What is the Point of Method Sections?

Nick Butler, Sverre Spoelstra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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There are plenty of books and articles on research methods, but few discuss the nature and purpose of method sections in academic journals. Based on interviews with critical and interpretivist researchers, this short paper examines the nature and purpose of method sections in management and organization studies. We show how researchers make sense of, and struggle with, positivist expectations about the form and content of method sections. Ultimately, we call for greater openness about what method sections might look like and ask whether all academic articles need method sections.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1266-1272
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Published online: 27 June 2023.


  • Academic publishing
  • Critical management studies
  • Methodology
  • Interpretivism
  • Qualitative research
  • Transparency

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