2013-Emma Bell

The globalisation of management research methods

Prof Emma Bell, Open University (previously Keele University)

Prof Nivedita Kothiyal, University of York (previously Institute of Rural Management Anand)


This project explores the globalisation of methodologies and methods in management research, a phenomenon which we suggest represents an attempt to universalise management knowledge through the worldwide diffusion of methodological principles and methods developed in the modern Anglo-American context.  Management research methods have been transformed into general standards and applied to management researchers in all parts of the world through the practice of training management researchers from non-Western contexts in Anglo-American universities and the publication of Anglo-American dominated journals and methodology textbooks internationally.  However, the globalisation of management research methods is based on the diffusion of values and practices that are based on positivist and colonialist assumptions.  It thus represents a process of cultural convergence that overlooks the importance of situated context in generating ideographic knowledge with distinctive substance.  Through in-depth, qualitative investigation into the experiences of management researchers in India, this project: a) enables understanding of the process whereby global methodological norms and values are acquired and reinforced; b) explores problems and difficulties encountered in applying globalised methods in the Indian context; c) considers alternatives to globalised management research methods, based on cultural flexibility, reciprocity and trust; and d) create spaces for  self-reflexivity.