Reflexive conversations: Constructing hermeneutic designs for qualitative management research

Sarah Robinson, Ron Kerr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Responding to calls to widen the range of qualitative approaches used within management research, this article addresses perceived difficulties in applying hermeneutics to interview based research and suggests ways forward for management researchers to develop their own hermeneutic derived research designs. Firstly, it reviews how tools from the hermeneutic tradition have been utilised, demonstrating specifically how a sub-branch, critical hermeneutics, is particularly well suited to the complexities of management research offering a flexible means of exploring complex research relationships between ‘texts’, contexts and the researcher. Secondly, the paper makes a specific contribution through detailing the experience of the inception and implementation of a hermeneutic research design and demonstrates of application of a four-stage hermeneutic analytic model for use with interview transcripts. This case addresses how the interviews have been co-created by the research participant and the researcher and suggests ways of acknowledging the implications of this relationship and thus of increasing researcher reflexivity within the analytical process. The benefits and limitations of implementing hermeneutic research designs are then discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-790
JournalBritish Journal of Management
Issue number4
Early online date11 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2015


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