When utilizing a qualitative approach, the task becomes one of determining the qualitative method to be used. Additionally, Stake (2010) used purpose, research design, and methodical data techniques as a way of classifying types of qualitative research. Similarly, Cresswell & Cresswell (2007) spoke of five practices of qualitative research. These five practices consist of biography, phenomenological study, grounded theory study, ethnography, and case study. This researcher chose a phenomenological study for this research project.
‘Employing a qualitative methodology, underpinned by a constructivist world view, has provided the means to generate rich, deep and contextualised understandings of the research issue, and an appreciation of the socially constructed and experienced realities of the participants.’ (Highfield 2012)
Authors Boris Blumberg, Donald Cooper, Pamela Schindler say, Interpretivist argue that simple fundamental laws are insufficient to understand the whole complexity of social phenomena. More important, however they claim that an objective observation of the social world is impossible, as the social world has a meaning for human beings and is constructed by intentional behaviour and actions. Intentional interpretivism approaches meaning as intentional states of individual minds, to be understood by locating them within the broader network of an individual’s other intentional states and in a concrete context of social practices and interactions with others.
For this research article the author has chosen to use a grounded theory approach. Grounded theory is a qualitative method of research which allows the researchers to construct meaning of the selected topic via a process of development and reflection of the data collected (Charmaz, 2014). Grounded theory provides a flexible and intuitive process to data collection and analysis allowing the construction of a theory that is truly grounded from the data (Charmaz, 2014).
A qualitative methodological approach was the obvious choice in that it allows for the collection and interpretation of stories, narratives, interviews and other forms of non-quantifiable data. A qualitative approach also does not demand or strive for detached objectivity of the researcher but instead encourages the disclosure of researcher bias and the engagement of the researcher with the research and subjects, often in the role of participant-observer (Dade, Tartakov, Hargrave, & Leigh,
Qualitative research is concerned with meanings of experiences and interactions. Qualitative research is very common in the social sciences, although it is often used in market research as well (Alasuutari, 2010; Nieswiadomy, 2011). There has been quite a rise in qualitative research in the last 30 years. It first started to emerge in journals in the 1960’s, and an increase in the number of qualitative research can be seen in research journals in the 1980’s (Alasuutari, 2010). Instead of looking at the statistical numbers within research, the researcher in interested in getting within the research, and understanding the phenomenon (Leedy, 2011; LoBionod-Wood & Haber, 2013).
The grounded theory method is a method which allows counselors to understand the basis of the research in its full context; it can later be tested, and is usually used when there is little information is known about the subject in relation to counseling (Sheperis, C. J., Young, J. S., & Daniels, M. H. 2010). The grounded theory model was founded in the 1960’s by Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss. Glaser came from a positivist background where quantitative research was dominant and Strauss came from a strong background of qualitative research. Together, the formed the grounded theory method which focused on allowing data to lead to the development of a theory (Sheperis et al., 2010).
In the interpretivist paradigm, observation is regarded as an invaluable method of data collection because it is a great source of primary data (Yin, 2011). According to DeWalt and DeWalt (2002) participant observation allows the researcher to learn about the activities of the participants being studied in the natural setting through observing and participating in those activities. Moreover, direct observation of activities assists the researcher to learn about aspects that the participants are either unaware of or are unwilling to discuss in interviews (Stake, 2010). DeWalt and DeWalt (2002) also noted that a good observer should have an open and nonjudgmental attitude and be able to observe and listen carefully.
This study will utilize a grounded theory approach to qualitative research. Qualitative research methods are used to uncover meanings individuals or groups assign to a social or human problem (Creswell, 2013, p.43; Denzin & Lincoln, 1998, p.8) and to allow for a “unified theoretical exploration” (Corbin & Strauss, 2007, p.107; Denzin & Lincoln, 1998, p.8). Specifically, a qualitative approach is warranted when the nature of research questions requires further exploration (Stake, 1995). Qualitative research questions usually often begin with how or why statements, to allow the researcher to gain in, in-depth understanding of what is going on relevant to the topic at hand (Seidman, 1998; Patton, 2002, Charmaz, 2006, p.130).
Researchers have a variety of methods they use to conduct their research. Some of these methods include action research, ethnography and case studies. Of these methods, case studies can be viewed as valuable way to collect data. A case study can be defined in a variety of ways; however, it can be summarized as a form of qualitative research that aims to systematically study the function of a social group, individual or social event in order to effectively grasp the functions of the phenomena using a variety of data-gathering methods (Berg & Lune, 2016). The aim of this paper is to determine how and why researchers may use a case study, by conducting a deeper analysis of this research method. This will be achieved by examining the
Grounded theory - aims to generate theory which can explain the psychological phenomenon and also help him understand how social interaction is used by human beings to define reality. focuses on the process and connects different stages of theory together.( example: To gain understanding of psychological experiences of patients suffering from a specific disease)
Since the researcher should follow a constant comparative method with the responses obtained, interviews are one of the best research approach to be adopted under this methodology. Additionally, it is with the use of interviews that the researcher can traverse through the theoretical codes of grounded theory that integrate the emerging theory with the research problems as depicted in Figure 2.
The qualitative research design is associated with the social constructivist paradigm and will be used because it is subjective and it strives to understand the dynamic nature of activities being conducted by the organization and focuses on