

Vesa Tiitola, Jouni Lyly-Yrjänäinen, Teemu Laine

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Experience Sampling Methodology: A Systematic Review and Discussion for Organizational Research  pp129‑141

Ozge Can

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A Reflection on SSM as a Critical Social Action Research Method: Towards Improvement of Project Governance  pp142‑152

Carin Venter

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The Discovery of Grounded Theory Practices for Software Engineering Research  pp153‑165

Rozilawati Razali, Mashal Kasem Alqudah, Dzulaiha Aryanee Putri Zainal

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The Research Audit Trail: Methodological Guidance for Application in Practice  pp166‑177

Marian Carcary

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The merits of qualitative research remain an issue of ongoing debate and investigation. Qualitative researchers emphasise issues such as credibility, dependability, and transferability in demonstrating the trustworthiness of their research outcomes. This refers to the extent to which the research outcomes are conceptually sound and serves as the basis for enabling other researchers to assess their value. Carcary (2009) proposed trustworthiness in qualitative inquiry could be established through developing a physical and intellectual research audit trail – a strategy that involves maintaining an audit of all key stages and theoretical, methodological, and analytical decisions, as well as documenting how a researcher’s thinking evolves throughout a research project. Since 2009, this publication has been cited in greater than 600 studies. The current paper provides an analysis of the use and value of the research audit trail, based on the author’s application of this strategy across diverse research projects in the field of Information Systems management over a ten year time period. Based on a critical reflection on insights gained through these projects, this paper provides an in‑depth discussion of a series of guidelines for developing and applying the research audit trail in practice. These guidelines advance existing thinking and provide practical recommendations in relation to maintaining a research audit trail throughout a research project. Based on these guidelines and the core issues that should be covered at a physical and intellectual research audit trail level, a checklist that can be tailored to each project’s context is provided to support novice researchers and those who are new to the research audit trail strategy. As such, this paper demonstrates commitment to rigor in qualitative research. It provides a practical contribution in terms of advancing guidelines and providing a supporting checklist for ensuring the quality and transparency of theoretical, methodological, and analytical processes in qualitative inquiry. Embedding these guidelines throughout the research process will promote critical reflection among researchers across all stages of qualitative research and, in tracing through the researcher’s logic, will provide the basis for enabling other researchers to independently assess whether the research findings can serve as a platform for further investigation. 


Keywords: qualitative research, research audit trail, research audit trail methodology, research audit trail checklist, methodology guidelines, physical audit trail, intellectual audit trail, research confirmability, research trustworthiness


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Teaching Research Methodology: Everything’s a Case  pp178‑188

CD Reddy

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Editorial for EJBRM issue 18 volume 2  pp189‑190

Ann Brown

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