Describes how microcomputer technology for processing textual data offers new options for the qualitative researcher in educational administration. Both the potential benefits and the limitations of such computer‐assisted procedures are identified. The discussion is illuminated by examples drawn from a study specific to local educational governance in the USA. Although addressing the composite qualities of the genre of microcomputer software known as “text analysis programs”, the particular product featured in the examples is The ETHNOGRAPH – widely regarded as one of the most sophisticated, yet user‐friendly programs for qualitative data analysis currently available for personal computers.
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