While both health services and management research have been discussed in different literature streams in recent years, there has been no research on how scholars who conduct health care management research view the research process. How do they conceptualize it: what are the dominant themes? The present study is the first to examine the research process from the perspective of the health care management researcher. Focus group meetings were held during the Health Care Management Division's pre-conference workshop at the 1996 Academy of Management meeting. In these meetings, a nominal group technique method was employed to get participants to generate attributes that were personally salient in terms of what "research" meant to them. Thirty distinct attributes were eventually derived, and these were inscribed onto sets (decks) of thirty index cards. © 2001.