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Dialogic Listening: Towards an embodied understanding of the ‘here and now’ during fieldwork
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2013 (English)In: Qualitative research in organization and management, ISSN 1746-5648, E-ISSN 1746-5656, Vol. 8, no 3, 224-241 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


In recognizing that we have different modes of listening, just as there are different ways of talking, the aim of the article is to explore how a greater awareness of listening can be a resource during field work.



The paper uses a collaborative study of a family business as a starting point and focuses on a meeting held in the owner family where emotional issues concerning conflicts were discussed. Detailed illustrations from this two-hour meeting show how listening guided all participants, including the author in her role as a researcher.



Based on Bakhtin’s work on dialogue, as well as literature on listening, the notion of ‘dialogic listening’ is developed. This notion emphasizes four dimensions of listening: relationality and conversations as a shared activity, listening as an active process, the polyphonic nature of listening, and listening as an embodied activity. The paper illustrates how dialogic listening can create a feeling of an ‘us’ where we can ‘listen into’ things. ‘Listening into’ involves a prospective way of exploring which can offer a feeling for that which we bodily know but do yet not cognitively understand.



The focus on listening makes it possible to explore new research practices in that it suggests an orientation towards language that does not depart from talk but rather emphasizes how the embodied and intertwined nature of relating to one another can guide and direct us during field studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 8, no 3, 224-241 p.
Keyword [en]
Listening, dialogic listening, embodied, Bakhtin, intersubjective
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-205061DOI: 10.1108/QROM-05-2012-1066OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-205061DiVA: diva2:640458
Available from: 2013-08-13 Created: 2013-08-13 Last updated: 2016-07-20Bibliographically approved

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