Field Research Methods

Journal Article
Grodal, Stine, Michel Anteby, and Audrey L. Holm. 2021. “Achieving Rigor in Qualitative Analysis: The Role of Active Categorization in Theory Building.” Academy of Management Review 46 (3): 591-612. Abstract
Scholars have long debated how rigor can be achieved in qualitative analysis. To answer this question, we need to better understand how theory is generated from data. Qualitative analysis is, at its core, a categorization process. Nevertheless, despite a surge of interest in categorization within the social sciences, insights from categorization theory have not yet been applied to our understanding of qualitative analysis. Drawing from categorization theory, we argue that the movement from data to theory is an active process in which researchers choose between multiple moves that help them to make sense of their data. In addition, we develop a framework of the main moves that people use when they categorize data and demonstrate that evidence of these moves can also be found in past qualitative scholarship. Our framework emphasizes that if we are not sufficiently reflexive and explicit about the active analytical processes that generate theoretical insights, we cannot be transparent and, thus, rigorous about how we analyze data. We discuss the implications of our framework for increasing rigor in qualitative analysis, for actively constructing categories from data, and for spurring more methodological plurality within qualitative theory building.
Anteby, Michel. 2017. “Sur les Traces de Michel Crozier en Amérique : Verités au pays de Veritas.” French Politics, Culture & Society 35 (3): 91-104. Abstract
The sociologist Michel Crozier went to North America several times, including visits to the universities of California, Harvard, Michigan, and Stanford. He always saw himself as a friend, even an admirer, of the United States. But what scholarly impact did he have on the US field of organizational behavior? Relying on an analysis of Crozier’s citation-impact within a sample of organizational behavior journals, this article demonstrates that his footprint on this academic field proved fairly light. His refusal to adopt a unitary normative approach can in part explain this relatively limited impact. Crozier preferred to unearth multiple truths (plural) rather than only one truth (singular). His ideology of non-ideology might otherwise have gained more followers in certain faculties, most notably at the Harvard Business School, where his position echoed the dominant viewpoint.
Anteby, Michel, and Beth A. Bechky. 2016. “How Workplace Ethnographies Can Inform the Study of Work and Employment Relations.” Industrial and Labor Relations Review 69 (2): 501-505.
Anteby, Michel, and Caitlin Anderson. 2014. “The Shifting Landscape of LGBT Organizational Research.” Research in Organizational Behavior 34: 3-25. (Click here for full version) Abstract

Over the past generation, sexual minorities—particularly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons—have gained increased visibility in the public arena. Yet organizational research has lagged behind in recognizing and studying this category of organizational members. This article offers a critical review of this growing body of research. More specifically, we identify and discuss four dominant scholarly frames that have informed LGBT organizational research from the late nineteenth century to date. The frames include a “medical abnormality,” “deviant social role,” “collective identity,” and “social distinctiveness” view of sexual minorities. We argue that these frames have profoundly shaped the scope and range of organizational scholarship devoted to sexual minorities by showing that scholars using such contrasted frames have been drawn to very different research questions with respect to sexual minorities. We document and discuss the main and contrasted questions asked within each of these frames and show how they have both enabled and constrained LGBT organizational research. We conclude by calling for more attention to the frames organizational scholars adopt when studying sexual minorities, but also for more research on both minority and majority sexual orientations in organizations.

Book Chapter
Anteby, Michel. 2020. “Dénis, obstructions et silences : La résistance du terrain.” In Parler de Soi : Méthodes Biographiques en Sciences Sociales, 215-226. Paris: Éditions de l’EHESS.
Anteby, Michel. 2016. “Denials, Obstructions, and Silences: Lessons from Field Resistance (and Field Embrace).” The Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods: Innovative Pathways and Methods, edited by K. D. Elsbach and M. R. Kramer, 197-205. New York: Routledge. Abstract

The means by which field participants collectively resist an inquiry into their social world—that is, the repertoires of field resistance they deploy—can vary radically from one setting to the next. For example, factory craftsmen who produce in their plant and on the side illegal artifacts might resist a scholarly inquiry into their practices by denying that they are thieves. By contrast, clinical anatomists who procure human cadavers for medical education and research might physically obstruct a scholar’s access to the field. Alternatively, business school faculty members faced with an inquiry into their work practices might decide to remain silent as a way to deflect the inquiry. This chapter reviews several forms of field resistance and discusses what they can teach us about their respective field settings. Moreover, by treating acts of resistance as data points rather than merely irritating impediments to field inquiries, this chapter calls for paying closer attention to repertoires of field resistance and highlights the benefits of collecting, analyzing, and qualifying field participants’ acts of resistance as innovative forms of data. A similar argument can also be made for paying closer attention to forms of field embrace or the various (and telling) means by which field participants embrace a scholars’ inquiry into their social world.

哈佛商学院商业道德修炼课 (Chinese translation of Manufacturing Morals)
Anteby, Michel. 2018. 哈佛商学院商业道德修炼课 (Chinese translation of Manufacturing Morals). Beijing: Beijing Times Chinese Press.
L'École des patrons : Silence et morales d'entreprises à la Business School de Harvard
Manufacturing Morals: The Values of Silence in Business School Education
Anteby, Michel. 2013. Manufacturing Morals: The Values of Silence in Business School Education. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Read more
Moral Gray Zones: Side Productions, Identity, and Regulation in an Aeronautic Plant
Anteby, Michel. 2008. Moral Gray Zones: Side Productions, Identity, and Regulation in an Aeronautic Plant. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Read more