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Journal Article

Overcoming Barriers: Qualitative Interviews With German Elites  pp77-86

Hilary Drew

© Nov 2014 Volume 12 Issue 2, ECRM 2014, Editor: Ann Brown, pp75 - 167

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Abstract: Despite the fact that qualitative interviews are reputed to be an effective method of obtaining data from organizational elites, studies are concurrent on a number of obstacles which surround the interviewing of senior management. Problem areas flagged by the literature include issues of access and suspicion towards the interviewer as an outsider. This paper presents experiences with interviewing senior‑level HR managers in German organizations. The author attempted to overcome some of the estab lished barriers to interviewing internationals and organizational elites. However, as the paper argues, unique working experience collected in Germany gave the researcher insights into how to interact with senior German managers. In particular, the resear cher drew on a previous role as a language trainer to create a method of engaging managers. The semi‑structured interviews that followed were free from barriers and resulted in the gathering of rich data which enabled the researcher to better understand p rocesses, networks and relationships.


Keywords: Keywords: qualitative interviews, organizational elites, cross-cultural research, business management research


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