In Defense of Being “Native”: The Case for Insider Academic Research
Within organizational research, the subject of insider academic research has received relatively little consideration. By insider research, we mean research by complete members of organizational systems in and on their own organizations. Insider research can be undertaken within any of the three major research paradigms—positivism, hermeneutics, and action research—selected and presented in this article. First, we revisit some of the established research paradigms to see what position they might have on insider research. Second, we explore the dynamics of insider research under the headings of access, preunderstanding, role duality, and managing organizational politics. Our conclusion is that within each of the main streams of research, there is no inherent reason why being native is an issue and that the value of insider research is worth reaffirming.