‘Thinking About How We Think’: Using Bourdieu’s Epistemic Reflexivity to Reduce Bias in International Business Research

Fiona Moore, David Guttormsen

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The paper advances epistemic reflexivity as a methodological process for dealing with knowledge biases in International Business research. By drawing upon Bourdieu’s (1989) reflexive sociology, the paper develops an epistemic form of reflexivity that moves beyond the limiting focus on the researcher’s social background and interpersonal relations with the researched, towards the conditions of knowledge production contained in the researcher’s subjective role as well as intellectual bias and positioning. Such an approach enhances trustworthiness and credibility in all research processes (qualitative, quantitative, mixed and multimethod), through a systematic exploration of social scientific claims. This can be achieved by the IB researcher scrutinising their own Self, cultural practices, biases and ‘unthought categories of thought’, which, if not problematised, may limit our understanding of other peoples’ ‘social reality’ and the IB phenomena that we investigate. The paper contributes to IB research methods literature by developing an epistemic theoretical foundation for reflexivity in addition to devising a methodological process for researchers to intellectually engage with, comprising of six reflexive, self-interrogating ‘thinking tasks’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531
Number of pages28
JournalManagement International Review
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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