Liminality refers to being “betwixt and between” (Turner, 1967). We draw on boundary theory to propose and elaborate upon the notion of “liminal researchers”—the in-between status we hold when we conduct research that is personally meaningful or in highly familiar settings, despite the fact that we are not actually a member of the group being studied. Indeed, being a liminal researcher in organizational studies denotes dwelling on the boundary of the group or phenomenon being studied and puts us in a position to be neither fully in nor fully out of the entity or topic of interest. To further develop these ideas, we draw on our personal and professional experiences as parents and researchers of individuals with developmental disabilities. We reflect on management-related projects that we conduct on students and workers with developmental disabilities and how a highly reflexive stance facilitates our research. Throughout, we use a boundary theory lens to explore being liminal researchers and provide strategies for authors, editors, and reviewers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business and International Management
- Strategy and Management