Duo-ethnography as the Qualitative Inquiry in Small Family Business Research
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University of Social Sciences in LodzPoland
Ph.D. University of Social Sciences in Lodz Poland
Online publication date: 2018-12-19
Management 2018;22(2):95–109
The research methodology of family businesses is increasingly becoming the subject of scientific discussion that shows how difficult and complex task it is. Research area is located on the border of several disciplines, which raises significant methodological problems. Qualitative methods are useful for studying the problems of small family businesses, in particular related to the sphere of issues of identity, culture, values and the relationship between the family and the company. Qualitative methods allow for more efficient acquisition of reliable data on ‘sensitive’ subjects in comparison with quantitative methods. It is equally important to provide information about the complex social processes that are better studied with open methods. The methodology of qualitative research is not without its limitations. First of all, by definition it poses problems of generalization, and thus also theorizing. Research results are burdened with considerable subjectivity which can be transformed into inter-subjectivity by using different methods and perspectives. In the qualitative studies of small family businesses methodological pluralism which allows the creation of mixed research programs can be postulated. Combining quantitative and qualitative methods in one research program may provide important, but not always commensurate results. One can also point to the need for methodological triangulation and therefore the use of different, complementary research methods and techniques that will allow to describe the studied small family company in its entire complexity. The example of duo-ethnography provides the possibility to achieve a high level of relational demands allowing for the creation of unique philosophy of the meeting, a deep entry into the unique history of the studied entity and ownership family and the adoption of prospects for the narrator and an expert person participating in the study.
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ISSN:1429-9321 (1997-2019)