Interviews with political or organizational elites often constitute a valuable source of knowledge about organizational culture, values, and strategies. However, such interviews often confront the researcher with either reluctant or control-seeking respondents, especially for sensitive issues such as human rights and ethnic discrimination, issues that may involve strong emotions. Drawing inspiration from a qualitative methodology focusing on resistance and power, the article argues that in such situations the interviewer needs to integrate both dialogic and agonistic interview methodologies through phronesis, Aristotle’s concept of practical rationality. A phronetic approach, involving reflections on the link between reason and emotions, is well suited for handling both dialogue and confrontation in the interview process. Empirically, the paper draws on interviews with representatives of trade unions and employer organizations on the subject of human rights and ethnic discrimination in the Danish labor market.
About this publication