Alternative Perspectives in the Organizational Sciences: "Inquiry from the Inside" And "Inquiry from the Outside"
Louis, Meryl Reis
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"Inquiry from the inside" is characterized by the experiential involvement of the researcher, the absence of a priori analytical categories, and an intent to understand a particular situation. "Inquiry from the outside" calls for detachment on the part of the researcher, who typically gathers data according to a priori analytical categories and aims to uncover knowledge that can be generalized to many situations. Greater appreciation of the epistemological differences between these two approaches can help organization scientists select the mode of inquiry appropriate to the phenomenon under study and to their own abilities and purposes.
An earlier version of this article was presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, Atlanta, August 1979.
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