Case study Methods of data collection

March 15, 2019
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Principles of Qualitative Techniques: Section 5. Information Collection Methods


As opposed to review surveys, qualitative interviewing aims to delve deeply beneath the surface of shallow responses to acquire real meanings that people assign to occasions, and also the complexity of their attitudes, behaviours and experiences. There are two main forms of interviews, unstructured and semi-structured, their usage with respect to the aim of the analysis.

Unstructured interviewing permits the respondent to share with their own tales in their own terms, with prompting by the interviewer. Lofland summarised the aim of the unstructured meeting as being, 'to elicit wealthy, step-by-step products you can use in qualitative evaluation. Its objective is to look for completely what type of things are happening instead of to determine the frequency of predetermined forms of things that the researcher currently feels can occur' (1971:76). In an unstructured interview, the specialist simply has a list of subjects they wish the respondent to share. Nevertheless way the concerns tend to be phrased and which order they come will change from meeting to a higher due to the fact interview process is dependent upon the answers (tales) of interviewees.

Semi-structured interviews are characterised by topic guides containing significant questions which can be utilized in exactly the same way in every meeting, even though the sequence of questions might vary along with the amount of probing for information by the interviewer. Semi-structured interviewing would work if the researcher already has many grasp of what's happening inside the sample pertaining to the research topic. But the specialist should make sure there's no danger of reduced definition as a result of imposing a standard method of asking questions (Fielding & Thomas: 2001). This may be attained by conducting pilot interviews (these use broad subject guides with couple of direct questions) before data collection.

No matter whether unstructured or semi-structured, the concerns posed through the meeting should-be since open-ended as you can, to avoid yes/no or rehearsed answers. Further, the questioning methods should encourage participants to communicate their particular underlying attitudes, opinions and values which are therefore central to the strategy. This is limited where in fact the interviewee has insufficient awareness/information or is not regularly placing emotions into words. Interviewees might feel subjected by concerns (particularly in which attitudes are probed in painful and sensitive topics such as political attitudes, intimate positioning, borderline or illegal behaviour). However, interviewees might think they need to present themselves in a particular means in order to participate in their particular perception of specialist's needs, or desire to bring in their own schedule of life-topics that do not fit effortlessly because of the goal of the interview. Hence, it is vital to build a rapport aided by the interviewee prior to starting the interview so both sides can feel much more relaxed. Different ways of posing concerns and making use of probing and prompting help elicit more information or steer the interview. More info on how to make use of these strategies, to develop a topic guide, interviewer effects and tracking methods receive inside after recommendations - see Fielding & Thomas (2001) for a great breakdown of problems in qualitative interviewing; see Wengraf (2001) for a rather detail by detail conversation of qualitative interviewing.

Focus teams

Focus groups tend to be a kind of group meeting with the aim of recording the conversation involving the individuals predicated on topics that are given by the specialist (Morgan, 1998). The key intent behind focus group research is to evoke an even of respondents' attitudes, thoughts, opinions, experiences and reactions usually not available when working with techniques, like observation or interviewing. These attitudes, feelings and thinking could be partly independent of a bunch or its social environment, but are more likely to be revealed through the personal gathering plus the connection created in a focus team. Focus groups tend to be particularly of use when there will be power differences between the participants and decision-makers or specialists, once the each day use of language and tradition of specific teams is of interest, when an individual desires to explore the amount of opinion on a given topic (Gibbs, 1997). Therefore you should make sure the participants have a certain experience/opinion about the subject is talked about, and therefore a particular meeting guide can be used.

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