Benefits of boredom: an ‘interlopers’ experience of conducting participant observation on the production line

Pass, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-5062-9793, 2020. Benefits of boredom: an ‘interlopers’ experience of conducting participant observation on the production line. European Management Review. ISSN 1740-4754

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Embracing a lyrical style of writing, the paper discusses the advantages of conducting participant observation and calls for its increased use in business and management research, especially the field of human resource management (HRM). In a sector dominated by quantitative research methods, we are left with many unanswered questions about organisational life. While surveys have provided us with an abundance of ‘hard’ data, it has resulted in a lack of depth and understanding around the employee experience. Reflecting on a research project that explored the concept of high‐performance work systems (HPWS), the paper discusses a chance opportunity to undertake participant observation and how the experience not only changed the focus of the research project but provided a depth and understanding currently missing from the HRM/HPWS paradigm. Structured around ‘lessons learnt’, the paper calls for methodological eclecticism and hopes to encourage others to become ‘interlopers’ and embrace the benefits of conducting participant observation.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Short title: Boredom on the production line
Publication Title: European Management Review
Creators: Pass, S.
Publisher: Wiley on behalf of the European Academy of Management
Date: 24 January 2020
ISSN: 1740-4754
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 28 Jan 2020 09:27
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2022 03:00

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