This is an invaluable collection of reflections and experiences from world-class researchers undertaking Critical Management Studies (CMS). The editors and contributors reflect on ethics and reflexivity in critical management research, and explore the identity of the critical researcher both as an individual and working within collaborative projects. Using contemporary accounts from those engaged in real world fieldwork they outline what critical management is, and explore its relationship to management research. The book discusses the implications of critical management when: • Developing research questions • Managing research relationships • Using various methods of data collection • Writing accounts of your research, findings and analysis. Grounded in practical problems and processes this title sets out and then answers the challenges faced by critical researchers doing research in organization and management studies.

Chapter Two: Problematization meets mystery creation: Generating new ideas and findings through assumption-challenging research

Problematization meets mystery creation: Generating new ideas and findings through assumption-challenging research

Problematization meets mystery creation: Generating new ideas and findings through assumption-challenging research
Mats AlvessonJörgen Sandberg

Introduction

A key objective of research is to develop new ideas and theoretical contributions. This is somewhat different from what is normally emphasized in methodology, namely, procedures that enable precision in description and analysis. In the latter, the issues of interest include validity, reliability, ‘data collection’ (depth and richness in the production of empirical material) and ‘data processing’ (how data are codified, categorized, analysed, interpreted and written). Such methodological procedures can be ‘tight’ or ‘soft’. For example, a tight procedure may stress a fixed interview schedule and codification, while a soft procedure may emphasize the importance of having ‘been there’, in-depth interviewing, and interpretations that are fair to the experience of subjects.

Our purpose in ...

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