Online from: 2006
Subject Area: Organization Studies
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|Title:||A researcher's tale: dealing with epistemological divergence|
|Author(s):||Janet Bryant, (Swinburne University of Technology, Lilydale, Australia), Barbara Lasky, (Swinburne University of Technology, Lilydale, Australia)|
|Citation:||Janet Bryant, Barbara Lasky, (2007) "A researcher's tale: dealing with epistemological divergence", Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, Vol. 2 Iss: 3, pp.179 - 193|
|Keywords:||Narratives, Qualitative research, Research methods|
|Article type:||Conceptual paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/17465640710835346 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – The paper's purpose is to explore a theoretical and methodological dilemma.
Design/methodology/approach – Commencing doctoral research, and committed to an orthodox grounded theory approach, a unique story was uncovered which, to do it and the research justice, required an alternative form of representation. Intuition decreed that this should be narrative. However, grounded theory and narrative entail epistemologically and ontologically incommensurate paradigms. The paper seeks to consider whether inclusion of the unique story would compromise, or subvert, the already emergent grounded theory. An exploration of the relationship between different epistemological and ontological traditions is also to be made, based on the assumption that method “slurring,” and a more eclectic approach to using incommensurate paradigms, may be valuable.
Findings – In transcribing and coding data using strictly orthodox grounded theory methods, the researcher runs the risk of “stripping” the research story of some critical dimension(s). However, combining a narrative approach with that of grounded theory, the paper allows for the representation of an atypical “Maverick” case, along-side other more typical cases.
Originality/value – The paper points out, to the early career qualitative researcher in particular, that it is legitimate to combine seemingly incommensurate methodologies, notably where not to do so would result in the loss of enriching and powerful insights into basic social processes.
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