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  Tuesday, August 26, 2003


  Case Research Methodology course

This are some of my notes from Case Research Methodology course by Robert Scapens and Chris Humphrey. I started writing this during the course and revised/published a few days later.

Overall impression. I liked the course and would recommend to take it to people at the early stages of their PhD and thinking about qualitative research.

Random insights (summary from different presentations/discussions):

  • action research and case research are in the same continuum
  • sad reality: it's not about designing your research and selecting ideal cases, it's about making sound research from what you can access
  • finding/selecting cases
    • getting cases
      • finishing a survey with "are you prepared to talk more about it?" to initiate contact
      • networking, exploiting oportunities, via alumni
      • starting slow and then asking for more
      • "it's a selling exercise"
    • negotiate with a company: goals, methods, reporting, control, confidentiality
    • keep your commitment even if they don't (e.g. by being on time or sending promised results)
    • initiating "back up" case contacts (if the primary one stops in the middle)
  • design and interpretation
    • importance of keeping field notebook
    • the idea of tape-recording discussions between researchers to keep track of developing interpretations
    • theory is a way of seeing [interpreting case]
    • triangulation: not only data and methods, but also researcher, theory, methodology
  • interviews
    • audiotaping
      • understand your equipment
      • do not save on tapes and batteries
      • do not switch after interview is over - you may hear interesting stories
      • it takes 10 hours for professional to transcribe 1 hour of interview -> not transcribing, but annotating
    • "more subjective" questions: asking at least two interviewees
    • finding unexpected by asking "if you come to work tomorrow and disaster/miracle will happen, what would it be?"
    • plan before lunch/at the end of the day to get more time in informal settings
    • breaks between interviews to make notes

There was more for me in this course than I'm able to write: methodological and writing insights are more difficult to put in my own words. It was good for networking and also contributed to my survival from "PhD crisis" I had last couple of months :)

More on: PhD research 

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© Copyright 2002-2005 Lilia Efimova.

This weblog is my learning diary. Sometimes I write about things related to my work, but the views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

 
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