The purpose of this paper is to develop a narrative framework for doing empirical research into business ethics and shows, through two examples, how the framework can be applied in practice in this context. The focus is on interview-based research.
A theoretical research based on literature review was conducted.
In the developed narrative framework, two main kinds of analysis are distinguished: an analysis of the narrative and a narrative analysis. An analysis of the narrative is a matter of classifying and producing taxonomies out of the data. The purpose of a narrative analysis is to construct a story or stories based on the data. Narrative analysis differs from the analysis of narratives in that the story does not exist prior to the analysis, but is created during the analysis.
The proposed narrative framework helps those doing empirical research into business ethics avoid simplistic “black and white” interpretations of their material, and helps them to show that ethical realities in the business world are often complex, various and multiple.
The paper offers a methodological framework for those doing qualitative research into business ethics which will increase the quality and rigor of their studies.
A value of the narrative approach is that the stories offer researchers an entry point to understanding the complexity of ethics and how people make sense of this complexity. The paper shows in detail how the methods presented can be used in practice in empirical research.
This research was supported by the program Equality in Society (WeAll project, 292883), strategic research funding of the Academy of Finland (weallfinland.fi). The authors gratefully acknowledge this support.
Lämsä, A.-M., Auvinen, T.P., Heikkinen, S.S. and Sintonen, T. (2018), "Narrativity and its application in business ethics research", Baltic Journal of Management, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 279-296. https://doi.org/10.1108/BJM-06-2017-0196Download as .RIS
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