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Qualitative Research Methods

Qualitative Research Methods

Second Edition
Additional resources:

December 2019 | 384 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Practical and straightforward, this book is a multidisciplinary introduction to the process of planning, conducting and analysing qualitative research, from selecting appropriate methods to publishing your findings. Built around the authors’ Qualitative Research Cycle – consisting of the design, data collection and analytic cycles – this pragmatic guide clearly demonstrates the steps you need to take to ensure your research is rigorous and robust.

Drawing on decades of experience teaching workshops, the book is packed with techniques and tools to help you turn theory and method into research practice. This second edition:

  • Showcases the importance of linking research design to data analysis, helping you avoid potential pitfalls and get the most out of your data
  • Highlights the relevance and wide application of qualitative methods with an array of international examples of real field research and interdisciplinary case studies
  • Gives clear guidance on writing qualitative research, including how to respond to critiques of qualitative methods
  • Has a renewed focus on evaluating quality in qualitative research, ensuring your work is valid, reflexive and ethical

Offering tried and tested research tools like interview guides that you can apply to your own projects and supported by online resources including checklists and reflective questions, this book is the perfect companion for anyone looking to complete a successful project using qualitative research methods.

Chapter 1: Introduction to the book
Who is this book for?  
The qualitative research cycle  
Structure of the book  
Features of this book  
Chapter 2: 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 perspectives  
Subjectivity and the need for reflexivity  
Our approach to qualitative research  
Evaluating quality  
Part I: The design cycle
Chapter 3: The design cycle
Formulating qualitative research questions  
Incorporating literature and theory  
Developing a conceptual framework  
Selecting qualitative research methods  
Evaluating quality  
Chapter 4: Designing participatory research
Our participatory approach to qualitative research  
The participatory design cycle  
The participatory approach in data collection and analysis  
Different roles of the researcher  
Evaluating quality  
Chapter 5: Ethical issues in qualitative research
What is ethics?  
Ethics in qualitative research  
Ethical issues in the design cycle  
Ethical issues in the data collection cycle  
Ethical issues in the analytic cycle  
Evaluating quality  
Part II: The data collection cycle
Chapter 6: Sampling and participant recruitment
What is purposive sampling?  
Purposive sampling process?  
Participant recruitment strategies  
How many participants? The principle of saturation  
Evaluating quality  
Chapter 7: In-depth interviews
What is an in-depth interview?  
When to use in-depth interviews  
Purpose of an in-depth interview  
The cyclical nature of data collection  
Developing an interview guide  
Preparing for data collection  
Conducting the interview: skills of the interviewer  
Strengths and limitations  
Evaluating quality  
Chapter 8: Focus group discussions
What is a focus group discussion?  
When to use focus group discussions  
The cyclical nature of data collection  
Developing the discussion guide  
Preparing for data collection  
Conducting focus group discussions  
Post-discussion information  
Virtual focus groups  
Strengths and limitations  
Evaluating quality  
Chapter 9: Observation
What is observation?  
When to conduct observation  
The cyclical nature of data collection  
What to observe  
Types of observation  
Preparation and conducting an observation  
Writing an observation  
Strengths and limitations  
Evaluating quality  
Part III: The analytic cycle
Chapter 10: Data preparation and developing codes
Different approaches to textual data analysis  
The nature of qualitative data analysis  
Textual data preparation  
Developing codes  
Making a codebook  
Coding data  
Using software in qualitative analysis  
Evaluating quality  
Writing the manuscript or report  
Chapter 11: Textual data analysis
After you write  
Developing an analysis plan  
Searching data  
The cyclical process of analysis  
Categorizing and conceptualizing  
Theory development  
Evaluating quality  
Chapter 12: From analysis to participatory action
From analysis to participatory action  
The overall participatory qualitative research cycle  
The different roles of the researcher  
Evaluating quality  
Chapter 13: Academic writing of qualitative research
Writing qualitative research  
Before you write  
Writing a qualitative research article  
After you write  
Responding to critiques of qualitative research  
Evaluating quality  
Post Script: Assessing quality in the qualitative research cycle

This introductory textbook presents a useful framework of three interconnected cycles – the design cycle, the data collection cycle and the analytic cycle – to guide students through the process of conducting qualitative research. Engaging examples illustrate each step from start to completion.

Lena Jaspersen
Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds

Hennink, Hutter and Bailey provide a highly practical overview of all stages in the qualitative research process, linking clearly the cycles of design, data collection and data analysis. Excellent case studies illustrate qualitative research in practice. The authors’ clarity and coherence throughout the text makes this book a valuable read for all qualitative researchers.

Geraldine Foley, PhD
Assistant Professor, Trinity College Dublin

Written from a situated epistemological perspective, this handbook nicely blends theory with method and method with practical examples. A valuable guide for early career researchers in need of clear and simple answers to deal with complex phenomena and common critiques.

Karin Hannes
Professor in Qualitative Research Methodology and head of the Social Research Methodology Group, Faculty of Social Sciences, KU Leuven

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