Case Study Method- E-Commerce Risk Alibaba Case Study

3.1  Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the research method that will be used to address the research questions. First, the research explored different theories from previous research. Different research methods were discussed and also justified the adoption of various studies. Additionally, this chapter discussed different research strategies used in qualitative research. Data collection methods were also discussed in detail.
This study used secondary data from previous data (Pelău & Bena, 2018; Yuanyuan & Ying, 2015; Aziz, 2016; Mehta, Singh, & Godhakar, 2011).

3.2. Research Methods

This research used document analysis method. The method include systematic review and evaluation of documents from the internet. According to Bowen, (2009), document analysis use organizational and institutional documents to gather sufficient details about a subject. This study typically analyzed previous literature and incorporated the information into the report. It is certain that previous literature provides a good source of data that can be used by researchers on description and analysis of data (Bowen, 2009).
Document analysis used was a combination with other qualitative research methods used for triangulation. It combined methodologies used in various literature to study the same phenomenon. The qualitative research was used to draw evidence from multiple sources of evidence, i.e. seek convergence and corroboration through use of different data methods and sources. Through this sources, the research attempted to provide a confluence of evidence that shows  credibility.
The method involved superficial examination, reading and interpretation. The interactive process involved combination of content analysis of elements and thematic analysis. Content analysis involved organization of information into categories related to the research question. The research ensures that the documents reviewed provide a crude overall picture of materials being reviewed. Rather, it provides a fast method of reviewing literature to provide relevant texts and data identified.
Thematic analysis was used to analyze and form a pattern recognition with the emerging themes. Even though documents can be a rich source of data, the documents were carefully reviewed. Bowen, (2009) emphasized on the importance establishing meaning of the document and its contribution to the subject matter. Relevance of the document was obtained by carefully reviewing the documents. The process was done through having a comprehensive or selective assessment of the documents.
Secondary research technique was employed to collect data from Alibaba Group. Alibaba Group Company provided a unique method of solving most of the risks. Additionally, Alibaba has showed a fast growing pace, currently emerging as the highest in terms of net worth. (Forbes, 2020). According to Forbes, (2020), Alibaba generates a net profit more than Amazon. Alibaba also operates its business with much less overhead than Amazon, making it much profitable than Amazon. The author also notes that Alibaba is expected to continue outperformning Amazon through its lighter supporting infrastructure and less capital intensive, and the fact that Amazon is only relying on 71% online retail. Compared to Amazon, Alibaba relies 87% of its revenues on e-commerce operations. These factors influences us to use Alibaba as the main case study company.
The secondary method of data collection was use of internet source to collect information about the company. The method was convenient since the data is available. Alibaba Group is a publicly traded company thus required to announce their financial information. Additionally, there are many sources of company information on the internet since the company is internationally famous. There are many interviews conducted by various news companies, numerous analysis from financial analysists and journal articles about the company. Since the company is still increasing its coverage into many countries, current information was available readily.
Case study method was useful in understanding the subject study. Here, the subject of study was based on risk a company such as Alibaba face and how they are able to overcome them and have a competitive advantage. The case study system is helpful in studying the phenomenon with multiple variables. Furthermore, using the leading e-commerce website to study the risks and strategies used will provide important recommendations for other companies in the same field.
This study used a correlative with description and explanation as a case study method. For theory testing and development, the case study problem was explored further and interpreted. Therefore, the research intends to study the process of decision making for e-commerce risks. In other words, categorizing and characterizing basic IT risk management and providing proper countermeasures for the risks are detailed and explained in this study. It was helpful to use a qualitative method to provide a suitable suggestion for recommended countermeasures of solving e-commerce risks.
Deduction mainly uses a quantitative research method. However, it is not absolute. Theories and hypotheses are tested by data and samples and used in deductive reasoning. This certainly becomes a target to conclude. Figure 1 explains the structure of the deduction method.

3.4. Research Process

After identification of the research problem, objectives, and formulation of research questions, a literature review was conducted to identify possible countermeasures of by the management and behavioral perspective. As suggested by Bowen, (2009), documents analyzed would provide ethnographic case study to explore beliefs, context factors and policies implemented in a company such as Alibaba. Since qualitative method required a robust data collection methods and research procedure, detailed information about how the study was designed and conducted, a research method was provided in this research method. The main rationale behind using document analysis method in this research depended on its data triangulation, the usefulness of information provided by journals and news about company risks and how they were countermeasures and its usefulness as a stand alone method for the qualitative research.
The quantitative research methodology was used in the research to identify and explore the characteristics of a phenomenon. It was also used to explore the possible relationships among phenomena. However, both qualitative and quantitative methods have two things in common; they focus on real-world phenomena and they are used research to research the phenomenon in all complexities (Daniel, 2016).
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