On SAGE Insight: Big Data Methods and the Potential for Impacting Organizational Science

Article title: Big Data Methods – Leveraging Modern Data Analytic Techniques to Build Organizational Science

From Organizational Research Methods

As quantitatively minded scientist-practitioners, organizational scientists are ideally situated to help drive the questions and analytics behind the big data phenomenon. Advances in data science, such as data mining, data visualization, and machine learning, are extremely well-suited to address numerous questions in the organizational sciences given the explosion of available data. Despite the opportunities, few scholars in this field have discussed the specific ways in which the lens of this science should be brought to bear on the topic of big data and big data’s reciprocal impact on this science. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the big data phenomenon and its potential for impacting organizational science in both positive and negative ways. The era of big data has arrived. The question is how we should respond. Big data are not a magical panacea. There are shortcomings to be acknowledged and caution to be exercised. But there is also a tremendous amount of opportunity to be realized.

Abstract

Advances in data science, such as data mining, data visualization, and machine learning, are extremely well-suited to address numerous questions in the organizational sciences given the explosion of available data. Despite these opportunities, few scholars in our field have discussed the specific ways in which the lens of our science should be brought to bear on the topic of big data and big data’s reciprocal impact on our science. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the big data phenomenon and its potential for impacting organizational science in both positive and negative ways. We identifying the biggest opportunities afforded by big data along with the biggest obstacles, and we discuss specifically how we think our methods will be most impacted by the data analytics movement. We also provide a list of resources to help interested readers incorporate big data methods into their existing research. Our hope is that we stimulate interest in big data, motivate future research using big data sources, and encourage the application of associated data science techniques more broadly in the organizational sciences.

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Article details
Big Data Methods – Leveraging Modern Data Analytic Techniques to Build Organizational Science
Organizational Research Methods
DOI: 10.1177/1094428116677299
First Published November 16, 2016

 

     
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