Title: Dialogical Inquiry: An Extension of Schein’s Clinical Inquiry
Author: Jean-Francois Coget
Abstract: After examining the main principles and historical origins of Edgar Schein’s clinical inquiry, this article introduces dialogical inquiry, an extension of clinical inquiry. Following clinical inquiry’s main principles, dialogical inquiry adopts a dialogue over videotaped segments of behavior as its main tool. The goals of dialogical inquiry are (a) to raise participants’ awareness about how they interpret work situations in the moment, so that they can increase their effectiveness and (b) to allow the researcher to build actionable academic knowledge. The process of dialogical inquiry has four phases: (a) a life interview with the participant, (b) shadowing and filming the participant in action in the work environment, (c) selecting episodes from the videotapedshadowing for discussion, and (d) a discussion with the participant about these episodes. Like clinical inquiry, and more generally action research, dialogical inquiry is intended to be a method that can help fill the gap between theory and practice.