Qualitative research in social and organizational psychology: the Italian way

Lorenzo Montali, Angelo Benozzo, Silvio Carlo Ripamonti, Alessandra Frigerio, Laura Galuppo, Marco Gemignani, Ilaria Vergine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


This article provides a description of the presence of qualitative research in Italian social and organisational psychology. The first section of the article identifies three major phases of qualitative methods and the factors that, from the 1990s, played a major role in their development: the legitimisation of qualitative research in sociology, the rising of theoretical perspectives expressing a critical stance toward the hegemonic quantitative and experimental approach of the discipline, and the demand for qualitative studies from public and private clients. In the second section, we present a review of the scientific articles published in the last five years. Our analysis shows that the health field stands out as having the greatest number of publications, both for social and organizational psychology; the absolute prevalence of the interview as a data collection method; and that Grounded theory, Discourse analysis, and Conversation analysis are the most cited references for data analysis. We discuss these results in relation to the set of rules that regulates the careers of researchers in Italy (and abroad), and to the only partial acceptance of qualitative research in Italian psychology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-463
Number of pages23
JournalQualitative Research in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Italy
  • Qualitative research
  • history
  • research traditions


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