This book draws on interpretive traditions of social science research to illustrate how these can be applied to qualitative research projects for firsttime researchers in marketing, management and consumer research. It is also useful as a primer for more experienced researchers who are not familiar with the wealth of philosophical perspectives, data-gathering techniques and analytical methods that derive from interpretive research. The book offers many practical examples drawn from recent studies and also suggests many new topics.
Interpretive research perspectives have become highly influential in many fields of social science research, both as ways of developing rigorous constructs for quantitative research studies and as ends in themselves for researchers seeking 'rich descriptions' and qualitative insights. As management and marketing studies have grown in popularity as the subjects of taught university courses, powerful traditions of interpretive research have emerged within these fields. In the USA influential research agenda based on interpretive methods have emerged in the fields of consumer behaviour and advertising, epitomized by work in the Journal of Consumer Research and the Journal of Advertising. Interpretive approaches deriving from ethnography and literary theory have also appeared as research studies in the Journal of Marketing Research and Journal of Marketing. The 'interpretive turn' in academic management and marketing research in Europe and the UK has resulted in many new research studies being published in leading journals, such as the European Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Management Studies and the British Journal of Management. There is now a well-established book series, the Routledge Interpretive Marketing Research series, which brings together the work of leading US and European writers on diverse interpretive traditions in interpretive marketing research. Published studies include those providing ethnographies of management in differing organizations and in contrasting management functions, those focusing on consumption as a major site of meaning and social identity formation, or on the situated symbolic practices of marketing management and the symbolism of marketing techniques and concepts.