Review: Stefanie Ernst (2010). Prozessorientierte Methoden in der Arbeits- und Organisationsforschung: Eine Einführung [Process-oriented Methods in Work and Organization Studies: An Introduction]

Dirk vom Lehn


Stefanie ERNST draws upon a wide range of examples and cases to encourage students to familiarize themselves with "process theory" and related concepts and methods employed in the study of work and organizations. She begins her textbook by situating the "process theoretical" approach within the wider field of the sociology of work and organizations. After reviewing research in organization and work studies, ERNST introduces process theoretical approaches and methods. By drawing upon research studies that she has conducted herself and by referring to other people's studies, the author sheds light on the use of various research methods. Her purpose behind this is to explain the mixing of quantitative and qualitative methods, which is at the heart of process theoretical research. Unfortunately, the treatment of the various approaches and methods is too brief and condensed to allow the reader to gain a firm grasp of the research process or to understand the mixing of quantitative and qualitative methods. Whilst substantial sections are devoted to situating the process theoretical approach, ERNST's book lacks depth and detail when dealing with the practices and procedures involved in conducting the research. As a result, after putting down the book the reader may be left dissatisfied, unsure as to whether they have just read an introduction to the process theoretical approach or a textbook on research methods—both parts condensing their subject matter too much to be satisfying.


process theory; mixed-method approaches; work and organization studies; Norbert Elias

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