Inside-Out Interviews: Cross-Cultural Research in China

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Management and Organization Review


© 2020 The International Association for Chinese Management Research. There is a paucity of research exploring the use of local facilitators in cross-cultural research in Chinese cultural contexts and the impact this may have on data generation and knowledge creation. Addressing this gap, this paper critically reflects on cross-cultural interviews in Hong Kong. The reflection is centred on the experience of interviewing as an outsider to the culture of the participants and later working alongside an insider. While insider and outsider positionalities are formed from a multitude of intersectional characteristics, both gender and nationality emerged as primary influencers in this context. This paper contributes to the methodologically oriented literature by making salient the complexities of deciphering the multitude of influences originating from the researcher's positionality in relation to research others. Specifically, this paper highlights how both insider and outsider positionalities generate different, but complementary data through the exploration of participant's responses. 'It's a Chinese thing' or comments equating to it's a woman's thing were used by participants to either limit responses or expand and offer additional information, and the juxtaposition of these responses with those given to an insider help to highlight what this might mean for knowledge creation.

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