Not Now: Negotiating Research Access during Phases of Crisis

  • Martin Friesl Chair for Strategy and Organization Studies, Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany
  • Erik Hanel Chair for Strategy and Organization Studies, Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany
  • Vivienne Konuk Chair for Strategy and Organization Studies, Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany
Keywords: Qualitative methods, Research access, Crisis negotiation, Covid-19 pandemic, Management research


The conduct of qualitative research often rests on a fundamental condition: the establishment of research access. Gaining quality research access is a challenge even at the best of times due to the intimacy and timescale of data collection. This challenge becomes even more severe in situations of crises, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, when actors are concerned with maneuvering organizations through tough times. Despite its centrality for the conduct of qualitative research, there is a lack of methodological studies on the establishment of access in management and organization research. Therefore, this article contributes to the methods literature in management and organization research by investigating the enabling conditions of research access in crisis situations. We draw on a comparative case analysis of eight instances of access negotiations conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic. We show how interpersonal trust and perceived value of the research project mitigate the constraining effects of Covid-19, and we also reveal the underlying mechanisms through which trust and perceived value are established. Our findings are of relevance to all researchers seeking research access for qualitative research projects.


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How to Cite
FrieslM., HanelE., & KonukV. (2022). Not Now: Negotiating Research Access during Phases of Crisis. M@n@gement, 25(1), 33–48.
Original Research Articles