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Journal Article

Claiming the Streets: Feminist Implications of Psychogeography as a Business Research Method  pp47-54

Deborah Knowles

© Dec 2009 Volume 7 Issue 1, ECRM 2009, Editor: Ann Brown, Joseph Azzopardi, Frank Bezzina, pp1 - 116

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This paper is intended to establish a claim that the techniques of psychogeography may be advantageously employed in business and management research in order to provide a new perspective on how organisations are experienced. It examines this practice for its possibilities as a research approach for women and its compatibility with feminist research methods. Psychogeography offers an approach to gaining an understanding of the ways that human behaviour is shaped by the geographical environment (Coverley, 2006). It constitutes a style of collecting a variety of qualitative data using complementary methods, which gives a textured view of the real world in a particular environment. Psychogeography is primarily a literary tradition. However, its constituent parts are academic disciplines rooted in real world experience. The attraction of psychogeography to a business researcher is many layered. It invites the researcher to observe the environment slowly and painstakingly, whilst "strolling", and to construct meanings in a number of ways. Walking is celebrated by psychogeographers as a cultural act and an important way to understand the world, yet the male‑as‑norm character of psychogeographers is well established (Solnit, 2001). The masculine tradition of psychogeography may operate to challenge woman researchers to examine the possibility of using this approach in conjunction with feminist perspective research methods as a way of exploring and questioning women's place in a patriarchal culture (Acker et al, 1983). Feminist research methods seek to address the "invisibility" of women's experience in academic studies (Roberts, 1990:7), to overturn the male‑as‑norm perspective, and to highlight the possibilities for women to engage in 'male‑preserve' activities. In the case of the male preserve of psychogeography these intentions would apply not only to the subject of the study but also to the practice of the research method itself.


Keywords: psychogeography, feminist research methods, qualitative research, safety in the field, London, organisations


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Journal Issue

Volume 7 Issue 1, ECRM 2009 / Dec 2009  pp1‑116

Editor: Ann Brown, Joseph Azzopardi, Frank Bezzina

View Contents Download PDF (free)


The 8th European Conference on Research Methods in Business and Management attracted a wide range of papers. The conference fell naturally into four main themes: introducing relatively new techniques, in depth description of application of accepted research methods, overview of the whole research process and attempts to deal with intractable problems. The final selection of papers was agreed both the editor of the Journal and the editors of the conference proceedings, Joseph Azzopardi and Frank Bezzina. The comments of session chairs were taken into account in making the final selection of papers for this issue of the EJBRM.

The quality of the papers was particularly high and the selection of those papers for the Journal presented a difficult choice. The papers selected were chosen for their quality of writing, their relevance to the Journal’s objective of publishing papers that offer new insights or practical help in the application of research methods in business research and to represent the four major themes of the conference.

The papers dealt with the problems facing management researchers in a variety of ways. The papers proposed a number on new and unusual methods, including Psychogeography ( Knowles) and webometrics (Romero‑Frias). Both of these papers focused on explaining the technique and its appropriateness to business research. Techniques dealt with in previous issues were also well represented including mixed methods (Ryan); Grounded Theory (Noel & Kamyangale); REP Grid (Klaus). Several papers offered some valuable insights into key steps of the research process including audit trail (Carcary) and data collection problems and interpretation ( Iacono, Brown and Holtham; Rasmussen, and Heiko; Heiro and Reetta). The paper by Brooke and Parker introduced a new dimension (spirituality) to the philosophy of business research. One paper offered an intriguing review of leadership research (Mortimer).


Keywords: brand identity, brand personality, business intelligence, business management, business survey, critical management, essential self, fact-based, feminist research methods, focus groups, Foucault, grounded theory, health care professionals, higher education, information systems, information technology, internet studies, interpretivist paradigm, interview, leadership theory, London, longitudinal case work, luxury brand, meaning and work, methodology, multicultural data collection, nonresponse, organisations, organisations audit trail, organizational culture, participant observation, philosophy, Protestant Ethic, psychogeography, qualitative data, qualitative online research, qualitative research, qualitative research methods, regional development, religion, Repertory Grid Method, research confirmability, trustworthiness, research design, research methods , research strategies, safety in the field, self-selection, SMEs, spirituality, steel trading case, transferability, Web 2.0, Web minin


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