Qualitative Management Research in Context : Data Collection, Interpretation and Narrative book cover
1st Edition

Qualitative Management Research in Context
Data Collection, Interpretation and Narrative

ISBN 9781032055718
Published August 18, 2022 by Routledge
138 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This concise book uses narrative fiction to address how researchers can conduct qualitative research using both online and first-hand data and digital and face-to-face methods. The book is structured around four phases of the research process – accessing management field research, writing the literature review, collecting and analysing data and enacting qualitative research and finally the creative process of writing qualitative research. Theory and practice are merged through a situation-based case study within each chapter, with the methods and tools employed in each context explored through narrative fiction. The protagonists of each case have specific questions, emotions and ambiguities that qualitative researchers need to face, offering a unique approach to the practice of qualitative research and how it is used in real-life situations. Founded on the idea of enacting and not just doing qualitative research, this book offers toolkits that the researcher can use to operationalize research from start to finish. It will be of interest to postgraduate students conducting research-based projects in Business and Management, PhD researchers and academics looking for a fresh approach.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction - Expected learning outcomes - Written by Bruno Luiz Américo, Stewart Clegg and César Tureta  

The Challenges of Qualitative Research: The Times they are a-changing

The changing practice of researching qualitatively

The changing realities and contexts investigated by qualitative research

Fiction and other styles of writing

Ethics in qualitative research

The book and its chapters



2. Chapter 1: Accessing fieldwork - Written by Bruno Luiz Américo, Letícia Dias Fantinel and Stewart Clegg

Expected learning outcomes


A day at the Postgraduate Course

The class on access/departure

Fifteen days go fast when you are waiting for something

Gathering sensitive encounters over coffee

Final considerations


Reflective issues



3. Chapter 2: Reviewing the literature, developing theory? - Written by Bruno Luiz Américo and Stewart Clegg

Expected learning outcomes


Traveling, searching and discovering new approaches

Describing Jermier’s (1985) statements – choices, perspectives, utterances

Articles using/citing the analysed text – the statements about Jermier (1985)

Final considerations


Reflective issues



4. Chapter 3: Collecting and Analysing Data from Cartography of Controversies - Written by César Tureta, Bruno Luiz Américo and Stewart Clegg

Expected learning outcomes


Collecting data

What are controversies?

Choosing a controversy

Analysing data

The source of the data

First moment

Second moment

Third moment

The story of the floats’ controversies

Act I: Everything appears perfect - but not everything is as it appears to be …

Act II: It is all over now

Act III: Lucky shot

Final considerations

Reflective issues



5. Chapter 4: Writing: theorizing aesthetically on inclusion - Written by Bruno Luiz Américo, Fagner Carniel and Stewart Clegg

Expected learning outcomes


A class in two stages

Final considerations


Reflective issues



6. Conclusion: Imagination and Creativity in Qualitative Research - Written by César Tureta, Bruno Luiz Américo and Stewart Clegg


Facing challenges in enacting qualitative research

Creative writing

Accessing fieldwork

Reviewing the literature

Collecting and analysing data

Writing reports

Final Considerations

Active Practicing



7. Index

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Bruno Luiz Américo has a Ph.D. in Management from the Federal University of Espírito Santo, Brazil.

Stewart Clegg is Professor in the School of Project Management and the John Grill Institute of Project Leadership at the University of Sydney, Australia. In addition, he holds Visiting Professorship at the University of Stavanger Business School, Norway; the University of Johannesburg Business School, South Africa and Nova School of Business and Economics, Carcavelos, Portugal. In addition, he is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Technology Sydney.

César Tureta is Professor of Organization Studies at the Federal University of Espírito Santo, Brazil.


Young (and not only young) researchers preparing to present their research results must face two serious challenges: one is the integrity of their informants – how to tell their stories without revealing too much about them and their organizations? The other is how to tell their research story in a way that will not be boring to the readers? While the challenges are as old as social sciences, the solution proposed by Américo, Clegg and Tureta is truly innovative: narrative semi-fiction – presenting reality as it is but decorated in ways that help maintain the privacy of other people and sustain the interest of the readers. Both students and researchers studying management and organization, as well as other social phenomena, will find inspiration in this book.

Barbara Czarniawska, Senior Professor of Management Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

It’s been over 40 years since John Van Maanen and colleagues (Administrative Science Quarterly, 1979) used an exclamation point to punctuate the qualitative research option in organizational studies. In the same vein, this lively, relatively short book also encourages imaginative research designs and finding comfortable, productive spaces in interpretive epistemology. The book is both a scholarly source that discusses a wide range of published material on qualitative research methods and something of a manifesto that advocates "radical curiosity and creativity" when conducting qualitative research. The authors wrote the book for students at very early stages of their research careers. In my view, however, the book should provide more advanced scholars plenty of philosophical insights and inspiring angles on the major challenges researchers have encountered when actually doing qualitative studies.  

John M. Jermier, Professor of Organizational Behavior and Professor of Sustainable Enterprise Research, University of South Florida, Tampa, U.S.A. 

This new book responds to a timely and urgent call for qualitative research to help understand the complex health, economic, social, and environmental crises unfolding. At once a practical guide for qualitative researchers and a model for original research writing, the book emphasizes the process for conducting rigorous social inquiry and the ways that qualitative researchers can leverage creative writing and narrative to make their research more accessible. It is a critical and creative contribution to qualitative research methodology and a resource I will be recommending to my students moving forward!

Julie Battilana, Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School Alan L. Gleitsman Professor of Social Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School, USA

Founder and Faculty Chair, Social Innovation and Change Initiative