Visualization of emerging theoretical ideas has always been central to my work. I extensively use tables to organize my observations and ensure systematic support for tentative interpretations. This ongoing project, in collaboration with other like-minded colleagues and friends, combines my own experience with an analysis of other researchers’ work to try to articulate how visualization supports theorizing in qualitative research. The ambition is not only to provide practical guidance to novice scholars but also to help unravel, more generally, the black box of theorizing from qualitative data.
Over the years, this project has inspired the content of doctoral seminars and several professional development workshops around the world. This content is constantly refined to incorporate new experiences and observations, and has resulted in a few invited pieces aimed at sharing these reflections more generally (Ravasi, 2017; Langley & Ravasi, 2019; Cloutier & Ravasi, 2020).