From Convention to Alternatives: Rethinking Qualitative Research in Management Scholarship


by Emmanuella Plakoyiannaki and Pawan Budhwar

 The field of management is a rich, open and complex area of scholarship that allows for various philosophical, theoretical and methodological perspectives. Traditionally the British Journal of Management (BJM) has embraced this diversity and proactively shaped research practices (through empirical and methodological contributions) to promote different genres and styles of writing and theorizing. As a result, qualitative research in BJM proliferates, providing further opportunities to explain management phenomena in the research environments in which they naturally occur from the perspective of those who experience them (i.e. key actors). The beauty of qualitative research is that it draws from a range of paradigmatic lenses, methods, means of inference and theorizing styles. Despite its promising diversity, qualitative inquiry is often reduced to a single template or disciplinary convention, stifling authors' creativity and hindering novel theorizing in management scholarship (Pratt, Sonenshein and Fieldman, 2020). While conventions can be useful for legitimizing academic discourses, they are also meant to be problematized so as to help scholars capture changing phenomena and drive the filed forward. (DOI: 10.1111/1467-8551.12464)