Handbook of Research Methods on the Quality of Working Lives
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Handbook of Research Methods on the Quality of Working Lives

Edited by Daniel Wheatley

The growing diversity of contemporary paid work has provoked increased interest in understanding and evaluating the quality of working lives. This Handbook provides critical reflections on recent research in the field, including examining the inextricable links between working life and well-being.
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Chapter 12: Combining gendered strategies, a narrative approach and coaching: examining the effect of behavioural ambidexterity on individual well-being and high performance work

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.

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