Qualitative research practices and family business scholarship: A review and future research agenda
De Massis A
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SubjectInterpretivism; Qualitative research; Epistemology; Family business; Future research; Qualitative methods
In spite of various calls for a wider application of qualitative research in the family business field, it is our contention that the full potential of qualitative inquiry is not being fully realized. Part of the reason for this relates to the tendency to promote methods choice and diversity rather than addressing the foundational questions and processes which underlie qualitative research choices. These tendencies obscure attention to the reasons why researchers choose qualitative methods and the kinds of foundational issues about family businesses that are brought to light through qualitative research. To address this, we undertake an analysis of the most-cited articles using qualitative methods from an annotated bibliography of family business studies. From this, we identify the strengths and weaknesses of extant qualitative studies in family business research and argue for the need to re-orientate calls in family business research towards the foundational questions (rather than methods) that underline qualitative inquiry. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
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