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Paper info: Collecting rich qualitative data on business networks and relationships in Eastern European countries: Mission impossible?

Title


Collecting rich qualitative data on business networks and relationships in Eastern European countries: Mission impossible?

Authors


Maria Ivanova-Gongne, Nikolina Koporcic and Olga Dziubaniuk

Place of Publication



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The paper was published at the 32nd IMP-conference in Poznan, Poland in 2016.

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Abstract


While collection of quantitative data through surveys is straightforward and does not require large input and time investment from respondents, collecting qualitative data may impose several barriers for researchers. This is especially relevant in business-to-business market context, where the respondents are more reluctant to invest their time in research matters. Further challenges may come into play when collection of data takes place in post-communist, developing countries, where the level of collaboration between research and business community, and especially trust towards researchers is lower than in developed countries. After the data has been collected, trustworthiness should be established by applying specific criteria (e.g. Lincoln and Guba, 1985, 1986). As these criteria were developed as a result of Western-based research, they may disregard the specifics of conducting research in Easter European countries. Therefore, there is a need to investigate possible barriers that could inhibit their application, in order to ensure that these criteria will enable reaching similar results in an Eastern European context. The aim of this paper is to investigate methodological challenges of collecting rich qualitative data on business relationships and networking in post-communist countries. The countries in focus are Russia and Croatia. In order to reach our aims we critically reflect on personal experiences and consult with literature on conducting research in the aforementioned countries. The contribution of the paper lies in implications on methodological specifics of conducting qualitative research on business relationships and networks in Eastern European countries.