Generating Theory From Secondary Data: a Variation on Eisenhardt’s Case Study Method.

Susel Arzuaga Palomino, Ann Brown (Editor), Martin Rich (Editor)

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Abstract

The use of secondary data in business studies was generally associated to the field of Economics. More recently, organisational psychologists are entering the field profiting from the access to databases from well-known consultants. This paper is based on an example of a hybrid between both fields in that we use the principles of the event study method -used by Financers- to assess changes in organisational commitment after certain kinds of organisational change.We follow Kathleen Eisenhardt’s case study approach to generate theory from two sets of secondary data. We attempt to build upon subjectivism and objectivism with a research design that has an established protocol at the onset but is then adapted as the research unfolds. This is an engaged research that has emerged from the collaboration between academia and practitioners.The obvious benefits of using secondary data can be overshadowed by its limitations. The present paper will try to show how to work around data that was originally collected for a different purpose and integrate it into a new model with highly reliable constructs; how to minimise the risk of inaccurate interpretations and how broadening the search for data to less conventional sources can enrich business studies.The main purpose of this paper is to illustrate, following the empirical example of a pharmaceutical company, how secondary data can be creatively combined to build theory around the impact of certain kinds of change on organisational commitment. This study seems opportune at a time of shrinking budgets and economic upheaval that has caused a reduction in both the resources needed to collect primary data and the collaborative spirit of companies that are being forced to concentrate their efforts on survival, in many cases at the expense of academic collaborations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Cass Business School City University London UK 16-17 June 2014
EditorsAnn Brown, Martin Rich
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Ltd
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2014
Event13th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies - City University London
Duration: 16 Jun 201417 Jun 2014

Conference

Conference13th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies
CityCity University London
Period16/06/1417/06/14

Keywords

  • secondary data
  • case study
  • mixed methods

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