The research philosophy
The research philosophy is further explained trough the study’s epistemology, ontology and axiology. The Epistemology concerns what constitutes acceptable knowledge in a field of study. The philosophy is concerned to how knowledge is produced and the reflection upon the truth. This explores how the generated knowledge produced is affected by the researcher perception and assumptions of the knowledge. In terms of the research epistemology the study is conducted through an Interpretivist point of view. Interpretivism is an epistemology that advocates that it is necessary for a researcher to understand humans in the role as social actors (Saunders, 2007).
The Ontology is concerned with the nature of reality which includes the assumptions researchers have about the way the world operates and the commitment held to particular views. In this study a subjectivist point of view is followed. The subjectivist practises a subjective view which is that of a social phenomena which are created from the perceptions and consequent of social actors. This is usually a continual process of social interaction that functions in social phenomena that are in a constant state of revision. This position might stress the necessity to study the details of the situation to understand the reality, or reality behind them and is often associated with the Interpretivist position that is necessary to explore the subjective meanings (Saunders, 2007).
The Axiology studies the judgement about the value possessed in the fields of aesthetics and ethics. It is the process of social enquiry with which we are concerned and the role our own values play in all stages of the research to be credible (Saunders, 2007). In the study great emphasis is placed on the personal interaction therefore selected interviews as the primary data approach with an extensive amount of professionals in the telecommunication industry to reflect their personal and professional opinions.
The research approach
The exploration of how entrepreneurship impacts the strategic decision process in the telecommunication industry is carried out by an exploratory approach. Furthermore the exploratory study is described as a valuable means of finding out what is happening and seek insight to ask questions and to assess the phenomena in a new light (Robson, 2002). The exploratory study is done through interviewing experts and a search of literature.
Induction leans itself well aligned to the Interpretivist research philosophy. Moreover the approach of induction´s purpose would be to get a feeling of what is going on, to understand better the nature of the problem. The result of the analysis would be the formulation of a theory. Consequently the theory would follow the data and enable a cause-effect link between particular variables with an understanding of the way in which humans interpreted their social world (Saunders, 2007).
The research design
This thesis is conducted within an Interpretivist research design. Furthermore the research is mainly based on an inductive reasoning, in the attempt to make sense of the situation, without a precise pre-existing expectation (Patton, 1990). The data are collected, analysed on which concepts are developed based on the relationship and patterns (coding) in the data (Reneker, 1993). Moreover this is where the similarities is closely aligned of those of grounded theory where theory is literally built from the ground upwards, that is, from data observed and collected in the field (Glaser and Strauss, 1967).
The idea is to gain an understanding of the topic at hand to seek and be open to the setting and subject of the study (Gorman & Clayton, 1997). The possibility was there to adjust the research question and data collection plan to take all new prospectives into account. The research design tend to be less linear but rather iterative. In addition the interpretive research does not predefine dependent or independent variables and does not set out to test a hypothesis, but aims to produce understanding of the social context of the phenomenon influences and is influenced by the social context (Rowlands, 2005).
The data is analyses through an adapted grounded theory approach for inductive theory building (Rowlands, 2005). Furthermore grounded theory (GT) techniques is chosen to analyze the case study interview text because, according to Strauss & Corbin (1990) grounded theorizing is well suited to capturing the interpretive experiences of the managers and developing theoretical propositions from them. In the same line of thought, an application of GT is appropriate when the research focus is explanatory, contextual and process oriented (Rowlands, 2005). Therefore the GT approach was best suited to the thesis problem statement.
In a qualitative driven research frame collected data is explored to distinguish which themes or issues to follow and concentrate on (Glaser and Straus, 1967; Strauss and Corbin, 1998; Yin, 2003). Likewise to commence the data collection by examining them to asses which themes are emerging from the data through an exploratory purpose and analyse the data which was collected to develop a conceptual framework to guide the subsequent work. This is mainly referring to a grounded approach because of the nature of the theory and explanation that emerges as a result of the research approach. The approach is characterised by the emerging theory through the process of data collection and analysis. Consequently the theoretical framework does not commence a clearly defined appearance, but instead identify relationships between the data (Glaser and Straus, 1967).
Grounded Theory as a theoretical strategy was chosen as an analysis process to build an explanation and generate theory around the research central theme which emerges through the data. Grounded theory is followed as a strategy rather than a set of explicit procedures therefore result in the process of analysing in a less formalised and proceduralised way while maintaining a systematic and rigorous approach to arrive at the grounded explanation or theory. In the grounded theory approach one use open coding to disaggregate the data, Axial coding to recognise relationships between categories and selective coding to integrate categories to produce a theory (Strauss and Cobin, 1998).
The GT method described by Glaser and Strauss (1967) is built upon two concepts that which are a: “constant comparison,” in which data are collected and analyzed simultaneously, and those of a “theoretical sampling, “in which decisions about which data should be collected next are determined by the theory that is being constructed. Both of these concepts violate the positivist assumptions about how the research process should work. Furthermore this constant comparison contradicts the myth of a clean separation between data collection and analysis. The theoretical sampling violates the ideal of hypothesis testing in that the direction of new data collection is determined, not by prior hypotheses, but by ongoing interpretation of data and emerging conceptual categories. Grounded theory should also be used in a way that is logically consistent with key assumptions about social reality and how that reality is “known” (Suddaby, 2006).
An Inductively based analytical procedure is used as a starting point for the exploratory study. In addition the use of the inductive approach allow a good “fit” to develop between the social reality of the research participants and the theory that emerges in which will be grounded in reality. This theory is specifically used to suggest, appropriate actions derived from the events and circumstances of the research setting. Moreover the generalisability is also tested in other contexts (Glasser and Strauss, 1967; Strauss and Corbin, 1998). Ultimately this research did require a clearly defined research question, but is altered by the nature of the data during the GT process (Erlandson et al, 1993).
The triangulation of type Method triangulation is used to check for consistency of the founding’s by using different data collection methods. Additionally the triangulation method includes both qualitative and quantitative methods. In result the advantage is supported by the fact that the conclusions could be more reliable if data are collected by more than one method and from the perspective of more than one source. Besides that, source triangulation is also practised in the cross-checking for consistency of the information derived at different times from different people and sources.
A qualitative research strategy is used with more than one data source type to confirm the authenticity of each source. In addition primary data is collected through three interview stages in sequence and supported by secondary data guided by the research question. NVIVO is used to manage the qualitative analysis processes. Furthermore a Grounded theory strategy is followed to finally ground the theory. In addition to the qualitative research, a quantitative analysis is used to assist in the generalization of the findings through statistical analysis using both primary and secondary data that might seem relevant at the time.
The entrepreneurial process is a dynamic, discontinuous change of state. In addition it involves numerous antecedent variables which are extremely sensitive to initial conditions. To build an algorithm for a physical system with those characteristics would be daunting to the most gifted applied mathematician (Bygrave, 1993). Schumpeter (1934) pointed out; “the entrepreneur destroys that equilibrium with a perennial gale of creative destruction.” What’s more, that act of creative destruction is a sudden leap; it is a discontinuity. Thom (1968) remarked, “Nothing makes a mathematician more ill at ease than a discontinuity, because any usable quantitative model is based on the use of functions that are analytic and hence continuous.” (Bygrave, 1993).
Furthermore the essence of entrepreneurship is the entrepreneur (Mitton, 1989). Therefore, a model of entrepreneurship must recognize the essence of human volition, “there is an essential non-algorithmic aspect to the role of conscious action” (Penrose, 1989). It’s a discontinuity (as opposed to a smooth change). It’s holistic the components depend on one another to such a high degree that you cannot understand the whole process simply by examining each of its components separately (Bygrave, 1993). The quantitative approach is best used to test and further generalize the result, supportive to the formal analysis during the grounded theory process.
In studying people, their learning and their work, it is not only legitimate to adopt an interpretative social science methodology, but it is essential to find ways to “get in close” and to build deep understanding by involvement (Rae, 2000). Likewise the study of narratives (Bruner, 1990; Polkinghorne, 1991) has become a recognised approach in social science and has been described as the new “root metaphor” (Sarbin, 1986) for psychology (cited in Rae, 2000). Many researchers recommend for conducting interpretative research on entrepreneurial learning (Deakins, 1996; Gibb Dyer, 1994; Reuber and Fischer, 1993; Steyaert and Bouwen, 1997), Gartner (1989), who suggested that researchers should view entrepreneurship from a behavioural perspective in order to explore what entrepreneurs do to create organisations, has been to move away from studying “the entrepreneur” as an entity and towards a processual understanding of entrepreneurship (cited in Rae, 2000).
In this research we would like to measure and explore Entrepreneurial roles. The approach used in this research is one of social constructionism recommended by Burr (1995), which aims to understand entrepreneurial practices in a cultural context, through the use of language, narrative and discourse through roles. In doing this there is a conscious move slightly to the imitative approach which seeks to define measure and categorise entrepreneurial activity, but also towards an interpretative approach to social enquiry which aims to generate insight and understanding and useful rather than definitive theory.
Moreover in the quest for “generalisable theory”, it is also too easy to lose the value of the specific human experience. In this way, the voice of the entrepreneur has become disconnected from academic study through being lost in the statistical samples therefore explain the use of the qualitative driven research approach.
The study´s sampling technique is chosen to best fit the thesis purpose. In the research a non-probability sample technique is used. The non probability sample is where the probability of each case being selected from the total population is not known and it is impossible to answer research questions or address objectives require one to make statistical inferences about the characteristics of the population. One may still generalise from non-probability samples about the population, but not fully on statistical grounds (Saunders, 2007).
2.2. Conceptual Research field
2.6. Research questions
3.1. The research philosophy
3.2. The research approach
3.3. The research design
3.4. Methodology background
3.6. Data collection
4. Theory – Frame of Reference
4.2. Strategic Entrepreneurship
5.2. Data collection
5.3. Methodological procedure
6. Case analysis (Cycle 1)
6.2. Vox Telecom
6.4. Corporate Orientation Domain
6.5. Environmental domain
6.6. Innovation domain
7. Telepreneur Framework (Cycle 2)
8. Testing the Telepreneur Framework (Cycle 3)
8.4. Linkage between Telenetwork and Technovation
8.5. Linkage between the Telenetwork, Technovation and Telepreneurship72
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