The purpose is to examine the insights gained from applying Ritzer's thesis of McDonaldization to international qualitative marketing research, in particular the four pillars of McDonaldization: efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control.
The factors influencing choice of qualitative method in practice are examined drawing on the literature, the authors' observations based on experience (a team of practitioners) and a qualitative research study, using a mix of interviews and a workshop with those who co‐ordinate international research or who are subject to the co‐ordination.
The research suggests McDonaldization or “factory farming” may be a reality in some quarters in the qualitative marketing research industry and examples of how the four pillars of McDonaldization bear on the industry are examined.
There is a need to determine and monitor the extent of the McDonaldization phenomenon and at the same time explore across different cultures two key interfaces that can be adversely affected by McDonaldization, namely the respondent‐researcher interface and the researcher‐researcher interface when the researchers come from different cultures.
Management may now reflect on whether their practices increase or decrease the likelihood of gleaning qualitative insights and the case for considering developing a more eclectic research philosophy.
This paper provides a new framework for evaluating applied qualitative marketing research.
Addresses the need in qualitative market research to consider how best to sample and recruit the right mindsets (respondents) and, if appropriate, prime these for subsequent interviews to maximise insight. Discusses models that might direct recruitment and some of the myths of good recruitment practice and argues for a more eclectic use of different approaches depending on the nature of the research problem. Provides examples of how pre‐tasking can benefit the qualitative research interview and argues the case for post‐tasking to maximise insight as well as provide a greater degree of confidence in the findings and as a source of professional development.