Why did I not prepare for this? The politics of negotiating fieldwork access, identity, and methodology in researching microfinance institutions

Siwale, Juliana (2015) Why did I not prepare for this? The politics of negotiating fieldwork access, identity, and methodology in researching microfinance institutions. SAGE Open, 5 (2). ISSN 2158-2440

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2158244015587560

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Item Type:Article
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Abstract

It has been increasingly recognized that undertaking qualitative research can pose many challenges for researchers. However, scanty literature focuses directly on the experiences of doctoral research students from developing countries studying in Western Europe and other similar geographic regions, and the challenges of doing fieldwork when they return “back home.” In this article, I use my experiences in the process of undertaking PhD fieldwork on two donor-funded microfinance institutions located in Zambia to demonstrate that doctoral students from specific regions (Africa in particular) undertaking research in their native countries can struggle to manage and make sense of the challenges and identity issues raised in their “familiar” environments. I also present a detailed discussion of how various gatekeepers and participants facilitated access, identity alteration, and the impact of insider–outsider positionality on collected data. It is concluded that organizational “politics” and local context can have significant bearing on power relationships, identities of researchers, and methodological preferences.

Keywords:Fieldwork, Microfinance, Methodology, JCOpen
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N100 Business studies
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:17595
Deposited On:05 Jun 2015 11:23

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