‘Ready to complete the survey on Facebook’: Web 2.0 as a research tool in business studies

Aleix Gregori

Rovira i Virgili University

Fabiola Baltar

University of Mar del Plata

Introduction

In many areas of social science research, access to the object of study is still a major concern for researchers. There are topics that have been showing operative limitations because of the characteristics of the population, its localisation and the level of personal commitment required to participate in the study. Specifically, in the business research field, ‘researchers are frequently confronted by the need to collect substantial quantities of empirical data, often from a reluctant population’ (Newby et al. 2003, p. 1). Although many authors have discussed the importance of methodological issues concerned with the data collection process to study small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (Hansen et al. 1983; Alpar & Spitzer 1989; Simsek & Veiga 2001; Cycyota & Harrison 2006; Baruch & Holtom 2008; Bavdaz et al. 2009), there has not been substantial advance in the application of new technologies, specifically the Web 2.0 frame, to reach and research entrepreneurs in small firms. Thus, we formulate the following exploratory questions: (a) ‘Is it possible to integrate Web 2.0 technology as a research tool to improve the data collection process in the small business research field?’ and (b) ‘Which are the main attributes of those technologies that favour the involvement of entrepreneurs in business surveys?’