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5.2 ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS, Business and Management.


A few years ago, a group of Operations Management scholars (MacCarthy et al. 2013) authored a thought-provoking paper entitled ‘The same old methodologies? Perspectives on OM research in the post-lean age’. Noting that the OM field is, by its very nature, close to practice and that the world is changing economically, technologically, politically and socially, they follow up with a pointed question (934): ‘Are our OM research methods fit for purpose for the new age?’ Amongst their many interesting views and opinions, they conclude that the OM profession must not make assertions regarding the supremacy of qualitative empirical studies over quantitative ones, and vice versa (our italics). Instead, they affirm that ‘…a rich diversity of methods is available and this diversity is beneficial and should persist’ (951). It should be noted that past authors have previously commented on the merits and deficiencies of both quantitative and qualitative research approaches (e.g. Boyer and Swink 2008; Childe 2011).


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