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Methods Clinic

A research journey is by no means straightforward. At times, it can feel like a labyrinth of blind alleys or impalpable threads of linkages between methods, theories, empirics. Navigating this ocean of possibilities while finding your identity as a researcher is a challenging task.

On a regular basis, we will invite progressive thinkers from the field to help us in our endeavour of understanding what methodology and methods can be for each and every one of us. Critical, eye-opening and challenging - the objective of the Methods Clinic is to bring in new or alternative perspectives and to dive deeper into a particular method. At the same time, we try to create room to discuss ideas and concerns related to our own research.

NEXT:

Elite Interviewing with Laura Empson

CLINICS:

Netnography with Robert V. Kozinets

Reflexive Methodology with Mats Alvesson

The Epistemological Value of Shadows, and the Politics of Visibility in Qualitative Research with Afshin Mehrpouya

Writing through vulnerability during troubling times: Exploring vertical writing that shakes the ground with Jenny Helin

Making Sense of Research Through Story with Tricia Cleland Silva and Paulo de Tarso Fonseca Silva

Organizational Discourse Analysis with Dan Kärreman

Developing Theory about the Development of Theory with Henry Mintzberg

Generating Theory by Abduction with Andrew Van de Ven and Alf Steiner Saetre

Hauntological Readings with Justine Grønbæk Pors (CBS)

Designing the Study with Barbara Czarniawska

The Art of Writing Conceptual(-Only) Articles with Kaisa Koskela-Huotari

Poetic Inquiry: What can we learn from analyzing data like poetry? with Noortje van Amsterdam (Utrecht School of Governance)

 

Upcoming Methods Clinics


Methods Clinic on Elite Interviewing with Laura Empson (Bayes Business School, formerly Cass)

01 June 2022

While the term ‘elite interview’ is rarely defined in the methodological literature, it broadly relates to power asymmetry and relative privilege between interviewer and interviewee. The aim of this seminar is to explore the distinct methodological challenges of elite interviewing and identify how best to overcome them.

For more than 25 years I have interviewed many hundreds of senior professionals in elite professional organizations. They are typically relatively powerful, highly educated, and self-assured, working in organizations which guard their external image very carefully. In this seminar I reflect upon what I have learnt from my experiences as a researcher and from speaking to senior practitioners about their own experiences of being interviewed by researchers.  In general, researchers know very little about how we come across to our interview subjects, or what they consider effective and ineffective, and why. 

In this seminar I will address issues relating to: gaining access, preparing to interview, establishing authority, building rapport, going deeper, dealing with difficult interviewees, and how to maintain critical distance. 

This (hopefully) highly interactive seminar is an opportunity for you to reflect upon you experiences to date and to share any questions and concerns about your future research interviews.

 

When? 1 June 2022, 10:30-12:00 (CET/Stockholm time)

Where? Our first hybrid seminar – join us on Zoom or in-person at Stockholm School of Economics. 

Some spots for in-person participation available on a first come first serve basis (please indicate your preference already when registering with us). Otherwise, you will receive a Zoom link upon registration as always 😊

How? Register by emailing methodslab@hhs.se.

 

Laura Empson is Professor in the Management of Professional Service Firms at Bayes Business School (formerly Cass) in London, Director of the Centre for Professional Service Firms, and Senior Research Fellow at Harvard Law School. She also serves on the Strategic Advisory Board of the Journal of Management Studies.

She has dedicated almost 30 years to researching professionals and the professions.  Her research in the context of professional service firms encompasses diverse themes such as: leadership and governance; identity and organisational change; mergers and acquisitions; knowledge management and innovation; professional careers and diversity; and hybrid working.

Alongside her dozens of publications in leading academic journals, she has published three books with Oxford University Press – her latest is Leading Professionals: Power, Politics, and Prima Donnas. She acts as an advisor to many of the world’s leading professional organizations, as well as to the UK government.

She was previously Associate Professor at the University of Oxford. Before becoming an academic, Laura worked as an investment banker and strategy consultant. She has a PhD and MBA from London Business School.




 

Previous Methods Clinics


Methods Clinic on Netnography with Robert V. Kozinets (University of Southern California)

10 May 2022

In a world where so much of what we read and study is online, knowing how to approach the task of researching digital and social media can be difficult. One of the most specific and modernized methods of conducting research in the digital sphere is netnography.

In this cozy evening seminar, we dive into the method of netnography, led by none other than the scholar who originally developed it in 1995: Professor Robert V, Kozinets.

Robert V. Kozinets is the Jayne and Hans Hufschmid Chair of Strategic Public Relations and Business Communication at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and Marshall School of Business in Los Angeles, California. He has developed methods and theories widely used around the world. His work seeks a deep understanding of the intertwining worlds of technology and culture—technocultures—and the networks, institutions, myths, and algorithms underpinning them. Interrogating the relationships between technology, media, belief, and desire, for over two decades his research has pushed field boundaries towards more cultural and passionate ways of knowing for business and scholarship. That work has been published in a variety of forms, including books, peer-reviewed articles, blogs, Tweets, research videos (on YouTube), and poetry.

When: 10 May 2022, 18:00-20:00 (CET/Stockholm time)
What: Netnography with Professor Robert V. Kozinets (University of Southern California)
Where: We stay digital to connect speakers and participants from all around the world. A Zoom link will be shared upon registration.
To Do: Register and join us online! Upon registration, you will also receive two preliminary readings.

Please sign up before the 9th of May by emailing us at methodslab@hhs.se.

 

Methods Clinic on Poetic Inquiry: What can we learn from analyzing data like poetry? with Noortje van Amsterdam (Utrecht School of Governance)
 
24 March 2022

In this session, I want to invite participants to consider poetry as a way of analyzing and representing data. In the first part of the session, I will illustrate how I turned to poetry in my own research when I got stuck using conventional methods of (qualitative) analysis. Conventional academic writing does not leave much space for addressing embodied and affective aspects of research. Poetic inquiry focuses on what touches, moves, or changes us in the research, as well as what our interlocutors are moved or touched by. It thus offers possibilities for attending to affect and embodiment as these play out in our research. By playing with the rhythm of the text, poetry enables researchers to better approach the chaotic and not-yet-known experiences; the part of the research that escapes us when we use conventional, linear academic writing. In the second part of the session, I want to invite participants to experiment poetic inquiry of their own research materials. I will provide a short exercise to get to know this methodology. For this purpose, all participants are asked to bring a research text to the session (e.g. an interview transcript, an observation report, a policy document, an academic paper, or anything else that has text and is related to the research).

Noortje van Amsterdam is Assistant Professor Organization Studies at Utrecht School of Governance. Her research focusses on bodies and health in organizations. Informed by feminist poststructuralist theory, intersectionality and new materialism, Noortje aims to explore the materialities, affective flows and ideological power structures that shape inequalities related to embodied signifiers such as gender, dis/ability, age, race/ethnicity and size. She uses both conventional qualitative methodologies such as interviews and observations and creative methodologies such as Arts-Based Research, visual methods, autoethnographic writing and poetic inquiry. Noortje’s work has appeared in international peer-reviewed journals such as Organization Studies, Gender, Work and Organization, Culture and Organization, and European Journal of Women’s Studies, in edited volumes, and online www.poetryatwork.me

When: 24 March 2022, 15:00-17:00 (CET/Stockholm time)

What: Poetic Inquiry: What can we learn from analyzing data like poetry? with Noortje van Amsterdam (Utrecht School of Governance)

Where: We stay digital to connect speakers and participants from all around the world. Zoom link will be shared upon registration

To Do: Register and join us online! Upon registration, you will receive one preliminary reading.

Please sign up before the 24th of March by emailing us at methodslab@hhs.se.

 

Methods Clinic on "The Art of Writing Conceptual(-Only) Articles" with Kaisa Koskela-Huotari (Stockholm School of Economics)
 
17 November 2021

There are more and more calls for conceptual(-only) articles that integrate existing knowledge, bridge previously unconnected ideas, and bring forth new perspectives that can significantly broaden the scope of thinking within a research field. Conceptual articles also tend to be rather highly cited. Despite these benefits, conceptual articles are often considered challenging to write as they require skills not often taught in doctoral programs and they do not have commonly accepted templates as readily available as do empirical articles.

The aim of this seminar is to unveil some of the mystery associate with the “art” writing conceptual articles and point to useful resources in the process. The seminar explains how a conceptual(-only) article differs from an empirical research article, offers detailed guidance for compellingly framing a conceptual article and “templates” for the theorization process. The seminar is particularly aimed at scholars writing or interested in writing conceptual articles, but the discussion on article positioning and types of theoretical contributions will also benefit scholars working with empirical research.

Kaisa Koskela-Huotari is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Marketing and Strategy of Stockholm School of Economics. Kaisa’s research interests lie at the intersection of service-dominant logic, institutional theory, and systems thinking. She uses these perspectives in her, often conceptual, work to learn more about change in social systems and inform the understandings of innovation, service design and market evolution. Her articles have been published in the Journal of Service Research, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Service Management, Journal of Strategic Marketing among others. Kaisa serves as the Assistant Editor of the AMS Review, the only marketing journal that focuses exclusively on conceptual(-only) articles.

When: 17 November 2021, 14:00-16:00 CET/Stockholm time

What: The Art of Writing Conceptual(-Only) Articles with Kaisa Koskela-Huotari

Where: Zoom, a link will be shared upon registration

To Do: Register and join us online! Pre-readings will be shared upon registration.

Please sign up before the 17th of November by emailing us at methodslab@hhs.se.

 

Methods Clinic on "Designing the Study" with Barbara Czarniawska (University of Gothenburg)
 
21 October 2021

"Assuming that you have chosen the phenomenon you wish to study (because you are curious about it, and because nobody else has studied it, or studied it properly, (which you have checked in your literature review), it is the time to answer the question: “How shall I conduct my study?". In my presentation, I review several options, illustrating them with examples."

Barbara Czarniawska is a Senior Professor of Management Studies at Gothenburg Research Institute, School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. She is also Doctor honoris causa here at Stockholm School of Economics, at Copenhagen Business School, Helsinki School of Economics, and University of Aalborg. Her research takes constructivist perspectives on organizing focusing on action nets. Her methodological interests cover fieldwork techniques and the narrative approach in social science studies, with much more to say.

When: 21 October 2021, 14:00-16:00 CET/Stockholm time

What: “Designing the Study” with Barbara Czarniawska

Where: Zoom, a link will be shared upon registration

To Do: Register and join us online! No pre-readings so far but we might share some closer to the date.

Please sign up before the 21st of October by emailing us at methodslab@hhs.se.

 

Methods Clinic with Justine Grønbæk Pors (CBS) on “Hauntological readings. Thinking with ghosts when reading your empirical material"
 
23 September 2021

Hauntological readings. Thinking with ghosts when reading your empirical material.
This session presents ideas about hauntology as offered by Jacques Derrida and Karen Barad to discuss forms of readings that draw attention to the ghostly forces at work in different empirical contexts. To think with ghosts, I will argue, is one way to disturb one's initial reading of a data set and look for other possible interpretations. Particularly, theoretical and methodological attention to ghostly forces can help bring out questions about the politics of management and organising.

Building on broader discussions about non-representational theory and methods, we will develop a repertoire of different analytical strategies for noticing questions about exclusion, inheritances, forgotten pasts and other possible futures in empirical material.

These theoretical and methodological discussions will also lead us to reflect upon how our individual thinking and writing are entangled to broader transformations of what it means to be a researcher today. Thinking with ghost reminds us that we are connected to past ideas and struggles as well as to futures that might not yet be entirely lost.

Justine Grønbæk Pors is an Associate Professor at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy at Copenhagen Business School (CBS). Her research focuses on the contradictions and paradoxes of contemporary policy transformations. She is particularly interested in subjectivity, affect and ghosts. Justine is a member of the ephemera collective.

When: 23rd of September, 14:00 - 16:00 (CET)

What: Seminar consisting of presentation + discussion

Where: Not the haunted house, but Zoom! We will remain virtual for now and a link will be sent out upon registration!

To Do:  A copy of the reading will be sent upon registration.

Please sign up by emailing us at methodslab@hhs.se.

 

Methods Clinic with Andrew Van de Ven and Alf Steiner Saetre on Generating Theory by Abduction
 
11 May 2021

We continue our theory-themed discussion with another Methods Clinic, open to everyone interested in learning more about abduction and its role in generating theory.

The need for understanding how new ideas and hunches are created that may subsequently lead to new theories or models has never been greater for academics and practitioners. Abduction provides a mode of reasoning for achieving this. It is a form of generative reasoning that begins with observing and confirming an anomaly, generating and evaluating hunches that may explain the anomaly, for subsequent deductive constructing and inductive testing

Although abductive reasoning is being recognized in the management literature, it requires more systematic development to be useful for theory creation. Professors Andrew Van de Ven (University of Minnesota) and Alf Steiner Saetre (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) argue that abduction can inform management scholars in creating theories in three important ways. In the assigned reading for this Clinic (view below), Van de Ven and Steiner Saetre begin by proposing four key steps in abductive reasoning of observing and confirming anomalies and generating and evaluating hunches. They then go beyond individual reasoning to examine collective social-psychological processes of generating new theories, and follow that with a proposal on specific ways for disciplined imagination in abductive reasoning.

When: 11th May, 15:00 - 17:00 (Stockholm time, CET) / 08:00 - 10:00 (Minnesota time)

What: Seminar consisting of presentation + discussion

Where: Zoom, a link will be shared upon registration

To Do: Please read Steiner Sætre, A. & Van de Ven, A. (2021). Generating theory by abduction. Academy of Management Review. Published online under https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2019.0233.

A copy of the reading will be sent upon registration. Please come with your questions to make the most out of the session :-)

Please sign up before the 11th of May by emailing us at methodslab@hhs.se.

 

Methods Clinic Q&A on "Developing Theory about the Development of Theory" with Henry Mintzberg, McGill.
 
15 April 2021

To be or not to be - a theory!

We dip our toes into a toolbox of theorizing, by bringing you a Methods Clinic in a Q&A style with Professor Mintzberg on the process of theory development. In this one-hour session we center the discussion - propelled by your questions - around the chapter Developing Theory about the Development of Theory published in the Handbook of Middle Management Strategy Process Research

Henry Mintzberg (https://mintzberg.org) is the John Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Mintzberg, who is also a collector of sculptures made by beavers, is renowned for his extensive research in management studies, specifically for his seminal work on The Nature of Managerial Work, but also for his body of work on strategic management and organizational design, education and learning, the case for corporate social responsibility, and many others.

When: 15th April, 18:00 - 19:00 (Stockholm time) / 12:00 - 13:00 (Montréal time)

Where: Zoom, a link will be shared upon registration

To Do: Please read Developing Theory about the Development of Theory (paper will also be shared upon registration), and come well prepared to make the most out of the session.

Please sign up before the 14th of April by emailing us at methodslab@hhs.se.

 
Methods Clinic on "Organizational Discourse Analysis" with Dan Kärreman, CBS/Lund/Royal Holloway.
 
4 March 2021
 
Organization discourse analysis (ODA) has emerged as a major method for empirically researching communication in and around organisations, as well as a tool for theorising key organizational activity. This seminar introduces main ways of doing and thinking about ODA. It will also make connections to more recent developments within organizations and communication, such as the communicative constitution of organization perspective (CCO).
 
Dan Kärreman is Professor at Copenhagen Business School (CBS). He is also at Lund University, at Royal Holloway, University of London, and affiliated as a visiting professor with the Department of Management and Organisation (DMO) at SSE. Dan’s research focuses on critical management studies, knowledge work, identity in organizations, leadership, organizational control, innovation and research methodology. He has published in journals such as Academy of Management Reviews, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies, Human Relations, Organization Science, Organization, Accounting Organization and Society - you name it! Dan also published the book “Qualitative Methodology and Theory Development: Mystery as Method” together with Mats Alvesson.

Organisational Discourse Analysis with Dan Kärrenman

 

CANCELLED:

Methods Clinic on “Just Words? Methods of Conceptual Analysis in Organizational Research” with Stefan Schwarzkopf, Copenhagen Business School.
 
In this Methods Clinic, Stefan would like to achieve two aims: 1) to introduce the method of conceptual analysis and the history of concepts as a useful tool for researchers in the field of organization and market studies (OMS); 2) to use two concepts, namely ‘transformation’ and ‘sustainability’, as examples to showcase what the analytic-historical method inherited from people like Reinhart Koselleck has to offer to researchers in OMS.
 
The seminar will be facilitated by Stefan Schwarzkopf, Associate Professor at Copenhagen Business School (Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy). Stefan devotes his research to questions over how markets, since the late eighteenth century, became such pervasive socio-technological-economic arrangements. His research interests cover topics like history of markets, marketing history and marketing theory as well as economic sociology of consumer capitalism. You can find his research published in journals like Organization Studies, Organization, Journal of Macromarketing, Environment and Planning D, Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, or Consumption, Markets and Culture.
 

Unfortunately due to pandemic-related reasons this Clinic has been cancelled.

 

Clinic on "Making Sense of Research Through Story” with Tricia Cleland Silva, Hanken School of Economics, and Paulo de Tarso Fonseca Silva, Metaphora International.
 
25 November 2020
 
“Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it” - Hannah Arendt
 
We are and we become the stories we tell. Stories are powerful ways for humans to make sense of themselves and their workplaces (Boje 1991; Brown et al., 2008; Gabriel, 2000; Weick, 1995) and socially construct identities and relationships (Brown, 2006; Ybema, 2014).
 
Through the method of Collaborative Story Craft, this workshop explores your stories as researchers and strives to uncover stories that unite us in our fields of study as well as our responsibilities to those impacted by our work. Collaborative Story Craft takes the participants on a three step journey of externalising our values and beliefs around an uniting activity (in this case, research) and collectively crafts commonalities and patterns amongst the individual stories to create a future story that resonates with the entire group. The method can be used in various qualitative research settings and as a tool in your research positioning.
 
The workshop was facilitated by Tricia Cleland Silva, PhD (Hanken School of Economics) and Paulo de Tarso Fonseca Silva, who describe themselves as pragmatic academics and story mediators. Through their work at their co-founded company, Metaphora International, various communities of practices, and universities, the method of Collaborative Story Craft continues to evolve.
 
Clinic on “Writing through vulnerability during troubling times: Exploring vertical writing that shakes the ground” with Jenny Helin, Uppsala University
 
1 October 2020
 
Welcome to a seminar where we will explore assumptions around temporality and writing with the aim of learning more about our own writing practices, discuss the relationships between reading and writing, and hopefully gain new insights about the possibilities of academic writing
 
Are we, as academics, stuck in a horizontal temporality, organized by the clock, that flattens our work, our words? In reading Hélène Cixous, Gaston Bachelard, and others, a rupture strikes, establishing another temporality: vertical time. Is it possible, I ask, to learn from these authors and engage in academic writing in verticality? The answer is: Yes! Through an in-depth reading of special pieces, I see clearly that when we use our scholarly voice to write from within our vulnerabilities, it becomes possible to climb all the way up or dig ourselves deep down. In other words, we can ‘go deep’ in the sense of touching that which is most important, as well as finding ways to ‘fly high,’ through writing. This shows that writing and temporality are always already interweaved with each other because writing produces temporalities just as temporality at play produces writing.
 
Jenny Helin is an Associate Professor at the Business Department, Uppsala University. She is the Director of Uppsala University’s Graduate School on Sustainability and she has a strong interest in academic work practices, with a special focus on writing. She is involved in a range of activities in relation to academic writing, such as the international research project “Open writing: The missing link on the open science agenda”, the community around writing differently with a special issue in Management Learning 2019 (issue 1) and the newly published Writing Differently, edited with Alison Pullen and Nancy Harding, for Routledge.
 

Clinic on "The Epistemological Value of Shadows, and the Politics of Visibility in Qualitative Research" with Professor Afshin Mehrpouya, HEC Paris

26 May 2020 

As silence is celebrated by sound, complexity highlights simplicity in a legacy of contradiction that leads the gaze from what is loud and visible to what might be neither. “Thus darkness illuminates,” writes Junichiro Tanizaki, and though it is easy to remain an admirer of such expression, it is a subject desiring to be picked up, questioned, examined. Does the invisible construct matter? How and why do we attach immaterial values to material entities? What is there to be found in shadows and flaws for a scientist? What does the presence of shadows tell us? And what role does aestheticism play in what we do?

Together with Afshin Mehrpouya from HEC Paris, we will discuss the epistemological value of shadows and the politics of visibility in qualitative inquiries in our upcoming seminar. Afshin is an associate professor of accounting and management control systems at HEC Paris, where he researches the role of performance measurement in transnational governance. His interests lie in the construction and use of calculative knowledge forms such as rankings and ratings. 

Readings:

Tanizaki Jun’ichirō - In Praise of Shadows

Clinic on Reflexive Methodology with Mats Alvesson, Lund University

30 January 2020 

We started this new seminar series with Professor Mats Alvesson from Lund University talking about Reflexive Methodology

The ambition of reflexive methodology is to produce more interesting, more creative and unexpected research results through re-thinking conventions and opening up for more varied and challenging uses of research questions, fieldwork practices, modes of interpretations and styles of writing. 

In this Clinic, we discussed what reflexivity implies in theoretical and practical terms for our research, ranging from asking interesting and relevant research questions to study design or analyzing empirical material.

Readings:

Alvesson, M., & Sandberg, J. (2013). Constructing Research Questions: Doing Interesting Research. London: Sage.

Alvesson, M., & Sköldberg, K. (2017). Reflexive Methodology: New Vistas for Qualitative Research (3rd Ed.). London: Sage.