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You are a sociologist, a researcher in management, political science or anthropology, and you have chosen to meet people in a company, in an organization or in the social world to interview them and observe their day to day behavior. In short, you have chosen the comprehensive methodology that is usually called qualitative research. The questions you ask yourself are practical: How and where to start? How to do a review of the literature? How to develop good ideas? They are also technical: How do I describe what I see and work out a narrative of what’s going on? Finally, they are epistemological (but it turns out these are just as practical): What kind of theory can I use and produce? In what sense can what I am doing be said to be science?
Aimed at a broad range of researchers, beginners or advanced, historians, management scientists, sociologists, anthropologists or economists, all looking to develop a rigorous understanding of interactions and actors’ behaviors, this book should help them to formulate the right methodological questions and to find ways of addressing them in original ways.
Hervé Dumez is Directeur de Recherche (CNRS et École polytechnique) and director of the Interdisciplinary Institute for Innovation (i3), Paris, France. He is associate editor of the European Management Review and the author and co-author of about sixty papers in peer-reviewed journals, as well as of ten books. The French version of this book received the best research book of the year award from the Fondation Nationale pour l’Enseignement de la Gestion des Entreprises (FNEGE) in 2015.