Strategies for Reconciling Positionality Dynamics in a ‘Homecomer-Stranger’ International Research Team

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding


Epistemological, methodological and ethical issues associated with insider/outsider positionality (Merton, 1972) form a burgeoning body of literature with contributions from a range of disciplinary fields and research philosophies. However, a comprehensive review of this literature reveals a lack of concerted attention paid to the effects of insider-outsider dynamics between members of research teams on the research process. This is particularly surprising in relation to international and cross-cultural research in business and management where participation of researchers and/or field assistants as ‘cultural insider’ is recommended for both qualitative and quantitative studies. Addressing this gap, this paper presents outcomes of a reflexive exercise on working in a ‘homecomer’/’stranger’ research team when planning and conducting fieldwork and data analysis for a qualitative study in Kazakhstan. We detail challenges stemming from our positionality experiences and outline recommended strategies for reconciling these tensions in data collection and analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventEuropean Conference on Research Methodology for Business Management - Kingston, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Jun 201610 Jun 2016


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Research Methodology for Business Management
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographical note

This paper has been accepted for the 2016 ECRM conference.


  • international business and management research
  • insider-outsider positionality
  • qualitative research
  • collaborative research teams


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