Archival research is a much under-rated and under-utilized method of research in management studies. Yet multi-disciplinary undertakings being observed in recent times, such as in knowledge management (KM) systems, business history and social network studies, among others, indicate that there is a lot of potential to be explored. The purpose of this paper is to highlight this point and make a case for its inclusion in the researcher’s toolkit in the future.
The authors follow a two-stage method here: the first stage being an improvised process to benchmark articles for this review; while the second stage involves content analysis and synthesis of the same.
The authors have dealt with the intricacies of the archival research methodology by minutely examining the fieldwork steps, proxies generation, other related processes of triangulation, etc. With the discussion on “multi-disciplinary undertakings,” the authors offer not only a selective bibliography of works that have effectively harvested this family of methods, but also critique the nuances involved. Finally, coming into more contemporary concerns and developments, the authors undertake an in-depth look at technological applications in the domain of KM, in case study mode. Methodological richness leads to substantive granularity. As such, the authors argue that archival methods contribute to the robustness, contextuality and holism of any research endeavor, more so in the study of business and organizations.
This paper is based on the literature review.
This paper makes a case for archival method’s contribution toward the robustness, contextuality and holism of any research endeavor, more so in the study of business and organizations.
This paper re-positions the method of archival research as a viable and sophisticated tool for researchers to employ effectively in singular or mixed method studies.