نگاه دوباره به اکتشاف فاصله قدرت: یک روش مطالعه موردی فعال
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|20025||2002||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9722 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Omega, Volume 30, Issue 6, December 2002, Pages 403–414
In this paper, we present what we call an “active case study” and we theorize specifically on the relevance hereof for an exploration of power distance (as conceptualized by Hofstede (Culture's Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values, Sage, Beverley Hills, CA, 1980)). As Hofstede conceives it, the notion of “power distance” enables an understanding of the predominant ideas about inequality prevalent in a (national) culture, which in turn infuse work relationships. An active case study approach—as we elucidate in the paper—implies an acknowledgement on the part of those organizing the research of the manner in which their intervention might affect the way “respondents” experience their work relationships. We suggest that our proposed active case study approach offers novel possibilities for exploring power distance and should be added to the repertoire of approaches used to examine this in organizational life. We develop our argument in this regard by offering a detailed account of the application of this approach to a Taiwanese organization (the Kaohsiung Harbor Bureau in Taiwan).
In this paper, we propose that what we call an active case study approach extends the repertoire of approaches to be used in the exploration of power distance in organizational life. Approaches utilized to date have followed largely from Hofstede's pioneering work  using a survey style of research. Some attempts have been made by researchers to refine the way that surveys are utilized to examine power distance by focusing on the way the (relevant) questions are constructed in questionnaires (cf. the discussion provided by Spector et al. ). And suggestions have been made concerning the need to complement questionnaires (in whatever way they are constructed) with fieldwork entailing detailed involvement of researchers in specific cases . The suggestion then is that “the complexities of real-life situations”, as Galang puts it [3, p. 713], can be understood better via the enrichment provided by case study work. Our argument extends (and reframes) these considerations. We argue that an active case study approach has the potential to draw out as well as facilitate an understanding on the part of “respondents” (now participants) that acceptable power distances in their work relationships do not necessarily admit of clear (and static) expression. What are considered to be “acceptable” work relationships between “bosses” and “subordinates” may not admit of expression in a fixed judgment with a singular meaning. The crux of our argument is that how people are approached by researchers when asked to deliver their judgments may indeed make a difference to the way in which they come to experience their relationships. We develop our argument by referring in detail to a specific case involving the exploration of experiences and expectations connected with planning for the future of the Kaohsiung Harbor Bureau (KHB) in Taiwan. We concentrate in this paper on the way in which the encounters between the researcher (a co-author of this paper) and participants could be seen to evoke multiple experiences, so that participants could come to appreciate better the rigidity of fixed perceptions of “acceptable” power distances in their work relationships.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
By comparing Hofstede's survey approach to examining power distance with what we call an active case study approach (as reported upon in this paper) we argued that different styles of research might well contribute to constituting the way “acceptable” distances are perceived/judged by participants. We therefore suggested that it is important to expand the repertoire of approaches that researchers may utilize in examining issues connected with power distance—so as to make provision for the consideration of active case study research as an option. We suggested that our argument in this regard is indeed in keeping with Hofstede's remarks that researchers’ way of approaching their field of study may make a difference to results generated [21, p. 247]. We extended Hofstede's deliberations in regard to the way researchers might be complicit in drawing out features of (animal/human) behavior, and specifically ways in which human inquirers are part of the drama of human life [21, p. 248]. In this case, we argued, the researcher acknowledged his involvement in possibly creating a manifestation of the dynamics around power distance; and he tried to do so in a manner that he considered sensitive to the concerns of those involved. At the same time, he remained mindful of the power distances between himself as researcher and (other) employees and attempted to remain reflexive about these in the act of doing research. It is worthwhile to comment on the researcher's choice to work with what he was experiencing not merely at a cognitive level, but in ways that respected emotions as integral to sense-making and power distance dynamics. Interestingly, in commenting on what he calls the “humanization revolution”, Hofstede  refers to the ethical dilemma concerning whether it is right to engage people in the workplace “in humanization experiences they have not asked for [previously]”. But he suggests that according to his interpretation of research to date, if outcomes such as increased job challenge arise through humanizers’ involvements, then this “will increase the overall satisfaction of [those] involved” [22, p. 48]. He comments that though this may not apply to all those involved, on average it is likely to bring “more good than harm” and efforts made in this direction can therefore be defended ethically on these grounds [22, p. 48]. One could argue that our active case study approach itself has value coherence with Hofstede's deliberations around reviewing and learning from workplace interactions. But he does not specifically refer to “activity” built into the research agenda as a means of organizing such reviews. It is on this score that we believe our active case study approach may be conceived as a possible option that should be taken seriously into account (as an option). Finally, we wish to note that we do not believe that the notion (and practice) of an active case study should be treated as simply another option within what is termed “action research”. Space in this paper does not permit a detailed examination of the relationship as we see it between active case study research and action research. Suffice it to say that in action research the intention is normally to set up a process for people to engage in cycles of action as well as reflection (cf. , , , , ,  and ). In active case study research, as we propose it here, the intention to institute and evaluate specific sets of actions is not necessarily part of the research aim. The focus here is rather on the acknowledgement of an intervention component that is built into the very act of researchers’ trying to “know” alongside and in dialogue with others. (See in this regard also Romm  and .) In other words, our potential complicity in the construction of the (social) world—through the words we use and images we create and our reflexive stance toward these—becomes part of the process of the inquiry itself.7