Wonder Is the Beginning of Wisdom. The Socratic Method in a Qualitative Study of Leadership in Family Firms
The study employed the Socratic method to conduct 32 semi-structured interviews with future successors of family firms, to explore the relationship between entrepreneurial leadership and job crafting. Socratic questions were used to grasp regularities of participants’ behavior. Inference by analogy was employed to foster rational and inductive reasoning of the participants. The results show that the Socratic method and analogy may be a valuable qualitative data collection method in reducing participants resistance and facilitating their self-initiated discovery in a sensitive research context. The validity and reliability of this method is discussed in terms of trustworthiness. Applying the Socratic method and analogy to the data collection method (interviews) may enhance the overall credibility of organizational qualitative research methods.
Arnold, J. (2005). Work psychology: Understanding human behaviour in the workplace (4th ed.). Prentice-Hall.
Biela. (1991). Analogy in science: From a psychological perspective. Peter Lang.
Bedell, G. (1980). Philosophizing with Socrates: An introduction to the study of philosophy. University Press of America.
Blank, M., & White, S. J. (1986). Questions: A powerful but misused form of classroom exchange. Topics in Language Disorders, 6(2), 1–12.
Blatt, R., Christianson, M. K., Sutcliffe, K. M., & Rosenthal, M. M. (2006). A sensemaking lens on reliability. Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 27, 897–917. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.392
Bloom, B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives. Vol. 1: Cognitive domain. McKay, 20–24.
Brickhouse, T. C., & Smith, N. D. (2009). Socratic teaching and Socratic method. In H. Siegel (Ed.) The Oxford handbook of philosophy of education. Oxford University Press.
Catrambone, R., & Holyoak, K. J. (1989). Overcoming contextual limitations on problem-solving transfer. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 15(6), 1147–1156.
Chessick, R. D. (1982). Socrates: first psychotherapist. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 42, 71–83.
Chisholm, R. M. (1979). Objects and persons: Revision and replies. Grazer Philosophische Studien, 7, 317-388.
DePierro, E., Garafalo, F., & Toomey, R. T. (2003). Using a Socratic dialog to help students construct fundamental concepts. J. Chem. Educ, 80, 12, 1408. https://doi.org/10.1021/ed080p1408
Farrar, M. T. (1984). Asking better questions. Reading Teacher, 38, 10–15.
Fishman, E. M. (1985). Counteracting misconceptions about the Socratic method. College Teaching, 33, 185–188.
Gambrill, E. (1993). What critical thinking offers to clinicians and clients. The Behavior Therapist, 16, 141–146.
Haden, J. (1984). Socratic ignorance. New essays on Socrates, 17–28.
Hays, D. G., Wood, C., Dahl, H., & Kirk-Jenkins, A. (2016). Methodological rigor in Journal of Counseling & Development Qualitative Research Articles: A 15-Year Review. Journal of Counseling & Development, 94(2), 172–183. http://doi.org/10.1002/jcad.12074
Hesse, M. (2000). Models and Analogies. A companion to the philosophy of science. Blackwell.
Holland, J. H., Holyoak K., Nisbett, R. E., & Thagard P. R. (1986). Induction: Processes of inference, learning, and discovery. MIT Press.
Holme, T.A. (1992). Using the Socratic method in large lecture classes. Journal of Chemical Education, 69, 974–977.
Johnson, D. W., & Matross, R. P. (1975). Attitude modification methods. Helping people change. Pergamon.
Kidd, I. (1992). Socratic questions. In B. Gower & M. C. Stokes (Eds.), Socratic questions: New essays on the philosophy or Socrates and its significance (pp. 82–92). Routledge.
Kvale, S. (2008). Doing interviews. Sage Publications.
Lee, H. S., & Holyoak, K. J. (2008). The role of causal models in analogical inference. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 34, 1111–1122. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0012581
Legrenzi, P. (1971). Discovery as a means to understanding. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 23, 417–422.
Levitt, H. M., Motulsky, S. L., Wertz, F. J., Morrow, S. L., & Ponterotto, J. G. (2017). Recommendations for designing and reviewing qualitative research in psychology: Promoting methodological integrity. Qualitative Psychology, 4(1), 2–22. https://doi.org/10.1037/qup0000082
Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Sage.
Long, L., Long, T. J., & Paradise, L. V. (1981). Questioning: Skills for the helping process. Brooks/Cole.
Macrae, C. (2009). Making risks visible: Identifying and interpreting threats to airline flight safety. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 82(2), 273–293. https://doi.org/10.1348/096317908X314045
Madill, A., Jordan, A., & Shirley, C. (2000). Objectivity and reliability in qualitative analysis: Realist, contextualist and radical structuralist epistemologies. British Journal of Psychology, 91, 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1348/000712600161646
McDaniel, M. A., & Schlager, M. S. (1990). Discovery learning and transfer of problem-solving skills. Cognition and Instruction, 7(2), 129–159. https://doi.org/10.1207/s1532690xci0702_3
Meichenbaum, D. (1994). A clinical handbook/practical therapist manual. University of Waterloo, Department of Psychology.
Mohajan, H. K. (2018). Qualitative research methodology in social sciences and related subjects. Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People, 7(1), 23–48.
Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S. (2012). Motivational interviewing: Helping people change. Guilford Press.
Milliren, A., Milliren, M., & Eckstein, D. (2007). Combining Socratic questions with the “ADAPT” problem-solving model: Implications for couple’s conflict resolution. The Family Journal, 15(4), 415–419.
Nelson, L., Brown, T. K., Blanshard, B., & Kraft, J. (1950). Socratic method and critical philosophy. Yale University Press.
Neenan, M. (2009). Using Socratic questioning in coaching. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy, 27(4), 249–264.
Ngozwana, N. (2018). Ethical dilemmas in qualitative research methodology: Researcher’s reflections. International Journal of Educational Methodology, 4(1), 19–28.
O’Leary, M., & Chia, R. (2007). Epistemes and structures of sensemaking in organizational life. Journal of Management Inquiry, 16, 392–406.
Osbeck, L. M. (2014). Scientific reasoning as sense making: Implications for qualitative inquiry. Qualitative Psychology, 1(1), 34–46. https://doi.org/10.1037/qup0000004
Overholser, J. C. (1991). The Socratic method as a technique in psychotherapy supervision. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 22, 68–74.
Overholser, J. C. (1993a). Elements of the Socratic method: I. Systematic questioning. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 30(1),67–74.
Overholser, J. C. (1993). Elements of the Socratic method: II. Inductive reasoning. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 30(1), 75–85.
Overholser, J. C. (1994). Elements of the Socratic method: III. Universal definitions. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 31(2), 286–293.
Overholser, J. C. (2010). Psychotherapy according to the Socratic method: Integrating ancient philosophy with contemporary cognitive therapy. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 24(4), 354–363.
Overholser, J. C. (2011). Collaborative empiricism, guided discovery, and the Socratic method: Core processes for effective cognitive therapy. Clinical Psychology: Scienceand Practice, 18(1), 62–66.
Rafaeli, A. (2006). Sense-making of employment: On whether and why people read employment advertising. Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 27(6), 858–881. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.399
Rennie, D. L. (2012). Qualitative research as methodical hermeneutics. Psychological Methods, 17(3), 385–398. http://doi.org/10.1037/a0029250
Rutter, J. G., & Friedberg, R. D. (1999). Guidelines for the effective use of Socratic dialogue in cognitive therapy. In L. Vande Creek & T. L. Jackson (Eds.), Innovations in clinical practice: A source book (Vol. 17, pp. 481–490). Professional Resource Press/Professional Resource Exchange.
Sanders, N. M. (1966). Classroom questions: What kinds? HarperCollins College Division.
Schmid, W. T. (1983). Socratic moderation and self-knowledge. Journal of the History of Philosophy, 21(3), 339–348.
Seeskin, K. (1987). Dialogue and discovery: A study in Socratic method. SUNY Press.
Tomm, K. (1987). Interventive interviewing: Part II. Reflexive questioning as a means to enable self‐healing. Family process, 26(2), 167–183. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1545-5300.1987.00167.x
Weick, K. (1995). Sensemaking in organizations. Sage.
Vlastos, G. (1991). Socrates, ironist and moral philosopher. Cornell University Press.
Copyright (c) 2022 Journal for Perspectives of Economic Political and Social Integration
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.