Participant reflexivity in organizational research design

Catherine Cassell, Laura Radcliffe, Fatima Malik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
925 Downloads (Pure)


Despite the considerable interest in researcher reflexivity within the organizational literature, little attention has been paid to participant reflexivity, here defined as the reflexive considerations of research participants that are stimulated by their involvement in research. Our argument is that engagement in the research process is a context where such reflexive thinking is likely to happen and that through certain methodological approaches, participant’s reflexive thinking becomes more conscious and therefore potentially accessible to the researcher. In identifying the participant reflexivity that emerged as part of a photo-elicitation study of work-life balance and conflict, we outline the kinds of reflexive dialogue that participants’ reported as being stimulated by involvement in the research and explore the link between emotion and reflexive practice. Hence our paper contributes to our understanding of qualitative research and reflexivity first by highlighting empirically the kinds of internal dialogue reported when participants engage in self-reflexivity as part of the research process; second by outlining how we can access participant reflexivity methodologically including through emotions; and third by explicating the value for researchers in accessing participant reflexivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-773
Number of pages24
JournalOrganizational Research Methods
Issue number4
Early online date22 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • reflexivity
  • participant reflexivity
  • photo elicitation
  • qualitative
  • work-life balance
  • daily/episodic research


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