Expanding Organizational Research Methods: Analyzing Ruptures in Qualitative Research

Expanding Organizational Research Methods: Analyzing Ruptures in Qualitative Research

Sarah Jane Blithe (University of Nevada, USA) and Anna Wiederhold Wolfe (Texas A&M University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2823-4.ch010
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Collecting qualitative data in organizations is a complex and messy process which produces subjective, performed, and partial data. In this chapter, the authors argue that analyzing “ruptures” in organizational interview data—paying attention to absences, exits, unspoken feelings, and temporal shifts--can enrich the researcher's understanding by making visible multiple aspects of the data which might otherwise have been overlooked. Examining ruptures draws attention to jarring disjunctures and previously unseen angles often missed through traditional data analysis. Drawing from interview data with brothel owners and sex workers in Nevada's legal brothels, the authors present two main contributions to qualitative organizational research: (1) the benefits of analyzing ruptures in organizational interview performances and transcripts and (2) a challenge to organizational researchers to take seriously their emotions during the interview performance.
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Interviews As Performance

Traditional thought conceived of interviewing as a tool with which researchers could extract informational “truths” from interviewees. However, many scholars have embraced an alternative perspective that instead considers interview data as socially constructed through the interview process (Holstein & Gubrium, 1995, 2004; Mishler, 1986; Silverman, 2001). Briggs (1986) described interviews as communicative events. Through this view, the meaning of interview data is rhetorically constructed by both the interviewer and the interviewee (Briggs, 1986; Tracy, 2013). When interviews are seen as a mutually constructed process, it becomes problematic to assume that interviews can generate authentic accounts or objective “truths” (Miller & Glassner, 2004).

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