Last week I was on a dissertation evaluating the work entitled “International Project Teams as Innovation Hubs: Power and Politics in the Knowledge Change Process” of the PhD Candidate Luciano Marques de Araújo, whose supervisor has been the Professor Jose M Sallan (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya).

The aim of this thesis is to understand how international project teams enable mature multinational enterprises (MNEs) to cope with knowledge diversity and political activity, two well-known disruptive organizational phenomena, in order to leverage their innovative potential and competitive capabilities. To answer this question a longitudinal multi-case study has been designed to collect in-depth qualitative data from three large-scale international projects conducted by a focal MNE and an array of its subsidiaries. In a dialectic way, data collected has been used both to enhance the dynamic knowledge change framework provided by contemporary sociology and to explain the complex mechanisms that make international project teams an increasingly used organizational tool. As a result, knowledge change (and thus innovation) has been found to hinge on a dynamic balance between power and politics which is favored by conditions that are inherent to these organizational settings. Finally, a model describing the mechanisms that enable international project teams to drive knowledge diversity and political activity towards innovation and knowledge change within MNEs has been developed.

It’s an excellent thesis to see how to manage and use qualitative data in a research.