Researching process and organization: 'in situ reflexive probing' as a process methodology

Anup Karath Nair, George Burt, Robert Chia

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Abstract

Despite a recent profusion of methodologies within organizational research, much of what have been formulated remains within the remit of what we call here a ‘substantialist ontology’. This includes methodologies formulated within a ‘weak’ process theory which we assert remains wedded to a substantialist ontology. Methodologies anchored in a ‘strong’ process ontology, however, remain nascent. In this paper, we argue that the operationalization of process ontology requires the development of research methodologies that are inherently sympathetic to process and movement as fundamental features of reality. This, in turn, implies the need for greater conceptual integration and translation to the practical activity of fieldwork in process research. We address this lacuna by fleshing out a methodological approach that applies insights from the recent conceptual developments in the ‘practice turn’ to researching organizational practices in within the remit of a ‘strong’ process ontology. We call this ‘in situ reflexive probing’, a quasi-ethnographic methodology that can aid the development of ‘strong’ process research in organization and management studies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2013
EventThe second mini conference: "Expanding New Horizons for Strategy Process Research during Turbulent Times" - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 25 Mar 201326 Mar 2013

Conference

ConferenceThe second mini conference: "Expanding New Horizons for Strategy Process Research during Turbulent Times"
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityEdinburgh
Period25/03/1326/03/13

Keywords

  • process ontology
  • in situ reflexive probing
  • dwelling mode
  • practice turn
  • ‘strong’ process methodology

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    Nair, A. K., Burt, G., & Chia, R. (2013). Researching process and organization: 'in situ reflexive probing' as a process methodology. Paper presented at The second mini conference: "Expanding New Horizons for Strategy Process Research during Turbulent Times", Edinburgh, United Kingdom.