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Convergent interviewing: a qualitative diagnostic technique for researchers

Denise M. Jepsen (School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Kensington, Australia, and)
John J. Rodwell (Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Macquarie University, North Ryde, Australia)

Management Research News

ISSN: 0140-9174

Article publication date: 18 July 2008




This paper aims to widen knowledge of and explore how convergent interviewing can be used to identify key issues within an organization.


This paper introduces the convergent interviewing technique and describes the method of selecting the interview subjects. The construction of a round of interviews is explained. The content of the interviews is described and the particular probing nature of the questions demanded by the convergent interview process is explained. The ways to analyze the full set of interviews for groupings or categories is also described. The case study example of a broad research question about influences on work behaviors in a local government council is used to illustrate the convergent interviewing technique.


The key issues revealed by using the technique can be subsequently used for a variety of research and consulting purposes and settings. Convergent interviewing is an effective research method, which conserves resources.


Convergent interviewing enables researchers to determine the most important and/or key issues within a population rather than a full list of issues in an organization or barriers to change in a particular organizational context.



Jepsen, D.M. and Rodwell, J.J. (2008), "Convergent interviewing: a qualitative diagnostic technique for researchers", Management Research News, Vol. 31 No. 9, pp. 650-658.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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