Methods for Studying Irrationality in Organizations, Institutions, and Social Movements: Overview and Two Case Studies: Climate Change Denial and Corporate Acquisitiveness

  • William R. Meyers


This chapter discusses two case studies, one of a social movement, the denial of man-made climate change, and one of an institution, the large Anglo-American publicly traded business corporation. Each is often destructive or self-destructive and very bizarre, suggesting the influence of irrational mental processes outside of conscious awareness. My goal in this chapter is to give the reader a more concrete understanding of what this kind of research involves and how it can be accomplished. It is my hope that the readers can apply insights gained from these examples to doing other studies of organizations, institutions, or social movements of special interest to them. The methods explained in this chapter should be helpful in those studies. They include special applications of the following methods: elite and specialized interviewing; use of informants; field work; participant observation; in-milieu observation; systematic random sampling; purposeful sampling; content analysis; and legal research of various kinds.


Social Movement Conspiracy Theory Legal Research Social Science Method Corporate Employee 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© William R. Meyers 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • William R. Meyers
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CincinnatiUSA

Personalised recommendations