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The Discursive Dimension of Employee Engagement and Disengagement

Accounts of keeping and leaving jobs in present-day Bucharest organizations


Alina Petra Marinescu

The book analyses organizational disengagement and its consequences at an organizational and at an individual level. The author argues for the existence of an additional dimension of employee disengagement, namely discursive disengagement. It is a distinctive dimension with respect to its dependence on a specific work of the employee. The author engages with discourse analysis to classify employee disengagement trajectories, vocabularies of motive and rhetorical resources. She analyses how people frame their decisions of staying or leaving organizations by defining their employment situation and how they justify their choices through their professional experiences.

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4 Methodology


4 Methodology

4.1 Overview

My research is a sociological survey aimed at studying accounts about keeping and leaving jobs in present-day Bucharest organizations. I wanted to see how people frame their decisions by defining their employment situation and how they justify their choices regarding their professional experiences. To accomplish this research goal I decided to focus on the manner people assign meaning to their past actions and on the manner they make sense of their previous decisions.

To meet my study expectations I engaged with qualitative research that pleads for a naturalistic, interpretive approach and tries to decipher events and actions function of the understandings that people assign to them (Denzin, Lincoln, 1994 apud Chelcea, 2007). According to Deniz and Lincoln using multiple accounts as data and an interpretative perspective of study altogether represents the very scaffold of qualitative research.

To collect my data I engaged with focused unstructured interviews, as one of the most frequently used methods in qualitative research prone to help me answer my overreaching study questions. Focused unstructured interviews are the equivalent of in depth interviews with an exploratory goal and are characterized by a limited number of questions most often with spontaneous formulation, no time limit constraints, large volume of information, complex answers. This kind of interview provides the researcher with the opportunity to note and interpret the respondents’ feelings and attitudes (Chelcea, 2007; Babbie, 2010).

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