Organizational access in qualitative research

Organizational access in qualitative research PurposeWhile organizational access is central to much qualitative research, little is known about how researchers secure it. The purpose of this paper is to provide a systematic assessment of this critical methodological step.Design/methodology/approachA systematic review was conducted to establish how researchers gained access to organizations for qualitative research. Access type was identified and explanatory indicators were inductively developed to illuminate how access was obtained in a sample of 216 qualitative articles published in Administrative Science Quarterly and Academy of Management Journal between 1986 and 2013. A supplemental review of 306 articles published in Organization Studies over the same period augmented the primary analysis with a broader view of published accounts of access.FindingsLearning prior to entering organizations, researchers’ backgrounds, organizational insiders, and outside contacts facilitated access. The role of these factors, which served as indicators of legitimacy, varied with the type of access. In addition, the authors found that many articles provide little information about how the researchers gained access, regardless of a publication’s domicile.Originality/valueThis study furthers the understanding of how researchers gain access to organizations to conduct qualitative research and discusses the implications of the limited access accounts in published studies. In addition, this research provides practical guidance for authors, editors, and reviewers. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1746-5648
DOI
10.1108/QROM-10-2017-1574
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeWhile organizational access is central to much qualitative research, little is known about how researchers secure it. The purpose of this paper is to provide a systematic assessment of this critical methodological step.Design/methodology/approachA systematic review was conducted to establish how researchers gained access to organizations for qualitative research. Access type was identified and explanatory indicators were inductively developed to illuminate how access was obtained in a sample of 216 qualitative articles published in Administrative Science Quarterly and Academy of Management Journal between 1986 and 2013. A supplemental review of 306 articles published in Organization Studies over the same period augmented the primary analysis with a broader view of published accounts of access.FindingsLearning prior to entering organizations, researchers’ backgrounds, organizational insiders, and outside contacts facilitated access. The role of these factors, which served as indicators of legitimacy, varied with the type of access. In addition, the authors found that many articles provide little information about how the researchers gained access, regardless of a publication’s domicile.Originality/valueThis study furthers the understanding of how researchers gain access to organizations to conduct qualitative research and discusses the implications of the limited access accounts in published studies. In addition, this research provides practical guidance for authors, editors, and reviewers.

Journal

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 10, 2019

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