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Political and Ethical Challenges in Action: Collecting Interview and Social Network Data From an Organizational Field Site

By: Published: 2019 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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In this case study, I describe political and ethical challenges my research team and I encountered when collecting data from an organizational field site. Our research objective involved understanding factors that promote or inhibit individual and team creative performance. To accomplish this objective, we designed a study necessitating the collection of interviews, social networks, and survey data. I describe the methodological choices made when designing our study, how we gained access to the organization, and the organization’s interest in utilizing our study to assess its organizational culture. I then describe, in detail, the process of collecting interview and survey data, as well as several issues encountered and their resolution. I also discuss the problematic interactions between the research team and the organization throughout the data collection process. I conclude by articulating the lessons learned during this yearlong research project.

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