Reflexivity. Workshop Number 3 ESRC Workshops for Qualitative Research in Management. Identification of training need. We need to reflect more on our own research practices in terms of: what role we played in producing certain kinds of knowledges how and why we came to the conclusions we did
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Workshop Number 3
ESRC Workshops for Qualitative Research in Management
We need to reflect more on our own research practices in terms of:
‘.. To make unexamined metatheoretical commitments, and remain unaware of their origins, amounts to an abdication of intellectual responsibility which results in poor research practices.’ (Johnson & Duberley, 2003)
Reflexivity helps us to attend to this.
By end of the session you should be able to:
‘Reflexivity involves reflecting on the way in which research is carried out and understanding how the process of doing research shapes its outcomes.’ (Hardy et al, 2001)
‘the interpretation of interpretation’ (Alvesson & Skoldberg, 2000)
‘the ethnographer of the text’ (Woolgar, 1988)
Domain 1: Being reflexive about method
Domain 2: Being reflexive about epistemology
Domain 3: Being reflexive about discipline
Thinking about a recent project and the methods deployed in the project…
Methodological critique as ‘localized critique and evaluation of the ‘technical’ aspects of the particular methodology deployed rather than the underlying metatheoretical assumptions that justify that methodology in the first place.’ (Johnson and Duberley, 2003).
Like trying to make better moves within the rules of the game rather than reflecting on the nature of those rules or the nature of the game itself.
‘An important function of reflexive analysis is to expose the underlying assumptions on which arguments and stances are built’ (Holland, 1999)
‘become more consciously reflexive by thinking about our own thinking, by noticing and criticizing our own epistemological pre-understandings and their effects on research, and by exploring possible alternative commitments.’ (Johnson and Cassell, 2001)
Thinking about your latest research project, focus particularly on your research questions:
Epistemological assumptions reflect researcher commitments to particular philosophical beliefs
But all epistemological stances have weaknesses
Consequently, awareness, debate and reflection are paramount.
‘.. Some form of metatheoretical examination of the presuppositions which management researchers have internalized as members of particular research communities and will inevitably deploy in both sense-making and dissemination’ (Johnson and Duberley, 2003)
‘reflexive research .. allows an examination, not just of the researcher, but also of the community.. Recognizing that we operate in complex networks that hold in place certain approaches to representation’ (Hardy, Phillips and Clegg, 2001)
Thinking about a recent project:
Boundaries of disciplines purposeful?
Critical appraisal may undermine the social standing of the discipline (and of science)
The sort of critical appraisal, evaluation and development reviewed here is a continual process.
Therefore reflexivity is always a pursuit and never a destination.
Alvesson, M. and Skoldberg, K. (2000). Reflexive Methodology: New Vistas for Qualitative Research. London: Sage Publications.
Finlay, L. (2002). Negotiating the swamp: the opportunity and challenge of reflexivity in research practice. Qualitative Research, 2, 209-230.
Hardy, C., Phillips, N. and Clegg, S. (2001). Reflexivity in organization and management theory: A study of the production of the research ‘subject’. Human Relations, 54, 531-560.
Johnson, P. and Duberley, J. (2003). Reflexivity in management research. Journal of Management Studies, 40, 1279-1303.
Lewis, M. and Grimes, A. (1999). Metatriangulation: Building theory from multiple paradigms, Academy of Management Review, 24, 672-690.
Seale, C. (1999). The Quality of Qualitative Research. London:Sage.
Weick, K. (1999). Theory construction as disciplined reflexivity: Tradeoffs in the 90s. Academy of Management Review, 24, 797-806.
Woolgar, S. (ed.) (1988) Knowledge and Reflexivity. London
Johnson, P. and Cassell, C. (2001). Epistemology and work psychology: New agendas. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 74, 125-141.
Holland, R. (1999). Reflexivity. Human Relations, 52, 463-483.