Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
You should have gained working knowledge on handling data. In this course, you will learn the design and analysis of qualitative research centered on NVivo. You will also learn how to interpret analyses and write up the results for academic research.
Prerequisites and preparations
1. Please get access to one of the following qualitative data analysis tools and test its functionality BEFORE the class starts. I would recommend NVivo, ATLAS.ti, or MAXQDATA.
• Project-based learning (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project-based_learning), every session advancing towards your coursework in the form of an extended abstract. Your class project is the mini-research project you conduct and which will be documented in the extended abstract.
Session (and between-session) dynamics
A. Recorded lecture (1 hr): Orientation-presentation, and hands-on demonstration for day’s research practice(s) in the form of a pre-recorded Power Point presentation available as a download from the course’s Page.
B. Practice task (~4 hrs): Day’s individual practice task, each resulting in a different piece of the assessed assignment; hand in of day’s practice task deliver through link. Make sure all your deliverables are uploaded as different versions of your same work-in-progress word document, the final version of which will become your course deliverable.
C. Live discussion (1 hr): Plenary discussion of the hand-ins from this day’s practice tasks (picked by instructor and/or volunteered by students)
Table 1 Sessions and Contents
#) Date Topics Main contents Tasks →Deliverables
Task 1 Recorded lecture (ppt), Getting Started with a Qualitative Research Project -Twin documents: Qualitative research diary and your manuscript.
-Building research questions inductively from qualitative material.
-Prepping for qualitative data analysis with CAQDAS. 1. Identify and download annual reports to be analysed and identify their section(s) to be analysed.
→Deliverable to be uploaded: Screenshots of exemplary data from the section to be analysed in word document.
2. Uploaded them into your qualitative data analysis program.
→ Deliverable to be uploaded: Screenshot of the report documents in your qualitative data analysis tool in the same word document from above.
Practice task Work on getting started and upload the deliverables to link
Recorded lecture (ppt), Research Positioning, Framing, and Planning Methods -Setting different types of ‘hooks’ in qualitative research introductions, curiosity without over-promise
-Literature positioning techniques (beyond the ‘gap’, e.g. problematization, or phenomenological/ inductive)
-Sampling rationales (e.g. sampling what/ whom, how much, from where, and why?)
-Data analysis methods 3. Written introduction of extended abstract, including a ‘hook’; the positioning of your project in literature; and a research question.
→ Deliverable to be uploaded: One-page introduction text added to the same word document from above and re-uploaded as the new version.
4. Written initial research methods section focussed on sampling rationale (e.g. type of reports, quantity,…) and analysis tactic.
→ Deliverable to be uploaded: One-page methods text, including references to relevant methods sources, and explanation how it will help to answer research question.
Practice task, Position/ frame of your project and your methods. Upload the deliverables to link
Task 3, Recorded lecture (ppt), Analyzing, Theorizing, and Presenting Findings -Traceability and rigor in qualitative analysis
-Theorizing and building models that respond to research questions
-Balancing between thick inductive qualitative description and structured accessibility 5. Written description of your coding process step by step, for instance, main decisions and rationale for them, including a screenshot of your data structure.
→Deliverable to be uploaded: Additional one-page methods text describing your coding process and showing the data structure outcome.
6. Findings section presenting your conceptual model (different from data structure) visually and verbally
→Deliverable to be uploaded: One page findings section including your conceptual model figure and the explanation of it as a text.
Practice task, Analyze your data, theorize a model that addresses your research question, and write a findings text. Upload it to link
Conduct a mini-research project (the task on the three days) and write it up in the form of an extended abstract (the deliverables from the three days are likely to be 80-90% of your hand in). Both as they are rich and diverse pieces of data and to avoid ethical issues (public availability aimed at public consumption), we will restrict the project to empirical material of the annual reports of publicly listed companies.
Use a manageable amount of qualitative data from these reports in order to prepare an extended abstract (a short research article). This material should be the same that you work on during the class sessions. The qualitative abstract should be 1500-2000 words long, including everything (e.g. title, short abstract, main text, references, tables text; double-spaced, Times New Roman, font size 12). The extended abstract should include, but is not limited to the following elements:
1) Title page including author name, short abstract, keywords.
2) Introduction which among others clearly articulates the theoretical/practical relevance;
3) Critical literature positioning along with research motivation and research question(s);
4) Methods section including a detailed description of the rationale, key methods (citing methods papers/ books), and the process adopted for analysis;
5) Findings section presenting the results of your analysis (data structure), and a conceptual model that answers the research question, making use of table(s) and/or figure(s) and accompanying text describing them;
6) Discussion section articulating the significance (and contribution) of your results/research in relationship to extant literature and practice.
7) Conclusions section answering the research question and contribution statement.
Coursework will be assessed to equal shares based on the criteria of i) outcomes (e.g. how well is the research question answered, how good is the conceptual model, how insightful is the research), ii) analysis (e.g. depth of analysis, amount of empirical material used, traceability, rigor), and iii) presentation (e.g. quality of citations, structuring of document, use of visual materials, English, typos).
Reference books every qualitative researcher should know and use
• Cassel, C. & Symon, G. (2006). The essential guide to qualitative methods in organizational research. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
• Saldaña, J. (2015). The coding manual for qualitative researchers. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
• Yin, R. K. (2013). Case study research: Design and methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
• Nigel King, N & Brooks, J.M. (2017). Template analysis for business and management students. Thousand Oaks: Sage.