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Tema 1

1) What is distinctive about "Mode 2" knowledge production?


It involves academics, policy makers and practitioners in problem
solving.
'Mode 2' knowledge production is seen as being more suited to management
and business research because it uses skills and experience of groups outside of
academic institutions to achieve practical advantage. Far from limiting emphasis
on practical dissemination of knowledge, it actively encourages application to
management problems.
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2) Which of the following is not an example of a middle-range


theory?
Structuration
Merton (1967) argues that a middle-range theory is one that attempts to
understand and explain a limited aspect of social life. Structuration
(Giddens:1984) is an example of a grand theory which operates at a more
abstract and general level.
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3) An inductive theory is one that:
allows theory to emerge out of the data.
A deduction is a conclusion drawn logically from an argument or a discussion of
things previously established or known. Deductions can be expressed as
hypotheses which can then be tested, so answer (a) must be incorrect. However,
when we have gathered and analysed the research data, the research findings
can be fed back into our existing knowledge, which is a form of induction. This is
because induction means moving from the particular to the general. So answer
(b) cannot be correct either. The usual application of inductive theory, however,
is to allow theory to emerge from our findings. We find an interesting question,
we gather data on it and we 'theorise' from our findings. It may be that these
'theories' are, in reality, simply 'interesting insights' rather than 'grand theories'
but they can be valuable for all that. The methods used are "neither here nor
there" although it may be more likely for deductive theory to use quantitative
methods and for inductive approaches to use qualitative methods.
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4) What is the epistemological position held by a positivist?


Events and discourses in the social world prevent us from
having direct knowledge of the natural order.
Positivism holds that only those phenomena that can be perceived by our
senses are 'real' and that knowledge of them is somehow 'real' knowledge.
Positivists believe that the methods used in the natural sciences can, indeed
should, be used in the social sciences. Essentially this means being completely
objective, in other words 'value-free', while gathering empirical data. Although
mostly deductive, it allows inductivism as a means of disproving previously held
theories or, perhaps more likely, widely-shared hypotheses. Positivists believe
they can come to explain human behaviour, whereas the hermeneutic approach
to knowledge suggests we can attempt merely to understand it.
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5) An interpretivist perspective on the issue of leadership suggests
that:
it is a construct that is used to make sense of social action.
Grint (2000) cites the example of Richard Branson to show how if we use an
interpretivist epistemological position we can see how leadership is a process of
image construction.
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6) Which of the following is an ontological question?


Do social entities have an objective reality, external to social actors?
Ontology means the study of things outside ourselves, an external reality.
Whereas this might seem reasonably straightforward as far as the natural world
is concerned, it is far more complicated in the social world. Here, the study is
concerned with figuring out whether the place we work in, or the university we
study in, actually exist "outside" of the workers and students, say. We might say
that the buildings fairly obviously exist (although some philosophers feel we
shouldn't be too sure about this!) but what about the nature, or the culture, or
the 'atmosphere' of those organizations. Surely these depend a lot on the people
in them? So the fundamental ontological question for business research is as
shown in answer (d).
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7) The constructionist ontological position suggests that:

social phenomena and their meanings are constantly being


accomplished by social actors.
The two main ontological positions in the social sciences are 'objectivism' and
'constructivism'. Whereas the first considers social phenomena to exist
independent of people somehow, the second position considers them as a
product of social interaction, in a constant state of revision. Answers (b) and (d)
state the objectivist viewpoint and answer (a) gives the constructionist position.
Both positions have merit when we come to a consideration of how concepts can
be operationalized. In more recent times researchers have come to question
their own impact on the development of meaning in a social sense, to the point
that research of any type can be argued to affect the nature of the research
object, so that we can never research a social phenomenon without altering it in
some way. This kind of thinking has come to symbolize the 'post-modernist'
approach.
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8) According to Burrell & Morgan (1979) which one of the following
is not a paradigm within business research methods?
Radical positivist
Burrell & Morgan (1979) identified four such paradigms. Radical humanist is the
"4th" of these, in addition to those listed as options "a", "c", and "d" in this
question. In the field of business research, each reflects a different set of
assumptions about the nature of organizations. These are useful to help us plan
a research strategy but they may not be quite as opposed to each other as was
once thought. "Radical" indicates a belief in showing how businesses should
change for the better and the steps to be taken for this change.
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9) Quantitative research is:
Quantitative research emphasizes quantification in the collection and
analysis of data and is therefore more likely to be characterised by the
ontology of objectivism, the epistemology of positivism and a
deductive approach to theory building.
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10)

Qualitative research strategy places a value on:

generating theories through inductive research about social meanings.

We expect all research to be carried out according to the highest quality


standards, tested for validity and reliability and subjected to ethical
considerations. Some research studies numbers of things, like their instances
and frequencies of occurrence and the relationship of some things to others
along these dimensions. We call these studies 'quantitative'. 'Qualitative'
studies, on the other hand, study the reasons people do the things they do, how
they feel about that, their general likes and dislikes. The problem is that
quantitative studies frequently are interested in how many people feel the same
way about something and qualitative studies might want to show what
percentage of respondents indicated particular feelings, for example. The real
difference between them is more likely to be found in their underlying research
orientations, with quantitative approaches being associated with positivism and
objectivism and qualitative approaches linked to interpretivism and
constructionism.
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