Joy of Coding Data

Joy of Coding Data

Dr. Anne Smith

University of Tennessee

April 12, 2024

12:00 PM EDT (New York), 5:00 PM BST (London)

Presentor Biography

Anne Smith, a King & Judy Rogers Professor of Business in the Management & Entrepreneurship Department at the Haslam College of Business, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, brings extensive experience, having previously led the department for seven years. Her teaching delves into the factors behind organizational success, stagnation, and failure. In her research, she specializes in qualitative methodologies, particularly the analysis of interview data and photographs. Smith has contributed significantly to the field, serving as an associate editor at Organizational Research Methods (ORM) for five years and continuing her involvement on the editorial board. Her impactful research has graced esteemed management and organizational journals, including Organization Science, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, and Journal of Management Inquiry.


Coding – the iterative process of tagging textual during an interpretive qualitative project — can be described as “daunting”, “full of mystery”, and “messy”. Yet, over my multi-decade journey of making sense of qualitative data, I have learned through many activities and efforts, such as: initial coding on paper using multi-colored markers and scissors to later developing proficiency with computer aided qualitative data analysis programs; going down numerous coding “rabbit holes” resulting in time-consuming backtracking (which is normal in any project!); and reanalyzing my data many times during the publication review process. In the end, I have learned to enjoy coding. I use the metaphor of learning to paint, channeling Bob Ross who was famous for his “Joy of Painting” program on the US public television station. I hope that my webinar will reflect his positivity, helpfulness, and encouragement to aspiring or seasoned scholars. This webinar addresses only coding (not the entire analysis process, which is best described by Locke, Feldman and Golden-Biddle, 2022); this webinar does provide a few CAQDAS techniques but not in the depth and detail found in O’Kane, Smith, and Lerman, 2021. Before the end of my career, I am delighted to share coding approaches that seem to resonate with students during CARMA training and to encourage qualitative researchers at different stages who are wrangling with textual data.

Locke, K., Feldman, M., & Golden-Biddle, K. (2022): Coding Practices and Iterativity: Beyond Templates for Analyzing Qualitative Data. Organizational Research Methods, 25(2), 262–284.

O’Kane, P., Smith, A.D., & Lerman, M.P. (2021). Building transparency and trustworthiness in inductive research through computer aided qualitative data analysis software. Organizational Research Methods, 24(1), 104–139.

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