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Article
Publication date: 12 November 2018

Edvalter Becker Holz

The purpose of this paper is to expand upon prior debates on reconceptualising reflexivity in order to encompass research communities and prospective thinking, based upon…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to expand upon prior debates on reconceptualising reflexivity in order to encompass research communities and prospective thinking, based upon an analysis of the development of a research question (RQ).

Design/methodology/approach

Ontologically, the author regards the development of a RQ as an inter-subjective process; epistemologically, the author regards investigating such processes as possible by identifying their relationality and dialogism “from within”; methodologically, the author constructed and abductively analysed data by performing an auto-ethnography as a PhD student.

Findings

The author suggests that developing an RQ evolves as relational learning and academic rationality. While the former concerns relations within a research community, the latter concerns prospective thinking. The author introduces the notion of an academically accepted RQ to suggest that this part of knowledge construction is shaped as much by research communities and prospective thinking as it is by the researcher.

Research limitations/implications

The author introduces and discusses the notion of social reflexivity as a possible way forward in the debate on reconceptualising reflexivity. Such notion encourages the exploration of relational learning and academic rationality in the construction of knowledge. It implies exposing issues related both to processes of assimilating prevailing academic literature and to contextual pressures faced when writing new ones.

Originality/value

While introducing social reflexivity, the author suggests a possible way to overcome the challenges of reconceptualising reflexivity. Also, the author provides a detailed description of how the author crafted the analysis of an inter-subjective process.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2013

Alexander Styhre and Janne Tienari

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the debate on reflexivity in organization and management studies by scrutinizing the possibilities of self‐reflexivity.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the debate on reflexivity in organization and management studies by scrutinizing the possibilities of self‐reflexivity.

Design/methodology/approach

By means of auto‐ethnography, the authors analyze their own experiences as (pro‐)feminist men in the field of gender studies.

Findings

The authors argue that self‐reflexivity is partial, fragmentary and transient: it surfaces in situations where the authors’ activities and identities as researchers are challenged by others and they become aware of their precarious position.

Originality/value

The paper's perspective complements more instrumental understandings of self‐reflexivity, and stimulates further debate on its limits as well as potential.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2010

Paul Hibbert, Christine Coupland and Robert MacIntosh

The paper seeks to support a better understanding of the types (or processes) of reflexivity which may be involved in the practice of organizational research, and the…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to support a better understanding of the types (or processes) of reflexivity which may be involved in the practice of organizational research, and the implications of reflexive practice for organizational researchers.

Design/methodology/approach

A characterization of reflexivity as a process is developed from extant research, in four steps. First, the principal dimensions of reflexivity – reflection and recursion – are identified and delineated. Second, recursion is shown to have two modes, active and passive. Third, reflection is shown to have both closed, self‐guided and open, relational modes. Fourth, through integrating the detailed characterizations of each of the dimensions, different types of reflexivity are identified and defined.

Findings

The paper shows how different types of reflexivity may be experienced sequentially, as a progressive process, by organizational researchers. Implications for research practice are derived from a consideration of this process.

Originality/value

The paper develops a novel conceptualization of reflexivity as a process with individual and relational aspects. This conceptualization supports important insights for the conduct and legitimation of reflexive research.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2009

Sumathi Renganathan

In this paper I explore the notion of reflexivity in two main domains. In the first, I explore my struggles as a trained objective, positivist researcher trying to embrace…

Abstract

In this paper I explore the notion of reflexivity in two main domains. In the first, I explore my struggles as a trained objective, positivist researcher trying to embrace and appreciate subjective qualitative research practices. In the second section, I explore the dynamic relationship between myself, the researcher and my participants, focusing on issues related to ethnicity and power. Generally, research that explores ethnicity and power relationships commonly depicts the researcher as the privileged self compared with the participants as the marginalised other. However, in this paper I illustrate how this relationship in a multiethnic, multicultural and multilingual research context is much more complex and multifaceted than usually acknowledged. Moreover, this was further complicated by the researcher’s own experience in relation to the issue under investigation, which was different from that of the participants.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

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Article
Publication date: 29 August 2019

Amon Barros, Adéle de Toledo Carneiro and Sergio Wanderley

The purpose of this paper is to present the role of reflexivity in relation to archives and narratives.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the role of reflexivity in relation to archives and narratives.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Practical implications

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.

Social implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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Article
Publication date: 8 October 2018

Hugo Letiche

Although the epistemology of researcher reflexivity has been championed as crucial to research for some 30 years, it remains controversial and often ill-defined. In the…

Abstract

Purpose

Although the epistemology of researcher reflexivity has been championed as crucial to research for some 30 years, it remains controversial and often ill-defined. In the 1980s, “reflexivity” was championed by the hermeneutically and epistemologically savvy to try and break the strangle hold of naïve positivism. Nowadays, reflexivity most often refers to the turn-to-affect and to the researcher’s ability and willingness to radically sensitivize “self” to others and circumstances. The purpose of this paper is to specify what non-representational research has brought to the reflexivity debate and then focus on Brosseau’s particular rendition of reflexivity, which is seen as far more demanding, problematic and valuable.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach followed in this paper is a hermeneutic reflection based on Thrift’s and Brosseau’s oeuvres. The perspective is historical, qua research methods’ take on reflexivity and qua Brosseau textual production.

Findings

Five differences between Thrift’s and Brosseau’s reflexivities are highlighted. Brosseau brings us much further in applying affective reflexivity to research writing than does Thrift.

Originality/value

A polemic calling for and warnings about the complexities of affective reflexivity, presented as demanding, dangerous and complex.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

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Book part
Publication date: 11 April 2019

Barbara Gray

This chapter asks: ‘How often do we as social scientists question the validity of our theories and our findings? How often do we reflexively examine the distortions in the…

Abstract

This chapter asks: ‘How often do we as social scientists question the validity of our theories and our findings? How often do we reflexively examine the distortions in the lenses we use to analyse organizations? ‘It proceeds to answer these questions by defining reflexivity and presenting six perspectives on reflexive analysis that build on and extend previous analytical treatments of reflexivity, especially that by Alvesson, Hardy, and Harley (2008). Illustrations of the six are drawn from my own experiences as well as those of other scholars. The intention is to stimulate greater interest in reflexivity and provoke other scholars to look more reflexively at their own work.

Details

The Production of Managerial Knowledge and Organizational Theory: New Approaches to Writing, Producing and Consuming Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-183-4

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Hugo Letiche

Second-order cybernetics is explored here as a learning intervention strategy. Researcher reflexivity, both the student’s and the professor’s, that is asserted is crucial…

Abstract

Purpose

Second-order cybernetics is explored here as a learning intervention strategy. Researcher reflexivity, both the student’s and the professor’s, that is asserted is crucial to achieving a liberatory learning experience. But as Lacan has revealed, the “symbolic” (written, represented and studied) has a complex relationship to the “real”, which needs the “imaginary” to be active and creative. The aim of this paper is to investigate the complexity of these relationships and their import for reflexive learning, as it is grounded in second-order cybernetics.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper, comparing second-order cybernetics to current insights into researcher reflexivity, especially as grounded in Lacan and as it has been translated into an intervention strategy by Zizek and applied by the author. Supervision of MBA theses is examined as an exemplar.

Findings

A theory of researcher reflexivity is outlined with practical potential, which was demonstrated at the ASC 2016 conference.

Research limitations/implications

Exemplary learning is demonstrated and guidelines of practical significance are indicated, but these are not here further empirically researched.

Practical implications

The complexity of the “imaginary–symbolic–real” model and its value for reflexive learning is investigated. The application value of the model to learning and second-order cybernetics is developed.

Social/implications

A reflexive intervention is demonstrated in how one sees student/professor supervision and interaction.

Originality/value

Building on Glanville, it is shown that multiple reflexivities are needed to be put into play for second-order cybernetics to productively inform university practice. A difference of differences is needed to complexify feedback processes for cybernetic interventions to (best) succeed. The import of current theoretical debates from Lacan and Zizek to cybernetics is indicated.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 46 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1999

Phil Johnson, Joanne Duberley, Paul Close and Cathy Cassell

Despite some notable exceptions, the intricacies, dilemmas and impact of manufacturing management researchers’ adoption of different field roles during data collection in…

Abstract

Despite some notable exceptions, the intricacies, dilemmas and impact of manufacturing management researchers’ adoption of different field roles during data collection in collaborating organizations tends to be glossed over in published work. The aim of this paper is to investigate the potential impact of different field roles upon manufacturing management research. Through a discussion of the research methodology literature two ideal types are presented: the researcher field role and the consultant field role. By drawing upon examples from the authors’ own experience we argue that inadvertent oscillation between these roles influences research findings. Nevertheless it is argued that both field roles are important in manufacturing research, so what is important is to maintain a balance between them. Such a balance requires both situational and epistemic reflexivities. This paper seeks to encourage researchers to be more reflexive in their published research and to avoid the tendency to present rationalized (and sanitized) accounts. The consequence would be a more rigorous analysis of the impact of the researcher’s field role upon the manufacturing management research process and findings.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 19 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Ross Gordon and Lauren Gurrieri

The purpose of this article is to demonstrate why the time is ripe for a reflexive turn in social marketing, in response to criticisms of social marketing as neo-liberal…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to demonstrate why the time is ripe for a reflexive turn in social marketing, in response to criticisms of social marketing as neo-liberal, positivist and lacking critical introspection.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper traces the development of three paradigms in the field, highlighting the entrenchment of a traditionalist paradigm that heretofore has stifled critical debate and reflexive practice. However, the emergence of social ecologist and critical social marketing paradigms has stimulated the imperative for a reflexive turn. Insights into reflexivity, its relevance and applicability for researchers, participants and other stakeholders in social marketing are considered.

Findings

The paper offers a conceptualisation of social marketing assemblages using the lens of actor-network theory and identifies how this can stimulate engagement and reflexive practice for researchers, participants and other stakeholders (such as non-governmental organisations and Government departments involved in delivering programmes).

Originality/value

The article presents relevant theoretical and practical benefits from a reflexive turn in social marketing, highlighting how this will furthermore contribute to discipline building.

Details

Journal of Social Marketing, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6763

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