Extreme-Team Research: An Approach to Overcoming Research Obstacles

3729394795_d267b3ef22_zResearching the performance and management of extreme teams, which work in unconventional environments on high-risk tasks, presents a number of unique challenges to researchers, including limitations on data collection and sample sizes. In a new article published in Journal of Managemententitled “An Approach for Conducting Actionable Research with Extreme Teams,” authors Suzanne T. Bell, David M. Fisher, Shanique G. Brown, and Kristin E. Mann set out to develop a research approach that addresses the unique challenges of extreme-team research and allows extreme-team research to be applied broadly across more traditional teams. The abstract for the paper:

Extreme teams complete their tasks in unconventional performance environments and have serious consequences associated with failure. Examples include disaster relief teams, special operations teams, and astronaut crews. The unconventional performance environments within which these teams operate require researchers to carefully consider the context during the research process. These environments may also create formidable challenges to the research process, including constraining data collection and sample sizes. Given the serious consequences associated with failure, however, the challenges must be navigated so that the management of extreme teams can be evidence based. We present an approach for conducting actionable Current Issue Coverresearch on extreme teams. Our approach is an extension of mixed-methods research that is particularly well suited for emphasizing context. The approach guides researchers on how to integrate the local context into the research process, which allows for actionable recommendations. At the same time, our approach applies an intentionally broad framework for organizing context, which can serve as a mechanism through which the results of research on extreme teams can be meaningfully accumulated and integrated across teams. Finally, our approach and description of steps address the unique challenges common in extreme-team research. While developed with extreme teams in mind, we view our general approach as applicable to more traditional teams when the features of the context that impinge on team functioning are not adequately represented by typical descriptions of context in the literature and the goal is actionable research for the teams in question.

You can read “An Approach for Conducting Actionable Research with Extreme Teams” from Journal of Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to keep current on all of the latest research from Journal of ManagementClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Shuttle launch image attributed to The U.S. Army (CC)

Exploring Mixed Methods in Organizational Sciences

work-4-680529-m Organizational Research Methods invites papers for a Feature Topic on Mixed Methods in the Organizational Sciences. Guest editors for this feature topic are Jose F. Molina-Azorin, Donald Bergh, Kevin Corley, and David Ketchen.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

– Philosophy of science issues related to mixed methods research

– Explanations of how mixed methods can help to carry out context specific research.

– Evaluations of how mixed methods can enhance organizational research by carrying out multilevel studies and bridging macro and micro inquiry

ORM_72ppiRGB_150pixW– Guidance on how mixed methods can simultaneously examine outcomes and process issues.

– Analysis of the implications and opportunities of mixed methods to bridge the science practice gap, emphasizing the relevance of mixed methods studies to practice.

– Development and validation of new measures using a mixed methods approach.

– Quality issues in mixed methods in organizational sciences.

Organizational Research Methods  welcomes empirical, conceptual, methodological and literature review papers.  The deadline to submit a 5 – 7 page proposal is June 30, 2014. All those interested are encouraged to read more by clicking here.

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Quantitative and Qualitative: An Interactive Framework

HRDR_72ppiRGB_150pixWThe quantitative-qualitative debate has been revisited countless times, but a new article in Human Resource Development Review explains that the two approaches have more in common than you might think–and advocates the need for more methodological diversity in social science research. John H. Hitchcock of Ohio Univerty, Athens, and Isadore Newman of Florida International University published “Applying an Interactive Quantitative-Qualitative Framework: How Identifying Common Intent Can Enhance Inquiry” on October 17, 2012 in the OnlineFirst section of HRDR. Dr. Hitchcock and Dr. Newman kindly provided these responses about their article.

What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

We were inspired to pursue this topic by our commitment to teaching research.  It seemed obvious to us that good research is good research, and there is an overarching commonality that is inherent in all good research, and that is its trustworthiness (credibility, transparency) and its replicability. This is generally true for both qualitative and quantitative paradigms.  We feel it is important for people doing research to be aware of this and to consider research as an interactive continuum with feedback.

How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

We are hoping to influence the teaching of research.  We believe this conceptualization of research as a holistic interactive process is much more productive and useful than a dichotomous – qualitative-quantitative perspective.

John H. Hitchcock is an associate professor of education research and program evaluation in the Patton College of Education and Human Services at Ohio University. He has coauthored more than 20 scholarly publications and was a coprincipal investigator of two federally funded randomized controlled trials. His primary interests are in mixed-methods research, program evaluation, culturally relevant intervention and assessment, and special education research.

Isadore Newman is the visiting scholar for the College of Education at Florida International University and he is a distinguished professor emeritus at the University of Akron. He has authored or coauthored more than 125 referred articles, more than 300 referred presentations, and approximately 17 books, chapters, and monographs. He was also the principal evaluator on millions of dollars in federal and state grants and was one of the founding editors of the Midwestern Educational Research Journal, editor of the Ohio Journal of Science, and was editor of Multiple Linear Regression Viewpoints Journal for 19 years.

Climate Change: Is It Too Late?

Editor’s note: Dr. Thomas Sterner, Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Gothenburg and Visiting Chief Economist at the Environmental Defense Fund, also co-authored the op-ed “Rio Isn’t All Lost” on June 18 in The New York Times, focusing on the “seeds of an energy revolution” that may help us solve the climate crisis.


Even before the Rio+20 Earth Summit ended on Friday, critics had deemed it a failure, calling it “too little, too late.” But a New York Times op-ed coauthored by top environmental leaders offers a different perspective:

Rio+20 is a catalyst. It is the starting point for change, not the finish line. It is a call to action for all of us who now realize that we can’t just rely on government negotiators or verbose and hyper-compromised documents to save our planet.

Today, we present a selection of articles offering good reasons to answer that call, along with strategies for moving forward in the race against climate change.

Mark C. J. Stoddart of the Memorial University of Newfoundland, D. B. Tindall of the University of British Columbia, and Kelly L. Greenfield of the Memorial University of Newfoundland published “‘Governments Have the Power’? Interpretations of Climate Change Responsibility and Solutions Among Canadian Environmentalists” in the March 2012 issue of Organization & Environment.

Cynthia E. Clark and Elise Perrault Crawford, both of Bentley University, published “Influencing Climate Change Policy: The Effect of Shareholder Pressure and Firm Environmental Performance” in the March 2012 issue of Business & Society.

Thomas Sterner of the University of Gothenburg, Maria Damon of New York University, Gunnar Köhlin of the University of Gothenburg, and Martine Visser of the University of Cape Town published “Capacity Building to Deal With Climate Challenges Today and in the Future” in the March 2012 issue of The Journal of Environment & Development.

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