South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, Vol 12, No 1 (2009)

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Theory building trends in international management research: an archival review of preferred methods

Drikus Kriek, David Beaty, Stella Nkomo


A number of distinguished scholars believe that for theory development to occur within a field, qualitative research must precede quantitative research in order for the field to progress toward maturity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the international management literature from 1991-2007 to ascertain current levels of use of qualitative, quantitative, conceptual and joint (quantitative and qualitative) research methods in the field.  Results indicate scholars employ quantitative methods more than qualitative methods.  The implications of these findings for future theory development and the generation of context relevant international management knowledge are discussed.

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EISSN 2222-3436 (Online)