Electronic Inspection Copy available for instructors here This comprehensive text brings together in one volume both consideration of the core methods available for undertaking qualitative data collection and analysis, and discussion of common challenges faced by all researchers in conducting qualitative research. Qualitative Organizational Research: Core Methods and Common Challenges contains 27 chapters, each written by an expert in the area. The first part of the volume considers common challenges in the design and execution of qualitative research, examining key contemporary debates in each area as well as providing practical advice for those undertaking organizational research. The second part of the volume looks at contemporary uses of core qualitative methods in organizational research, outlining each method and illustrating practical application through empirical examples. Written by internationally renowned experts in qualitative research methods, this text is an accessible and essential resource for students and researchers in the areas of organization studies, business and management research, and organizational psychology. Key features: • Coverage of all the key topics in qualitative research • Chapters written by experts drawing on their personal experiences of using methods • Introductory chapters outlining the context for qualitative research and the philosophies which underpin it Gillian Symon is Reader in Organizational Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London. Catherine Cassell is Professor of Organizational Psychology at Manchester Business School.
Chapter 17: Participant Observation
Participant observation (PO) is a specific approach to the gaining of knowledge, based upon direct contact between the researcher and the social objects of interest. The experiential core of PO means that, to an extent, we are all participant observers, whether consciously or otherwise, as participation is a feature of all social interaction. Thus Hammersley and Atkinson see PO not so much as a particular research technique but rather as a ‘mode of being-in-the-world’ (1994: 249). From this perspective, unlike many other research techniques and methods, the elementary rules of participation essentially are learned forms of human socialization. At its most basic level, PO works as a mode of inquiry through the direct experience of circumstances and events; ...