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The Clinical Perspective in Fieldwork

The Clinical Perspective in Fieldwork

Volume: 5

June 1987 | 77 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Most writing on qualitative research deals with the role of the ethnographer in a given culture, organization, or some other setting. The ethnographer is an invisible recorder of the nature of this setting, unobtrusive and not affecting the daily activities in the place studied. But not all qualitative research purports to be so impartial and uninvolved. The clinical perspective, stemming from action research, is a very different animal. The clinician is usually a consultant brought in specifically to effect change in an organization. This kind of field researcher works under a very different set of technical and ethical restraints, restraints that differentiate this kind of research from traditional ethnography at almost every point in the process: from choosing a setting, to establishing the research agenda, gathering data, and reporting results. Edgar Schein, well known for his work as an experienced consultant and researcher in organizational settings, succinctly outlines in this essay the basics of a clinical perspective in field research, how it differs from other types of qualitative research and the inherent rewards and difficulties brought on by that perspective. "This is one of Schein's best efforts--and that's saying something! The book represents the very quintessence of what a clinical perspective is all about: empathy, understanding, humility, the fragility and significance of organizational life. Schein makes the clinical approach sound like an artform and for practitioners and applied scientists, Schein helps us braid science and art in an elegant way. I don't think there's a consultant, management expert, practitioner or applied scientist who would not benefit a lot from this book. It's also, as they say in the book trade, one helluva good read." --Warren Bennis, University of Southern California "Ed Schein has written an invaluable book for both scholars and practitioners who are involved in human systems intervention at the individual, group or organizational levels. He not only clearly delineates the clinical perspective and its differences from the ethnographic paradigm, but he also makes a case for the necessary exploration of clinical issues by all who research or consult to organizations." --Joanne Martin, Stanford University "The core of the work is a comparative analysis of the characteristics of the clinical and the research methods. This is a useful exercise. It draws together in one handy spot things that both clinicians and researchers need periodically to review. This monograph is compact and well written." --The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease "Provide[s] numerous examples of good research that will help students better understand what it means to be a qualitative researcher and to use one's self as a research informant....[Schein] speaks personally and directly to the reader with a disarming candor and charm....The considerations he gives to ethics and his criticisms of the limitations of informed consent should be read by all researchers of human behavior." --Qualitative Studies in Education

Discovering the Clinical Perspective
How the Clinical and the Ethnographic Relationship Differ
Gathering, Analyzing, and Validating Data
Professional and Ethical Issues in Clinical Versus Ethnographic Work

It is interesting for who is conducting projects for organizational changes.

Dr Margareth Stoll
Informatik, University of Innsbruck
March 13, 2013

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ISBN: 9780803929760

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