EURAM 2009 Research Methods

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Going Between: Insights gained from combining qualitative methods in organizational research

Going Between: Insights gained from combining qualitative methods in organizational research

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  • 1. Going Between: Insights gained from combining qualitative methods in organizational research Dr Katrina Pritchard & Dr Gillian Symon EURAM 2009: May 11 th -14 th Track 31 Research Methods and Research Practice
  • 2. Purpose
    • Examine both philosophical and practical tensions of qual/qual multi-method research via our own experience of combining ethnographic and discourse analytic approaches
    • Highlight the active process of ‘going between’ as researchers work creatively within these tensions
  • 3. Multi-method research: current perspectives
    • Quan/qual:
      • data conversion, supplementing via different levels of analysis, triangulation
    • Qual/qual:
      • generic language of research practice vs. distinct ontological/epistemological positioning (branding)
      • analysis as ‘crunch point’
      • researcher depicted as ‘teleporting’ between approaches
  • 4. Our perspective: Going between
    • an active process of research engagement
    • a process of continual adjustment and readjustment to the context
    • research methodologies remain separated – held in tension
  • 5. Our experience: Going between
    • 3 year research project:
      • social construction of professional knowledge
    • Combined ethnographic and discourse analytic approaches
      • Participant observation, tracer studies, field logs, documentary data, interviews
      • Mid-range discourse analysis of the above (combining top-down and bottom-up perspectives) within an ethnographic frame
  • 6. Going between: discourse analysis and ethnography
    • Discourse Analysis
    • Deconstruction
    • Text centred
    • Outside looking in
    • Ethnography
    • Description
    • Actor centred
    • Inside looking out
    • Common Ground?
    • Social constructionist orientation
    • Interest in materiality
    • Emphasize reflexivity
    • Methodologically broad
    Different perspectives
  • 7. Insights from going between
    • Prompting reflexivity
    • As a means of moving forward
    • Providing different perspectives
  • 8. Prompting reflexivity
    • Attention to the discourse of ethnography
      • focus on DA can create distance
    • Attention to the importance of research relationships in discourse analysis
      • focus on ethnography narrows the gap between researcher and research
    • Field notes as data for DA
      • interrogate the construction of the research process
    • Extra care needed to avoid pitfalls of over-reflexivity and navel gazing.
  • 9. A means of moving forward
    • Increases the number of possible routes for the researcher
      • Potential pitfall of confusion and risk of illusion of progress!
    • Different emphasises at different times
      • ethnography’s attention to gatekeepers and researcher relationships vs. DA’s attention to theoretical framing
    • But examining going between leads us to question notion of moving forward
      • going backwards or sideways is sometimes as important
  • 10. Providing different perspectives
    • Going between provides further resources for the interrogation of data
      • although associated with the risk of over-analysis
    • Potential of both ethnographic and DA to provide top-down and bottom-up perspectives
    • Ability to ‘zoom’ in and out of focus on text vs. focus on actors
  • 11. Implications
    • Extends understanding issues and opportunities offered by qual/qual research
    • Relevance to quan/qual research?
    • Potential to plan going between as a research approach?