This chapter presents the chosen method and research methodology. The data collection and method of analysis are extensively discussed and motivated. The chosen research choice is provided in connection with the fulfilment of the purpose.
Research philosophy is developed to gain knowledge within a research field (Saunders, Lewis & Thronhill, 2016). This thesis aims to produce a subjective understanding and thus the qualitative approach is suitable.
Since this thesis will use a qualitative approach, it is important to state the facts received to justify the study. Slevitch (2011) states that the qualitative approach is based strongly on the interpretivism and constructionism approaches. Therefore, since this study aims to understand the realities experienced by the participants and employs a subjective view, it embraces the social constructionism view which indicated the realities based on social interactions and how they are experienced (Saunders, et al., 2016). The researchers aim to obtain a better understanding of the microbreweries thoughts and perception of resources and institutional capital and thus, the study is implemented from the social constructionism point of view.
Subjectivism was established to prioritize different standpoints and attain the individual’s opinions in reference to their view of society (Saunders et al., 2016). With this subjective viewpoint, the research philosophy most appropriate for this thesis is the interpretivist framework, due to the qualitative perspective and the primary data received from the semi-structured interviews. According to Saunders et al. (2016, p.140), interpretivism emphasizes that people from differing backgrounds, circumstantial and cultural, experience different social realities at that point of time. Interpretivism collects information on the understanding of what is meaningful for the individuals. Interpretivism is a frequently used method in qualitative and business research (Saunders, et al., 2016).
According to Saunders et al. (2016) there are three different methods when conducting research: deduction, induction, and abduction. It is important to be clear on the correct approach as it may impact the findings of a study.
First, the deductive method results from the mantra that if all evidence is accurate, the results will be accurate as well (Saunders, et al., 2016) and thus the deductive reasoning method is used on explanations from law. Deductive reasoning begins with a hypothesis and data is collected and analyzed against such hypothesis. Therefore, the deductive method is associated strongly with quantitative research method (Saunders, et al. 2016). The deductive reasoning approach is not suitable for this study. Inductive reasoning identifies that here are gaps in logical arguments and is founded on the observations rather than the logical argument. Opposite the deductive reasoning method, inductive reasoning applies theory throughout the researching process and the created conclusion is supported by the observations (Saunders, et al. 2016). The inductive approach is suited to qualitative study due to smaller sample sizes (Saunders, et al. 2016). Lastly, abductive reasoning acts as Suddaby (2006) explains, in between deductive and inductive as it moves between data and theory, respectfully. Abductive reasoning is not a suitable approach for this research.
Therefore, the most suitable approach that will be implemented in this study is an inductive approach. Due to the qualitative standpoint and the use of primary data collection through semi-structured interviews, the methods fall under the inductive reasoning and the interpretivism philosophy (Saunders, et al., 2016).
There are two commonly used research methods, quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative research tests created hypotheses by examining relationships between the variables measures and are thus quantifiable (Creswell, 2013). The qualitative research method focuses on the complexity of phenomenon and aims to understand the experienced meaning to individuals and consists of mostly non-numerical data (Creswell, 2013). The exploration of resource choice, management, and institutional capital in the microbrewing industry is unexplored by existing literature and thus variables may be important to examine but are still remain unknown. Therefore, a qualitative research through semi-structured interviews is found to be the most appropriate method of study.
The method of primary data collection most appropriate is the interview as is a predominant mode of data collection in qualitative research (May, 1991). Interviews vary in structure and question formulation. The researchers are interested in understanding the use of resource-based view and institutional capital within the Swedish microbrewing industry, the semi-structured style of interviewing with open-ended questions is found to be most appropriate. The format of a semi-structured interview established that some questions will be pre-prepared to ensure the direction of the main topics of interest while other questions are developed through the course of the interview (Collins & Hussey 2013; Wengraf, 2001). Open-ended questions therefore enable interviewees to respond with rich and descriptive answers and allow the researchers to gain a deeper understanding of the desired topics. Therefore, the semi-structured interview approach with pre-written and open-ended questions as well as on the spot questions is found to be the most appropriate for this study.
The interview guide construction is crucial to the semi-structured interview and should base itself on the relevant literature and the researcher’s previous knowledge base (King, 2004). Therefore, the pre-written open interview questions we formulated from the frame of reference and conceptualisations of the researchers. From the frame of reference, themes centered around the integration of institutional capital; organisational culture, Interfirm institutional levels, individual institutional levels, resource management, tangible resources, and intangible resources were used to understand the topic. In order to place these questions into relevant and logical order the interview questions were divided into main themes of Background, Individual institution level, Organizational level, Inter Firm level, Tangible resources, and Intangible resources (see Appendix 1).
The background themed questions established the background information of the business and included the establishment period, interviewee’s role, production and people size of the microbrewery, and established the context of microbrewery growth in Sweden. Questions were developed based on the interpretations of Oliver (1997), Peng (2002), Barney (1991; 2001), and Bresser & Millonig (2003). These are linked to the integration of institutional capital with the resource-based view. The researchers were also interested in the network presence and collaborations amongst Swedish microbreweries as it is importance to the integrated view (Alonso, Alexander, & O’Brien, 2018).
1.1 Background to Study
1.2 Problem Discussion
1.4 Research Question
2. Literature Review
2.2 Internal Strategic Management
2.3 Institutional Capital and Theory
3.1 Research Philosophies
3.2 Research Approaches
3.3 Research Method
3.4 Data Collection
3.5 Analysis Method
3.6 Research Process
3.7 Method Critique
3.8 Research Quality
3.9 Method Summary
4. Empirical Findings
4.1 Introduction of the Interviewed Swedish Microbreweries
4.2 Interview Findings
5. Analysis and Discussion
5.2 Resource Analysis
5.3 Brewery Culture Analysis
5..4 Individual Institutions Analysis
5.5 Inter-brewery Institutions Analysis
5.6 Proposed Model
6.3 Further Research
7. Reference list
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