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The use of a research diary as a tool for reflexive practice: Some reflections from management research

Sara Nadin (University of Bradford, Bradford, UK)
Catherine Cassell (Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK)

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management

ISSN: 1176-6093

Article publication date: 1 September 2006




To provide a practical example of how a research diary can be used to aid reflexivity in the research process. Whilst there have been increasing calls for reflexivity in management research, little has been written about how to “do” reflexivity in practice.


Qualitative data from the first author's research diary which relate to three distinctive experiences are used as analytical examples.


The research diary was a valuable tool, prompting insights which informed a variety of methodological and theoretical decisions in relation to the research.

Practical implications

Suggests that all researchers should systematically use a research diary, regardless of epistemological position. However, what is needed first and foremost is a commitment to the pursuit of reflexivity and awareness on ones' own epistemological assumptions.


The paper gives a practical example of how to practice reflexivity, something which is lacking in the current literature. It is intended to be of use to those management researchers interested in pursuing reflexive research.



Nadin, S. and Cassell, C. (2006), "The use of a research diary as a tool for reflexive practice: Some reflections from management research", Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 208-217.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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