Volume 25, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0921-5077
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7235


The comeback of the interview in organizational behavior research

The comeback of the interview in organizational behavior research

Organizational behavior, as a theory-developing field of research, is highly questionnaire-based and highly dependent on quantitative methods. In its dominant methodology tradition, variables are measured in a sample of respondents or other units of observation and the calculated relationships between the variables subsequently serve as the input for theory building or theory testing. This state of affairs generates restrictions regarding the domain of phenomena that can be studied. A plea is made for using of the interview as a tool for collecting data that permit theory building like questionnaire data, yet without the restrictions of these data. Quality requirements that apply to interviews used for theory building are very different from the ones that apply to questionnaires. Rather than relating to the validity and reliability of the measures, they relate to the valid elicitation of relevant facts. In short: it is a matter of fact-finding.


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