· Pötschke, Ivonne (2018, August). Supplementing Q-method with narratives: Contextualizing CEOs’ values for family firms. Journal of Management & Organization. (ePub in advance of print) (doi: 10.1017/jmo.2018.46) (Link: https://doi.org/10.1017/jmo.2018.46)

Abstract: Values in family firms are influenced by the complex interplay of family and business. Thus, research requires methods that grasp this complexity. This paper presents a fresh methodological approach for family business research with the example of an in-depth analysis of CEOs’ value orientations. Benefits of an integrated use of two qualitative methods – Q-sorts and narrative interviews – which were collected and analyzed for 16 CEOs of family firms are illustrated. Q-method was used to build value patterns, whereas narrative interviews were conducted to reveal how values were contextualized and interpreted. This integrated approach builds qualitative richness in different ways: first, by allowing for a deep understanding of individual experience; second, by providing more contextual insight; and third, by capturing the meaning of abstract values. The approach advanced here can be reproduced for other complex organizational dynamics. Thus, this user-friendly approach is particularly suited for organizational research in a managerial environment.

Ivonne Pötschke <ivonne.​poetschke@leuphana.​de> is in the Institute for Performance Management, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, and a consultant with Baumgartner & Co., Hamburg, Germany.

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