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Epistemic Attitudes and Source Critique in Qualitative Research

Schaefer, Stephan LU and Alvesson, Mats LU (2017) In Journal of Management Inquiry
Abstract
In this essay, we explore and discuss current practices of source critique. In our empirical analysis of a sample of interview-based studies, we find that few studies show a careful and reflective stance toward their sources. In the majority of cases, we discern a tendency to either ignore basic issues of the trustworthiness of interview material or produce technical descriptions which seem to have no real effect on the actual assessment of the study’s sources. We suggest five epistemic attitudes which describe how scholars engage—or rather not engage—in source critique. To improve source critique, we suggest tactics of intra- and extrasource critique which seriously consider interactional dynamics behind and quality of interview content... (More)
In this essay, we explore and discuss current practices of source critique. In our empirical analysis of a sample of interview-based studies, we find that few studies show a careful and reflective stance toward their sources. In the majority of cases, we discern a tendency to either ignore basic issues of the trustworthiness of interview material or produce technical descriptions which seem to have no real effect on the actual assessment of the study’s sources. We suggest five epistemic attitudes which describe how scholars engage—or rather not engage—in source critique. To improve source critique, we suggest tactics of intra- and extrasource critique which seriously consider interactional dynamics behind and quality of interview content other than “truth” reporting, aiming to corroborate interview statements by carefully cross-checking interview material with observations and multiple sources. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
interviews, qualitative Research, source critique, epistemic attitude
in
Journal of Management Inquiry
pages
13 pages
publisher
SAGE Publications Inc.
ISSN
1056-4926
DOI
10.1177/1056492617739155
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f939c8db-5e01-4bcd-a965-c452bbbc1d40
date added to LUP
2017-12-15 09:39:02
date last changed
2017-12-15 11:30:40
@article{f939c8db-5e01-4bcd-a965-c452bbbc1d40,
  abstract     = {In this essay, we explore and discuss current practices of source critique. In our empirical analysis of a sample of interview-based studies, we find that few studies show a careful and reflective stance toward their sources. In the majority of cases, we discern a tendency to either ignore basic issues of the trustworthiness of interview material or produce technical descriptions which seem to have no real effect on the actual assessment of the study’s sources. We suggest five epistemic attitudes which describe how scholars engage—or rather not engage—in source critique. To improve source critique, we suggest tactics of intra- and extrasource critique which seriously consider interactional dynamics behind and quality of interview content other than “truth” reporting, aiming to corroborate interview statements by carefully cross-checking interview material with observations and multiple sources.},
  author       = {Schaefer, Stephan and Alvesson, Mats},
  issn         = {1056-4926},
  keyword      = {interviews,qualitative Research,source critique,epistemic attitude},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  pages        = {13},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications Inc.},
  series       = {Journal of Management Inquiry},
  title        = {Epistemic Attitudes and Source Critique in Qualitative Research},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1056492617739155},
  year         = {2017},
}