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Qualitative Research Methods
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Qualitative Research Methods



November 2010 | 328 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Lecturers, click here to request an e-inspection copy of this text

Qualitative Research Methods is based on the authors' highly successful multidisciplinary qualitative methods workshops, which have been conducted for over a decade. In this book the authors propose a 'qualitative research cycle' that leads students through the selection of appropriate methods, the collection of data and the transformation of findings into a finished project. It provides a clear explanation of the nature of qualitative research and its key concepts. Topics covered include:

o formulating qualitative research questions

o ethical issues

o in-depth interviews

o focus group discussions

o observation

o coding

o data analysis

o writing up qualitative research

This text is ideal for any students taking a qualitative methods course or producing a qualitative research project at undergraduate or graduate level. It is illustrated throughout with case studies and field examples from a range of international contexts. The practical techniques are also accompanied by the author's own research tools including interview guides, real coded data and comprehensive research checklists.

 
INTRODUCTION
 
Introduction to the Book
Who is This Book For?

 
The Qualitative Research Cycle

 
Structure of the Book

 
Features of this Book

 
 
The Nature of Qualitative Research
What is Qualitative Research?

 
When to Conduct Qualitative Research

 
The Underlying Interpretive Paradigm

 
Qualitative and Quantitative Research

 
Verstehen and Understanding

 
The Emic and Etic Perspective

 
Subjectivity and The Need for Reflexivity

 
Our Approach to Qualitative Research

 
Evaluating quality

 
 
PART ONE: THE DESIGN CYCLE
 
The Design Cycle
Introduction

 
Formulating Qualitative Research Questions

 
Incorporating Literature and Theory

 
Developing a Conceptual Framework

 
Selecting a Fieldwork Approach

 
Evaluating Quality

 
 
Ethical Issues in Qualitative Research
Introduction

 
What is Ethics?

 
Ethics in Qualitative Research

 
Ethical Issues in the Design Cycle

 
Ethical Issues in the Ethnographic Cycle

 
Ethical Issues in the Analytic Cycle

 
Evaluating quality

 
 
PART TWO: THE ETHNOGRAPHIC CYCLE
 
Participant Recruitment
What is Participant Recruitment?

 
Defining and Refining the Study Population

 
How Many to Recruit: The Principle of Saturation

 
Recruitment Goals

 
Strategies for Participant Recruitment

 
Evaluating quality

 
 
In-Depth Interviews
What is an In-Depth Interview?

 
When to Conduct an In-Depth Interview

 
Purpose of an In-Depth Interview

 
The Cyclical Nature of Data Collection

 
Developing an Interview Guide

 
Preparing for Data Collection

 
Reflecting on Subjectivity and Positionality

 
Conducting the Interview

 
Strengths and Limitations

 
Evaluating Quality

 
 
Focus Group Discussions
What is a Focus Group Discussion?

 
When to Conduct Focus Group Discussions

 
The Cyclical Nature of Data Collection

 
Developing the Discussion Guide

 
Preparing for Data Collection

 
Conducting the Focus Group Discussion

 
Post-Discussion Information

 
Strengths and Limitations

 
Evaluating quality

 
 
Observation
What is Observation?

 
When to Conduct Observation

 
What to Observe

 
Types of Observation

 
Preparing and Conduct of Observation

 
Writing an Observation

 
Strengths and Limitations

 
Evaluating Quality

 
 
PART THREE: THE ANALYTIC CYCLE
 
Data Preparation and Developing Codes
Introduction

 
The Nature of Qualitative Data Analysis

 
Our Approach to Analysis

 
Foundations of Grounded Theory

 
Data Preparation

 
Developing Codes

 
Making a Codebook

 
Coding Data

 
Evaluating Quality

 
 
Textual Data Analysis
Introduction

 
Formulating a Project-Specific Plan of Analysis

 
Searching Data

 
The Cyclical Process of Analysis

 
Thick Description

 
Comparison

 
Categorizing and Conceptualizing

 
Theory Development

 
Evaluating Quality

 
 
Writing Qualitative Research
Writing in Qualitative Research

 
Who is the Audience?

 
Structure of Writing

 
Beginning to Write

 
Writing a Methodology

 
Presenting Qualitative Results

 
Evaluating Quality

 

Hennink et al. write for novice and accomplished qualitative researchers (and everyone in-between)...Qualitative Research Methods is an accessible, readable how-to book. It can be recommended as a reference book for those approaching a new qualitative project. The in-chapter descriptions and the exercises and questions at the end of each chapter provide easy, yet necessary tasks for researchers to complete during each stage of their projects
Christine L. Patton
The Weekly Qualitative Report


Hennink, Hutter, and Bailey’s work is about actually ‘doing’ qualitative research. All the key topics are covered, and sensible ‘warnings’ offered to avoid some of the usual data collection and analysis traps of ethnographic work...the book is accessible, comprehensive and well illustrated both textually and graphically. More importantly and necessarily, it stresses the importance of the theoretical stance taken and its influence upon methodology
Dr Ron Iphofen
Social Research Association News


If there is a need for a spirited defence ofqualitative research then this book makes a strong, compelling and well-delivered case...The book is well structured with a concise style, and the authors make good use of case studies, tables and exercises...New and established researchers will benefit from this book, as well as students wanting an insight intoqualitative research. The passion that these authors feel about their subject comes through strongly in the writing
Ian Birkinshaw
Nursing Standard


Qualitative Research Methods by Hennink, Hutter and Bailey however, provide qualitative researchers with a modern grasp on qualitative research methods. Hennink et al. explain ‘how to do’ qualitative research using a cyclical process, divided into 3 interconnected phases or cycles... The authors’ innovative approach is in contrast to most qualitative research textbooks that focus on qualitative research using the familiar, linear research process. In addition, the presentation of this current book will help apprentice qualitative researchers to appreciate the different stages of the qualitative research cycle... Overall, the chapters are logical and focus on key elements of qualitative research. In an added attempt to support their readers the authors provide excellent examples of directed reading. The use of ‘exercises’ and ‘key points’ reiterates the main points gleaned from each chapter.
Anita Duffy
Nurse Education in Practice


I was very impressed both with the depth and the clarity of information presented by Hennink and her colleagues. This book has a clear and logical structure. It insightfully discusses both the theoretical and epistemological issues that arise at all stages of qualitative research, as well as the very practical application of these methods. The chapters contain detailed guidance, hints and tips on how to use the methods without the text feeling heavy or over-whelming. The 'Evaluating Quality' section at the end of each chapter provides a useful summary and check-list, not only for designing one's own research project, but also for critiquing the quality and validity of other published qualitative studies... This is an excellent new text book for budding qualitative researchers.
Rebecca Langford
Critical Public Health


Covers the data collection methods that I want covered; I appreciate the learning objectives at the beginning of each chapter.

Professor Cynthia Caron
International Development, Community, Environment, Clark University
November 21, 2014

I recommended adoption to the course monitor, but they did not adopt. I recommend this text to my students though. Thank you.

Dr Thomas Dilbert
Aviation Business Administration, Embry-Riddle Aero Univ - Worldwide
February 4, 2014

This is a detailed but user-friendly book for anybody interested in using qualitative methods in social research. The methods are explained and operationalised in a clear and concise way, with great attention to detail.

Dr Tom O'Connor
Social and General Studies, Cork Institute of Technology
August 7, 2013

Good source for supporting novice researchers venturing into qualitative research for the first time. Good investment text, easily accessed and logical in it's approach.

Andrea Bellot
MSc Advanced Practice Pathway, St George's, University of London
March 21, 2013

A good book on qualitative methods especially for university students initiating in the issue.

Dr Auli Guilland
Service, Laurea Polytechnic
March 6, 2013

a good book orientated at the need for practice and theory of beginner in research - especially in different cultural contexts

Professor Brigitte Wotha
Institute for Geography, Christian-Albrechts-Universität
February 15, 2013

Very useful as a supporting text

Professor Margaret Hogg
Dept of Marketing, Lancaster University
February 13, 2013

not the level of concrete examples that we are looking for.

Professor Michel Chaudron
Department of Computer Science, Leiden University
December 14, 2012

a useful text exploring qualitative methods and will be useful for those starting out in qualitative research

Dr Nikki Petty
Health , Brighton University
November 27, 2012

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters

Introduction