Researchers such 60 as clemen 1999 perceived that

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Unformatted text preview: 1983; Wicks Kelly and Philippatos, 1982; Bavishi, 1981; Oblak and Helm, 1980 and Stonehill and Nathanson, 1968). Researchers such 60 as Clemen (1999) perceived that through using survey-based research methods these studies had overlooked many interesting issues. For example, they had not indicated why decision analysis was used in some organisations but not others nor had they provided an explanation of why companies endorsed the use of certain techniques and failed to implement others (Clemen, 1999). It can be argued that the failure of such studies to examine these issues had contributed to the division between behavioural decision theorists and decision analysts outlined in Section 2.4 of Chapter 2. Therefore, qualitative methods were chosen to build a picture of decision analysis use in upstream organisations. In using such an approach the researcher aimed to investigate the relationship between normative decision analysis models and behavioural decision theory descriptions. The next step involved deciding which companies would comprise the population for the current study. Limited resources had already dictated that the research had to be constrained to oil companies who had offices in the U.K.. A list of all the operators active in the U.K. was obtained via UKOOA (United Kingdom Offshore Operators Association). These thirty-one companies then constituted the population for the research study. Following this, the next decision was which qualitative instrument, or combination of instruments, to use. Methods such as case study research and participant observation were clearly impractical with such a large number of companies within a relatively short and finite time-period. Acknowledging that the companies in the sample were all competitors, and that the issues that would be under discussion are commercially sensitive multi-company focus group discussions were also omitted from consideration. Intra-company focus groups were considered and rejected since it was felt that this would prohibit a frank expression of attitudes and experiences and become an exercise in reporting the formal organisational perspective. This process of elimination identified a semi-structured style of interviewing with several respondents in each company to be a useful instrument to employ in this research. Using this technique, a set of themes and topics is defined to form questions in the course of conversation. This strategy, it is argued in the qualitative methods literature, gives informants an opportunity to develop their answers and allows the researcher the freedom to follow up ideas, probe responses and investigate motives 61 and feelings (for example, Okley, 1994; Bryman, 1989). It also allows the researcher to be sensitive to the participants’ understanding of the language and concepts under investigation. In exploring the investment appraisal decision process, the interviews focussed on four core areas. These were firstly, decision analysis techniques that were used and why; secondly, how the tools were used; thirdly, the integration of the results from the techniques into the whole i...
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This document was uploaded on 03/30/2014.

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