The role and status of qualitative methods in management research: An empirical account

Catherine Cassell, Gillian Symon, Anna Buehring, Phil Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to present a piece of empirical work that investigates the current role and status of qualitative research within the management field. Design/methodology/approach - The research is based on 45 in-depth qualitative interviews with members of a range of different stakeholder groups, including: journal editors; qualitative researchers; Doctoral Programme Leaders; practitioners; and those who fund qualitative management research. Findings - The findings suggest that there is considerable variety in definitions of qualitative research; that there are still a number of issues surrounding the status and credibility of qualitative research within the field; and there is a need for greater access to researcher training in this area. Practical implications - The paper is of practical interest to qualitative researchers in that it details some of the issues surrounding publishing qualitative work. Originality/value - The paper presents original empirical work in this field. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-303
Number of pages13
JournalManagement Decision
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Management research
  • Qualitative methods
  • Training


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