By definition, trauma occurs in rare circumstances in most people's lives. However, the extreme circumstances that often precipitate traumas are commonplace: such as the fires, floods and tsumanis associated with climate change; the loneliness, mental health problems and deaths arising from the COVID-19 pandemic; the deaths, destruction and displacement caused by the recent international conflict in former Eastern Europe; and the high level of homocides found in a number of advanced states. Hitherto, research into trauma has been unusual in the management and organizational fields. Yet traumas demand organizational and management responses. The implications of researching trauma for the researcher can be significant and thus important to understand (Dickson-Swift, James, Kippen, & Liamputtong, 2007; Dickson-Swift, James, & Liamputtong, 2008; Nikischer, 2019). The people directly affected by a traumatic event will often find their coping system overburdened (see Briere & Scott, 2014; Van der Kolk, 1998; Van der Kolk, 2003). Researchers will require special sets of skills and knowledge to operate effectively in such situations. This special issue explores the methodological, ethical, and emotional issues and challenges that the qualitative researcher in the organizational and management fields may face while doing trauma research.
Miralles, M., Lee, B., Dörfler, V. & Stierand, M. 2022, 'Investigating trauma: methodological, emotional, and ethical challenges for the qualitative researcher', Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, 17(4), pp. 397-405. https://doi.org/10.1108/QROM-11-2022-999