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Title: The challenges of insider research in educational institutions: wielding a double-edged sword and resolving delicate dilemmas
Authors: Mercer, Justine
First Published: Feb-2007
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Oxford Review of Education, 2007, 33 (1), pp. 1-17.
Abstract: This paper explores the challenges faced by educational researchers investigating the places where they work. It reviews the literature on insider research and draws upon the author's own experience of researching faculty appraisal at two Higher Education institutions where she taught. It argues that the insider/outsider dichotomy is actually a continuum with multiple dimensions, and that all researchers constantly move back and forth along a number of axes, depending upon time, location, participants and topic. The assumption that one kind of research is better than the other is challenged, and the advantages and disadvantages of insider research are discussed in terms of access, intrusiveness, familiarity and rapport. Finally, three dilemmas relating to informant bias, reciprocity in interviews, and research ethics are examined from an insider researcher's perspective, and the ways in which the author responded to these dilemmas at different points in her own four-year two-site study are critiqued.
DOI Link: 10.1080/03054980601094651
ISSN: 0305-4985
eISSN: 1465-3915
Type: Article
Description: This is the author's final draft of the paper published as Oxford Review of Education, 2007, 33 (1), pp. 1-17. The final version is available online at Doi: 10.1080/03054980601094651
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Education

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