A Researcher’s Tale: How Doing Conflict Research Shapes Research about Conflict

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to display and critically reflect upon how field experiences in the research process interacted with the author’s subjectivity and shaped her construction of knowledge about organisational conflict.
Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on Weick’s theoretical framework of sensemaking and the notion of reflexivity as a resource for dealing with research experiences, the paper presents empirical narratives that explore how research experiences of negotiating access to information and
emic categories of conflict in the field, analysing events and morally deciding which stories from the field are conflict stories, and dealing with ethical dilemmas in the process of doing research about conflict constitute common factors that influenced the author’s construction of knowledge about
organisational conflict.
Findings – The paper shows that the way we organise and make sense of research experiences shapes our process of theorising and the actual production of knowledge in a research field.
Research limitations/implications – We should document and display the process of theorising in our research and thoroughly pursue what we experienced in the field, because this will create thoroughness to our research and add to, not devalue, the knowledge we produce.
Originality/value – This paper highlights the process of theorising in organisational research. The empirical narratives presented in the paper contribute to the narrow display within the field of how we, as organisational researchers, mobilise our theorising and construct knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitative Research in Organizations and Management
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)33-49
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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