Article Critique for Research Methods Module Study

Subject: Management
Pages: 10
Words: 2795
Reading time:
10 min
Study level: PhD

A case study of Risk Management in Agile Systems Development

This is an article that was written by Coyle and Conboy (2009) and then published by the National University of Ireland. The study rationale was deemed to be clear as it ascertained the scope to which the practices of risk management are designed into supple development projects. The author aimed at coming up with a superior comprehension regarding the risk-management practices that can be executed. Particularly, the major focus of their study was on the three key building blocks of risk management that encompassed: Identification of risk; risk estimation; and evaluation of risk. Fundamentally, agile methods ought to tailor unadventurous approaches to risk management.

The researchers based their study on the concept of managing risks and prioritizing, which were very essential in risk management practices. Studies in ISD projects also find this approach to be significant. Different authors in risk management studies use different risk management approaches, which can be formal or informal. Despite this, the study emphasized that in risk management, identification of risk, estimation, and evaluation of risk are essential elements applied across different disciplines that had conducted the studies that related to risk management.

The study is unique because it tries to fill the gap of risk management in ISD projects. When this study was conducted, there was no single study done on risk management in ISD projects.

The study used a qualitative approach. This approach was the best because it helps the researchers to obtain familiarity with their area of study. A single case study was used as an approach to analyzing risk identification, management, and evaluation of Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) is a well-known Irish change Management Consultancy firm. The researcher analyzed databasing on three elements of risk management. However, the researcher did not mention the methods they used to analyze data and how they applied them. A sole case study was employed in this research to critique the current echelons of identification of risks, estimation of risks, and assessment of risks in DSDM, an agile methodology that was well-recognized. The author used case studies for easier comparison. The author did not indicate how he dealt with challenges in case studies. This research opted to employ a qualitative approach so as to fully comprehend, agree on and elucidate the risk-management situation that is in existence in supple ISD.

The study grouped the results and findings on three elements of risk management. The authors did not mention the importance of using case studies in risk management for future researches. The paper concentrated on risk management in ISD projects in a narrow way despite its purpose. The two scholars covered the risk-management concept whereby they wanted to find out how DSDM is being utilized to manage risks in ISD projects that are agile. Their critique engrossed decomposing the risk-management key elements that are: identification of risks; risk-estimation; and risk assessment. They affirmed that the introduction of agile methodologies was to combat the most renowned risks that correlated with the failures of ISD projects, like: schedule-pressures; overruns of cost and scope creep. Nonetheless, the research findings illustrated that utilizing DSDM in risk management is not deemed to be inferior when compared to traditional methodologies of managing risks. As a matter of fact, DSDM is regarded as a stronger methodology of managing risks as it is deemed to be a methodology that is formal.

Project Management of Unexpected events

This article was done by Soderholm (2007) and published in the International Journal of Project Management. The study had a purpose of exploring how unexpected events in projects are dealt with. The research objective is clear as the author aimed to investigate how unexpected events are managed in projects. This was achieved by identifying the relationship between a project and the environment. Also, the elemental objective of this study was to contribute to the literature streams in making inquiries between a particular project and its nearby environment. In particular, his research aimed at outlining a number of groupings of unexpected events, which came out in projects as a result of ecological consequences and how we are capable of tackling them.

The author discussed the paper based on the practice perspective. This perspective emphasized identification of actual activities in a project, and the activities for execution of the project. When this perspective is used in a research, project models become secondary. In this study, several scholars have devised a number of research agendas and frameworks which were on the basis of arguments that were similar, and they encompass the following: ANT approach; communities-of-practice approach; acquaintance and erudition; and practicing strategy. For instance, if a practical perception is employed in tackling a project, then it will portray the necessity of highlighting authentic actions, actual processes, and real actions that will be useful in project execution.

Case studies approach was used in this study. The author used four case studies for easier comparison. The author did not indicate how he dealt with the challenges in the case studies. Multiple case studies are hard to handle especially when used by one researcher. Cases were selected based on the type of project and form of organization. The selected cases were employed in elucidating various perspectives of the organization and their main focus was on projects, so as to design as well as deliver their commodities. Thus, in terms of project focus, the research illustrated that all cases are similar but they only differed when it comes to commodities and firms. The criterion of selecting a case was on the basis of the type of the firm as well as the type of the project. To develop the groupings that emerged, this critique intertwined conceptual depictions as well as empirical evidence. The researcher collected data using interviews and documentation. Ten to twenty interviews were conducted in each organization.

The results for dealing with unexpected events are identified as: strategies detachment, innovative actions, project negotiations, and intensive meeting schedules. The results are connected to the theoretical framework of this research. However, the research does not clearly discuss the relationship between the environment and unexpected events in projects. The study is not clear on reliability of multiple case studies used, theoretical framework, and suggestions for future study. The findings by this scholar clearly illustrated that the majority of organizations heavily depend on projects. The agenda of management mainly puts its focus on the environment of the projects as well as the projects. Moreover, the research illustrated that the environment is capable of keying in the kind of project that will be executed via: fine-tuning; re-openings; and revision. Ideally, the critique in this study is useful as it assists us in comprehending the challenges that we can face while managing projects.

Property in Knowledge work: an appropriation-learning Perspective

This article was done by Pinnington, Kamoche and Suseno (2008) and published in the Employee Relations journal in 2008. The authors’ purpose was to understand the competitive and collaborative relations existing between people in the same profession but Working in different organizations contexts. For instance, Pinnington, Kamoche and Suseno (2008) assert that the intention of employment’s milieu is capable of leading us to hypothesize with a number of justifications, such as: the lawyers who toil in partnerships will be able to come up with claims that are stronger when compared to those ones that are in-house, particularly on how they will apposite their work as material goods, encompassing the rights of an individual ownership.

The researchers used the appropriation-Learning (AL) view, which is significant in the studies related to property in work. The theory works well with workers who use knowledge. The study demonstrated this theory by use of lawyers. This makes it hard to generalize the findings of this research to workers and thus, they cannot be generalized as knowledgeable workers.

There exists similar research in the field. However the previous researchers were not conducted systematically. This study is unique because it was conducted systematically based on human resource management literature. This approach was deemed to be the best because it helps the researchers to obtain familiarity with their area of study. Superlatively, their study implies that future research ought to be carried out by use of sub-groups or job-related knowledge that will enable someone to fully comprehend the vibrant of managing knowledge, as well as their constrictions or prospects it can create for the chattels of employees in the organization.

The study was conducted using interviews. The interview was done using forty-two in-house and external lawyers. However, the authors do not justify the use of interviews. The study was in the context of knowledge management in the internalization of legal service. The interview was conducted in two phases. The first phase was done in 2000 by interviewing 21 lawyers in Australian law firms followed by the second phase, which was between 2001 and 2002. Interview questions were semi-structured and each respondent was interviewed in their offices during the second phase and interviewed through phone during the first phase. The authors do not specify how they overcame respondents’ biases during the interview process. The data that was amassed from the Interview was analyzed by replaying tape records and then making notes and corrections.

The research findings showed a difference between workers of the same profession in similar organizations in dissimilar contexts. The study emphasizes the use of AL perspective in the studies regarding workers’ claim to the property at workplace. However, the study is limited to literature justifying this perspective. This study does not justify the use of interviews, and deep support of AL perspective in workers’ claim to property. Ideally, those lawyers that are internal prioritize guarding the acquaintance and wherewithal, and they also endeavor at attaining it via believing in their relationships at work as well as systematizing their knowledge, disseminating their knowledge, and sharing their acquaintances. On the other hand, the external lawyers will also predominantly prioritize sharing their acquaintance, its dissemination, and management, but they do not concentrate much on guarding their finances and acquaintance. Nevertheless, these lawyers predominantly value empowerment and do not concentrate on trust as in-house lawyers do.

Nurses’ Psychosocial Barriers to Suicide Risk Management

This article was authored by Sharon (2011) and published in the Nursing and Research Practice Journal. The study aimed at critiquing psycho-social factors that were capable of limiting management of suicidal risk by desperate patients that were recognized by oncology nurses. The psycho-social factors encompass the following: individual experiences; sentiments; individual judgments; and our morals.

The study was based on a theoretical framework that patients facing threatening illnesses had high chances of committing suicide. Nurses are in charge of managing these suicides, but are sometimes limited with psychosocial factors. The safety of a patient in the hospital is dependent on the nurse because the nurses are capable of identifying the warning signs, scrutinizing the emotional state of a particular patient, providing an affiliation that is therapeutic and taking preventative measures that will thwart their patients from committing suicide.

Previous studies concentrate on the development of therapeutic measures in management of suicidal risks. The author makes his study unique by analyzing psychological barriers in suicidal risk management. The study was also a response to previous researches that had identified high cases of suicide among patients especially cancer patients. On the basis of those previous scholarly works, the author asserts that an intervention that is therapeutic is deemed to be efficient as it is capable of assisting in alleviating the patient’s pain and gloominess and thus reducing the risk of that patient committing suicide.

The research methodology employed the narrative approach. This approach was deemed to be the best because it helps the researchers to obtain familiarity with their area of study. This approach involved the survey of 450 oncology nurses by analyzing their narratives on psychological limitations in suicide risk management. The study utilized the clinical-oncology nurses due to the fact that they mainly handled patients with an escalated risk of committing suicide. Data collection was done using a qualitative questionnaire with 94 items and a suicidal vignette for suicidal patients. The author does not specify the methods used by the experts to demonstrate the reliability of the vignette tool. Questionnaire confidentiality was enhanced by the use of a code. Data were analyzed by content analysis.

The narrative responses were entered verbatim and typed in the word processor program. After the analysis of these responses, six responses were found to be vague. The researcher does not explain the reason that may have led to obtaining vague responses. Narratives’ final decisions were reached after discussions. The author does not explain how this data was verified before the discussion process.

The results obtained identified the psychosocial factors that limit the management of suicidal risks. They include the communication barrier, emotions, unresolved grief, and unsolved conflicts. A number of nurses affirmed that they were objected to respecting the right as well as the free-will of a patient in deciding to commit suicide other than having a disorder that threatened life, and which engrossed affliction, soreness and weariness. Conversely, the findings clearly elucidated that nurses were objected to guarding their patients against any harm. Suicidal patients were not capable of exercising autonomy because their severe ailment not only gave them depression but also undermined their capabilities to have thinking that was regarded as being clear. Therefore, this study was not clear on the theoretical framework, verification of narrative data, and methods for demonstrating the reliability of the questionnaire used.

Project as the Institutional Context for Cultural Managers: A critical Approach

This article was written by Uotila (2011). It was published in 2011 in ENCATC Journal of Cultural Management and Policy. The purpose of the study was to discuss the role of project management from the cultural managers’ viewpoint. This was aimed at the description of new vocabularies for project interpretations to arouse debates on consequences of diverse project ontologies interpretations. The vocabularies are described using narrative approach.

The study was vital to give project management practices new vocabularies. Previous studies have been using similar ontologies and hence limiting innovations in project management. This study was in a position to arouse innovations in project management.

The study theoretical framework is on the basis of the two approaches of interpreting projects. They include normative and critical approaches. These approaches were deemed to be the best because they help the researchers to obtain familiarity with their area of study. The author uses the narrative approach in describing the projects under the critical approach. This is followed by the illustration of common narrative interpretation aspects.

The researcher does not clearly report the methods used in the research. He uses critical approach to achieve the purpose of the study. The researcher employs narrative and normative approaches as a way to interpret projects. The study lacks clarity regarding the participants of the study. There is no clarification of methods to use in data analysis. The author does not give methods for data analysis. In addition, the researcher does not provide methods that he uses to ensure reliability of data collection instruments. The study lacks a clear methodology section making it hard for a different researcher to repeat the study.

If a normative approach is employed to tackle a project, then it will portray the necessity of highlighting authentic actions, actual processes, and real actions that will be useful in project execution. To that effect, the project management models are not regarded as a vital point of research. Though, practitioners may employ the bodies of project management in legitimating their actions or guiding their actions, they cannot utilize it as a starting point to build the research’s ontology. In reality, the cases cannot be presented well in a journal manuscript. As a result, the cases are presented in brief. To develop the groupings that emerged, this critique intertwined conceptual depictions as well as empirical evidence. The cases that were carried out encompassed: delivering of the harbor equipment; delivering of the power plants; and the development of the equipment that will be employed medically in blood testing and critique. The researcher collected data using interviews and documentation. Ten to twenty interviews were conducted in each organization. The author is not specific on the number of interviews conducted. However, the researchers were not clear on number of interviews conducted. The researcher analyzed databasing on three elements of risk management. However, the researcher did not mention the methods they used to analyze data and how they applied them.

The study found that the usage of project management is increasing, especially in cultural management practices. The researcher clearly defines the importance of a narrative approach in interpreting project management practices. The researcher recommends a need for further research on different project management practices because project management requires innovation.


Coyle, S & Conboy K 2009, ‘A case study of risk management in agile systems development’, ECIS, pp. 2567-2578, Web.

Pinnington, A, Kamoche, K & Suseno, Y 2008, ‘Property in knowledge work: an appropriation-learning perspective’, Employee Relations, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 57 – 80.

Sharon, V 2011, ‘Nurses’ Psychosocial Barriers to Suicide Risk Management’, Nursing Research and Practice, vol. 28, no.1, pp. 1- 4.

Soderholm, A 2007, ‘Project Management of Unexpected events’, International Journal of Project Management, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 80-86.

Uotila, P 2011, ‘Project as the Institutional context for Cultural Managers’, ENCATC Journal of Cultrual Management and Policy, vol. 2, no 1, pp. 54- 64.