Untold stories of the field and beyond: narrating the chaos

Paul F. Donnelly, Yiannis Gabriel, Banu ÖzkazançPan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (SciVal)


The Guest Editors’ intent with this special issue is to tell tales of the field and beyond, but all with the serious end of rendering visible the largely invisible. This paper aims to introduce the articles forming the special issue, as well as reviewing extant work that foregrounds the hidden stories and uncertainties of doing qualitative research. The authors advance their arguments through a literature review approach, reflecting on the “state of the field” with regard to doing research and offering new directions on reflexivity as an ethical consideration for conducting qualitative research. Far from consigning the mess entailed in doing qualitative research to the margins, there is much to be learned from, and considerable value in, a more thoughtful engagement with the dilemmas we face in the field and beyond, one that shows the worth of what we are highlighting to both enrich research practice itself and contribute to improving the quality of what we produce. This paper turns the spotlight onto the messiness and storywork aspects of conducting research, which are all too often hidden from view, to promote the kinds of dialogues necessary for scholars to share their fieldwork stories as research, rather than means to a publication end.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-15
Number of pages12
JournalQualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal
Issue number1
Early online date2006
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2013


  • Fieldwork
  • Mess
  • Methodology
  • Narrative
  • Narratives
  • Qualitative research
  • Reflexivity
  • Research methods
  • Story
  • Storytelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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