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Imperatives for research designs with Muslim women

Aisha Wood Boulanouar (Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman)
Robert Aitken (Department of Marketing, University of Otago, Dunedin, Canada)
Zakaria Boulanouar (Department of Finance, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia)
Sarah Jane Todd (Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Publication date: 6 February 2017



The purpose of this paper is to improve the quality and efficacy of data collected from Muslim respondents, particularly women, through an examination of Islamic teachings and illustrated using a “conservative” paradigm of practice. The paper is designed to be helpful to researchers in designing both their projects and their data collection methods.


The paper is conceptual, in that it provides an overview of some important, often overlooked or misunderstood areas on which studies have been based and gives frameworks and also ethical pointers to researchers.


Framed to explain approaches to “conservative” Muslim women in societies across the globe, what is presented herein allows insight into all varieties of Muslim practice. This is achieved by explaining the possible objections to different methodologies and techniques of research for Muslim women at the “conservative” end of the practicing spectrum – this allowing a highlighting of ideas and ideals applicable across the spectrum.

Practical implications

Useful for academic researchers and also commercial researchers, potentially saving both time and money by pointing out possible errors in research design while also ensuring good ethical practice. The paper is offered to assist researchers in eliciting full and frank responses from Muslim respondents based on informed and thoughtful research design and data collection and providing possibly contextualisation(s) of what is said to enhance data analysis and interpretation.


Believed to be the first paper of its kind in English, this conceptual paper provides insight for researchers aiming to get the most useful and ethically sound outcomes for those interviewed, as well as those interviewing.



Boulanouar, A.W., Aitken, R., Boulanouar, Z. and Todd, S.J. (2017), "Imperatives for research designs with Muslim women", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 2-17.



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