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Using a Socio-psychological Approach for Understanding the Influence of Civil Society on Economic Activity


  • Andrea Werner


This paper proposes a socio-psychological approach for empirical research into the influence of civil society contexts on the practices of individual economic actors. This methodological approach is based on social theories that explicitly take into account the link between structure and agency, and the paper explains how such framework can be utilised in qualitative interview-based studies. To illus-trate the usefulness of such socio-psychological approach, the paper reports on the findings of a research project that used this methodology as it sought to investigate the influence of Christianity on SME owner-managers’ conceptualisations of practice.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Werner, 2008. "Using a Socio-psychological Approach for Understanding the Influence of Civil Society on Economic Activity," Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik - Journal for Business, Economics & Ethics, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 9(1), pages 153-168.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:ethics:doi_10.1688/1862-0043_zfwu_2008_01_werner

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    More about this item


    Civil Society; Interview-based Research; Structuration Theory; Discursive Psychology; Christianity; Small and Medium-sized Enterprises;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • M20 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - General


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