The value of Netnography for research in HRD

Roberta Discetti*, Valerie Anderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This paper argues for recognition of Netnography as a necessary methodological innovation for HRD research, enabling the field to address emerging research questions and contribute to theory building at the intersection of technology, work and social life. The paper defines Netnography and introduces its key methodological underpinnings; illustrates its application and procedures; and considers its benefit to HRD research. We identify three opportunities where Netnography can deliver important advances to HRD theory and practice: investigating hard-to-access online work contexts, such as gig work and other forms of precarious working; exploring marginalised, ‘hidden’, or under-researched voices in online spaces; and extending knowledge of learning in hybrid work environments where physical and digital dimensions are intertwined. We conclude with a call to action by HRD scholars to take forward, and further develop, the Netnographic methodology to contribute to new and inclusive theorizing as a basis for advancements in HRD scholarship and practice
Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Resource Development Review
Early online date2 Nov 2022
Publication statusEarly online - 2 Nov 2022


  • Netnography
  • qualitative research
  • digital methods
  • theory building
  • precarious work
  • gig work


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