The Qualimetrics Approach

Observing the Complex Object

Edited by:
Henri Savall, University Jean Moulin Lyon 3 and ISEOR
Veronique Zardet, University Jean Moulin Lyon 3 and ISEOR

A volume in the series: Research in Management Consulting. Editor(s): Anthony F. Buono, Bentley University.

Published 2011

The impetus for this work emerged from Savall’s belief that there is a doubleloop interaction between social and economic factors in organizations, between behaviors and structures, and between the quality of life in organizations and their economic performance. When managers underestimate this dynamic interaction, the resulting tension ultimately manifests in lowered performance and increased costs, what he refers to as the “hidden costs” of organizational life. Only by delving into the depths of these organizational dynamics can we hope to fully understand – and create the basis for improving – organizational performance.

The Qualimetrics Approach presents a different and challenging way of thinking about analyzing organizations, one that draws together quantitative information, financial analysis and qualitative insights into organizational dynamics. As Savall and Zardet argue, to gain a true understanding of what is happening in organizations, intervener-researchers must focus on all three perspectives, as ignoring any one of them will lead to incomplete understandings. Their approach underscores the importance of using qualitative data to validate quantitative depictions (“the numbers”) of organizational performance in understanding the construction of financial statements. The strength of Savall and Zardet’s approach is that it pushes us to go deeper, to fully understand the narratives underlying the numbers and the social construction of our financial assessments.

CONTENTS
Preface, Anthony F. Buono. Preface to the 2004 Edition, Qualimetrics Contribution to Research Methodology, David Boje. Foreword, Henri Savall and Véronique Zardet. Acknowledgments. Introduction to the 2011 Edition. Introduction to the 2004 Edition. PART I: GENERAL PROBLEMS AND CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF METHODOLOGY. Principal Methods Utilized in Management Science Research. Critical Analysis of Research Methodologies. PART II: A PROPOSED METHOD FOR RESEARCH CONSTRUCTION. The Interactive Approach of the “Researcher-Strategist” for Making Progress in Research Work. Research Materials. Construction of Knowledge and Research Results. A Practical Guide for Thesis Construction: Doctoral Student Piloting Indicators. PART III: PERSPECTIVES FOR PROGRESS TOWARD IN-DEPTH AND UP-CLOSE OBSERVATION IN MANAGEMENT RESEARCH. In-Depth and Up-Close Scientific Observation of The Research Object. Processing Qualitative Information. Research in the Field: The Example of Intervention-Research. General Conclusion. References. About the Authors.