Daring to be different: a dialogue on the problems of getting qualitative research published.
Anderson, Alistair R.
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SMITH, R. and ANDERSON, A. R., 2007. Daring to be different: a dialogue on the problems of getting qualitative research published. In: H. NEERGAARD and J. P. ULHOI, eds. Handbook of qualitative research methods in entrepreneurship. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. pp. 434-459
Qualitative methodologies continue to proliferate in social sciences such as sociology and anthropology. Yet, despite this uptake they currently exist on the margins of entrepreneurship research. Indeed, Rae (2001) criticised entrepreneurship researchers for failing to make fuller use of sophisticated qualitative methodologies in researching at the frontiers of entrepreneurship. This chapter argues that there are valid structural and career orientated reasons why this is so. We argue that qualitative researchers often have to ‘dare to be different’. Writing up qualitative research is difficult because a judgement call has to be made whether to tailor the research towards a standard journal article or whether to allow the research to dictate the style and presentation of the finished article. ‘Daring to be different’ may be a valued entrepreneurial trait and hence should be one that was appreciated by journal editors or reviewers in the field – alas, it is rarely so. Academic careers and reputations are built upon the reputation of achieving repeated publication in respected journals and by adhering to the conformity of accepted disciplinary peer conventions. Consequentially, this chapter documents the development of a research and publication strategy of one of its authors, suggesting some alternative publication strategies. Furthermore, it is an Impressionistic tale in the style of VanMaanen (1988), written in a dialogic, conversational style with a colleague.