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Therapeutin oder spionin? Qualitative interviews with German senior managers

Drew, Hilary

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Abstract

Despite the fact that qualitative interviews are reputed to be an effective method of obtaining data from organizational elites, studies are concurrent on a number of obstacles which surround the interviewing of senior management. Problem areas flagged by the literature include issues of access and suspicion towards the interviewer as an outsider. Welch et al (2002) posit that, to successfully engage with executives in an interview setting, the researcher needs to adopt a position between two roles: therapist and spy. This paper presents experiences with interviewing senior-level HR managers in German organizations. The author attempted to overcome some of the established barriers to interviewing internationals and organizational elites. However, as the paper argues, unique working experience collected in Germany gave the researcher insights into how to interact with senior German managers. In particular, the researcher drew on a previous role as a language trainer to create a method of engaging managers. The semi-structured interviews that followed were free from barriers and resulted in the gathering of rich data which enabled the researcher to better understand processes, networks and relationships.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Start Date Jun 16, 2014
Publication Date Jun 1, 2014
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Drew, H. (2014, June). Therapeutin oder spionin? Qualitative interviews with German senior managers. Paper presented at 13th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies
Keywords qualitative interviews, organizational elites, cross-cultural research, business management research
Publisher URL http://academic-bookshop.com/ourshop/prod_3375782-ECRM-2014-13th-European-Conference-on-Research-Methodology-for-Business-and-Management-Studies-ECRM-2014-PRINT-version.html
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : 13th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies

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