Application of Qualitative and Historical Methods in Organizational Studies on Interculturality

  • Risia Kaliane Santana de Souza
  • Mônica de Aguiar Mac-Allister da Silva
  • Ana Cristina Batista dos Santos
Keywords: Qualitative methods. Historical methods. Organizational studies. Interculturality.


The article aims to analyze how the application of qualitative and historical methods contributes to the process understanding and the complexity of the phenomenon of interculturality in organizations. The starting point was the articulated and complementary use of a set of qualitative and historical methods, specifically documentary analysis, narrative interview, life history and oral history for the study of the reflexes of interculturality in an organization of a joint venture. The organization studied was the Inaceres Agrícola and Palmito Processing Industry, which was established in Brazil through the partnership between an Ecuadorian and a Brazilian organization, with the subsequent acquisition of another Brazilian organization. The concept of interculturality was taken as interaction and coexistence marked by experiences and symbols shared by members involved in a reality built by their behaviors and actions. In order to understand how this phenomenon of interculturality is reflected in the Inaceres organization, a historical approach to interculturalism was adopted to answer a question that is formulated in the present and answered from the past: what are the reflexes of interculturality in the Inaceres organization? The historical approach was adopted because of its interdisciplinary nature, because culture is one of the objects treated by the new history, to use elements that theoretically and methodologically characterize the historical approach to interculturality, and to allow, as close as possible, proximity to the history of the organization studied . In order to achieve this objective, firstly, the concepts and techniques of each of the methods used are presented and, secondly, the application of this method in the study on interculturality, in terms of purpose and operationalization, is analyzed. Regarding the operationalization, more specifically the field research sought to identify the characteristics of the group of subjects who acted or act at Inaceres as employees from listening to their stories, opinions, beliefs, values ​​and customs, anchored in the "how" and the "what" of their professional experiences. Fifteen (15) subjects were heard, who presented their point of view on the historical trajectory of Inaceres through their own experience. The use of this set of methods allowed the valorization of the discursive reconstruction of something that was lived by the subject and the reconstruction of a past that is not always manifested in the memory of the people. Interculturality was studied within a historical cut that extended from its constitution until its nationalization considering the aspects of the national cultures (Brazil and Ecuador), local (several regions of Brazil in which the company was established) and organizational (the various units from the company). The set of methods used also allowed us to affirm that the different cultures resulted in an interculturality integrated throughout the historical trajectory of Inaceres.