Essential Guide to Qualitative Methods in Organizational Research is an excellent resource for students and researchers in the areas of organization studies, management research and organizational psychology, bringing together in one volume the range of methods available for undertaking qualitative data collection and analysis.
The volume includes 30 chapters, each focusing on a specific technique. The chapters cover traditional research methods, analysis techniques, and interventions as well as the latest developments in the field. Each chapter reviews how the method has been used in organizational research, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using the method, and presents a case study example of the method in use. A list of further reading is supplied for those requiring additional information about a given method.
The comprehensive and accessible nature of this collection will make it an essential and lasting handbook for researchers and students studying organizations.
Chapter 13: Participant Observation
The eminent American investigative social researcher Jack Douglas maintains that ‘when one's concern is the experience of people, the way that they think, feel and act, the most truthful, reliable, complete and simple way of getting that information is to share their experience’ (1976: 112). This is precisely the outlook subscribed to by proponents and practitioners of participant observation, the method described and evaluated in this chapter. The contents of the chapter are based on insights drawn from my own doctoral study of the 1981 Ansells brewery strike – a bitter five-month conflict involving opposition to redundancies and revised working practices which eventually resulted in the permanent closure of the brewery and the dismissal of the entire 1,000-strong workforce.
Here I intend to ...