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Telling organizational tales: the extended case method in practice

Wadham, H and Warren, RC (2014) Telling organizational tales: the extended case method in practice. Organizational Research Methods, 17 (1). pp. 5-22. ISSN 1094-4281


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The extended case method brings existing theory to bear on a particular ethnographic case, enabling complex macro-level questions to be examined through their everyday manifestations in micro-level social settings. Yet it remains comparatively underutilized among organizational researchers, many of whom may be deterred by an apparent lack of practical guidance. The article addresses this by outlining three main steps, illustrated by the authors' own experience of implementing the extended case method in a recently published organizational study. In so doing, the article makes clear the distinctiveness of the method, particularly compared to the better-known grounded theory approach to ethnography. It concludes that by offering a bridge between interpretive and critical approaches, the extended case method represents a valuable addition to the toolkit of organizational researchers. © The Author(s) 2013.

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