• Research focuses on how course leaders in a small-
specialist HEI experience using evidence in their role.
• Limited evidence currently exists (van Veggel & Howlett (2018))
• Building evidence-base from scratch → grounded
• Employed at Writtle University College
• Course leader / senior lecturer
• Evidence-based Vet. Med. methodologist
• Insider researcher
• Interviewing colleagues in similar roles
• Colleagues with more and less experience
• Deliver EBP staff development for colleagues
• Outsider researcher
• EdD from external institution
• Only qualitative researcher in institution
Let’s focus on the following
• What does quality mean in qualitative research?
• What does quality mean in a grounded theory context?
• How is quality affected in GT research?
• How is interviewing-the-self useful?
• How does one interview-the-self?
Quality in qualitative research?
• Quality determined by trustworthiness and rigour
Trustworthiness is the conceptual soundness which
allows evaluation of value of research
Credibility → Does the data reflect the findings? (also
covers researcher influence)
Transferability → How well does your theory transfer to
Dependability → Can the process be confirmed
Confirmability → Can someone else get similar outcomes
when given your dataset?
Rigour in GT
• Glaser (1992): Fit, work, relevance, modifiability,
parsimony and scope
• Gasson (2004): Confirmability, dependability, authenticity
• Cooney (2011): Credibility, auditability, fittingness
Rigour in GT
• Amalgamating these criteria into a set of questions to be
asked of a GT study (van Veggel, 2021)
Criticisms of grounded theory
• Is the theory really grounded?
• Can GT really be objective?
• What about researcher preconception?
• Does being an insider researcher make this different?
• As an insider-researcher you are a source of bias
• Biased research justification
• Biased research design
• Biased data collection
• Biased data analysis
• Biased outcome reporting
… as long as it is addressed appropriately.
In GT, this bias is a form of preconception...
this is not a
Reflexivity in insider research
• Reflexivity is the examination of one’s own beliefs, judgements and
practices during the research process and their influence on the
• Reflexive research practice develops transparency (Engward & Davis 2015)
• As an insider, how do you as a source of bias affect the process and the
• Reflexive practice can enhance credibility (Hall and Callery (2001
• Once recognised, how do you acknowledge this explicitly?
• Normally, this is done in a narrative, somewhat disconnected way
Tension between reflexivity and GT
• Not all GT is the same (Levers, 2013)
• Role of the researcher in GT
• Researcher must remain open to patterns
identified and of the impact of their own
• Process managed differently (O’Connor et al., 2018)
• Charmaz and Corbyn & Strauss advocate
• Glaser says reflexivity is not necessary as GT
process deals with this
Purpose & practice of self-interview
• Asking yourself the same questions you ask your participants will
allow you to analyse your answers through a reflexive lens
• This process will allow a critical analysis of researcher bias,
directly linked to the research process, and make it explicitly
clear how this bias has affected the research
• Interviewing-the-self is currently not used in qualitative research
for this purpose
• I am developing it as a contribution to grounded theory methodology
Purpose & practice of self-interview
• Ask an experienced interviewer to use your interview
schedule to interview you.
• Experienced: better data, make interview their own
• External interviewer: prevents prediction → variations in style
• Analyse your answers to questions through a reflexive
• Use the analysis to explain your researcher bias
• I found that having to explain my thoughts made it easier
to analyse them reflexively and consider them purposively
• I realised through reflexively analysis I was more sensitive
to negative aspects of participants roles which resonated
Easier to develop codes and concepts
• My insiderness led to assumptions of how participants
experience course leadership and projected this onto
Contribution to knowledge
• Pragmatically, process to address the role of the researcher should be somewhere
• How to be reflexive in GT is not clear (Engward & Davis, 2015)
• Critical analysis of self interview allows reflexivity and acknowledgement of
bias/preconception (Charmaz 2014)
• Self-interview is “just another source of data” (Glaser, 2007)
• It is an explicit method to increase research transparency, which leads to better
research practice, which leads to increased credibility.
This work is part-funded through a Writtle University College Learning and
Development Fund Grant
I’d like to thank Dr Sally Goldspink for supporting the self-
interview process and the constructive methodological
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