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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Clive Roland Boddy

Qualitative researchers have been criticised for not justifying sample size decisions in their research. This short paper addresses the issue of which sample sizes are…

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Abstract

Purpose

Qualitative researchers have been criticised for not justifying sample size decisions in their research. This short paper addresses the issue of which sample sizes are appropriate and valid within different approaches to qualitative research.

Design/methodology/approach

The sparse literature on sample sizes in qualitative research is reviewed and discussed. This examination is informed by the personal experience of the author in terms of assessing, as an editor, reviewer comments as they relate to sample size in qualitative research. Also, the discussion is informed by the author’s own experience of undertaking commercial and academic qualitative research over the last 31 years.

Findings

In qualitative research, the determination of sample size is contextual and partially dependent upon the scientific paradigm under which investigation is taking place. For example, qualitative research which is oriented towards positivism, will require larger samples than in-depth qualitative research does, so that a representative picture of the whole population under review can be gained. Nonetheless, the paper also concludes that sample sizes involving one single case can be highly informative and meaningful as demonstrated in examples from management and medical research. Unique examples of research using a single sample or case but involving new areas or findings that are potentially highly relevant, can be worthy of publication. Theoretical saturation can also be useful as a guide in designing qualitative research, with practical research illustrating that samples of 12 may be cases where data saturation occurs among a relatively homogeneous population.

Practical implications

Sample sizes as low as one can be justified. Researchers and reviewers may find the discussion in this paper to be a useful guide to determining and critiquing sample size in qualitative research.

Originality/value

Sample size in qualitative research is always mentioned by reviewers of qualitative papers but discussion tends to be simplistic and relatively uninformed. The current paper draws attention to how sample sizes, at both ends of the size continuum, can be justified by researchers. This will also aid reviewers in their making of comments about the appropriateness of sample sizes in qualitative research.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2008

Judith Davidson and Cynthia Jacobs

As qualitative researchers struggle to come to grips with the technological revolution, they are faced with the necessity of learning and teaching qualitative data…

Abstract

As qualitative researchers struggle to come to grips with the technological revolution, they are faced with the necessity of learning and teaching qualitative data analysis software in higher education research courses. This change has significant implications for their practice as researchers and teachers. In this article we provide experienced‐based recommendations for individual practice (research instructors, dissertation advisers, and doctoral students) and for institutional practice (scaling up for deep integration of qualitative data analysis software). Our recommendations are grounded in hard‐earned experience gleaned from many years of working with individuals and institutional contexts to improve the use of qualitative research in higher education.

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2020

Rebekah Russell-Bennett, Mark Scott Rosenbaum and Ryan McAndrew

This paper aims to represent a response to issues raised in the continuing quantitative-qualitative debate by Valtakoski (2020). Which appeared in a Journal of Services

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to represent a response to issues raised in the continuing quantitative-qualitative debate by Valtakoski (2020). Which appeared in a Journal of Services Marketing (JSM) special issue on qualitative research in service-oriented research.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors performed a content analysis of 1,268 papers that were published in JSM (1987-2019). In addition, the authors had data that is held in JSM’s manuscript central submission portal.

Findings

The analysis shows that while there is a dominance of quantitative methods in the journal, the proportion of qualitative papers is growing. During 2014-2019, 83.4 per cent of submitted papers to JSM represented quantitative research and 14 per cent represented qualitative research; however, 75 per cent of accepted papers were quantitative and 25 per cent were qualitative/mixed methods. Thus, the proportion of published qualitative studies are increasing and have a higher chance of receiving an acceptance decision compared to quantitative studies. Additionally, the largest percentage of qualitative papers published in JSM derive from corresponding authors outside of North America.

Research limitations/implications

Service researchers who opt to use inductive research methods, which tend to use qualitative research, will not confront discrimination based solely upon the use of a research methodology among editors or reviewers at JSM.

Practical implications

JSM welcomes qualitative research that has rich practical implications.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to provide authors with a detailed analysis and responses to the qualitative-quantitative debate in marketing.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2008

Rodney Haring

Qualitative research in the field of market research is ever‐growing and has the capability of changing from sunrise to sunset. This paper aims to add a Native American…

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1480

Abstract

Purpose

Qualitative research in the field of market research is ever‐growing and has the capability of changing from sunrise to sunset. This paper aims to add a Native American perspective, one that peers from inside the reservation community outwards, into the non‐native qualitative market research environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Introductory description of an indigenous‐based qualitative market research protocol is discussed. A native‐based elder care facility in the reservation environment is used as an example to facilitate conversation on developing an indigenous‐based model as it relates to non‐native qualitative market research methods.

Findings

The paper provides information that is useful when preparing proposals and/or selecting firms to employ in the Native American landscape. The roots of this paper can aid readers to build, implement, and understand culturally sensitive processes in developing a native relevant qualitative model that interacts with current and future market systems.

Practical implications

A list of questions is provided for native committees to use when selecting firms to provide qualitative market research services. The question list also provides a template for non‐native consulting firms to use in the proposal development process.

Originality/value

This paper provides an indigenous model of qualitative market research. It is proposed as a valuable tool for both First Nation communities and non‐native consulting firms world‐wide.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2008

Anne Lillis

This paper's purpose is to provide a commentary on “Qualitative management accounting research: rationale, pitfalls and potential,” a paper by Juhani Vaivio.

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2462

Abstract

Purpose

This paper's purpose is to provide a commentary on “Qualitative management accounting research: rationale, pitfalls and potential,” a paper by Juhani Vaivio.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is to draw on alternative research paradigms to expand the definition and discussion of qualitative research in management accounting.

Findings

The paper endorses many of the prescriptions in Vaivio but expands the definition and discussion of qualitative research in management accounting to recognize the blurred boundaries with field research more generally, and to be more inclusive of qualitative field research from a positivist/functionalist perspective. Similarly, the need for qualitative research to challenge textbook, economics and consulting representations of management accounting is acknowledged, but the range of catalysts is expanded to highlight the potential for qualitative research building on both qualitative and quantitative extant research. This paper also seeks to broaden the discussion of legitimate study design characteristics and data collection methods, and to stress the importance of matching research design with research question.

Originality/value

The paper stresses the value of pluralism and inclusiveness in both methodological and method choices.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Catherine Cassell and Gillian Symon

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the new journal and outline the rationale and aims and objectives of Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An

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11647

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the new journal and outline the rationale and aims and objectives of Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal (QROM).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper considers why there is a necessity for a journal like QROM, outlines the scope of the new journal, and introduces the articles in the first issue. An invitation for further contributions to the journal is also given.

Findings

There is still a need for an outlet that both provides a showcase for the diverse range of qualitative techniques in use and promotes high quality qualitative research.

Originality/value

This paper is of use to those new readers of the journal, and those who wish to submit to the journal, in that it clearly outlines editorial policy and processes.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 October 2021

Daniele Morselli and Andrea Mattia Marcelli

This contribution investigates methodological questions concerning Change Laboratory interventions. It contemplates the research questions: To what extent the Change…

Abstract

Purpose

This contribution investigates methodological questions concerning Change Laboratory interventions. It contemplates the research questions: To what extent the Change Laboratory can be situated within the panorama of qualitative inquiry? If so, to what extent can the methods and strategies of inquiry help improve a Change Laboratory intervention?

Design/methodology/approach

To answer the first question, this paper makes an overview on key terms of qualitative research; subsequently, it presents the characterising features of the Change Laboratory. Then, it takes a historical perspective and compares the Change Laboratory firstly against action research, and secondly with design experiments. To answer the second section, it examines a case study of Change Laboratory with teachers that the first author facilitated. Next, it displays how trustworthiness was ensured through a thick description and member checks.

Findings

The paper argues that the Change Laboratory is a strategy of inquiry; it aligns with the characteristics of qualitative research, and it follows the agenda of a participative paradigm. Furthermore, the methods and strategies of inquiry such as thick descriptions and member checks, not only can improve rigour and validity of the intervention but also strengthen the outcomes of the Change Laboratory itself.

Originality/value

The Change Laboratory is well defined as a formative method, but not fully understood as an investigative method. Although scholars discussed methodological issues of Cultural Historical Activity Theory in diverse articles, the relationship between the Change Laboratory and qualitative inquiry has remained unclear.

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2009

Alberto Crescentini and Giuditta Mainardi

The purpose of this paper is to give ideas and suggestions to avoid some typical problems of qualitative articles. The aim is not to debate quality in qualitative research

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6447

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to give ideas and suggestions to avoid some typical problems of qualitative articles. The aim is not to debate quality in qualitative research but to indicate some practical solutions.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses the design of qualitative research and the structure of a qualitative article giving some methodological suggestions to make it better for the reader and the reviewer.

Findings

The paper finds that the main criteria to getting published are that the article must be transparent regarding the process followed in the research and it must well structured so it can be understood by readers.

Originality/value

If these guidelines are followed the review process of articles will be smoother and the number of rejected papers should decrease. The paper will benefit young researchers who can find suggestions on writing a paper for the Journal of Workplace Learning.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2014

Richard Baker

The purpose of this Special Issue of Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management is to focus on qualitative research in accounting from a North American perspective…

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1273

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this Special Issue of Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management is to focus on qualitative research in accounting from a North American perspective. The goal is to highlight the possibility of greater contributions to qualitative research in accounting from researchers based in North America and to highlight some significant contributions produced by authors in North American universities in the qualitative domain.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is conceptual in nature.

Findings

This sample of North American qualitative research in accounting provides an example of some of the different types of qualitative work being done. In most respects the articles are similar to qualitative research being done in other parts of the world. Perhaps the key difference is that the research has been undertaken for the most part by senior researchers who have been able to take some risks with a research paradigm that may not be widely accepted at their universities or they may be fortunate to be located at universities which value such research.

Originality/value

The paper broadens the view of qualitative research to North America where it appears that qualitative research has been relatively undervalued in recent years.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2021

Nitish Singh, Mamoun Benmamoun, Elizabeth Meyr and Ramazan Hamza Arikan

There has been a growing call regarding broad criteria for assessing qualitative methods' reliability and validity in international marketing (IM) research. In response…

Abstract

Purpose

There has been a growing call regarding broad criteria for assessing qualitative methods' reliability and validity in international marketing (IM) research. In response, this study synthesizes the past literature to present an overarching, yet adaptable, trustworthiness verification framework for assessing the rigor of various qualitative methods used in IM.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on qualitative research from various disciplines. It uses content analysis to examine how trustworthiness is conceptualized in qualitative studies in International Marketing Review (IMR) from 2005 to 2019.

Findings

The analysis reveals that strategies to ensure rigor and trustworthiness of qualitative research in IMR are partially applied. There remain gaps in implementing quality criteria across the trustworthiness dimensions of credibility, transferability, dependability, conformability and ethics.

Research limitations/implications

This paper highlights the importance of incorporating strategies for assessing the quality of qualitative research in IM research. Since the analysis only focused on IMR, future research should explore and test the framework in other IM and business journals to reach a broader consensus in assessing qualitative studies' rigor.

Originality/value

IM researchers have yet to develop a consensus regarding broad criteria for assessing qualitative methods' reliability and validity. This paper is an attempt to fill this gap.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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