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Pritchard and symon reviewing sites and revisiting sights bam nov 2011


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presentation from BAM Research Methods SIG workshop: November 201P

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Pritchard and symon reviewing sites and revisiting sights bam nov 2011

  1. 1. Katrina Pritchard and Gillian SymonDepartment of Organizational Psychology, Birkbeck, University of London BAM Research Methods SIG: Sharing our struggles workshop Loughborough: 25th November 2011 This research was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (award PTA-0302004-00095).
  2. 2.  About the research Methodological challenges Practical Responses: • Preliminary fieldwork • Tracer studies • Mental mapping More challenges? Supervision in this context
  3. 3. Organizational HR Discourse Knowledge professionals Knowledge as socially  Neglect of discursive  Problematic nature of constructed and practice within knowledge base situated in practice knowledge studies  Discursive practice as Skepticism of  Discursive key element of work importance of construction of knowledge in and of knowledge claims itself Constructed and contested nature of knowledge work
  4. 4.  American investment bank Product,market and geography all influence management structure Global HQ in US with London as regional office Researchfocus on Regional HR department
  5. 5. Local HR rolesGlobal Head OfficeHR Regional HR Department: 4 offices in London 1 office in South East England 1 office in Scotland
  6. 6.  12 month ethnography physically present in London offices approximately 3 days per week Face-to face activities involved: shadowing participants, participant interviews, tracer studies, collecting documents, attending meetings, workshops and training courses, conversations in meeting rooms, corridors, cafes and pubs. Mediated activities included: email exchanges, phone calls, conference calls, text messages.
  7. 7.  Three teams became focus of research activity: • HR Call Centre • Training and development team • HR Partners
  8. 8.  Presence (and therefore absence) Placesand spaces that are open (or closed) to the researcher‟s presence (or absence) Own„identity work‟ in the context of the above
  9. 9.  Preliminary fieldwork activity Use of tracer studies Mental mapping
  10. 10.  Clearlydefined time for learning the ropes and finding way around (6 weeks) Manages expectations (self and others) of „doing research‟ during this period Allowsmore detailed planning to emerge and time for more negotiation of access to take place Reflection prompted reconsideration of „piloting‟ in subsequent research
  11. 11.  Following a specific organizational process via the use of tags: • an expatriate assignment, a creativity workshop, the launch of a diversity networking group and the development of a local HR plan. For each of process: • interviewed the individual with overall responsibility • using activity reports generated from work management system followed the process both forward and backwards, talking to the others involved and collecting related documentation Produced „flow diagrams‟ of activities
  13. 13. ACADEMIC SPACES RESEARCH SITE SPACES VIRTUAL SPACES Conferences Meeting Rooms Supervisor‟s Office SPACES IN BETWEEN Security & Reception PhD room Cafes and Office Cafeteria Library other Social spaces Train Train Home OfficeTaken from Pritchard (2011) PERSONAL SPACES
  14. 14.  Increasing complexity of spaces and places and our engagement with them Growingtechnological mediation of research process and practices Evolving demands on researcher identity work Possibility of opening up reflexivity on the above to include participant perspectives
  15. 15.  Not being there: lacking insight but maintaining distance Facilitating the „big picture‟: appreciating the detail while encouraging conceptual development Structuring the account: including detail within a „write-able‟ account
  16. 16.  Pritchard, K (2011) From ‘being there’ to ‘being … where?’: relocating ethnography. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management 6 (3) 230-245 Pritchard, K and Symon, G (2011) Identity on the line: constructing professional identity in a HR call centre. Work, Employment and Society 25 (3) 434-450 Pritchard, K (2010) Becoming an HR strategic partner: tales of transition. Human Resource Management Journal, 20 (2) 175-188 Pritchard, K (2012) Combining Qualitative Methods. in Cassell, C and Symon, G (eds) “The practice of qualitative organizational research: core methods and current challenges” pp 138-156. SAGE. (to be published Feb 2012).