Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Helle Neergaard and Claire Leitch
Concluding thoughts on repertory grids
The contributions to this section made by Carmen Dima, Anja Hagedorn and Enrique D'az de Le—n and Paul Guild have illustrated the use of repertory grids in different entrepreneurial research contexts in Canada and Germany. These studies have demonstrated the benefits researchers can derive from working with repertory grids: first, in terms of the ability to access information embedded in an individual’s personal construct system which gives the interview partners the opportunity to reflect on their own constructs. Secondly, working with repertory grids allows the researchers to challenge and clarify their own understanding of the situation. Thirdly, the combination of quantitative and qualitative measures provides a rich, detailed and measurable description of identity frameworks that traditional hermeneutic and ethnographic analyses cannot replicate. However, the repertory grid method is not without criticism, though these generally apply to qualitative work in general, which usually explores in depth at the expense of particular types of generalizability. Carmen Dima, for instance, commented on the time that is necessary to work effectively with repertory grids to elicit the required information. Other authors, among them Anja Hagedorn, pointed out the limited generalizability and limited reliability of the findings that were established through repertory grids (Kelly 1991). Anja Hagedorn, for instance, conducted ten interviews with business support agents and concluded that a study with a higher sample size could increase the quality of the findings and thus the generalizability.
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