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Poetry as a way to inspire (the management of) the research process

Per Darmer (CEUS – Centre for Leisure Management Research, Nykoebing Falster, Denmark)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 1 April 2006



The purpose

The purpose of the paper is to argue that poetry should be integrated in research to a much larger extent than it is today, where poetry (at best) is considered inferior to research.


The arguments are based on qualitative studies of the Danish independent labels. The empirical data are applied both as backbone for and part of the article and its construction. The article argues with the help and illustration of own research and experience that poetry inspires, stimulates and develops the research process. Poetry should be considered as a way of writing alongside other writing styles that researchers apply to make sense of their fieldwork.


The different forms of reporting research can be used to give us different views, in general, and that poetry can be used throughout the research process to improve it, in particular. The paper provides some examples of how it can be done. It is certainly not an exhaustive list but inspirational for researchers to find new poetic ways to improve their research process.

Research limitations/implications

The article shows in practice (from own field research), the implications poetry might have on the research process, but it is limited related to all the non‐mentioned ways poetry could be helpful in the research process. The limitations are obviously those of the researcher, who has been reporting own experiences and ideas about how poetry improved his own research process. In other words: the limitations are found both in the imagination of the researcher and in the reported research.


The study and the reporting of it are original. No other articles have approached the subject in this particular way, making the article unique in form as well as contents. The article shows how poetry (the whole broad range of poetic forms) can contribute to research and the research process. The value of poetry is not limited to the research process it is exemplified by and related to in this article. It has value and can be applied far beyond that (e.g. to the practice of manager).



Darmer, P. (2006), "Poetry as a way to inspire (the management of) the research process", Management Decision, Vol. 44 No. 4, pp. 551-560.



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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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