Title: Paper dialogue: a qualitative research tool for complexity management and leadership

Authors: Pak Tee Ng; Thow Yick Liang

Addresses: National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, 1 Nanyang Walk, 637616, Singapore. ' Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University, 50 Stamford Road, 178899, Singapore

Abstract: Given that many modern problems are complex and even wicked, and that actual variables are hidden underneath dynamics that are socially moderated and ever changing, it is difficult for any research tool to take into account all these factors. However, existing tools can be improved or augmented with a view to encourage open discussions to elicit subtle points, but must be simple and resource efficient enough to be conducted at various stages to take into account emerging dynamics. Due to the culture of the organisation, when sensitive issues need to be researched, most people display an unwillingness to speak their mind – thus, affecting management and leadership. Many elect to keep mum about their true feelings and prefer to say only the politically correct things. This paper presents the Paper Dialogue as a qualitative research tool that can help to address these issues, thus improving the quality of data collected.

Keywords: research methodology; qualitative data; paper dialogue; focus group discussions; FGDs; interviews; communication; complexity management; leadership; emergence; complex problems; culture; non-communication.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCLM.2011.046437

International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management, 2011 Vol.1 No.4, pp.411 - 418

Published online: 22 Oct 2014 *

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