QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT Introduction In qualitative research the process of writing up your research is just as important as doing the research itself The qualitative researcher, by definition, is someone who ‘writes about people’ It is easy to underestimate the importance of writing- up and the time it takes Writing up2 Written Record Data Analysis Approach Data Collection Technique Research Method Philosophical Assumptions
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT Writing Up3 Why write? The only way that most people can learn about your work is through the finished article, thesis, or book An article or book can be read by hundreds if not thousands of people A well-written article gets your message across to your intended audience A badly-written article will be misunderstood and misinterpreted by everyone who reads it If you want to write, it is important to write well
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT A sample writing template Writing up4 Eight questionsDescription 1. Title?What is the title of the thesis, article or book I am writing? 2. Purpose?What is the purpose of the article or book I am writing? 3. Authors?Who are the authors of the work, and what is their intended contribution? 4. Audience?Who is the intended audience for the work? 5. Method?What research method am I planning to use? 6. Publication outlet?Which journal, conference or book publisher will I submit the work to? 7. Theoretical contribution? What is my proposed theoretical contribution? 8. Practical contribution?What is the practical relevance of my work (if any)?
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT Writing styles and genres Van Maanen (1998) lists three writing styles in ethnography: The realist style is told almost exclusively through the eyes of the natives, virtually ignoring the role of the researcher in the writing of the story. The article or book reads as if it were an extremely objective, authoritative and politically neutral account The confessional tale adopts a highly personalized and self- absorbed style. The emphasis is not at all on the natives’ perspective, but rather on the field worker’s experience The impressionist style focuses on the recall of experiences and impressions from the field. The author attempts to capture a scene in a moment of time, and presents the doing of fieldwork in a novelistic way Writing up5
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT Writing styles and genres (2) The narrative style tends to see the case study or ethnography as the writing of history The literary style uses fiction-writing techniques to tell the story. The author uses dramatic plots, narration and so forth to tell us about the research findings The jointly told style is where the research report or article is co-authored by the researcher and a ‘native’ Writing up6
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT Some practical suggestions Start writing as soon as possible Write a good ‘story’ Data selection – include some direct quotations if possible Get the details right first time Consider using bibliographic database and reference management software such as EndNote or ProCite Writing up7