Doctor of Business Administration (DBA): Chapter 9 (Processing and Coding Qualitative), and another Journal (Digitalization)

As I am reading through the different journals on digitalization on retailers, I am thinking whether I should rather research something along the lines of search engine marketing for retailers or the importance of website link building for retailers. I am at two minds whether something like that would be more interesting, rather than on the topic of digitalization of retailers. Obviously, I would stick to a quantitative and positivist mindset, as I am would like to research/extract my own data. This would most likely come from grounded theory.

I am also going to research more on the Heriot-Watt Discovery journal platform on those topics, as that might give me a better idea of whether I should stick with this research or not.

DBA: Chapter 9 (Processing and Coding Qualitative)

Today’s chapter covered what needs to be done once qualitative data has been collected. It discusses the different ways to process and transcribe the data. Also how to store the data and what ethical issues could arise, as well as how to code the data.

It also focused on the coding categories, which can be categorized into four main types.

  • Elemental coding is the initial approach to data coding. Elemental coding involves generally very straightforward structural codes that are question-based and serve the purpose of labelling and indexing your material. Particularly useful for large data sets.
  • Affective coding is when codes are created that reflect the subjective experiences of research participants, including feelings, opinions and values.
  • Procedural coding is when you adopt a set of pre-established systems, which can include the Outline of Cultural Materials (OCM) – a systematic coding system for ethnographic research; protocol coding – the use of pre-established or standardized coding systems; causal coding – the location and extraction of causal relationships from the data; or taxonomic coding – another ethnographic method for establishing the cultural knowledge held by people that are used to organize behaviour and interpret experiences.
  • Axial coding is where the researcher has an initial set of codes and undertakes to code based on these predetermined codes.

Key Takeaways

  • Transcription is a potentially ‘painful’ process. Don’t look for shortcuts. You won’t find them.
  • Coding helps you understand the data before you undertake any detailed analysis.
  • Codes and categories become the building blocks for subsequent analysis.
  • The best coding system is not the one with the most codes in it. You must find a balance between complexity and novelty of ideas.

Journal Review: Linking digitalization and human capital to shape supply chain integration in omni-channel retailing

The latest DBA journal review for my doctoral thesis was on ‘Linking digitalization and human capital to shape supply chain integration in omnichannel retailing.

The main points of the article are as follows:

  • Digitalization is a long term investment for retailers and they need to accept those challenges. However, it yields long term benefits.
  • Human capital is an important factor when it comes to implementing digitalization for retailers.
  • Retailers need to focus on digital technologies internally first, to get faster returns.
  • Employees have greater impact on digitalization than managers, as they are far more exposed to the new technologies.
  • Studies have revealed that digitalization has positive effects and brings a competitive edge to retailers.
  • Digitalization drives productivity through key organizational and financial processes.
  • There are three pillars to digitizing an organsation: technology, people and processes. 
  • Digitalization also establishes consistency in customer service.
  • Previous research suggests that Human Capital is the key needed to support the use of digitalization in an organization.
  • People are key to the success of digitalization, as they go hand in hand. Also, digitalization depends very much on the skillset of the employees, to bridge the gap in knowledge of technology use if firms were to catch up in the digitalization race.
  • In the retail industry, digital technologies are reshaping the business processes and operations.
  • Retailers need to master new skills in order to stay competitive both online and offline, and widen their knowledge digitally to enhance their services.
  • Human factors cannot be ignored, as they are the bearers of knowledge. It supports tools and practices in order to implement new innovative inititatives in a firm.
  • Top management is a critical enabler of digitalization initiatives and the use of digital technology. These are the type of people who are in key roles to push through the use of technology in an organization and ensure collaboration between people and the digitalization processes.
  • Digital technologies enable employees to work and collaborate across the different channels within a business.
  • Retailers can also create less barriers which improves knowledge transferring between different units.
  • Digital innovation depends on individuals.
  • Employees play a critical role in digital transformation.
  • Digitalization has the greatest effect on internal integration.
  • Employees have a greater effect on digitalization than managers, while it has a strong effect on internal and customer integration.

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