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Reflections on collaboration in interpretive consumer research

The VOICE Group (VOicing International Consumption Experiences)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 4 April 2008




The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges and opportunities of collaboration in interpretive consumer research.


The paper reviews literature on research teamwork, particularly on qualitative and international projects. It also provides an account of research collaboration on an interpretive research project across four countries, involving eight researchers.


Despite the cult of individualism in academic life, most articles in leading marketing journals are now written by multi‐author teams. The process and implications of research collaboration, particularly on qualitative and international projects, have received little attention within the marketing literature. Qualitative collaborations call for another layer of reflexivity and attention to the politics and emotions of teamwork. They also require the negotiation of a social contract acceptable to the group and conducive to the emergence of different perspectives throughout the research process.


While issues surrounding the researcher‐research participant relationship are well explored in the field, this paper tackles an issue that often remains tacit in the marketing literature, namely the impact of the relationships between researchers. The paper draws on accounts of other research collaborations as well as authors' experiences, and discusses how interpersonal and cross‐cultural dynamics influence the work of interpretive research teams.



(2008), "Reflections on collaboration in interpretive consumer research", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 147-165.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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