The Pros and Cons of Conducting Research at your Place of Employment

Essay by laduwanUniversity, Master'sA+, May 2008

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Besides being the specific objective, researchers often choose to study their own place of work due to a limited period of time. Here, a research could speed up what can generally turn out to be a fairly lengthy study because of easy access and uncomplicated research procedure. There are advantages in this kind of research (foremost being the factor previously mentioned) but researching in one’s own organization is associated with several disadvantages as well.

AdvantagesBesides easy access to the subject organization, the most important benefit of being an insider when doing the study is that the researcher has an informed knowledge of the culture, politics, power relationships and issues of the study setting. In light of this, Arksey and Knight (1999) wrote that insiders are familiar with networks for approaching people; especially ‘hard-to-find’ groups and that they can also draw shared experiences, interests and language, which can stimulate rapport and interviewer-interviewee interaction.

(p. 67) It also will not be surprising if there would be richer amount of data and higher authenticity of the account because the interviewee is more comfortable to be candid. This is in addition to the fact that the researcher’s familiarity would enable him or her to determine the credibility of the answers and accounts.

DisadvantagesWimmer and Dominick (2005) argued that as much as possible researchers should avoid choosing sites where they are well known or have some involvement because studying ones own workplace is difficult. The reason is that the researcher’s preconceptions may preclude observations that are more objective. They also underscored the fact that at a site where the researcher is a familiar figure, other individuals may find it difficult to relate to the colleague or a friend in his or her new role as a researcher. (p. 124)Then, there is also the possibility of...