From cooperative practice to research and back

Langmead, K. ORCID: 0000-0002-2980-5107, 2017. From cooperative practice to research and back. Social Enterprise Journal, 13 (2), pp. 194-212. ISSN 1750-8614

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Purpose: This paper aims to explore how experiences and emotions arising from the performance of ethnography shape the construction of knowledge about democratic practice in two social enterprises. It argues that ethnographers can develop a more nuanced understanding of organisational practices by moving beyond the self-reflexive work of being aware of one’s position to embrace the emotional work of engaging reflexively with this position, re-embedding reflexive moments in the process of knowledge construction.

Design/methodology/approach: Reflections are made on the emotions and experiences arising during a 12-month ethnographic study in two social enterprises.

Findings: The author found that engaging reflexively with relational and emotional processes of meaning-making opened up three analytical starting points. First it highlighted and helped the researcher to see beyond the limits of their assumptions, opening them to new understandings of democracy. Second, it gave rise to empathetic resonance through which the researcher was able to feel into the practice of democracy and re-frame it as a site of ongoing struggle. Finally, it brought to consciousness tacit ways of knowing and being central to both research and democratic praxis.

Originality/value: The paper adds to limited literature on processes of knowledge construction. Specifically, it contributes new insights into how emotional experiences and empathetic resonance arising at the meeting point of research performance and democratic praxis can offer analytical starting points for a more nuanced understanding of democratic organising in social enterprise.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Social Enterprise Journal
Creators: Langmead, K.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 2 May 2017
Volume: 13
Number: 2
ISSN: 1750-8614
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 07 Jan 2019 12:32
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2019 12:32

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