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A Concise Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods in Information Sciences and Technologies

A Concise Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods in Information Sciences and Technologies

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Qualitative Research Methods Qualitative Research Methods Presentation Transcript

  • Department of Informatics Engineering UNIVERSITY OF COIMBRA A CONCISE INTRODUCTION TO QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS IN INFORMATION SCIENCES & TECHNOLOGIES © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 PhD Program in Information Sciences & Technologies - Research Methods
  • 1. QUANTITATIVE vs QUALITATIVE METHODS 2. A TYPICAL QUALITATIVE RESEARCH APPROACH 3. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS 4. DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES 5. DATA ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES: CODING 6. TRIANGULATION AND MIXED METHODS RESEARCH 7. RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 2
  • 1. QUANTITATIVE vs QUALITATIVE METHODS 2. A TYPICAL QUALITATIVE RESEARCH APPROACH 3. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS 4. DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES 5. DATA ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES: CODING 6. TRIANGULATION AND MIXED METHODS RESEARCH 7. RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 3
  • 1. QUANTITATIVE VS QUALITATIVE METHODS Research in Information Sciences and Technologies is traditionally supported by two radically distinct categories of methods: Quantitative Methods Qualitative Methods Although they are sometimes said to be incompatible (namely by members of the quantitative camp), they should be seen as complementary to each other. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 4
  • 1. QUANTITATIVE VS QUALITATIVE METHODS The articulation between the two visions – quantitative and qualitative – is actually leading to a ‘third major research paradigm’: Mixed Methods University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 5
  • 1. QUANTITATIVE VS QUALITATIVE METHODS Quantitative methods are traditionally used in the natural sciences to study natural phenomena with mathematical rigor, namely using statistical analysis. A limited amount of variables is always assumed, and these variables are seen as independent from external factors, measurable, and holding mathematical relationships between each other. Quantitative research generally emphasizes planning, hypotheses, large random samples, and objective measures. It assumes the existence of a distinction between researcher and subjects, and aims at ‘generalizing’, i. e. at producing laws applicable to much broader realities. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 6
  • 1. QUANTITATIVE VS QUALITATIVE METHODS Qualitative methods are being used increasingly in the social and human sciences for the study of highly complex and contingent phenomena, where the numbers of variables is too high to be handled by quantitative methods. In the past, the social and human sciences, for fear of looking less respectable, tended to resort mainly to the quantitative methods of the natural sciences. Today, they are putting increasing emphasis on qualitative research and, as a consequence, obtaining much richer results. The growing attraction of Information Sciences and Technologies toward qualitative methods results, to a large extent, from the increasingly complex, social and human, nature of the phenomena they deal with. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 7
  • 1. QUANTITATIVE VS QUALITATIVE METHODS The Information Systems discipline is considered, today, a socio-technical discipline, founded on the need to reconcile technological solutions with the social and human dimensions of business and the organizational reality. The main international Information Systems journals, such as MIS Quarterly, clearly show this tendency, and so does The Communications of the ACM, one of the most popular Information Science and Technologies journals. The same happens with most journals and conferences devoted to Information Systems. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 8
  • 1. QUANTITATIVE VS QUALITATIVE METHODS The field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is also receiving similar influences from the social and human dimensions of technology use. A few years ago, user interfaces tended to be developed from rather mechanistic perceptual and cognitive models. Today, social and organizational models of interaction have become essential. Most usability studies are conducted today on the basis of socio-technical approaches inspired by those used in the social sciences. In the meantime, we witness a shift of interest from usability – seen as just effectiveness, flexibility, and satisfaction – toward a concern with the human experience of living with technology. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 9
  • 1. QUANTITATIVE VS QUALITATIVE METHODS A similar evolution is occurring in Software Engineering. In fact, it started almost thirty years ago: “Personnel attributes and human relations activities provide by far the largest source of opportunity for improving software productivity” (Boehm, 1981) New software development approaches, such as Agile Programming and Extreme Programming, have in common the characteristic of putting social and human issues at the center of the development process. Concepts such as social norms, values, beliefs, symbolisms, representations, patterns of behavior, which were looked with suspicion in the past, are considered today as essential to the success of technological projects. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 10
  • 1. QUANTITATIVE VS QUALITATIVE METHODS PLOTTING THE QUANTITATIVE vs QUALITATIVE CAMPS IN STACEY’S CERTAINTY & AGREEMENT REFERENCIAL Certainty - cause Disagreement and effect linkages can be determined Uncertainty - cause and effect linkages cannot be determined and situations are unique. Agreement – the level Agreement of agreement between all the parts involved varies along the axis. Certainty Uncertainty University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 11
  • 1. QUANTITATIVE vs QUALITATIVE METHODS 2. A TYPICAL QUALITATIVE RESEARCH APPROACH 3. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS 4. DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES 5. DATA ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES: CODING 6. TRIANGULATION AND MIXED METHODS RESEARCH 7. RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 12
  • 2. A TYPICAL QUALITATIVE RESEARCH APPROACH Berg, B. L. (2007) Data Dissemi- Literature Design Analysis Ideas Collection nation Review University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 13
  • 2. A TYPICAL QUALITATIVE RESEARCH APPROACH Berg, B. L. (2007) Data Dissemi- Literature Design Analysis Ideas Collection nation Review •  Research begins with rough Ideas that turn slowly into research questions. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 14
  • 2. A TYPICAL QUALITATIVE RESEARCH APPROACH Berg, B. L. (2007) Data Dissemi- Literature Design Analysis Ideas Collection nation Review •  Research begins with rough Ideas that turn slowly into research questions. •  The Literature Review gradually builds up knowledge about the research ideas. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 15
  • 2. A TYPICAL QUALITATIVE RESEARCH APPROACH Berg, B. L. (2007) Data Dissemi- Literature Design Analysis Ideas Collection nation Review •  Research begins with rough Ideas that turn slowly into research questions. •  The Literature Review gradually builds up knowledge about the research ideas. •  The Design is the plan to be followed in order to carry out the research. It must include strategies for the selection of the samples. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 16
  • 2. A TYPICAL QUALITATIVE RESEARCH APPROACH Berg, B. L. (2007) Data Dissemi- Literature Design Analysis Ideas Collection nation Review •  Research begins with rough Ideas that turn slowly into research questions. •  The Literature Review gradually builds up knowledge about the research ideas. •  The Design is the plan to be followed in order to carry out the research. It must include strategies for the selection of the samples. •  The Data Collection and Organization phase is devoted to gathering the data for the research and organizing it, so that it can be properly analyzed. These are difficult tasks, since the volume of data collected in qualitative research can be enormous. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 17
  • 2. A TYPICAL QUALITATIVE RESEARCH APPROACH Berg, B. L. (2007) Data Dissemi- Literature Design Analysis Ideas Collection nation Review •  The Analysis includes three concurrent flows of action: •  Data Reduction, which focuses, simplifies, and transforms raw data into more manageable forms; •  Data Display, which presents the data as organized and compressed assemblies of information that permit conclusions to be analytically drawn; and •  Conclusions & Verification, where the researchers review and finalize all their conclusions and make sure that they satisfy the requirements of validity. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 18
  • 2. A TYPICAL QUALITATIVE RESEARCH APPROACH Berg, B. L. (2007) Data Dissemi- Literature Design Analysis Ideas Collection nation Review •  Dissemination takes the form of very well written and detailed documents, so that other researchers can evaluate the analysis and conclusions obtained and decide if they trust the results and want to use them to feed their own research. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 19
  • 1. QUANTITATIVE vs QUALITATIVE METHODS 2. A TYPICAL QUALITATIVE RESEARCH APPROACH 3. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS 4. DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES 5. DATA ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES: CODING 6. TRIANGULATION AND MIXED METHODS RESEARCH 7. RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 20
  • 3. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS From a large variety of qualitative research methods used in the social and human sciences, five stand out as more relevant in Information Sciences and Technologies research: Case Studies Ethnographic Research Grounded Theory Action-Research Design-Based Research University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 21
  • 3. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS Case studies Case Studies Case studies are the most common kind of qualitative method Ethnographic Research used in Information Sciences and Technologies research. Grounded Theory They let us study a phenomenon in its real context, specially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clear. Action-Research Design-based Research Typically, the researcher studies a case or variety of cases of real-world organizations where information sciences and technologies are being used and concludes about its impacts on the organizational context. Case studies can also be used for quantitative research, in which case they tend to follow a positivist approach. One of the best known books on case studies (Yin, 1994) corresponds to this option. Other authors, on the contrary, take constructivist and interpretivist approaches. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 22
  • 3. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS Ethnographic research Case Studies Ethnographic research is inspired by the practices of cultural Ethnographic Research and social anthropology, where the researcher integrates for a period of time the community where the study is taking place. Grounded Theory This practice is common, not just in Information Sciences and Technologies Action-Research research, but also in Human-Computer Interaction, in projects that try to Design-based Research understand the behavior of the users, so that better interfaces can be developed. It is also being used to understand the behavior of Software Engineering teams (namely large, complex, distributed, and multi- national teams) and improve their performance. The approach is very common when developing and assessing information systems. E.g., to understand how the 4200 workers of a company react to the setting up of an CRM solution so as to improve that solution and make sure that future solutions do not suffer from similar problems. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 23
  • 3. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS Grounded Theory Case Studies Grounded Theory is a research approach proposed the sociologists Ethnographic Research Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss, who claim that research should depart “from the ground”. The researcher categorizes empirically Grounded Theory collected data in order to build a general theory that fits the data. Action-Research In essence, it is based on the generation of theory from data. Design-based Research This approach radically defies the traditional positivist approaches, which claim that the researcher must depart from a theory, establish hypotheses that conform to the theory, and than get to the field to confirm the hypotheses in light of the theory. The models developed by using Grounded Theory are quite distinctive from the traditional ones in that they reveal a strong foundation on the concrete. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 24
  • 3. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS Action-research Case Studies Action-Research is today one of the more promising qualitative research Ethnographic Research approaches in Information Sciences and Technologies research. Grounded Theory In essence, it consists of repeatedly going through the cycle: Action-Research Planning => Action => Reflection Design-based Research We start by making a plan of our action in a crude first approximation, we act following that plan, and we then reflect on the results obtained. From this reflection, we correct our previous plan, act in agreement with the new plan, and reflect on the results we have now obtained. The cycles go on, repeatedly, until we are happy with the results. Action-research corresponds to what John Dewey called the Principle of Intelligent Action. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 25
  • 3. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS Design-based Research Case Studies Design-based Research is a research method where Ethnographic Research knowledge is built in successive approximations while designing, building, and evaluating an artifact. Grounded Theory The artifact may be almost anything: a piece of equipment, a Action-Research software application, the solution to a social or technical Design-based Research problem, a theoretical framework, or even a whole theory. In essence, it consists of repeatedly going through the cycle: Awareness of Problem => Suggestion => Development => Evaluation => Conclusion The successive improvements introduced in the artifact as it is put to test represent opportunities for consolidating the knowledge that emerges from its design and application. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 26
  • 1. QUANTITATIVE vs QUALITATIVE METHODS 2. A TYPICAL QUALITATIVE RESEARCH APPROACH 3. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS 4. DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES 5. DATA ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES: CODING 6. TRIANGULATION AND MIXED METHODS RESEARCH 7. RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 27
  • 4. DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES Four data collection techniques are more relevant in Information Sciences and Technologies research: Document Analysis Interviews Participant Observation Surveys University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 28
  • 4. DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES Document Analysis Document Analysis Document Analysis covers a broad range of techniques Interviews devoted to the analysis and interpretation of the documents used as primary data sources. Participant Observation The term “document” is understood very broadly, including Surveys not just texts, but also sound, photos, videos, and any materials that carry relevant messages. Typical varieties of document analysis include: •  Conversational Analysis •  Discourse Analysis •  Narrative Analysis •  Objective Hermeneutics University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 29
  • 4. DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES Interviews Document Analysis Interviews are used to collect data from the subjects interactively, usually one-on-one. Interviews Participant Observation They are time consuming, but they are more flexible and adaptable than surveys. They can present various levels of structure: Surveys •  structured interviews •  semi-structured interviews When many people are interviewed simultaneously •  unstructured interviews and participants are free to interact with each other, we They are particularly useful to clarify the meaning of a phenomenon to talk about focus groups. the subjects and to obtain personal accounts about the development of a process in which the subjects are engaged. They are also useful to support the exploratory work that precedes a quantitative study and to clarify and enrich the results of quantitative studies. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 30
  • 4. DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES Participant Observation Document Analysis In participant observation the researchers observe first- Interviews hand the activities of the subjects under study and collect data from this observation. Participant Observation There are two basic forms of participant observation: Surveys •  overt •  covert The technique works well when the activities observed are frequent, the groups observed are small, and there is little risk of disturbing the subjects. It is a time consuming technique, but it is generally more accurate than post-hoc self-reporting. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 31
  • 4. DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES Surveys Document Analysis In surveys the subjects complete a survey form Interviews without the intervention of the researcher. Participant Observation Surveys are particularly useful when the subject population is Surveys large (or distributed geographically), majority opinions are sought, and the subjects are motivated to respond. Surveys can include closed and open questions, but the number of open questions should be reduced to a minimum. Special care must be taken to minimize the length of the survey, manage the choice of words and terminology, look after the balance of its structure, fully plan the strategies for its subsequent analysis, and test-pilot it thoroughly. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 32
  • 1. QUANTITATIVE vs QUALITATIVE METHODS 2. A TYPICAL QUALITATIVE RESEARCH APPROACH 3. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS 4. DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES 5. DATA ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES: CODING 6. TRIANGULATION AND MIXED METHODS RESEARCH 7. RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 33
  • 5. DATA ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES: CODING Codes are tags that categorize the data collected during a study to assign meanings to them. Coding makes it easier to search the data, make comparisons and identify patterns that require further investigation. It can also be used to extract quantitative data from qualitative data. Codes can be based on: themes, topics, ideas, concepts, terms, phrases, or keywords found in the data, but they can also correspond to passages of audio or video recordings and to parts of images. A large variety of coding schemes exist, as well as many software tools – like NVivo and Atlas TI – used to assist in coding and in helping to organize the resulting patterns. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 34
  • 1. QUANTITATIVE vs QUALITATIVE METHODS 2. A TYPICAL QUALITATIVE RESEARCH APPROACH 3. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS 4. DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES 5. DATA ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES: CODING 6. TRIANGULATION AND MIXED METHODS RESEARCH 7. RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 35
  • 6. TRIANGULATION AND MIXED METHODS RESEARCH research research ideas findings Research Process University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 36
  • 6. TRIANGULATION AND MIXED METHODS RESEARCH TRIANGULATION With triangulation, the same issue is studied in various perspectives that complement and verify each other. research research ideas findings University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 37
  • 6. TRIANGULATION AND MIXED METHODS RESEARCH TRIANGULATION 4 main kinds of triangulation Multiple Theories research research Multiple Methods findings ideas Multiple Data Multiple Researchers University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 38
  • 6. TRIANGULATION AND MIXED METHODS RESEARCH TRIANGULATION The new research paradigm of Mixed Methods has emerged from this kind of triangulation Multiple Theories research research Multiple Methods findings ideas Multiple Data Multiple Researchers University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 39
  • 6. TRIANGULATION AND MIXED METHODS RESEARCH Mixed Methods Research (also called, by some authors, Multiple Method Research or Multimethod Research) is becoming the third major research approach, along with quantitative research and qualitative research. Janice Morse (2003) provides the following distinctions: Mixed methods design - the incorporation of various qualitative and quantitative strategies within a single project, that may have either a qualitative or quantitative theoretical drive. Multimethod design - the use of two or more research methods, each conducted rigorously and complete in itself, in one project. The results are then triangulated to form a complete whole. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 40
  • 6. TRIANGULATION AND MIXED METHODS RESEARCH For multimethod designs Morse (2003) defines three principles: Principle 1: identify the theoretical drive (inductive or deductive) of the project. Principle 2: develop overt awareness of the dominance (QUAN or QUAL, and simultaneous or sequential) of each project. Principle 3: observe methodological integrity. Multimethod designs, according to Morse (2003) University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 41
  • 1. QUANTITATIVE vs QUALITATIVE METHODS 2. A TYPICAL QUALITATIVE RESEARCH APPROACH 3. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS 4. DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES 5. DATA ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES: CODING 6. TRIANGULATION AND MIXED METHODS RESEARCH 7. RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 42
  • 7. RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY Two major trends in the debate about rigor and validity in qualitative research: •  The exclusive trend, for which the qualitative paradigm is so radically different from the quantitative paradigm that a new language must be used to express its rigor and validity. (Guba & Lincoln, 1981; Guba & Lincoln, 1982; Guba & Lincoln, 1989) •  The inclusive trend, which argues that the credibility of qualitative research can only be widely accepted if the language of mainstream (quantitative) research is maintained, although operationalized to meet the new conditions and circumstances. (Yin, 1994; Morse, Barret, Mayan, Olson, & Spiers, 2002, Creswell, 2009) University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 43
  • 7. RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY THE EXCLUSIVE TREND The proponents of the exclusive trend claim that the terms ‘validity’ and ‘reliability’ from qualitative research do not make sense in qualitative research, so they should be replaced: Quantitative Research Qualitative Research internal validity credibility external validity transferability reliability dependability objectivity confirmability University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 44
  • 7. RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY Credibility is achieved when the results are seen as believable by the participants in the research. The participants decide about credibility. Techniques for establishing credibility include: prolonged engagement, persistent observation, triangulation, peer debriefing, negative case analysis, referential adequacy, and member checking. Transferability exists when the results can be applied to other contexts. The researcher should describe in detail the context and underlying assumptions of the research (thick description), so that transferability is possible, but the person who transfers the results to a different context is responsible for the transfer. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 45
  • 7. RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY Dependability emphasizes the stability of the data over time. The researcher must be able to account for the permanently changing context in which the research takes place, describing any changes that occur and how these changes affect the research. This requires what is sometimes called progressive subjectivity. Confirmability demonstrates that the inquiry is free of bias, values and prejudice, i.e. that the data interpretations and outcomes are rooted in contexts and persons apart from the researcher and are not mere products of the researcher’s imagination. The researcher must document the procedures, so that others can check and recheck the data throughout the study. Techniques that may be used to strengthen confirmability include: prolonged engagement, persistent observation, peer debriefing, negative case analysis; and triangulation. After the study, a data audit or external audit should be conducted by a researcher not involved in the research process, to examine both the process and product of the research study. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 46
  • 7. RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY THE INCLUSIVE TREND Many proposals exist within the inclusive trend. The one summarized here is proposed by Creswell (2009): Qualitative validity does not have the meaning used in quantitative research: it just means that that the researcher checks for the accuracy of the findings by employing adequate procedures. Qualitative reliability indicates that the researcher’s approach is consistent across different researchers and different projects. Qualitative generalization is a term used in a limited way in qualitative research, since the intent is not to generalize finds, but rather to explore particular phenomena in the context where they occur. University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 47
  • 7. RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY Qualitative Validity Creswell (2009) proposes the use of eight primary strategies:   Triangulation   Member checking   Rich, thick description   Avoidance of researcher bias Two strategies to avoid researcher   Negative case analysis bias are reflexivity (researcher self- awareness and self-reflection) and   Prolonged engagement researcher journaling (detailed and   Peer debriefing timely documentation of the researcher thoughts).   External auditing University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 48
  • 7. RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY Qualitative reliability Yin (2003) suggests that qualitative researchers should:   document the procedures of their case studies   document as many steps of the procedures as possible   set up a detailed case study protocol and database Gibbs (2007) suggests several reliability procedures:   Checking transcripts for mistakes   Check the persistence of the meaning of the codes   Coordinate communication among coders   Cross-check codes developed by different researchers University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 49
  • REFERENCES: • Berg, B. L. (2007). Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences (6th Ed.). Pearson Education. • Boehm, B.W. (1981). Software Engineering Economics. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. • Creswell, J. W. (2007). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (3rd Ed.), Sage. • Gibbs, G. R. (2007). Analyzing Qualitative Data. In U. Flick (Ed.). The Sage Qualitative Research Kit. Sage. • Guba, E. G. (1981). Criteria for assessing the trustworthiness of naturalistic inquiries, Educational Communication and Technology Journal, 29 (2), 75-91. • Guba, E. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1981). Effective evaluation: Improving the usefulness of evaluation results through responsive and naturalistic approaches. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. • Guba, E. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1982). Epistemological and methodological bases of naturalistic inquiry. Educational Communication and Technology Journal, 30 (4), 233-252. • Guba, E. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1989). Fourth generation evaluation. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. • Morse, J. M., Barret, M., Mayan, M., Olson, K., & Spiers, J. (2002). Verification strategies for establishing reliability and validity in qualitative research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 1(2), 1-19. • Morse, J. M. (2003). Principles of Mixed Methods and Multimethod Research Design. In Tashakkori, A, & Teddlie, C. (Eds.). Handbook of Mixed Methods in Social and Behavioral Research. Sage. 189-208. • Yin, R. K. (1994). Case Study Research: Design and Methods (2nd Ed.). Sage • Yin, R. K. (2003). Case Study Research: Design and Methods (3rd Ed.). Sage University of Coimbra, Ph.D. in Information Sciences & Technologies Research Methods 2009/2010 © A. Dias de Figueiredo, 2010 Slide 50