The purpose of this paper is to take conceptual and methodological steps towards the elaboration of the critical grounded theory (CGT) method.
Starting from conceptual issues with mapping everyday discourses and practices in their broader societal context in organisational ethnography, cultural political economy (CPE) is proposed as a suitable theoretical framework for integrating the cultural dimension of discourses and imaginaries into political-economic analyses of organisation and management. The CGT method is introduced for empirical operationalisation.
Grounded theory tools for working with ethnographic data can be employed within critical approaches such as CPE although they originate from positivist social science. The need to combine ethnographic fieldwork with substantial theoretical work and/or critical discourse analysis may be met by CGT, which affords the ethnographic strengths of grounded theory without, however, bracketing the critical-theoretical insights of CPE.
The usefulness of CGT has been tentatively tested, but requires thorough meta-theoretical and methodological development, which is what is undertaken here.
CGT expects and takes account of the social implications of its employment in the field.
First steps towards a new critical method for organisation and management studies are taken. Although originating from concern with CPE, the CGT method may appeal to a wider audience of critical scholars across the social sciences.
Belfrage, C. and Hauf, F. (2015), "Operationalizing cultural political economy: towards critical grounded theory", Journal of Organizational Ethnography, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 324-340. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOE-01-2015-0002Download as .RIS
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