“What’s Cooking?”: Serendipitous Opportunities and Creative Action in Data Collection

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“What’s cooking?” is old-fashioned slang for asking about what is happening or what someone is planning. In this chapter, it denotes an approach to prospective data collection in qualitative research and captures the gist of a case study from the field of haute cuisine that inspired the saying. The approach involves seeking proactively, noticing, and acting creatively upon serendipitous opportunities that are associated with the case’s future. These opportunities may bring researchers into contact with social worlds other than those in which the studied case is grounded and may require that they negotiate and play diverse roles for data collection, yielding novel insights and offering possibilities for building interesting stories and theories. Next I describe the background of and inspiration for the approach, introduce its elements and workings, and highlight potential benefits and caveats.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Qualitative Organizational Research : Innovative Pathways and Methods
EditorsKimberly Elsbach, Roderick Kramer
Place of PublicationNew York
Publication date2016
ISBN (Print)9781848725102
ISBN (Electronic)9781315849072, 9781317908784
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Published December 7th 2015

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