Welcome Guest [create an account] or log-in:

Chapter 3 The Literature Review

DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-51-7-2790


Published: September 2015

Component type: chapter

Published in: Research Methods for Business and Management 2nd edn

Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-51-7-2735



It is important to demonstrate and critically analyse your understanding of the literature within your chosen field of study or research. The chapter highlights the different types of literature reviews: the traditional literature review versus the systematic literature review. The literature review is often essential in establishing what is known about a subject area, and by association what is not yet known, allowing you to understand and explore gaps in knowledge by appraising, encapsulating, comparing, contrasting, and correlating scholarly books, research articles, reports and various other sources of information. This chapter provides guidance on undertaking a literature review by highlighting the key stages of the process: selecting a topic, searching the literature, reading and reviewing the literature, critiquing the literature, evaluating the literature, and finally writing the literature review. The aim of this chapter is to offer a clear, concise and structured way of undertaking a literature review to establish your theoretical framework and methodological focus.

Sample content

Click here to download PDF


For the source title:

Cite as

Arshed & Dansen, 2015

Arshed, N. & Dansen, M. (2015) "Chapter 3 The Literature Review" In: O'Gorman, K.D. & MacIntosh, R. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-910158-51-7-2790


Denney, A.S. and Tewksbury, R. (2013). How to Write a Literature Review. Journal of Criminal Justice Education 24(2), 218-234. Machi L. A. and McEvoy, B. T. (2009). The Literature Review. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. https://doi.org/10.1080/10511253.2012.730617

Ridley, D. (2012). The Literature Review: A step-by step guide for students (2nd ed.). London: Sage.

For business and social science students the International Journal of Management Reviews is a high quality journal which publishes literature reviews. The journal covers all the main management sub-disciplines including, for example, HRM, OB, International & Strategic Management, Operations Management, Management Sciences, Information Systems & Technology Management, Accounting & Finance, and Marketing. You can find the journal at the following link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1468-2370

Berg, B. L. (2009). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences (7 th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Browne, M. N. and Keeley, S. M. (2004). Asking the right questions: A guide to critical thinking (7 th ed.). London: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Bruce, C. S. (1994). Research students' early experience of the dissertation literature review. Studies in Higher Education, 19(2): 217-229.

Coughlan, M., Cronin, P. and Ryan, F. (2007). Step-by-step guide to critiquing research. Part 1: quantitative research. British Journal of Nursing 16 (11): 658–63. https://doi.org/10.12968/bjon.2007.16.11.23681

Denney, A. S. and Tewksbury, R. (2013). How to Write a Literature Review. Journal of Criminal Justice Education 24(2): 218-234. https://doi.org/10.1080/10511253.2012.730617

Ernst, E. and Pittler, M. H. (2001). Assessment of therapeutic safety in systematic reviews: literature review. British Medical Journal 323(7312): 546-547. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7312.546

Hart, C. (1998). Doing a literature review: Releasing the social science research imagination. London: Sage.

Henwood, K. and Pidgeon, N. (2006). Grounded Theory. In G.M. Breakwell, S. Hammond, C. Fife-Shaw & J.A Smith (Eds.), Research methods in psychology (3 rd ed., pp. 342-365). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Jesson, J. K., Matheson, L. and Lacey, F. M. (2011). Doing Your Literature review: Traditional and Systematic Techniques. London: Sage.

McGhee, G., Marland, G. R. and Atkinson, J. (2007). Grounded theory research: Literature reviewing and reflexivity. Journal of Advanced Nursing 60(3): 334-342. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04436.x

Nunan, D. (1992). Research Methods in Language Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Olloff, J. (2013). How to write a literature review: Workbook in six steps. Farmington: Sparrow Media Group.

Paulus, T. M., Lester, J. N. and Dempster, P. G. (2014). Digital Tools for Qualitative Research. London: Sage. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781473957671

Petticrew, M. and Roberts, H. (2006). Systematic Reviews in the Social Sciences: A practical guide. Oxford: Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470754887

Polit, D. and Beck, C. (2006). Essentials of Nursing Research: Methods, Appraisal and Utilization (6 th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Ridley, D. (2012). The Literature Review: A Step-By-Step Guide for Students. London: Sage.

Roberts, K. L. and Taylor, B. J. (2002). Nursing research processes: An Australian perspective. South Melbourne: Nelson.

Rudestam, K. E. and Newton R. R. (2007). Surviving you Dissertation: A Comprehensive Guide to Content and Process (3 rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Publications Inc.

Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2009). Research methods for business students (5 th ed.). Italy: FT Prentice Hall. University of Ottawa (2007). Academic Writing Help Centre – http://www.sass.uottawa.ca/writing [accessed 28 March 2014].

Zorn, T. and Campbell, N. (2006). Improving the writing of literature reviews through a literature integration exercise. Business Communication Quarterly 69(2): 172-183. https://doi.org/10.1177/1080569906287960


Chapter 3 The Literature Review [Details]Price: £4.99*Licences / Downloadable file

Published in Research Methods for Business and Management 2nd edn

Chapter 3 The Literature Review [Details]Price: £4.99*Licences / Downloadable file
Paperback format [Details] Available as an inspection copyPrice: £37.99Copies / Delivery by post
Terms and conditions of purchase | Privacy policy