I present a way of conducting open-ended interviews that I have used in my own research. Good preparation for interviews includes learning about the interviewee and their context beforehand, developing a list of potential follow-up themes, and various hygiene factors. During the interview, key practices include building psychological safety and earning professional respect, phasing questions appropriately, using various types of elaborating questions, tolerating long pauses, and recognizing that managers are rarely naïve interviewees. Analyzing interview data requires being mindful of the content rather than coding it mechanically, using theories to aide interpretation, and getting deeply engaged with the data.
I would like to thank the following people for their comments on an earlier draft: Robert J. Galavan, Mark P. Healey, Gerard P. Hodgkinson, Daniella Laureiro-Martinez, Kristian J. Sund, and the other participants of the book workshop in Roskilde (April, 2017) as well as Suvi-Tuuli Helin. Quy Huy’s continuous coaching, and Natalia Vuori’s ruthless feedback have also benefitted this chapter.
Vuori, T. (2017), "An Open-Ended Interview Approach for Studying Cognition and Emotion in Organizations", Galavan, R., Sund, K. and Hodgkinson, G. (Ed.) Methodological Challenges and Advances in Managerial and Organizational Cognition (New Horizons in Managerial and Organizational Cognition, Vol. 2), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 59-71. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2397-52102017003Download as .RIS
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