I chose to analyze the paper The firm, the platform and the customer: A “double mangle” interpretation of social media for innovation for its use of qualitative methods. The paper aims to investigate the relationship between customers and company through social media technologies used by the company Barilla.
This paper used interviews conducted by the research team. Interviews allow for a greater understanding between interviewers and the interviewed. It’s easier to understand what the questions actually ask for and the interviewed have the opportunity to ask questions to clarify as well as add information they themselves think is relevant for the study. This all stands in opposition to surveys where opportunity for understanding is not as abundant.
The paper also used secondary data to back up and provide a more nuanced perspective on the data from the interviews. This secondary data involved pretty much everything that the company had posted through social media technologies and where the customers could make their voice heard. For examples press releases, blog posts and more.
It’s hard to point out any methodological problems in this study, not only are there qualitative data gathered from the relevant instances of the company (Business Development and Innovation, Digital Communication Manager and Marketing Manager), but the human agent (the customers data) was also taken into consideration as the secondary data in the form of blog comments and all other outlets of the company’s use of social media technology where the consumers could make their voice heard. In addition to this, all of the interviewed people were given a draft of how their information had been used to ensure their validity. For all the intents and purposes of this paper, I feel that the use of qualitative methods has been exemplary, so all I can complain on is that more people being interviewed would’ve been better.
A case study is a study undertaken in a certain context where you study for example a certain event by gathering data from instances that were relevant to that specific event. A case study can for example study a market crash, a paradigm shift or similar events of interest.
According to Building theories from Case Study Research there are some important steps that a research paper using case studies need to take in order to develop a strong theory. These are Get Started, Selecting Cases, Crafting Instruments and Protocols, Entering the Field, Analyzing Data, Shaping Hypotheses, Enfolding Literature and Reaching Closure. Within these steps there are several smaller conditions that when reached will allow for a stronger theory.
I chose to analyze the paper The growth of TV news, the demise of Journalism Profession, a case study of local TV-news in Portland, Oregon. The study is focuses on what the researchers see as a growing gap between quantity and quality in news and what lies behind this.
First and foremostly the study shows that it defines a relevant research question for the study, and while this is relevant not only in Portland, Oregon, the researchers also determine to make further investigations with regard to the area and what makes Portland, Oregon special in a TV-news perspective. What makes the area special is that the city has a high civil engagement in public affairs. This perspective also makes it clear that the population chosen is relevant (not just random), since it involves all the local TV-stations with news in Portland.
The paper is purely dependant on qualitative data, no quantitative data is used, which does not allow for a synergistic view of evidence according to Eisenhardt. When analyzing the data the researchers continue to build a strong theory by linking the findings in Portland, Oregon to a broader context and drawing parallells on a nation-wide level when discussing the most trusted news sources in the USA. However I feel that the theory of the study is lacking in that it does not strive to look for any cross-case patterns but instead leaves the gathered data uncontested in this way. Rather all data seems to be taken at face-value without any further reflection.
The paper is unfortunately lacking in comparisons to other literature, conflicting or similar; although to be fair they state that this is the first study of this kind.