Qualitative Analysis: The Biggest Obstacle to Enriching Survey Outcomes

Research Design Review

Analysis is probably the biggest obstacle to the broader utilization of qualitative research methods.  Other aspects of qualitative research – such as data collection (which is discussed at length throughout Research Design Review as it relates to applying quality standards) – may require a certain degree of resources and Obstacledeliberation but are not difficult to achieve.  Obtaining a representative list of potential participants, for example, or honing the necessary skills to mitigate interviewer bias and gain cooperation from participants demand concentrated efforts on the part of the qualitative researcher but there are fairly straightforward, well-documented procedures to accomplish these goals.

Analysis, however, is difficult and it is the reason why many survey researchers are loath to incorporate a qualitative component – open-ended questions in a survey questionnaire or a full-blown qualitative project – in their overall study designs. The idea that analysis presents a significant hurdle to potential users of…

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