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Management Research

Management Research

Fourth Edition
Additional resources:

392 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Now in its Fourth Edition, this much loved text offers theoretical and philosophical depth without sacrificing what you need to know in practical terms. With an impressive suite of in-text features and online materials, as well as the authors' ability to tackle complex issues in a clear and accessible way, this textbook makes the whole scope of management research methods approachable.

Inside you will find painless coverage of the entire research process as well as a critical, thoughtful treatment of important issues like ethics and politics, making this an invaluable companion to any student or researcher who needs to know about business and management research methods.

NEW to the Fourth Edition:

  • A restructured, more coherent introduction to the nature, philosophy and politics of business and management research
  • Further guidance on choosing a research question and writing a research proposal
  • More visual material and an improved, full-color layout

The book's companion website has been fully updated to include:

  • An instructor's manual
  • Lecture slides
  • Links to further reading
  • More full-text articles from SAGE Journals Online
  • An online glossary
  • An author podcast
Introducing Management and Business Research
The Nature of Management and Business Research
What Is Management?
Skills and Resources for Management and Business Research
Levels and Outcomes of Management Research
Is Management Research Distinctive?
Further Reading
The Philosophy of Management Research
The Philosophical Debates
Ontology: From Realism to Nominalism
Epistemology: Positivism versus Social Constructionism
Linking Ontology, Epistemology and Methodology
Strengths and Weaknesses of the Main Traditions
Overviews of Other Philosophies
Further Reading
Designing Management Research
Epistemology and Researcher Engagement
Positivist Research Designs
Constructionist Research Designs
Case method and Grounded Theory
Mixed Methods
Common Design Dilemmas
Contributing to Theory
Contrasting Views on Validity and Reliability
Research Design Template
Further Reading
The Politics and Ethics of Management Research
Political Influences on the Research Questions
Politics of Access
Utilization of Research
Further Reading
Reviewing the Literature
What Is a Literature Review and What Is Its Purpose?
Preparation for the Literature Review
Elements of Literature Review
Alignment with Study Context and Approach
Sources of Information
Further Reading
Creating Qualitative Data
Methods for qualitative data collection
Collecting data through language
Collecting data through observation
Understanding data through interaction
General concerns related to the collection of qualitative methods
Further reading
Framing Qualitative Data
Analysing natural language data
Content analysis and grounded analysis
Computer aided analysis
Social network analysis
Discourse analysis
Narrative analysis
Conversation analysis
Argument analysis
Gaining knowledge through interaction
Further reading
Creating Quantitative Data
Sampling design
Sources of quantitative data
Questionnaire design
Further reading
Summarising and Making Inferences from Quantitative Data
Summarizing and describing data
Going beyond a sample
Further reading
Multivariate Analysis
Multivariate analysis of measurement models
Multivariate analysis of causal models
Further reading
Writing Management and Business Research
The skills of writing
The content of reports and dissertations
Writing up the literature review
Outputs and evaluation
Dissemination strategies
Further reading
Answers to exercises

This is an excellent book that covers a variety of management research related topics relevant to undergraduate, postgraduate, and research students as well as to research professionals. Furthermore, the book offers numerous useful practical activities through which readers can apply and advance their understanding in relation to management research
Thomas Matheus
Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Northumbria University

This book has everything that the new and established management researcher needs to know, it is both informative and comprehensive. An excellent introduction
Catherine Cassell
Professor of Organizational Psychology, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester

I was very impressed in particular by the first 3 chapters: Introducing Management and Business Research, The Philosophy of Management Research, and Designing Management Research.
These chapters are very detailed and the authors are able to explain complex notions in clear language.

There is in particular a remarkable effort to go beyond the positivist vs. constructivist divide by also explaining other options, such as the feminist perspective that is almost never mentioned in methods books. Also, the book provides a balanced view of how an epistemological stance can also be linked to the research question investigated, and is not only about immuable beliefs about the world.

Regarding the data collection and "framing" as they call it, it seems the authors are trying to cover too much and it gets a bit puzzling. For example, I find it confusing to consider social network analysis as a qualitative methods (I use that method in my research and it requires literacy in statistics etc).

Dr Florence Villesèche
Dept Of International Economics & MGMT, Copenhagen Business School
March 27, 2015

Very helpful to students, great.

Professor Ewald Mittelstaedt
Engineering and Business Managment, South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences
December 29, 2014

The text is suitably comprehensive for undergraduate dissertation modules providing the learners with a good understanding of the theories and techniques of both qualitative and quantitative research. The book is user friendly and approachable - not as daunting as other texts. Learners commented on the helpfulness of the summary tables within the Chapters.

Mr Conor Mc Tiernan
School of Tourism, Letterkenny Institute of Technology
October 12, 2014

This is a very well-written and comprehensive book but probably at too high a level for level 5 students just starting to explore research methods.

Ms Catherine Groves
Liverpool Business School, Liverpool John Moores University
February 13, 2014

Really like this approach much more student friendly.

Lesley Mearns
Faculty of Business & Law, Sunderland University
February 7, 2014

The students like the way the book was accessible and straightforward to understand.

Gil Robinson
Business School, University of East London
February 5, 2014

An excellent resource, which is a MUST have for every research student whether at undergraduate orpostgraduate level.

Mr Zedias Mutema
Business Administration , South Essex College
November 21, 2013

Good all round text

Ms Helen Shiels
International Business, University of Ulster
November 4, 2013

No longer teaching managment/marketing research

Ms Carol Kelleher
Management & Marketing Department, University College Cork (NUI)
August 7, 2013

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

Mark Easterby-Smith

Mark Easterby-Smith passed away in 2020. He was an Emeritus Professor at the University of Lancaster. His field was organizational learning. He had a first degree in Engineering Science and a PhD in Organizational Behaviour from Durham University and was an active researcher for over 30 years with primary interests in methodology and learning processes. He carried out evaluation studies in many European companies, and led research projects on management development, organizational learning, dynamic capabilities and knowledge transfer across international organizations in the UK, India and China.Mark published numerous academic papers and... More About Author

Richard Thorpe

Richard Thorpe is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Leeds where he was latterly Professor of Management Development and Pro Dean for Research at Leeds University Business School. His early industrial experience informed the way his ethos has developed. Common themes are a strong commitment to process methodologies and a focus on action in all its forms; an interest in and commitment to the development of doctoral students and the development of capacity within the sector; and a commitment to collaborative working on projects of mutual interest. Following a number of years in industry, he joined Strathclyde University as a... More About Author

Paul R. Jackson

Paul R. Jackson is Professor of Corporate Communications and member of the Business Economics and Strategy group at the Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester. Over the years he has undertaken various roles including Director of Doctoral Programmes at the University of Sheffield and, at UMIST, Head of the Division of Marketing, International Business and Strategy as well as designing the doctoral training programme at MBS. He has been teaching research methods to undergraduate, Masters and doctoral students since 1975 and has contributed to books on research methods teaching as well as workshops for students and... More About Author