The purpose of this paper is to present the role of reflexivity in relation to archives and narratives.
The authors problematize the concept of “archive,” by engaging with debates in philosophy and the archival theory. The authors also revisit historical theories and debates on the role of the narrative within historiography. Finally, the authors consider reflexivity as a methodological attitude taken by the researcher at all stages of the investigation from challenging theoretical assumptions of empirical materials to questioning the very narrative that is created when looking for alternative ones.
This paper poses questions about documents and archives that emerge from reflexivity. The authors claim that reflexivity is an ethos that allows researchers to keep the multiple narratives in which they are entangled in check. The paper brings a framework that allows researchers to use reflexivity to become more conscious of the complexities and ambiguities within the research process that leads to the writing of historical narratives.
This paper points to the need to enhance the reflexivity at every stage of the research, including “interrogating” the archives and documents, which are compiled under a narrative.
The authors highlighted the multiple characteristics of archives, their meanings and the possibilities of writing narratives about them through reflexivity. The authors have the historical narrative as one possible reconstruction of a historical object, which is connected to the production conditions of the text. Through reflexivity, the authors discussed the socially constructed nature of the documents and the archives. Finally, the authors believe that debates around the production of this knowledge should continue, focusing especially on building bridges with the field of history.
Historical narratives do not depend on the scientific character of historical sources, but it considers reflexivity by the researcher regarding the search, collection, reading and analysis of historical documents. In addition, it is necessary to think about the use of documents and archives and histories in a reflective way for a writing of history and, indirectly, for a contextual understanding of the time observed and as forged sources – or discarded – and made available.
Challenging the use of documents and archives in a reflexive way for the writing of historical narratives and for contextual understanding of the past is key to a richer relationship between management and history. This paper points to the role of reflexivity in relation to archives and narratives in the practice of (re)constructing the organizational past from memories and silences. It also highlights how reflexivity can be incorporated in the research process to enrich the writing of the historical narrative.
Barros, A., Carneiro, A.d.T. and Wanderley, S. (2019), "Organizational archives and historical narratives: Practicing reflexivity in (re)constructing the past from memories and silences", Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 280-294. https://doi.org/10.1108/QROM-01-2018-1604Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited