Research Methods in Project Management





Research Methods in Project Management

Topic 1

In overview, research is undeniably imperative especially in attempting to establish the validity of a particular premise, thought or theory. In relation to this discussion board, research is significant to me based on the way it imposes positive impacts if carried out effectively. Accordingly, the sole objective of research is to discover critical information and therefore, enforce action. This explains the reason why studies should always focus on the contextualization of research outcomes within a considerable platform of research. With respect to the effects it poses in any area under evaluation, effective research possesses the capability of producing novel knowledge. Such knowledge is largely applicable not only within the research milieu, but also outside the respective settings. This is because of the implications that arise from the study which traverse beyond the discussion board currently involved within the research. Personally, the research area that has proved interesting constitutes the effective management of projects by geographically dispersed teams. For every organization, the procedure of teamwork has always functioned as a strategy to attain a competitive advantage over other market rivals via strengthening employee relations especially in carrying out projects (Evaristo et al. 180; Sessa et al. 5). Nonetheless, based on the widespread utilization of the activity due to forces of globalization that have allowed global communication, our research seeks to identify the problems that underlie this particular activity. Accordingly, numerous researchers have focused considerably on the positive aspects of project management as a positive strategy without discretely assessing the internal and external liabilities of the respective process. Regardless of this, this research area provides a platform to study the general changes that have taken place in project management from a business-related perspective.

Topic 2

Generally, the perspective of ontology constitutes a philosophical naturalist study aimed at assessing reality. In short, ontology deals with queries and questions based on what exists. Concerning my area of interest, my ontological perspective focuses largely on the aspect of objectivity. My reason for siding with this notion is based on the influence that lack of significant information can impose especially in the limitation of reason and pragmatism. Accordingly, the lack of information regarding a particular subject can persuade people to believe mundane things. Such unavailability can readily be exploited by manipulators who may range from religious persons to political leaders. In relation to research, the lack of objectivity only leads to partisan ideas and thoughts, which are rife with fallacious arguments. Nonetheless, research aims at separating reality from subjectivity by illustrating the premise of certain thoughts and premises regarding a certain scope of study. Accordingly, a researcher is capable of justifying the use of mixed method research irrespective of different ontological positions. However, this is difficult since “the methodologies used in a field must be congruent with its prevailing ontologies” (Hall 374). In spite of this, the researcher can still legitimize such practice by using the respective research question as the focus of study rather than the respective ontological tenet. The research question will aid in blurring the lines between ontology and epistemology. This will enable the research to take a more mixed approach that incorporates both inductive and deductive techniques of research in order to arrive at a certain conclusion. In relation to my area of interest, the research methods are commonly used digress between quantitative and qualitative research. Simply put, they vary from qualitative techniques such as focus groups, observations and interviews to quantitative measures such as sampling, closed-ended surveys and experiments.

Topic 3

Literature reviews usually need to have a considerable set of information of comparative research that inclines towards the respective topic of study. According to Bruce and Partridge (3), the available information is only effective if the researcher learns to utilize it in accordance with the area of assessment. In my scope of research, it is difficult to find complacent literature reviews due to the nature of the research question. In addition to this, ascertaining the coverage or focus of the literature reviews is difficult and as such, it becomes unbearable to go through a myriad of reviews in order to find a particular one that actually corresponds to the respective area of study. However, most of the articles correspond to the research question efficiently. The article, Virtual Teams: A Review of Current Literature and Directions for Future Research, by Anne Powell, Gabriele Piccoli and Blake Ives provides a lengthy literature review that focuses largely on the evolution of teamwork in relation to face-to-face teams and geographically dispersed teams, simply referred to as virtual teams. In this context, the review illustrates various ways in order to relate specifically to the area of study. One of them involves utilizing a myriad of different research studies in order to provide an objective approach towards its subject of focus. In order to justify the research, Powell, Piccoli and Ives, through the literature review, illustrate the pressures that virtual teams face in attempting to accomplish the objectives of an organization (Powell, Piccoli and Ives 9). Furthermore, they legitimize the research by also focusing on traditional teams and comparing them to geographically dispersed teams in an organizational context.

Topic 4

A research design is significant in any form of study. Indeed, this part of the research comprises a procedure of transition capable of modifying knowledge and information from mere premise to absolute practicality. In addition to this, the application of goals and objectives as part of the design assists considerably in providing direction for the research. Furthermore, the research design determines the techniques that will be under utilization in studying the subject. In illustration, the article, The Global Virtual Manager: A Prescription for Success, by Timothy Kayworth and Dorothy Leidner carries out the study by integrating a qualitative approach. The first technique utilized within the research comprises observation. Observation, as a qualitative technique, involves the acquisition of data from primary sources via viewing. In this case, however, this technique differentiates itself from participant observation, which comprises the surveillance of subjects of a particular study. In this research, the respective process is used in viewing the dynamics of geographically dispersed teams over time (Kayworth and Leidner 184). This technique is imperative in this case since it has provided the researchers with the possibility of recognizing key issues, imperative success factors and supplementary research questions via the surveillance of culturally diverse cohorts of dispersed members of the groups. In relation to the quantitative form of research, Julia Kotlarsky and Ilan Oshri’s article, Social Ties, Knowledge Sharing and Successful Collaboration in Globally Distributed System Development Projects pursues a more empirical-based design by integrating coding in order to analyze the researched data quantitatively. Through quantitative data analysis, the article surmises that social ties among geographically distributed teams enhance knowledge collaboration (Kotlarsky and Oshri 41).

Topic 5

The subject of integration in research methods is solely subject to mixed methods research. In simple terms, this process involves the combination of two research designs in order to gain results from a particular study. Usually, integration incorporates paradigms and methods commonly associated with the qualitative and quantitative designs (Johnson and Omwuegbuzie 15). Specifically, qualitative methods and their respective philosophical views are integrated in the methodology as well as application of data collection within the designs (Hanson, Creswell, Clark, Petska and Creswell 226). In relation to my area of interest, mixed methods research is highly beneficial in researching the topic. One of these benefits involves the ability of the method to match the purpose towards the need. For example, initially researching the management of projects by geographically dispersed teams as a pertinent issue is useful before furthering on the study’s development. Subsequently, the research design is capable of ascertaining the validity of data through triangulation. While focusing on the mentioned issue, it is imperative to understand the different factors that can actually pose management efficacy within virtual teams. In this respect, understanding this allows an integration of an exploratory study based on the effects that aspects such as social ties can pose on positive or deprived project management as well as a quantitative sampling of geographically based groups based on whether this assertion is reasonably factual.

Topic 6

Accordingly, effective research is significantly reliant on sampling. Sampling involves the collection of a variety of individuals within a certain statistical populace that emanates the traits and qualities of the common population. Normally, researchers are unable to study whole population due to difficulties that range from financial factors such as considerable expenditure to social factors such as reluctance and hostility towards participation. Because of this, a sample acts as a unit of estimation in relation to the scope of the research. Indeed, research studies utilize different forms of sampling in order to arrive at the data and the conclusion. Kayworth and Leidner’s article makes use of systematic sampling, which generally comprises the selection of persons based on a certain ordering scheme randomly (Lindner, Murphy and Briers 45). In this respect, the samples chosen for the study comprised university members based in three different countries (Kayworth and Leidner 185). The utilization of samples had to correspond to the study’s focus on international team dynamics and the present factors that are evident among virtual teams. Conversely, the form of sampling used in Kotlarsky and Oshri’s article was stratified. Stratified sampling differentiates from the systematic technique since it focuses largely on grouping persons within a strata or a category rather than evaluating them individually. In this respect, the article sampled the participants by grouping them in classes deemed as development project teams known simply as SAP and LeCroy (Kotlarsky and Oshri 41). The purpose of this form of sampling involves the collection of data for determining social ties and the sharing of knowledge between the two geographically dispersed teams enhanced knowledge collaboration.

Topic 7

Data collection is an imperative process in any research. The gathering of information assists considerably in determining whether the formulated hypothesis is factual or fallacious. However, it is important for every researcher to consider the implication that data collection techniques can impose in gaining results for the study. Based on this, the veracity or authenticity of such measures is vital in ensuring that the study does not fail. Both of the mentioned articles utilize various data collection techniques. Kayworth and Leidner’s research utilizes open-ended questionnaires. The technique is authentic in this case since it limits the risk of trying to generalize patterns across the groups prematurely prior to the completion of the analysis. On the other hand, Kotlarsky and Oshri’s study utilizes an ethnographic study based specifically on an interpretive aspect. This allows face-to-face interviews in order to ensure considerable data collection among the required test subjects.












































Works Cited:

Bruce, Christine. “Interpreting the Scope of their Literature Reviews: Significant Differences in Research Student’s Concerns.” New Library World 102.4.5 (2001): 158-165. <>

Evaristo, Roberto J., Richard Scudder, Kevin C. Desouza, and Osam Sato. “A Dimensional Analysis of Geographically Distributed Project Teams: A Case Study.” Journal of Engineering and Technology Management 21 (2004): 175-189. <>

Hall, Peter A. “Aligning Ontology and Methodology in Comparative Research.” Comparative Historical Analysis in the Social Sciences. Ed. James Mahoney and Dietrich Rueschemeyer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. 373-401. <>

Hanson, William E., John W. Creswell, Plano Clark, Kelly S. Petska, and J. David Creswell. “Mixed Methods Research in Counseling Psychology.” Journal of Counseling Psychology 52.2 (2005): 224-235. <>

Johnson, Burke R., and Anthony J. Omwuegbuzie. “Mixed Methods Research: A Research Paradigm Whose Time Has Come.” Educational Researcher 33.7 (2004): 14-26. <>

Kayworth, Timothy and Dorothy Leidner. “The Global Manager: A Prescription for Success.” European Management Journal 18.2 (2000): 183-194. <>

Kotlarsky, Julia and Ilan Oshri. “Social Ties, Knowledge Sharing and Successful Collaboration in Globally Distributed System Development Projects.” European Journal of Information Systems 14 (2005): 37-48. <>

Lindner, James R., Tim H. Murphy and Gary E. Briers. “Handling Nonresponse in Social Science Research.” Journal of Agricultural Education 42.4 (2001): 43-53. <>

Powell, Anne, Gabriele Piccoli, and Blake Ives. “Virtual Teams: A Review of Current Literature and Directions for Future Research.” The DATA BASE for Advances in Information Systems 35.1 (2004): 6-36. <>

Sessa, Valerie I., Michael C. Hansen, Sonya Prestridge, and Michael E. Kossler. Geographically Dispersed Teams: An Annotated Bibliography. Greensboro: Center for Creative Leadership, 2000. <>

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