State a hypothetical conclusion that might emerge from a case study you might choose to do.

Market Summary And Value Calculation – Wal-Mart
12/09/2019
12/09/2019

State a hypothetical conclusion that might emerge from a case study you might choose to do.

From the initial date of submission, the assignments should be a day apart. eg Case 2 on July 11 then Case 3 is July 12 and so on and so forth. 

Case Assignment 02 Conducting the Case Study

In a 4- to 6-page paper, address the following task:

State a hypothetical conclusion that might emerge from a case study you might choose to do.  Now work backward and identify the specific data or evidence that would have supported such a conclusion.  Similarly, work backward and define the protocol question that in turn would have led to the design of the protocol question.  Demonstrate that you understand how this chain of evidence has been formed and how one can move forward or backward in tracing the chain.

Assignment Expectations

Your 4- to 6-page paper must follow APA formatting and demonstrate clarity, depth, and critical thinking. As you answer the questions posed in this case, include supporting rationale and cited sources.

The assignment will be assessed using the Case Study Rubric.

Required Reading Material

To guide the collection of case student data, the researcher relies on a case study protocol.  The protocol addresses the following issues (Rowley, 2002, p. 22):

  1. An overview of the case study project.
  2. Field procedures, such as use of different sources of information, and access arrangements to these sources.
  3. Case study questions, or the questions that the case study researcher needs to keep in mind when collecting data. These questions are posed to the researcher, and not to any specific respondents, although they may be used to guide the formulation of questions to interviewees, and members of focus groups. In complex cases studies it is important to differentiate between the questions asked of specific interviewees and used to interrogate documents, questions asked of the individual case, and questions to be asked across multiple cases.

Yin, R.K. (2009).  Collecting case study evidence. In Case Study Research:  Design and Methods, Fourth Ed.(pp. 99-126). Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage Inc.

Gagnon, Y. (2010). Stage 5:  Collecting data. In The Case Study As Research Method : A Practical Handbook (pp. 55-68). Québec [Que.]: Les Presses de l’Université du Québec  (EBSCO ebook Collection)

Farquhar, J. D. (2012). Data collection. In Case study research for business (pp. 65-83). London, : SAGE Publications Ltd (SAGE Research Methods Database)

Optional

Beverland, M. & Lindgreen, A. (2010). What makes a good case study? A positivist review of qualitative case research published in Industrial Marketing Management, 1971-2006. Industrial Marketing Management, 39(1), 59-63.

Easton, G. (2005).  Critical realism in case study research.  Industrial marketing Management, 39(1), 118-128.  (Science Direct DataBase)

Johnson, P., Buehring, A., Cassell, C. & Symon, G. (2006).  Evaluating qualitative management research: Toward a contingent criteriology.  International Journal of Management Review, 8(3), 131-156. (EBSCO:  Business Source Complete Database)

Case Assignment 03 Action Research Design

In a 4- to 6-page paper, address the following task:

State a hypothetical or actual business problem that might lend itself to action research.  Provide a description of the problem and identify what questions need to be answered. Then, briefly outline a plan that includes the action that is proposed to be taken. Briefly identify what type of data would likely result from the proposed action. Describe how you might evaluate and reflect on the data and what action you may consider taking in the next iteration.

Assignment Expectations

Your 4- to 6-page paper must follow APA formatting and demonstrate clarity, depth, and critical thinking. As you answer the questions posed in this case, include supporting rationale and cited sources.

The plan

Successful action research begins with a plan. The plan outlines the overall strategy for how the research will be carried out. Further, since action research initiates action based on findings—the design of the overall research is closely linked and nearly synonymous with the action research plan. Finally, the plan may be iterative in nature, so the design of the research must take this into account.

Often, the difficulty for the researcher is knowing where to begin. A suggestion is to follow a checklist that helps clarify the nature of the problem within the research setting (typically an organization), initial assumptions going into the study, how the data might be collected (and in what form), and finally, any rough idea of what possible solutions may look like. Sample questions for the researcher to consider are:

  1. What is the nature of the problem that is proposed to be investigated?
  2. What is the scope of the problem, and who are the players (i.e., stakeholders) that have an interest in the outcome of the research?
  3. What are some preliminary options for collecting data?
  4. How is the collected data to be evaluated?
  5. How will the results of the data collection be applied to a change/improvement initiative?
  6. How will I know if the problem has been addressed—and what data do I need in order to determine this? (Ferrance, N.D.)

Since the design of the research and the overall plan are essential elements of action research, the case assignment for Module 3 will provide an opportunity to conceive of and design a simply high-level action research plan.

Adams, J., Raeside, R., & Khan, H. (2014). Research methods for business and social science students (2nd ed.). New Delhi: SAGE Publications. Available on EBSCOhost database.

Coates, M. (2005). Action Research A Guide for Associate Lecturers. Retrieved November 27, 2016, from Center for Outcomes Based Education.

Dick, B. (2014, December 30). Action research and evaluation on line (web). Retrieved November 27, 2016, from http://www.aral.com.au/areol/areolind.html (Read “Session 1 and Session 2” links)

Ferrance, E. (n.d.). Action Research: Themes in Education. Retrieved November 27, 2016, from https://www.brown.edu/academics/education-alliance/sites/brown.edu.academics.education-alliance/files/publications/act_research.pdf

Harrison, R. L (2013). Using mixed methods designs in the Journal of Business Research, 1990–2010, Journal of Business Research, Volume 66, Issue 11.  Obtained from Trident Online Library.

Johnson, B. & Christensen, L. (2012). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.  Obtained from Trident Online Library.

Sankaran, S. and Hou, T.B. (N.D.) Action Research Models in Business Research pp8-12

Perry, C., & Zuber-Skerritt, O. (1992). Action Research in Graduate Management Research Programs. Higher Education, 23(2), 195-208.  Obtained from Trident Online Library.

Centre for Lifelong Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved November 27, 2016, from https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/cll/courses/professionaldevelopment/wmcett/

Ferrance, E. (n.d.). Action Research: Themes in Education. Retrieved November 27, 2016, from https://www.brown.edu/academics/education-alliance/sites/brown.edu.academics.education-alliance/files/publications/act_research.pdf

Action research readings

The following readings are required for module three.  Optional readings can be found at the end of each section and while not required, may help you understand the material better and be useful to you if you choose to conduct the action research method for your doctoral study.  All readings can be accessed in the Trident Online library, unless linked to another source.

Coates, M. (2005). Action Research A Guide for Associate Lecturers. Retrieved November 27, 2016, from http://www.open.ac.uk/cobe/docs/AR-Guide-final.pdf . Center for Outcomes Based Education

Dick, B. (2014, December 30). Action research and evaluation on line (web). Retrieved November 27, 2016, from http://www.aral.com.au/areol/areolind.html (Read “Session 1 and Session 2” links)

Sankaran, S. and Hou, T.B. (N.D.) Action Research Models in Business Research pp8-12 http://anzsys.org/anzsys03/ran3000072_3.pdf

Perry, C., & Zuber-Skerritt, O. (1992). Action Research in Graduate Management Research Programs. Higher Education, 23(2), 195-208.  Obtained from Trident Online Library.

Centre for Lifelong Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved November 27, 2016, from https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/cll/courses/professionaldevelopment/wmcett/

Ferrance, E. (n.d.). Action Research: Themes in Education. Retrieved November 27, 2016, from https://www.brown.edu/academics/education-alliance/sites/brown.edu.academics.education-alliance/files/publications/act_research.pdf

Case Assignment 04 Action Research Implementation and Data Collection

The case in Module 4 builds upon your work in Module 3. Referring back to Module 3:

In a 4- to 6-page paper, address the following task:

State a hypothetical or actual business problem that might lend itself to action research.  Provide a description of the problem and identify what questions need to be answered. Then, briefly outline a plan that includes the action that is proposed to be taken. Briefly identify what type of data would likely result from the proposed action. Describe how you might evaluate and reflect on the data and what action you may consider taking in the next iteration.

In Module 4, select three different methods of data collection that you intend to use in your action research. Briefly discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. Explain your rationale for the method selection, including a discussion of why the data collection method is suitable for addressing the problem or issue under consideration. Further, explain how you would organize and carry out the data collection. Finally, describe specifics regarding how you might reflect upon the data and use it to prepare for taking action with resulting solutions. (4-6 pages added to your case paper in Module 3.

Assignment Expectations

Your 4- to 6-page paper must follow APA formatting and demonstrate clarity, depth, and critical thinking. As you answer the questions posed in this case, include supporting rationale and cited sources.

Methods of Data Collection in Action Research

Action research, in the same manner as case study research, is fundamentally an inductive undertaking that makes use of an array of qualitative research and data collection techniques.  Since the objective of action research is to answer questions, reflect, and to take steps to solve problems—it is essential to build a holistic view of the situation and context. Multiple sources of evidence are brought together, compared and contrasted, and assessed in such a way that the specific nature of the problem and required action becomes clear.  The specific categories of the data collection effort will depend upon the specific context under study, but will likely include at least several of the following:

  1. Stakeholder interviews: Recorded in-depth interviews of those involved in the context of the problem under study. Thematic analysis is then applied to interview transcripts.
  2. Documentary analysis: Samples of documents such as meeting minutes, presentations, memos, or emails are sorted and catalogued for thematic analysis.
  3. Focus groups: Focus groups may function as a validation step to review and provide input to data collected from other sources. Further, focus groups may function as a source of primary data collection. In this case, the focus group is presented with situations and issues related to the problem under study. The focus group discusses the problem—and possibly performs brainstorming analysis. Thematic analysis is then applied to the transcript of the focus group (or groups) that meet.
  4. Surveys/questionnaires: Survey instruments are often associated with quantitative research. Action research, however, does not test hypotheses. Instead, it employs an inductive worldview to build up the “big picture” systems view of the problem under consideration. Surveys or questionnaires therefore provide one data point among many in the quest to understand and prepare for problem-solving action. For this reason, open-ended survey questions are likely to add more value than the traditional Likert-like questions typically employed by quantitative research.
  5. Observations: What research subjects actually do in practice may differ from what is stated in interviews and focus groups. Observation of behaviors and activities therefore add an additional data point to further ground the action research in reality. Observation may also shed light on process weaknesses and conflict that contributes to the problem under study. Observation is therefore one qualitative data collection technique that action researchers may wish to consider.  Researchers employing this technique typically take copious notes and use the resulting observation notes as an input to thematic analysis.  (Coates, 2005: Miles & Huberman, 1994)

Ethics in data collection

A common thread observed throughout Action Research is the involvement of and interaction with people.  Researchers therefore have a responsibility to maintain the highest levels of ethics and integrity when interacting with research subjects.  A researcher who is using human subjects in research is expected to use the following guiding principles:

  1. Informed consent: All participants in research must provide consent to participate. No observations, interviews, or any other form of data collection may be undertaken without such consent.
  2. Confidentiality and anonymity: The personal information that may arise from data collection from research subjects must be protected. The researcher is expected to have means to code and secure the data so that confidentiality is maintained. Another approach to providing security for the research subject is to maintain anonymity so that no connection is made between the collected data and any particular individual.
  3. Integrity: At no time should the researcher lie to a research subject or “trick” a research subject in any way in the course of seeking particular responses or behaviors. (Arango, 2016)

These principles are a few of many that are considered by the University Institutional Research Board (IRB). The function of the IRB is to examine all proposed research methodologies for validity as well as acceptable ethical practice. Finally, at no time may research proceed without IRB approval.

Results, reflection, and intention

The qualitative results that are developed from the applied methodology provide significant data upon which to consider and reflect. This is the time to ask again, “What problem is it that I am trying to solve?”, “Have I gotten to the bottom of the issues?”, and “What steps do I need to take as a result of my analysis?” These are questions that require significant thought—hence the focus on reflection within action research. Eventually though it is time to put your findings in action. Principles of project management provide tools to aid in acting upon findings. For example, proposed actions arising from action research data collection may be thought of as a project. They may be scoped out (i.e., deciding what specifically must be done or delivered), planned (who performs the actions, and how and when they are performed), executed or carried out, monitored and controlled through completion, and then closed. It should be remembered however that action research is iterative in nature. When an action is completed—data is once again collected for reflection in order to determine if further action is required.  It may well take more than one cycle of data collection, reflection, action plan, and implementation in order to complete the action research activity.

Is action research for you?

Problem-solving is an important skill required of senior managers and consultants. A traditional difficulty of problem-solving is the tendency for management to fail to grasp the totality of the issues under study and as a result, devise a plan that “solves the wrong problem”. Action research is both a research as well as a management technique that has the potential to equip managers with the ability to work with stakeholders within organizations to identify, analyze, and reflect upon problems or known systemic issues—and devise and refine sophisticated solutions. Action research therefore has the potential for the manager to demonstrate both research as well as management and leadership skills in a concrete manner.  If you are ready to “get your hands dirty” and demonstrate your intellectual and management capacities—action research may well be for you.

Dick, B. (2014, December 30). Action research and evaluation on line (web). Retrieved November 27, 2016, from http://www.aral.com.au/areol/areolind.html (Read “Sessions 3 through Session 9” links)

Ferrance, E. (n.d.). Action Research: Themes in Education. Retrieved November 27, 2016, from https://www.brown.edu/academics/education-alliance/sites/brown.edu.academics.education-alliance/files/publications/act_research.pdf

Perry, C., & Zuber-Skerritt, O. (1992). Action Research in Graduate Management Research Programs. Higher Education, 23(2), 195-208.

Centre for Lifelong Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved November 27, 2016, from https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/cll/courses/professionaldevelopment/wmcett/

Ferrance, E. (n.d.). Action Research: Themes in Education. Retrieved November 27, 2016, from https://www.brown.edu/academics/education-alliance/sites/brown.edu.academics.education-alliance/files/publications/act_research.pdf

Glossary to Accompany, A Short Guide to Action Research, 3e. Retrieved August 28, 2018, from http://wps.ablongman.com/wps/media/objects/3853/3946147/glossary.pdf

Zentis, N., (2015, August 23). Implementing the Action Research Model. Institute of Organizational Development. Retreieved August 26, 2018, from https://instituteod.com/implementing-action-research-model/

Case Assignment 05 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH RESULTS

Select one of the interview or speech transcripts created from videos of speeches or interviews from successful leaders in our nation’s armed forces. You are free to select the interview or speech transcript of your choice. Upload the transcript into Dedoose using the upload feature. Take the transcript through the process described in this module making use of the coding capabilities of Dedoose. Summarize your findings including any codes, themes, your rationale, and finally, any resulting conclusions in the form of a conceptual framework. Think of this exercise as a “mini-results” section of your doctoral study in terms of how you conduct and present your findings. Your paper should be 4–6 pages in length.

Admiral McRaven, University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement

Brigadier General Stanley McChrystal: Leadership Is a Choice

Captain Roger Herbert: Courage—Can We Teach It? Can We Learn It?

General Colin Powell: Our Youth Must Be Ready to Lead

General Colin Powell at Santa Clara Convention Center

Taking Charge: 7 Leadership Stories

Lt. General Charles Krulak: The Importance of Integrity

The United States Marine Corps in the 21st Century

Assignment Expectations

Your 4- to 6-page paper must follow APA formatting and demonstrate clarity, depth, and critical thinking. As you answer the questions posed in this case, include supporting rationale and cited sources.

The assignment will be assessed using the Case Study Rubric.

Getting started with analysis

The basic goal of qualitative data analysis is to be able to see patterns in the data that may not be immediately obvious from surface inspection. Getting to this level of insight requires the application of a systematic approach. Such an approach ensures that the data is analyzed at the appropriate level of depth and that the process may be repeated by other researchers.  Suggested steps include the following:

  1. Read: Thoroughly and carefully read each line of the transcript, the document, or field notes. It is important at this stage to “take in” and reflect on what is being read and avoid jumping to conclusions.
  2. Code: After an initial in-depth reading of the transcript or document, you will now seek to find ideas, passages, or expressions that stand out in some way. For example, were they emphasized by the research subject in some way? Is there any passage that appears to repeat similar ideas in multiple ways throughout the document? Is there any passage that is somehow striking in its relevance to the topic or subject under study? Passages associated with these (or other relevant questions) are highlighted and identified by a code word or number for tracking purposes. This activity is referred to as “coding” the data (Gibbs & Taylor, 2010).
  3. Themes: After a number of codes have been identified, it is now time to consider to what degree, if any, each of the codes are related to each other.  For example, is some of the coded data similar? Is there a common idea or principle being articulated? Alternatively, some codes may deal with similar topics but in different ways. The important activity in this next step is to attempt to discover themes by grouping together the codes assigned to highlighted passages. What results from the grouping of codes is the next level of analysis—the underlying themes being expressed in the data (Ryan & Bernard, 2003b).
  4. Conceptual framework: The highest level of analysis is the conceptual framework. It is at this point that we begin to see the big picture emerge from the underlying data. This step of the analysis is also rather “tricky”. For example, if the researcher asserts that one theme is related to another in some way, then some level of explanation or rationale for the observed relationships must be suggested. One technique for identifying related themes is to do a simple frequency analysis identifying how often a particular theme appears—and in how many sources. It is not uncommon for themes with the highest totals to relate to each other in some way.

Steps 1-4 bring to mind the analogy of the building of a brick wall. At the most fundamental analysis, a brick wall consists of bricks. Likewise, in qualitative data analysis, we have “codes”. When we put bricks together in a certain way—we may see a pattern in the brick. Likewise, we see patterns emerge from qualitative data in the form of themes. Finally, once all bricks are put together, we end up with a wall. In qualitative research, we arrive at a unique combination of themes, built from codes, with “mortar” (in the form of our rationale for expressing the relationships between themes) cementing the themes together in a resulting conceptual framework. In the same way that a brick wall—and the patterns made by the brick—are tangible and visible—researchers typically create a graphical depiction of the conceptual framework. This may be as simple as presenting several text boxes with themes and descriptions linked together using lines or arrows to indicate observed relationships between the themes.

Dedoose

Dedoose (http://www.dedoose.com) is an inexpensive subscription-based software package that provides support for qualitative and mixed-method research. You will use Dedoose in your DBA program. Visit the Dedoose site and sign up for a trial subscription in order to use it for the data analysis conducted in the Case Assignment for this module.

What is going on? The conceptual framework

At the end of our qualitative data analysis, we can expect to examine how the themes come together, how they are related, and what the big picture looks like. In short, the resulting conceptual framework is our view, grounded in the data, of “What is going on here.” This is an essential step in theory building as conceptual frameworks may be refined into theory and then tested. For example, in quantitative research, we take a theory and test it. This is similar to stating, “This is what I think is going on here—and now I am going to test it.”  Qualitative research—including case studies and action research—may benefit from a “pre” and “post” data analysis conceptual framework. For example, the researcher may state explicitly how the researcher views the problem or context under consideration prior to the data collection and analysis. The conceptual framework that results from the analysis may then be compared to the initial conceptual framework to clearly identify changes in understanding that have emerged from the qualitative data collection and analysis (Miles, Huberman, & Saldaña, 2014).

How do you know? A word on validity…

It could be argued—and often is argued—that deciding what to code, what to call a theme, and the building of a conceptual framework is a series of activities that are subjective in nature.  What then should the researcher do in order to minimize subjectivity and to build validity? One answer is to use multiple sources of data. If multiple sources tend to align in a similar direction, this argues for validity. Also, one suggestion is to begin first with the most tangible data such as pre-existing written records or documents to ground the analysis in realism. Finally, it is always a good idea to use a focus group of stakeholders as a validation step to review the work that you have done in the thematic analysis and provide feedback and revision suggestions.

What does the end product look like?

Research based on qualitative data analysis not only presents findings in the form of a conceptual framework, but also walks the reader through the data itself. For example, the researcher should identify the most common themes, and discuss the thematic findings. Further, it is a good validation step to use one or more direct quotes from transcript analysis to give the reader a “taste” of the type of data found in the analysis.  It is also a good idea, in addition to presenting the themes, to describe to the reader how relationships between themes were determined. For example, if a frequency analysis of themes and their appearance was performed, then present it in the final results. Finally, remember that qualitative data is characterized by rich description, graphical depiction, and in-depth discussion. The strength of the paper is not only in the data collection process, but how well the emergent themes and ideas are described and presented.

Gibbs, G. R., & Taylor, C. (2010, February 19). NEW. Retrieved December 03, 2016, from http://onlineqda.hud.ac.uk/Intro_QDA/how_what_to_code.php

Can be located within the TUI Library Sage Research Database:

Yin, R.K. (2009). Analyzing case study evidence. In Case Study Research: Design and Methods, Fourth Ed. (pp. 126-163). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Inc. Retrieved from Trident Online Library.

Gagnon, Y. (2010). Stage 6: Analyzing data . In The Case Study As Research Method : A Practical Handbook (pp. 69-82). Québec [Que.]: Les Presses de l’Université du Québec (EBSCO ebook Collection).  Retrieved from Trident Online Library.

Gagnon, Y. (2010). Stage 7: Interpreting data. In The Case Study As Research Method: A Practical Handbook. (pp.83-92). Québec [Que.]: Les Presses de l’Université du Québec (EBSCO ebook Collection).  Retrieved from Trident Online Library.  Retrieved from Trident Online Library.

Farquhar, J. D. (2012). Managing and analysing data. In Case study research for business (pp. 84-99). London : SAGE Publications Ltd (SAGE Research Methods Database).  Retrieved from Trident Online Library.

INTEGRATION AND REFLECTION

Reflective Essay  2 Pages

Prepare a Reflective Essay in which you address each of the following items:

  1. Describe how you improved your knowledge, skills, abilities, and yourself in this session through this course.
  2. Evaluate the work you did during the session for the class and explain ways you could have performed better.
  3. Identify topics you did not understand or successfully implement and suggest how to improve the course material on those topics.
  4. Identify ways to measure the future effects of what you have learned in this course or your future progress/improvement.
  5. State whether you achieved the course outcomes (listed on the Module 6 Home page and course Syllabus page).

This Reflective Essay is a required course component

Module 6 Home page

  1. Compare and contrast CSR to other research methods. (Module 1).
  2. Describe the types of research questions that are best suited to CSR. (Module 1)
  3. Explain the criteria for selecting the type of case study and the appropriate design. (Module 1)
  4. Assess the validity and reliability of the research.Develop a research protocol for collecting data. (Module 1)
  5. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of individual data collection methods. (Module 2)
  6. Formulate a data collection strategy that combines several data collection methods such as primary and secondary data and qualitative vs. quantitative data. (Module 2)
  7. Create an evidence database to store, organize and manage case study data. (Module 2)
  8. Develop a strategy for analyzing case study data. (Module 2)
  9. Select an appropriate analytic technique to enhance internal and external validity. (Module 2)
  10. Create a simple action research proposal. (Module 3)
  11. Articulate the action research cycle and describe how it may be employed in business research. (Module 3)
  12. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of action research as compared to other business research methods. (Module 3)
  13. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of an array of action research data collection methods. (Module 4)
  14. Formulate and describe how to implement an action research data collection strategy. (Module 4)
  15. Select appropriate analytic techniques to evaluate action research data. (Module 4)
  16. Implement action research finding. (Module 4)
  17. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of individual qualitative data analysis methods.  (Module 5)
  18. Formulate a data analysis strategy that produces meaningful and valid results from your qualitative data. (Module 5)
  19. Perform thematic analysis on qualitative data. (Module 5)
  20. Code data, relate codes to themes, and develop a resulting conceptual framework that describes how the thematic results are related. (Module 5)
  21. Present a holistic view of qualitative data results using multiple means of rich description. (Module 5)

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