Using grounded theory for theory building in operations management research:a study on inter-firm relationship governance

Article English OPEN
Binder, Mario J. ; Edwards, John S. (2010)

Purpose – Qualitative theory building approaches, such as grounded theory method (GTM), are still not very widespread and rigorously applied in operations management (OM) research. Yet it is agreed that more systematic observation of current industrial phenomena is necessary to help managers deal with their problems. The purpose of this paper is to provide an example to help guide other researchers on using GTM for theory building in OM research. Design/methodology/approach – A GTM study in the German automotive industry consisting of 31 interviews is followed by a validation stage comprising a survey (110 responses) and a focus group. Findings – The result is an example of conducting GTM research in OM, illustrated by the development of the novel collaborative enterprise governance framework for inter-firm relationship governance in the German automotive industry. Research limitations/implications – GTM is appropriate for qualitative theory building research, but the resultant theories need further testing. Research is necessary to identify the transferability of the collaborative enterprise governance concept to other industries than automotive, to other organisational areas than R&D and to product and service settings that are less complex and innovative. Practical implications – The paper helps researchers make more informed use of GTM when engaging in qualitative theory building research in OM. Originality/value – There is a lack of explicit and well-informed use of GTM in OM research because of poor understanding. This paper addresses this deficiency. The collaborative enterprise governance framework is a significant contribution in an area of growing importance within OM.
  • References (58)
    58 references, page 1 of 6

    Auerbach, C.F. and Silverstein, L.B. (2003), Qualitative Data: An Introduction to Coding and Analysis, New York University Press, New York.

    Bauer, M.W. (2000), “Classical content analysis: a review”, in Bauer, M.W. and Gaskell, G. (Eds.), Qualitative Researching with Text, Image and Sound: A Practical Handbook, 3rd ed., Sage, London, pp. 131-151.

    Barnes, D. (2001), “Research methods for the empirical investigation of the process of formation of operations strategy”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 21, No. 8, pp. 1076-1096.

    Benbasat, I., Goldstein, D.K. and Mead, M. (1987), “The case research strategy in studies of information systems”, MIS Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 369-386.

    Binder, M. and Clegg, B.T. (2007), “Designing and managing collaborative enterprises in the automotive industry”, International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 135-152.

    Binder, M., Gust, P. and Clegg, B.T. (2008), “The importance of collaborative frontloading in automotive supply networks”, Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 315-331.

    Bititci, U.S., Martinez, V., Albores, P. and Mendibil, K. (2003), “Creating and sustaining competitive advantage in collaborative systems: the what and the how”, Production Planning & Control, Vol. 14, No. 5, pp. 410-424.

    Bryant, A. (2002). "Re-grounding grounded theory," JITTA, the Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 25-42.

    Burgess, K., Singh, P.J. and Koroglu, R. (2006), “Supply chain management: a structured literature review and implications for future research”, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 26, No. 7, pp. 703-729.

    Chen, I.J. and Paulraj, A. (2004), “Understanding supply chain management: critical research and a theoretical framework”, International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 131-163.

  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark