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					THEORY DEVELOPMENT AS OBSERVATIONAL PUZZLE-SOLVING




                  Donald C. Hambrick




                                   SMEAL COLLEGE OF BUSINESS
OUTLINE




SMEAL College of Business   2
OUTLINE

 1. De-Mystifying Theory
      • Q and A




SMEAL College of Business   3
OUTLINE

 1. De-Mystifying Theory
      • Q and A

 2. Theory Development as Observational Puzzle-Solving:
    Some Personal Experiences
      • Q and A




SMEAL College of Business                                 4
OUTLINE

 1. De-Mystifying Theory
      • Q and A

 2. Theory Development as Observational Puzzle-Solving:
    Some Personal Experiences
      • Q and A

 3. Theory Development From Rich Qualitative Data
      • Q and A




SMEAL College of Business                                 5
OUTLINE

 1. De-Mystifying Theory
      • Q and A

 2. Theory Development as Observational Puzzle-Solving:
    Some Personal Experiences
      • Q and A

 3. Theory Development From Rich Qualitative Data
      • Q and A

 4. Open Discussion



SMEAL College of Business                                 6
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

 What is “theory”?




SMEAL College of Business   7
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

 What is “theory”?

      • The scientist’s job: to search for and explain patterns




SMEAL College of Business                                         8
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

 What is “theory”?

      • The scientist’s job: to search for and explain patterns

      • Let’s adopt Dubin’s classic perspective


                X              Y




SMEAL College of Business                                         9
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

 What is “theory”?

      • The scientist’s job: to search for and explain patterns

      • Let’s adopt Dubin’s classic perspective

                        Why?
                X              Y




SMEAL College of Business                                         10
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

 What is “theory”?

      • The scientist’s job: to search for and explain patterns

      • Let’s adopt Dubin’s classic perspective
                                                          theory!
                        Why?
                X              Y




SMEAL College of Business                                         11
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

 What is “theory”?

      • The scientist’s job: to search for and explain patterns

      • Let’s adopt Dubin’s classic perspective
                                                          theory!
                        Why
                X              Y

      • Or, as Kaplan said, “Theory explains why empirical
        patterns were observed or are expected to be observed.



SMEAL College of Business                                         12
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

A couple examples:




SMEAL College of Business   13
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

A couple examples:

Equity Theory




SMEAL College of Business   14
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

A couple examples:

Equity Theory
          One’s Perception
         of Being Overpaid       Increased
           (or Underpaid)     (or Decreased)
          Relative to One’s        Effort
            Contribution




SMEAL College of Business                      15
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

A couple examples:

Equity Theory
          One’s Perception
         of Being Overpaid       Increased
           (or Underpaid)     (or Decreased)
          Relative to One’s        Effort
            Contribution




SMEAL College of Business                      16
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

A couple examples:

Equity Theory
          One’s Perception
         of Being Overpaid                    Increased
           (or Underpaid)                  (or Decreased)
          Relative to One’s                     Effort
            Contribution


Agency Theory (as applied to corporate governance)




SMEAL College of Business                                   17
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

A couple examples:

Equity Theory
          One’s Perception
         of Being Overpaid                    Increased
           (or Underpaid)                  (or Decreased)
          Relative to One’s                     Effort
            Contribution


Agency Theory (as applied to corporate governance)
          When owners                         Bad
           hire others                      outcomes
           to manage                         for the
          their firms…                       owners




SMEAL College of Business                                   18
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

A couple examples:

Equity Theory
          One’s Perception
         of Being Overpaid                    Increased
           (or Underpaid)                  (or Decreased)
          Relative to One’s                     Effort
            Contribution


Agency Theory (as applied to corporate governance)
          When owners                         Bad
           hire others                      outcomes
           to manage                         for the
          their firms…                       owners




SMEAL College of Business                                   19
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY
So, what does it mean to make a “theoretical contribution”?




SMEAL College of Business                                     20
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY
So, what does it mean to make a “theoretical contribution”?
                  When owners               Bad
                   hire others            outcomes
                   to manage               for the
                  their firms…             owner




SMEAL College of Business                                     21
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY
So, what does it mean to make a “theoretical contribution”?
                  When owners               Bad
                   hire others            outcomes
                   to manage               for the
                  their firms…             owner




     • develop a brand-new theory




SMEAL College of Business                                     22
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY
So, what does it mean to make a “theoretical contribution”?
                  When owners               Bad
                   hire others            outcomes
                   to manage               for the
                  their firms…             owner




     • develop a brand-new theory
     • add to an existing theory
         • clarify the operative mechanisms (mediators)
         • introduce moderators
         • add new concepts




SMEAL College of Business                                     23
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY
So, what does it mean to make a “theoretical contribution”?
                  When owners                Bad
                   hire others             outcomes
                   to manage                for the
                  their firms…              owner




     • develop a brand-new theory
     • add to an existing theory
         • clarify the operative mechanisms (mediators)
         • introduce moderators
         • add new concepts
     • identify or elaborate on the implications of the theory




SMEAL College of Business                                        24
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY
So, what does it mean to make a “theoretical contribution”?
                  When owners               Bad
                   hire others            outcomes
                   to manage               for the
                  their firms…             owner




     • develop a brand-new theory
     • add to an existing theory
         • clarify the operative mechanisms (mediators)
         • introduce moderators
         • add new concepts
     • identify or elaborate on the implications of the theory
     • “subtract from” the theory
         • identify important boundary conditions
         • logically argue or demonstrate that the theory is weak/wrong

SMEAL College of Business                                          25
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

How do we assess the “quality” of a theoretical contribution?




SMEAL College of Business                                       26
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

How do we assess the “quality” of a theoretical contribution?
   • generality
       • including the scope of its implications
      • a very encompassing theory
         qualifies as a paradigm




SMEAL College of Business                                       27
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

How do we assess the “quality” of a theoretical contribution?
   • generality
       • including the scope of its implications
       • a very encompassing theory
         qualifies as a paradigm
   • simplicity




SMEAL College of Business                                       28
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

How do we assess the “quality” of a theoretical contribution?
   • generality
       • including the scope of its implications
       • a very encompassing theory
         qualifies as a paradigm
   • simplicity
   • accuracy




SMEAL College of Business                                       29
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

How do we assess the “quality” of a theoretical contribution?
   • generality
       • including the scope of its implications
       • a very encompassing theory
         qualifies as a paradigm
   • simplicity
   • accuracy
   • surprise




SMEAL College of Business                                       30
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

How do we assess the “quality” of a theoretical contribution?
   • generality
       • including the scope of its implications
       • a very encompassing theory
         qualifies as a paradigm
   • simplicity
   • accuracy
   • surprise

When Sutton and Staw refer to “strong theory,” what do they mean?




SMEAL College of Business                                       31
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY

How do we assess the “quality” of a theoretical contribution?
   • generality
       • including the scope of its implications
       • a very encompassing theory
         qualifies as a paradigm
   • simplicity
   • accuracy
   • surprise

When Sutton and Staw refer to “strong theory,” what do they mean?
  • clarity of argumentation
  • logical consistency



SMEAL College of Business                                       32
DE-MYSTIFYING THEORY




                            Questions?




SMEAL College of Business                33
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES




SMEAL College of Business   34
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

Where do theoretical ideas not come from?




SMEAL College of Business                   35
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

Where do theoretical ideas not come from?
  • reading in isolation




SMEAL College of Business                   36
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

Where do theoretical ideas not come from?
  • reading in isolation
  • thinking in isolation




SMEAL College of Business                   37
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

Where do theoretical ideas not come from?
  • reading in isolation
  • thinking in isolation
  • intentions to theorize




SMEAL College of Business                   38
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

Where do theoretical ideas not come from?
  • reading in isolation
  • thinking in isolation
  • intentions to theorize

Instead, theoretical ideas “emerge” from observational puzzle-solving:
     “Why is it…?”
     “Have you ever noticed…?”




SMEAL College of Business                                         39
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

Where do theoretical ideas not come from?
  • reading in isolation
  • thinking in isolation
  • intentions to theorize

Instead, theoretical ideas “emerge” from observational puzzle-solving:
     “Why is it…?”
     “Have you ever noticed…?”

Namely, to develop theory, you need data!
   • aggregate, large-N data
   • fine, rich, small-N data
   • accumulation of data – via experience


SMEAL College of Business                                         40
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES


Let me illustrate with three of my successes in theory/concept
development:

     • Upper echelons theory

     • Managerial discretion

     • Behavioral integration (within top management teams, or TMTs)




SMEAL College of Business                                        41
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
Upper echelons theory:

        Executive           Strategic
      Characteristics        Choice




SMEAL College of Business               42
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
Upper echelons theory:

        Executive           Strategic   (more accurately a “framework”)
      Characteristics        Choice




SMEAL College of Business                                            43
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
Upper echelons theory:

        Executive                Strategic      (more accurately a “framework”)
      Characteristics             Choice


Originally (in 1975) a term paper for a PhD seminar




SMEAL College of Business                                                    44
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
Upper echelons theory:

        Executive                Strategic      (more accurately a “framework”)
      Characteristics             Choice


Originally (in 1975) a term paper for a PhD seminar

     The data that puzzled me: Why does Fortune magazine devote space to
                                reporting the detailed demographic
                                backgrounds of 500 CEOs every year?




SMEAL College of Business                                                    45
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
Upper echelons theory:

        Executive                 Strategic      (more accurately a “framework”)
      Characteristics              Choice


Originally (in 1975) a term paper for a PhD seminar

     The data that puzzled me: Why does Fortune magazine devote space to
                                reporting the detailed demographic
                                backgrounds of 500 CEOs every year?

Later, (in 1983), a discussion with my PhD student Phyllis Mason

     The data that puzzled me: I wonder if I’m having any effect on my MBA students?




SMEAL College of Business                                                     46
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
Upper echelons theory:

        Executive                 Strategic      (more accurately a “framework”)
      Characteristics              Choice


Originally (in 1975) a term paper for a PhD seminar

     The data that puzzled me: Why does Fortune magazine devote space to
                                reporting the detailed demographic
                                backgrounds of 500 CEOs every year?

Later, (in 1983), a discussion with my PhD student Phyllis Mason

     The data that puzzled me: I wonder if I’m having any effect on my MBA students?

                                I wonder if executives who have MBAs are any
                                  different from those without MBAs?

SMEAL College of Business                                                      47
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES




                                         a fun discussion with Phyllis Mason in 1983
Hambrick & Mason (AMR, 1984)
                                         recollection of the 1975 paper
was a happy confluence of three things
                                         insights from my 1979 dissertation on
                                           environmental scanning




SMEAL College of Business                                                     48
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
The eventual Upper Echelons model:




SMEAL College of Business            49
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

Managerial Discretion
   (a concept, not a theory)




SMEAL College of Business      50
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

Managerial Discretion
   (a concept, not a theory)

     • initially presented by Hambrick and Finkelstein, ROB, 1987




SMEAL College of Business                                           51
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

Managerial Discretion
   (a concept, not a theory)

     • initially presented by Hambrick and Finkelstein, ROB, 1987

     • definition: latitude of managerial action
              (Or, how much choice does a manager have?)




SMEAL College of Business                                           52
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

Managerial Discretion
   (a concept, not a theory)

     • initially presented by Hambrick and Finkelstein, ROB, 1987

     • definition: latitude of managerial action
              (Or, how much choice does a manager have?)

     • introduced as a way to bridge, or reconcile, opposing views
       about how much influence executives have over organizational
       outcomes.




SMEAL College of Business                                           53
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES


     Of course, managerial discretion has major implications for
     upper echelons theory:


                                   Managerial
                                   Discretion

                   Executive                    Strategic
                 Characteristics                 Choice




SMEAL College of Business                                          54
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

So, where did we get the idea of managerial discretion?




SMEAL College of Business                                 55
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

So, where did we get the idea of managerial discretion?

     The data that puzzled us: Why does CEO pay differ so greatly
                               between different industries?




SMEAL College of Business                                       56
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

So, where did we get the idea of managerial discretion?

     The data that puzzled us: Why does CEO pay differ so greatly
                               between different industries?

     But also, from years before, my puzzlement about the CEO
         of the Penn State University Credit Union…




SMEAL College of Business                                       57
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

So, where did we get the idea of managerial discretion?

     The data that puzzled us: Why does CEO pay differ so greatly
                               between different industries?

     But also, from years before, my puzzlement about the CEO
         of the Penn State University Credit Union…

                                  Front
                                  Door

                      CEO glass
                       cubicle



                                          Tellers/clerks



SMEAL College of Business                                       58
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

Behavioral Integration
    (a concept, not a theory)




SMEAL College of Business       59
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

Behavioral Integration
    (a concept, not a theory)
     • initially presented by Hambrick, ROB, 1994




SMEAL College of Business                           60
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

Behavioral Integration
    (a concept, not a theory)
     • initially presented by Hambrick, ROB, 1994
     • definition: the degree to which members of a TMT engage in
       mutual and collective interaction




SMEAL College of Business                                      61
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

Behavioral Integration
    (a concept, not a theory)
     • initially presented by Hambrick, ROB, 1994
     • definition: the degree to which members of a TMT engage in
       mutual and collective interaction
     • of course, behavioral integration has major implications for
       upper echelons theory, particularly if the TMT is the unit of
       analysis
                                   Behavioral
                                   Integration

                     TMT                         Strategic
                 Characteristics                  Choice


SMEAL College of Business                                              62
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
So, where did the concept of behavioral integration come from?
     The data that puzzled me:




SMEAL College of Business                                        63
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
So, where did the concept of behavioral integration come from?
     The data that puzzled me:
          • In field interviews, some CEOs needed a lot of clarification
           when I started asking about their “top management teams.”




SMEAL College of Business                                                  64
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
So, where did the concept of behavioral integration come from?
     The data that puzzled me:
          • In field interviews, some CEOs needed a lot of clarification
           when I started asking about their “top management teams.”
          • Then, when I started talking to TMT members, and
            watching them in action, it became clear that some
            senior groups have very few “team” properties.




SMEAL College of Business                                                  65
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES
So, where did the concept of behavioral integration come from?
     The data that puzzled me:
          • In field interviews, some CEOs needed a lot of clarification
           when I started asking about their “top management teams.”
          • Then, when I started talking to TMT members, and
            watching them in action, it became clear that some
            senior groups have very few “team” properties.
                “Team? How do you define “team”? When I think of a team,
                I think of interaction, give-and-take, and shared purpose. Here,
                we’re a collection of strong players but hardly a “team.” We
                rarely meet as a team – rarely see each other, in fact. We don’t
                particularly share the same views. I wouldn’t say we actually
                work at cross-purposes, but a lot of self-centered behavior
                occurs. Where’s the “team” in all this?”



SMEAL College of Business                                                    66
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES


Of course, I cannot begin to describe the many wonderful
theoretical ideas I have not had.




SMEAL College of Business                                  67
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES


Of course, I cannot begin to describe the many wonderful
theoretical ideas I have not had.


All I know is what’s worked for me:

         Theory development as observational puzzle-solving




SMEAL College of Business                                     68
THEORY DEVELOPMENT:
SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES




                            Questions?




SMEAL College of Business                69
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA

“It is the intimate connection with empirical reality that permits the
 development of a testable, relevant, and valid theory.”
                                                Glaser and Strauss




SMEAL College of Business                                           70
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA

“It is the intimate connection with empirical reality that permits the
 development of a testable, relevant, and valid theory.”
                                                Glaser and Strauss

Want to come up with theoretical ideas?
   Get inside organizations. Talk to managers and workers.
   Think about what you hear and see.




SMEAL College of Business                                           71
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA

“It is the intimate connection with empirical reality that permits the
 development of a testable, relevant, and valid theory.”
                                                Glaser and Strauss

Want to come up with theoretical ideas?
   Get inside organizations. Talk to managers and workers.
   Think about what you hear and see.

Want to come up with really good theoretical ideas?
   Get inside organizations. Talk to managers and workers.
   Think about what you hear and see.




SMEAL College of Business                                           72
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA
In-depth qualitative research can be useful in several ways:




SMEAL College of Business                                      73
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA
In-depth qualitative research can be useful in several ways:

        It can lead directly to a theory.




SMEAL College of Business                                      74
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA
In-depth qualitative research can be useful in several ways:

        It can lead directly to a theory.
            (e.g., Eisenhardt, Burgelman, Gioia)




SMEAL College of Business                                      75
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA
In-depth qualitative research can be useful in several ways:

        It can lead directly to a theory.
            (e.g., Eisenhardt, Burgelman, Gioia)

        It can help you understand your phenomena of interest.




SMEAL College of Business                                        76
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA
In-depth qualitative research can be useful in several ways:

        It can lead directly to a theory.
            (e.g., Eisenhardt, Burgelman, Gioia)

        It can help you understand your phenomena of interest.
            (Li, Xin, Tsui and Hambrick – IJV leadership teams)




SMEAL College of Business                                         77
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA
In-depth qualitative research can be useful in several ways:

        It can lead directly to a theory.
            (e.g., Eisenhardt, Burgelman, Gioia)

        It can help you understand your phenomena of interest.
            (Li, Xin, Tsui and Hambrick – IJV leadership teams)

        It can help guide the design of a quantitative study.




SMEAL College of Business                                         78
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA
In-depth qualitative research can be useful in several ways:

        It can lead directly to a theory.
            (e.g., Eisenhardt, Burgelman, Gioia)

        It can help you understand your phenomena of interest.
            (Li, Xin, Tsui and Hambrick – IJV leadership teams)

        It can help guide the design of a quantitative study.

        It can help you make sense of, or interpret, quantitative results.




SMEAL College of Business                                            79
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA
In-depth qualitative research can be useful in several ways:

        It can lead directly to a theory.
            (e.g., Eisenhardt, Burgelman, Gioia)

        It can help you understand your phenomena of interest.
            (Li, Xin, Tsui and Hambrick – IJV leadership teams)

        It can help guide the design of a quantitative study.

        It can help you make sense of, or interpret, quantitative results.
            “We uncover all kinds of relationships in our hard data,
             but it is only through the use of soft data that we are able
             to explain them.”
                                                           Mintzberg

SMEAL College of Business                                            80
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA
Some suggestions:




SMEAL College of Business    81
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA
Some suggestions:

When going into the field, you face a
   delicate balance…




SMEAL College of Business               82
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA
Some suggestions:

When going into the field, you face a
   delicate balance…

     Open-mindedness, no pre-conceived ideas:




SMEAL College of Business                       83
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA
Some suggestions:

When going into the field, you face a
   delicate balance…

     Open-mindedness, no pre-conceived ideas:
       “…case research is begun as close as possible to the ideal of
        no theory under consideration and no hypotheses to test.”
                                                          Eisenhardt




SMEAL College of Business                                              84
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA
Some suggestions:

When going into the field, you face a
   delicate balance…

     Open-mindedness, no pre-conceived ideas:
       “…case research is begun as close as possible to the ideal of
        no theory under consideration and no hypotheses to test.”
                                                          Eisenhardt

                                  vs.

     Absorptive capacity, a readiness to comprehend




SMEAL College of Business                                              85
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA
Some suggestions:

When going into the field, you face a
   delicate balance…

     Open-mindedness, no pre-conceived ideas:
       “…case research is begun as close as possible to the ideal of
        no theory under consideration and no hypotheses to test.”
                                                          Eisenhardt

                                  vs.

     Absorptive capacity, a readiness to comprehend
        ∙ study relevant literatures
        ∙ study press accounts, public information


SMEAL College of Business                                              86
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA
Some suggestions:

     In your field research, look for big themes, but also be alert to
     small cues.
         • Who is most willing to talk to you?
         • How energetic and spontaneous do they seem to be?
         • How informed/knowledgeable do they seem to be?
         • Do all your interviewees describe things the same way?




SMEAL College of Business                                            87
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA
Some suggestions:

     In your field research, look for big themes, but also be alert to
     small cues.
         • Who is most willing to talk to you?
         • How energetic and spontaneous do they seem to be?
         • How informed/knowledgeable do they seem to be?
         • Do all your interviewees describe things the same way?

     A couple examples:

            Li, Xin, Tsui, Hambrick               Li and Hambrick’s
         interviews of IJV team leaders       concept of factional groups




SMEAL College of Business                                                   88
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA
Some suggestions:

     In your field research, look for big themes, but also be alert to
     small cues.
         • Who is most willing to talk to you?
         • How energetic and spontaneous do they seem to be?
         • How informed/knowledgeable do they seem to be?
         • Do all your interviewees describe things the same way?

     A couple examples:

            Li, Xin, Tsui, Hambrick                Li and Hambrick’s
         interviews of IJV team leaders        concept of factional groups



              Interviews of CEOs                      Research on
               about their TMTs              chief operating officers (COOs)


SMEAL College of Business                                                      89
  THEORY DEVELOPMENT
  FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA

    Without a COO:
                                       CEO


Division   Division   Division   CFO         General   VP,   VP,        VP
 GM         GM         GM                    Counsel   HR    R&D    Corporate
                                                                   Development




  SMEAL College of Business                                              90
  THEORY DEVELOPMENT
  FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA

    Without a COO:
                                             CEO


Division   Division        Division    CFO         General          VP,        VP,        VP
 GM         GM              GM                     Counsel          HR         R&D    Corporate
                                                                                     Development


       With a COO:
                                             CEO


              CFO            General         COO              VP,              VP,
                             Counsel                          HR            Corporate
                                                                           Development

                      Division    Division         Division          VP,
                       GM          GM               GM              R&D
  SMEAL College of Business                                                                 91
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA

Some suggestions:

     Be very alert to the performance conditions, or recent track
     record, of the organization(s) you are studying.

         • Are you being told about what works, what doesn’t work,
           or what?
         • The performance context can greatly color your
           interviewees’ remarks.




SMEAL College of Business                                           92
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA

Some suggestions:

     Be very alert to the performance conditions, or recent track
     record, of the organization(s) you are studying.

         • Are you being told about what works, what doesn’t work,
           or what?
         • The performance context can greatly color your
           interviewees’ remarks.

     Also, while far less feasible, try to comprehend the lenses, or
     biases, of your individual interviewees.



SMEAL College of Business                                              93
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA
                  Eisenhardt’s Table 1:
                  Process of Building Theory from Case Study Research


                                         Step

                                    Getting Started

                                    Selecting Cases

                                 Crafting Instruments
                                    and Protocols

                                   Entering the Field

                                    Analyzing Data

                                  Shaping Hypotheses

                                  Enfolding Literature

                                   Reaching Closure


SMEAL College of Business                                               94
THEORY DEVELOPMENT
FROM RICH QUALITATIVE DATA




                            Questions?




SMEAL College of Business                95
SOME CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

When it comes to theory development,
don’t be paralyzed by holding yourself to too high a standard.




SMEAL College of Business                                        96
SOME CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

When it comes to theory development,
don’t be paralyzed by holding yourself to too high a standard.

We need “big theories” and “small theories.”




SMEAL College of Business                                        97
SOME CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

When it comes to theory development,
don’t be paralyzed by holding yourself to too high a standard.

We need “big theories” and “small theories.”
     “Some social scientists yearn for a Theory That Sweeps Away
     All Others. We think it is bad to reserve the word theory to
     mean only Good Theory or Grand Theory or Unassailable
     Theory. We would like writers to feel free to use theory
     whenever they are theorizing.”
                                             Runkel and Runkel




SMEAL College of Business                                        98
SOME CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

When it comes to theory development,
don’t be paralyzed by holding yourself to too high a standard.

We need “big theories” and “small theories.”
     “Some social scientists yearn for a Theory That Sweeps Away
     All Others. We think it is bad to reserve the word theory to
     mean only Good Theory or Grand Theory or Unassailable
     Theory. We would like writers to feel free to use theory
     whenever they are theorizing.”
                                             Runkel and Runkel

We need thoroughly developed and “half-baked” theories.




SMEAL College of Business                                        99
SOME CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

When it comes to theory development,
don’t be paralyzed by holding yourself to too high a standard.

We need “big theories” and “small theories.”
     “Some social scientists yearn for a Theory That Sweeps Away
     All Others. We think it is bad to reserve the word theory to
     mean only Good Theory or Grand Theory or Unassailable
     Theory. We would like writers to feel free to use theory
     whenever they are theorizing.”
                                             Runkel and Runkel

We need thoroughly developed and “half-baked” theories.
        “Products of the theorizing process seldom emerge as full-
        blown theories.”
                                                     Weick
SMEAL College of Business                                        100
                              Questions?

                            About anything!!




SMEAL College of Business                      101

				
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