In-depth Interviews in International Business Research: Multiculturality, Power and Language

Ling Zhang, David Guttormsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Although qualitative method has become more accepted in international business research, it remains as
marginalised and under researched. Very little is known about how researchers should conduct cross-national
field studies, particularly when both researchers and informants exhibit multiculturality, i.e. having multicultural
backgrounds, which has become more and more common in the globalised world. This paper analyses the
language, culture, social categorisation and power issues involved in in-depth interviewing with expatriates and
host country employees. We, two multicultural researchers with very different backgrounds, draw upon our
personal interview experiences during four separate intercultural and cross-national field research projects in
Mainland China, Hong Kong and South Korea. Through conducting a self-reflexive analysis, we uncover how
language, culture, social categorisation influences the power relationship between the interviewer and
interviewee and how such influence might influence researchers’ interpretation of the interview data and even
the theorising process afterwards. Methodological and theoretical implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business
Publication date07.2013
Publication statusPublished - 07.2013
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
Event2013 Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business (AIB) - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 03.07.201306.07.2013
Conference number: 55

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    Zhang, L., & Guttormsen, D. (2013). In-depth Interviews in International Business Research: Multiculturality, Power and Language. In Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business