Constructing mystery: Empirical matters in theory development

Constructing mystery: Empirical matters in theory development

In 2007, Alvesson and Kärreman published a paper titled “Constructing Mystery: Empirical Matters in Theory Development” where they outlined a research methodology that (in a nutshell) is based on two “simple” steps. Step 1) construct a intriguing mystery, step 2) solve it!

Following the discussions on Gersick and her mystery orientation, we will next week read and discuss the mentioned publication.

Abstract: We outline a research methodology developed around two basic elements: the active discovery and/or creation of mysteries and the subsequent solving of the mysteries. A key element is the reflexive opening up of established theory and vocabulary through a systematic search for deviations from what would be expected, given established wisdom, in empirical contexts. “Data” are seen as an inspiration for critical dialogues between theoretical frameworks and empirical work.

The full paper can be accessed here.