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Title: Empirical production management enquiry as an expatriate researcher

Authors: Horacio Soriano-Meier; Ross Thompson; Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes

Addresses: Northampton Business School, The University of Northampton, Park Campus, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK ' Northampton Business School, The University of Northampton, Park Campus, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK ' School of Technology, The University of Derby, Markeaton Street Campus, Derby, DE22 3AW, UK

Abstract: This paper explores the myriad methodological, practical and cultural challenges experienced by foreign researchers when conducting empirical management research overseas. It also provides a methodological solution to address many of the issues in the form of a research instrument which enables systematic and rigorous data collection via a combination of face-to-face interviews and survey, together with general observation. The paper builds upon an extensive study which deployed two survey instruments to obtain key information from senior and middle level managers respectively within the UK tableware industry. The survey was complemented with semi-structured interviews and observational intervention via random plant visits. This methodology generated significant and extensive data sets, this paper reflects upon the issues and lessons learnt. The use of a mixed methodology combining survey, interview and observational techniques, provided an enriched qualitative dimension to empirical research that could not have been obtained by using a survey alone. The proposed methodology has wide application and can be deployed beneficially by expatriate researchers.

Keywords: empirical management research; expatriate researchers; lean manufacturing; production management; foreign researchers; research overseas; UK tableware industry; United Kingdom; surveys; interviews; observational techniques.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIOME.2012.051602

International Journal of Information and Operations Management Education, 2012 Vol.5 No.1, pp.48 - 64

Available online: 21 Jan 2013 *

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