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Bracketing: a phenomenological theory applied through transpersonal reflexivity

Viktor Dörfler (Department of Management Science, Strathclyde Business School, Glasgow, UK)
Marc Stierand (Institute of Business Creativity, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, Delémont, Switzerland)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 11 August 2020

Issue publication date: 16 September 2021




The purpose of this study is to improve our understanding of bracketing, one of the most central philosophical and theoretical constructs of phenomenology, as a theory of mind. Furthermore, we wanted to showcase how this theoretical construct can be implemented as a methodological tool.


In this study we have adopted an approach similar to a qualitative meta-synthesis, comparing the emergent patterns of two empirical projects, seeking synergies and contradictions and looking for additional insights from new emerging patterns.


On a philosophical level, we have found that bracketing, as a theoretical construct, is not about the achievement of objectivity; quite to the contrary, it embraces subjectivity and puts it centre-stage. On a theoretical level, we have achieved a better understanding of Husserl's phenomenology, as a theory of mind. On a methodological level, we have achieved a powerful way of supplementing and/or clarifying research findings, by using a theoretical construct as a methodological tool.


Our paper contributes to the phenomenology literature at a philosophical, theoretical and methodological level, by offering a better understanding and a novel implementation of one of the central theoretical constructs of phenomenology.



Dörfler, V. and Stierand, M. (2021), "Bracketing: a phenomenological theory applied through transpersonal reflexivity", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 778-793.



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