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Ani Raiden and Christine Räisänen

Much research on ambidexterity takes the organisation/firm as the unit of analysis (Birkinshaw and Gupta 2013: 291; Swart et al., 2016); our research focuses on the level of the individual. A qualitative comparative study was designed, based on life-story interviews and narrative analysis to gain in-depth insights into individual perceptions and reason around work, the workplace and how these relate to performance and well-being. Key informants from Sweden and the UK offered a rich variety of accounts about work, family and personal aspirations. In this chapter we discuss three specific aspects of the research methodology: (1) how we employed gendered strategies in the design and data collection process; (2) how coaching tools helped us to overcome challenges centred around gathering data about ‘soft’ psycho-social issues; and (3) how narrative analysis facilitated the elicitation of relevant thick data as well as team-based, collaborative and reflexive analysis of the data.