MIS40910 – Skills for Business Enquiry – Research Ethics

1.  March, James G. (1991). Exploration and exploitation in organizational learning. Organization Science, 2(1), 71–87.

1.March1991-Exploration & Exploitation

2.  Lazarsfeld, Paul F. (1935). The Art of Asking WHY in Marketing Research: Three Principles Underlying the Formulation of Questionnaires. National Marketing Review, 1(1), 26-38.

2.Lazarsfeld1935-The Art of Asking Why

1.  March, James G. (1991). Exploration and exploitation in organizational learning. Organization Science, 2(1), 71–87.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
So goes the famous “Think different” Apple advertising campaign from1997. Coming just six years after March’s paper we can perhaps speculate that it directly influenced it. The Soul of a New Machine (which we are currently studying in the Managing Systems Development module) was released 10 years previous to this paper and tells the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize winning story of hiring recent college graduates and encouraging them to work harder and faster on complex and difficult projects, exploiting the youngsters’ ignorance of normal procedures and design concepts. How influential do we think this might have been in March’s exploration of this concept?

2.  Lazarsfeld, Paul F. (1935). The Art of Asking WHY in Marketing Research: Three Principles Underlying the Formulation of Questionnaires. National Marketing Review

Market research via questionnaire by definition is a casual research method i.e. why did I buy this brand of coffee? As Lazarsfeld points out through the paper how you ask the why is critically important on the respondent will perceive they should answer the question. The former infers to the method of evidence gathering a level of bias that needs to be corrected for if the research is too be considered independent and reliable. The lather points out the human component of do people actually act more like politicians than they would like to admit in giving answers of opinion. The paper does not necessarily address the art of asking why but does make a conscious effort to highlight the pitfalls of asking the wrong why.
Are questionnaires a viable evidence gathering tool for opinion base research? Is there built-in bias in the question construct stage to consider it invalid?

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