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School of Business and Management

School Research Seminar - Anything Goes? Methods reporting in workplace case studies

25 November 2015

Time: 1:00 - 2:00pm
Venue: FB 4.04/4.08 (Lunch from 12:30pm in the kitchen)

(40 minute talk and 20 minute Q&A)

Speaker name & affiliation

Dr Pat McGovern, London School of Economics & Political Science 


The lack of a shared understanding of what constitutes good workplace case study research might imply that ‘anything goes’ in terms of research practices. We test this claim by investigating the ‘state-of-the-art’ through a random sample of 174 papers from eleven journals over the period 2000 – 2014. Using a set of 18 indicators, we first describe common methods reporting practices before investigating whether variations in such reporting might be correlated with measures of academic status, peer review and personal characteristics, such as gender. The results indicate that the reporting of research practice has improved over time; that journal ranking matters; and, more intriguingly, that female authors do more of it than their male counterparts. Nevertheless, the persistent under-reporting of the more unique features of the case study approach suggests an unquestioned faith in a tradition of research whose virtues can no longer be taken for granted.

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