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Slide 3.

Critically
reviewing the
literature

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.2

Reasons for reviewing the literature

• To conduct a ‘preliminary’ search of


existing material
• To organise valuable ideas and
findings
• To identify other research that may be
in progress
• To generate research ideas
• To develop a critical perspective

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.3

The literature review process

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.4

Types of critical review


• Integrative review – critiques and synthesises all
literature on topic
• Historical review – examines evolution of
research on topic
• Theoretical review – to identify lack of theories
• Methodological review – focuses on research
methodologies
• Systematic review – comprehensive review to
answer RQ

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.5

The Critical Review (1)

Approaches used
Deductive -
Develops a conceptual framework from the
literature which is then tested using the data
Inductive -
Explores the data to develop theories which are
then tested against the literature

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.6

The Critical Review (2)


Key purposes

• Refine research questions and objectives


• To discover recommendations for further
research
• To avoid repeating work already undertaken
• To provide insights into strategies and
techniques appropriate to your research
objectives

Based on Gall et al. (2006)


Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.7

Adopting a critical perspective (1)

Skills for effective reading

• Previewing – consideration of literature


beforehand
• Annotating – dialogue with self, author &
issues
• Summarising – state in own words
• Comparing and contrasting

Harvard College Library (2006)


Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.8

Adopting a critical perspective (2)

The most important skills are

• The capacity to evaluate what you


read
• The capacity to relate what you read
to other information

Wallace and Wray (2006)

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.9

What to critic in literature


review
• Critic of rhetoric – critic use of language
• Critic of tradition – questioning
conventional wisdom
• Critic of authority – questioning the
dominant view
• Critic of objectivity – questioning role of
ethics – business research is not value-free

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.10

Content of the critical review

You will need to

• Include key academic theories


• Demonstrate current knowledge of the
area
• Use clear referencing for the reader to
find the original cited publications
• Acknowledge the research of others

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.11

The key to a critical literature review

• Demonstrate that you have read, understood


and evaluated your material
• Link the different ideas to form a cohesive
and coherent argument
• Make clear connections to your research
objectives and the subsequent empirical
material

Saunders et al. (2016)

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.12

Literature Sources

• Journal articles (referred, non-referred &


professional)
• Trade journals & magazines
• Books
• Newspapers
• Conference proceedings
• Reports
• Theses

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.13

The literature search strategy (1)


Write down

• Parameters of your search (e.g. language, topic


area, sector, geography, duration)
• Key words and search terms to be used
• Databases and search engines to be used
• Criteria for selection of relevant and useful
studies
And
Discuss these with a tutor (if possible)

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.14

Conducting a literature
search
•Simple search
•Advanced search – use of
filters and several search
terms

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.15

Online Resources
• Google Scholar - http://scholar.google.com/ - accessible from
anywhere
• www.emeraldinsight.com – accessible from ZCAS intranet
• E-books - www.pdfdrive.net; http://www.bookfi.net/ -
accessible from anywhere
• E-Learning Portal – http://zcas.ac.zm/elearning/?redirect=0
• UoG students - https://orca.gre.ac.uk/cas/login?service=https
%3A%2F%2Fportal.gre.ac.uk%2Fc%2Fportal%2Flogin

15

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.16

Evaluating the literature

• Define the scope of your


review
• Assess relevance and value
• Assess sufficiency

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.17

Recording the literature

• Bibliographic details
• Brief summary
• Supplementary information

Saunders et al. (2009)

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.18

Plagiarism
Four common forms

• Stealing material from another source


• Submitting material written by another
• Copying material without quotation
marks
• Paraphrasing material without
documentation

Adapted from Park (2003), cited in Easterby-


Smith et al. (2008)
Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.19

Summary

The critical literature review

• Sets the research in context


• Leads the reader into later sections of
the report
• Begins at a general level and narrows to
specific topics

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009
Slide 3.20

Summary

A literature search requires

• Three main categories of sources


• Clearly defined research questions and
objectives
• Defined parameters

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, © Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill 2009