Theories of knowledge and focus groups in organization and management research

COULE, Tracey (2013). Theories of knowledge and focus groups in organization and management research. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, 8 (2), 148-162.

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Official URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?article...
Link to published version:: 10.1108/QROM-09-2011-1006

Abstract

Purpose: This article develops a reflexive theoretical framework for thinking about focus groups and critiques dominating instrumental views of the method. It emerges out of dissatisfaction with the literature presenting ‘how to’ guides for focus group research, which fail to engage with the epistemological issues surrounding research practice. Design/methodology/approach: The paper critically evaluates the link between theories of knowledge and method through interrogation of focus groups as a method of knowledge production. Findings: While the focus group method can lend itself to a variety of uses according to the epistemological stance of the researcher, this raises important questions about the design, conduct and analysis of focus groups within organization and management research. Such questions are not merely technical or practical issues and call for exploration, self-examination and epistemological awareness on the part of those who chose to use the method. Originality/value: The article provides students and researchers with new ways of conceiving the focus group method by locating discussions of the method in prevailing philosophical paradigms within organization and management research.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > Ethical Organisations
Identification Number: 10.1108/QROM-09-2011-1006
Depositing User: Tracey Coule
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2013 09:36
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2014 14:45
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7423

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