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           Grounded theory has relatively received little attention in ASEAN research. In the wake of early grounded theory work, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University is the front-runner to conduct a large scale survey on a face-to-face basis between the Buddhist monks and ASEAN community stakeholders from Thailand and CLMV countries. The investigation through 35 practices (case studies) aim to look at ideas within the sufficiency economy philosophy context, the most influential context of living, learning and practicing, which are strongly held by ASEAN people. In other word, it poses a challenge to locate research within wider social processes of ASEAN integration.

          A process of conceptualization involves a wide platform of research methodologies including grounded theory and case studies. Grounded theory involves a series of data collection including documentary survey, field survey, focus group, in-depth interview and knowledge management. ASEAN integration has fueled the development of more proactive approaches, i.e., websitized debate and philosophical discourse of experience in order to help philosophy become more practical and effective. While websitized debate offers an opportunities for creativities, philosophical discourse of experience is seen to facilitate the organizational change as it provides the means to move gradually from one interpretation to another. A more proactive approaches reflect the organizational culture of the grounded theory which depends on individual autonomy and resulting in creativity rather than on standardized procedures. Different concepts are gradually developed and investigated repeatedly until one clear model emerges.

          A closer attention needs to be paid to 4 biggest challenges of grounded theory: 1) Knowledge must be obtained through fieldworks but not taken from literature review. 2) The research is in favor of plural and ambiguous process and will progress from the questions and comments collected to the next step. 3) Field note will provide clues and avenues for inquiry. 4) Coding is part of the practice of conceptualizing that involves a careful preliminary data analysis to discover the meaning and emerging themes related to sufficiency.

          The discussion among researchers and assistants is rather important. It facilitates the translation of various interests without limiting specific individual interpretations. The formation of network that reflects the critical information can ensure the richness of meaning. Grounded theory is suitable for a new discovery to extend the present knowledge horizon and understanding. It addresses a methodological shift when comes to people involvement. The researchers and those researched are social actors with a unique perspective and abilities in searching, defining, interpreting with insight into their own reality. The robustness of data, with abundance of examples and its interpretation found in the analytical process will lead the research to the next stage of data collection.

Preliminary Interview Guidelines (for the 1st visit)
A Case of Climate Change Study by Novice Jatupong Yeetow
          1. What are the impacts of climate change to the community (including natural disasters, health and epidemic, insects, transportation etc)?
          2. What are the natural indicators of climate change either animal and the environment?
          3. What are the climate change preparedness measures for the community based on local wisdom?4. Please list the importance of local crops on sufficiency living of the local community and season of crop cultivation.
          5. Within 5 years, how the climate change impact the sufficient agricultural practice?
          6. Are there any impact on health, income and relationship?
          7. What are the treat of natural disasters?

 

Interview Guidelines (for in-depth study)
A Case of Climate Change Study by Novice Jatupong Yeetow
          1. Lao PDR is vulnerable to a long period of drought during………which causes several problem. For example, ………………… The solution to live in the harsh climate is the practice of family farming. It is the only green area survived during the 6 months of drought. Therefore, the family farming is a plat for to collect local wisdoms how the community prepare for the change of climate.
          2. The size of family farming (Field measurement).
          3. The size of vegetable plot, its design (sketch the model and cross-check with the homeowners).
          4. Crop cycles – types and nutritional information that support the living in the drought.
          5. Fertilizers – process, materials, mixture and proportion.
          6. Soil humidity and prevention.
          7. Water drainage system.
          8. The lay out of water management system, the length and depth of ditches.
          9. Water hole wisdom.
          10. The role of children in farming.
          11. The relationship of family farming and the exchange system with the whole community.
          12. The value of family farming and cost saving estimation.
          13. Dhamma concerns to the family farming practice.
          14. Tradition/local customs related to family farming.
          15. How to spread the teaching to the young generation to enhance the capability of disaster preparedness.Photo documentary1) Water hole 2) Interview session 3) Family farming survey and 4) The maintenance of water drainage systemVideo documentationWater hole, family farming practice and conversation between the researcher and the homeowners.

 

          Case studies is an integral part of grounded theory. The accumulation of different meanings of ASEAN sufficiency economy philosophy in real life context and untested assumptions through a broad range of case studies construct the reliable knowledge. According to Alexander George and Andrew Bennett (2005), the strength of case studies are quadruple including

    1) Conceptual validity through contextualized comparison and the identification of contextual factors,
    2) Driving new hypotheses,
    3) Exploring causal mechanism for there are numerous intervening variables emerge in certain conditions , and
    4) Modeling and assessing complex causal relationships. The exploration of causal factors reveals common factors or some critical factors. Subsequently, some recommendations are highlighted for theory building and further study.

          In-depth and direct interview provides insightful information that makes research more relevant and more persuasive for practitioners. Direct interview is facilitated by a skilled researcher, in particular the Buddhist monks, to access potential research participants. They could enter into the lives of the people, to understand their concerns, limits and opportunities, and construct the knowledge through collective as well as moral practices. In the research, the Buddhist monks could assemble academia, community leaders and local scholars nearly 500 people into the fieldworks.

The research identifies 2 approaches to minimize the bias:

      1) The organization of triangulation meeting

          It involves MCU student leaders, local scholars and Buddhist universities to develop a broad ideas and identify case studies. Case study might be selected for its uniqueness. The consultation process is rather important to access to the targeted area without bias.

      2) Increasing the access to the target groups

          Working collaboratively with local communities and followers ensure the access to all target areas which can minimize the bias.

          It is noted that the Buddhist monks have been granted a privileged access to all kinds of institutions, lives, communities and activities. The data collection becomes much easier, the interview process is promptly minimized, and the access to the in-depth information and trust building as well as the friendly relationship with interviewees will be ensured.

          Multi-level analysis and triangulation technique provides an essential key to understand the systems of thought of the people. It involves

      1) Data triangulation: data collected from fieldworks, discourse and research works.
      2) Investigator triangulation: researcher, research assistants, Buddhist monk leaders and local community leaders totaling 500 people.
      3) Theory triangulation: the comparison of different views and local wisdoms.
      4) Methodological triangulation: grounded theory, case studies and interview.

          Coding is the creation of categories and concepts derived from the data. There are descriptive coding, analytical coding and then memorizing. When generating a theory (inductive approach), categories and codes are generated after examining and interpreting the data. The analytical coding will be collected, tested and connected to build the theory.

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