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Seminar 1

Qualitative Methods 101: When, Why and How to Use Them


This session is a primer on qualitative methods. Topics include what qualitative methods are and are not, and how they differ from quantitative methods. Case studies, ethnography, and grounded theory will be discussed and their design and analysis will be examined.  Assessing and publishing qualitative research will also be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

This seminar is designed to help participants:

  • Describe the basic principles of inductive qualitative research and compare with deductive quantitative research
  • Assess qualitative research design and analysis
  • Write up qualitative research for publication
  • Locate additional resources if they want to further advance their learning in this area

Presenter Bio:

Michael Pratt, Ph.D.
O’Connor Family Professor
Ph.D. Director, Management and Organization Department
Courtesy Appointment, Department of Psychology
Fellow, Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics

Dr. Pratt earned his BA in psychology (Honors, Summa Cum Laude) from the University of Dayton, and his MA and PhD in organizational psychology at the University of Michigan. Before joining the Department of Management and Organization at Boston College in 2008, he was a professor of organizational behavior at the University of Illinois.

His research is problem-centered, process-oriented and consequently, cross-level. His interests include how individuals connect with their work and the organizations, professions, occupations, and other collectives they belong to.  Dr. Pratt’s research draws heavily from theories of identity and identification, meaning, emotion, intuition, and culture. While he has published work that utilizes lab research and surveys, he primarily uses qualitative approaches. Questions posed by his current research include the following: “When group conflicts about interests (what groups want) change to conflicts about identity (who we are), how are such seemingly intractable conflicts resolved?” “How can individuals and groups who experience ambivalence, transform that ambivalence into commitment, trust, creativity and wisdom?” And “how do individuals approach their work (e.g., to gain money, achievement, creating community, and/or honing a craft), and how does this influence how they perform their jobs?”

His work has appeared in Academy of Management Annual Review, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Organizational Change Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Management Learning, Organizational Research Methods, Organization Science, Qualitative Inquiry, Science, Small Group Research, among others, and in numerous edited books. He has co-edited Artifacts and Organizations: Beyond Mere Symbolism (with A. Rafaeli, 2006, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates). Dr. Pratt was the inaugural qualitative associate editor for the Academy of Management Journal.

Chair: Silvia Bonaccio, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa