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"Going to market": Changing patterns in the organisation and character of process research

By Ewan Ferlie and Terry McNulty


This paper explores a meta level question in process research: the implications of the move to a more market based mode of research now evident for the production of process knowledge. It first of all examines the implications for the changing organisation of process research. For example, there has been the emergence of a group of contract process researchers. These researchers may also form alliances with researchers from other disciplines within multidisciplinary teams. Second, it examines implications for the changing character of process knowledge in relation to criteria of internal and external validity. Different effects are evident at different stages at the research cycle, but it is argued that there is no inherent threat to concepts of validity. These trends are exemplified by a project on which the authors are currently engaged. The article concludes with a discussion about the possible future for process research.Academic vs. contract research marketisation volidity multidisciplinary teams

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