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Doing Qualitative Research. A Handbook

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Fifthourth edition © David Silverman 202017
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For my students
If this stone won’t budge at present and is wedged in, move some of the other stones round it first
All we want to do is to straighten you up on the track if your coach is crooked on the rails.
Driving it afterwards we shall leave to you.
(Wittgenstein, 191980: 39e)
Publisher’s Acknowledgements xiii
About the Author xiv
Preface to the Fifthourth Edition xv
Companion Website xvii
1How To Use This Book 3
2What You Can (and Can’t) Do with Qualitative Research 5
2.1 Introduction 5
2.2 Why Do Researchers Use Qualitative Methods?6
2.3 Are Qualitative Methods Always Appropriate? 9
2.4 Should You Use Qualitative Methods?12
2.5 Concluding Remarks15
3Focusing a Research Project 17
3.1 Introduction17
3.2 Moira’s Research Diary18
3.3 Sally’s Research Diary25
3.4 Simon’s Research Diary32
3.5 Concluding Remarks
4 Ethical Research
4.1 Introduction
4.2 The Standards of Ethical Research
4.3 Why Ethics Matter for Your Research
4.4 Ethical Guidelines in Practice
4.5 Complex Ethical Issues
4.6 Research Governance
4.7 Conclusion: Managing Unfolding Ethical Demands
5 What Counts as ‘Originality’?
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Originality
5.3 Being a Professional
5.4 Independent Critical Thought
5.5 Concluding Remarks
6 Research Design
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Interviews
6.3 Ethnographies
6.5 The Internet
6.6 Audio Data
6.7 Visual Data
6.8 Mixed Methods
6.9 Concluding Remarks
7 Using Theories
7.1 Introduction
7.2 How Theoretical Models Shape Research
7.3 The Different Languages of Qualitative Research
7.4 Theories, Models and Hypotheses
7.5 Examples
7.6 Concluding Remarks
8 Formulating a Research Question
8.1 Introduction
8.2 Challenges
8.3 Solutions
8.4 Some Cautions
9 Choosing a Methodology
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Qualitative or Quantitative?
9.3 Your Research Strategy
9.4 Choosing a Methodology: a Case Study
9.5 Naturally Occurring Data?
9.6 Mixed Methods?
9.7 Concluding Remarks
10 Writing a Research Proposal
10.1 Introduction
10.2 Aim for Crystal Clarity
10.3 Plan Before You Write
10.4 Be Persuasive
10.5 Be Practical
10.6 Make Broader Links
10.7 A Caution: Misunderstanding Qualitative Research?
10.8 Concluding Remarks
11 Making Good Use of Your Supervisor
11.1 Introduction
11.2 Supervision Horror Stories
11.3 Student and Supervisor Expectations
11.4 The Early Stages
11.5 The Later Stages
11.6 Standards of Good Practice
11.7 Concluding Remarks
12 Getting Feedback
12.1 Introduction
12.2 Writing
12.3 Speaking
12.4 The Art of Presenting Research
12.5 Feedback from the People You Study
12.6 Concluding Remarks
13 How many cases do you need?
13.1 Introduction
13.2 What is a case study?
13.3 The Quantitative Model of Generalization
13.4 The Rationale of Case Study Design
13.5 Case study Research in Practice
13.6 Concluding Remarks
14 Collecting Your Data
14.1 Collecting Interview Data
14.2 Collecting Focus Group Data
14.3 Collecting Ethnographic Data
14.4 Collecting Internet Data
14.5 Concluding Remarks
15 Developing Data Analysis
15.1 Introduction
15.2 Kick-Starting Data Analysis
15.3 A Case Study
15.4 Interviews
15.5 Fieldnotes
15.6 Transcripts
15.7 Visual Data
15.8 Concluding Remarks
16 Using Computers to Analyse Qualitative Data
Clive Seale
16.1 A note on learning to use QDA software
16.2 What QDA software can do for you
16.3 Advantages of QDA software
16.4 Text analytics
16.5 Concluding remarks
17 Quality in Qualitative Research
17.1 Introduction
17.2 Validity
17.3 Reliability
17.4 Concluding Remarks
18 Evaluating Qualitative Research
18.1 Introduction
18.2 Two Guides for Evaluating Research
18.3 Four Quality Criteria
18.4 Applying Quality Criteria
18.5 Four Quality Issues Revisited
18.6 Concluding Remarks
18 Effective Qualitative Research
19.1 Introduction
19.2 Keep It Simple
19.3 Do Not Assume That We Are Only Concerned with Subjective Experience
19.4 Take Advantage of Using Qualitative Data
19.5 Avoid Drowning in Data
19.6 Avoid Journalism
19.7 Concluding Remarks
4 Issues in Research Design
4.1 Introduction 43
4.2 Interviews 44
4.3 Ethnographies 49
4.4 Texts 51
4.5 The Internet 55
4.6 Audio Data 57
4.7 Visual Data 59
4.8 Mixed Methods 62
4.9 Concluding Remarks 65
5 What Counts as ‘Originality’?
5.1 Introduction 69
5.2 Originality 70
5.3 Being a Professional 71
5.4 Independent Critical Thought 72
5.5 Concluding Remarks 75
6 Formulating a Research Question
6.1 Introduction 79
6.2 Challenges 84
6.3 Solutions 90
6.4 Some Cautions 99
7 Using Theories
7.1 Introduction 103
7.2 How Theoretical Models Shape Research 105
7.3 The Different Languages of Qualitative Research 105
7.4 Theories, Models and Hypotheses 111
7.5 Examples 113
7.6 Concluding Remarks 117
8 Choosing a Methodology
8.1 Introduction 120
8.2 Qualitative or Quantitative? 120
8.3 Your Research Strategy 122
8.4 Choosing a Methodology: a Case Study 126
8.5 Naturally Occurring Data? 132
8.6 Mixed Methods? 136
8.7 Concluding Remarks 138
9 How Many Cases Do You Need?
9.1 Introduction 141
9.2 What is a Case Study? 142
9.3 The Quantitative Model of Generalization 144
9.4 The Rationale of Case Study Design 145
9.5 Case Study Research in Practice 148
9.6 Concluding Remarks 155
10 Ethical Research
10.1 Introduction 159
10.2 The Standards of Ethical Research 161
10.3 Why Ethics Matter for Your Research 163
10.4 Ethical Guidelines in Practice 164
10.5 Complex Ethical Issues 173
10.6 Research Governance 179
10.7 Conclusion: Managing Unfolding Ethical Demands 181
11 Writing a Research Proposal
11.1 Introduction 187
11.2 Aim for Crystal Clarity 189
11.3 Plan Before You Write 189
11.4 Be Persuasive 190
11.5 Be Practical 191
11.6 Make Broader Links 191
11.7 A Caution: Misunderstanding Qualitative Research? 192
11.8 Concluding Remarks 193
12 Collecting Your Data 199
12.1 Collecting Interview Data 199
12.2 Collecting Focus Group Data 211
12.3 Collecting Ethnographic Data 213
12.4 Collecting Internet Data 224
12.5 Concluding Remarks 226
13 Developing Data Analysis 230
13.1 Introduction 230
13.2 Kick-Starting Data Analysis 231
13.3 A Case Study 236
13.4 Interviews 237
13.5 Fieldnotes 242
13.6 Transcripts 253
13.7 Visual Data 256
13.8 Concluding Remarks 260
14 Using Computers to Analyse Qualitative Data 264
Clive Seale
14.1 Introduction 264
14.2 What CAQDAS Software Can Do for You 265
14.3 Advantages of CAQDAS 269
14.4 Keyword Analysis 275
14.5 Concluding Remarks 276
15 Quality in Qualitative Research 279
15.1 Introduction 279
15.2 Validity 285
15.3 Reliability 298
15.4 Concluding Remarks 301
16 Evaluating Qualitative Research 304
16.1 Introduction 304
16.2 Two Guides for Evaluating Research 305
16.3 Four Quality Criteria 306
16.4 Applying Quality Criteria 310
16.5 Four Quality Issues Revisited 315
16.6 Concluding Remarks 321
17 Effective Qualitative Research 324
17.1 Introduction 324
17.2 Keep It Simple 325
17.3 Do Not Assume that We are Only Concerned with Subjective Experience 325
17.4 Take Advantage of Using Qualitative Data 326
17.5 Avoid Drowning in Data 327
17.6 Avoid Journalism 328
17.7 Concluding Remarks 328
20 Considering Your Audience
Considering Your Audience
20.1 Introduction
20.2 The Policy-Making Audience
20.3 The Practitioner Audience
20.4 The Lay Audience
20.5 Concluding Remarks
The First Few Pages
The First Few Pages
1821.1 Introduction 333
1821.2 The Title 333
1821.3 The Abstract 334
1821.4 Keywords 336
1821.5 The Table of Contents 337
1821.6 The Introduction 337
1821.7 Concluding Remarks 338
1922 The Literature Review Chapter 340
1922.1 Recording Your Reading 340
1922.2 Writing your Literature Review 342
1922.3 Practical Questions 342
1922.4 Principles 345
1922.5 Do You Need a Literature Review Chapter? 348
1922.6 Concluding Remarks 349
2023 The Methodology Chapter 351
2023.1 Introduction 351
2023.2 What Should the Methodology Chapter Contain? 352
2023.3 A Natural History Chapter? 355
2023.4 Concluding Remarks 358
2124 Writing Your Data Chapters 360
2124.1 Introduction 360
2124.2 The Macrostructure 361
2124.3 The Microstructure 366
2124.4 Tightening Up 369
2124.5 Concluding Remarks 371
2225 Your Concluding Chapter 373
2225.1 Introduction 373
2225.2 The Concluding Chapter as Mutual Stimulation 374
2225.3 What Exactly Should Your Concluding Chapter Contain? 374
2225.4 Confessions and Trumpets 376
2225.5 Theorizing as Thinking Through Data 377
2225.6 Writing for Audiences 378
2225.7 Why Your Concluding Chapter can be Fun 379
2225.8 Concluding Remarks 379
23 Making Good Use of Your Supervisor 385
23.1 Introduction 385
23.2 Supervision Horror Stories 386
23.3 Student and Supervisor Expectations 386
23.4 The Early Stages 389
23.5 The Later Stages 391
23.6 Standards of Good Practice 392
23.7 Concluding Remarks 393
24 Getting Feedback 395
24.1 Introduction 395
24.2 Writing 396
24.3 Speaking 397
24.4 The Art of Presenting Research 400
24.5 Feedback from the People You Study 404
24.6 Concluding Remarks 405
2526 Surviving an Oral Examination 411
2526.1 Introduction 411
2526.2 Viva Horror Stories 412
2526.3 Preparing for Your Oral 412
2526.4 Doing the Oral 413
2526.5 Outcomes 414
2526.6 Revising Your Thesis after the Oral 415
2526.7 A Case Study 415
2526.8 Concluding Remarks 418
2627 Getting Published 420
2627.1 Introduction 420
2627.2 The Backstage Politics of Publishing 421
2627.3 Strategic Choices 423
2627.4 What Journals are Looking For 427
2627.5 Reviewers’ Comments 428
2627.6 How to Write a Short Journal Article 431
2627.7 Concluding Remarks 431
27 Audiences 434
27.1 Introduction 435
27.2 The Policy-Making Audience 436
27.3 The Practitioner Audience 437
27.4 The Lay Audience 438
27.5 Concluding Remarks 440
Appendix: Transcription Symbols 442
Glossary 443
References 450
Author Index 461
Subject Index 465
Publisher’s Acknowledgements
The publishers would like to extend their warmest thanks to the following individuals for their invaluable
feedback on the third edition which helped to shape this fourth edition.
Karl Atkin, Professor, University of York
Annette Cerne, Associate Professor, Lund University
Dale J. Crowe, Associate Faculty, University of Phoenix
Leanne Dowse, Senior Lecturer, University of New South Wales
Alpesh Maisuria, Course Leader and Senior Lecturer, Anglia Ruskin University
Carl Marnewick, Head of Department, University of Johannesburg
Firas Sarhan, Senior Lecturer, Buckinghamshire New University
Gabriella Spinelli, Senior Lecturer, Brunel University London
Louise Taylor, Principal Lecturer, Staffordshire University
Peter Wheeler, Business School, Edge Hill University
Anna Wilson, Associate Professor, Chapman University
About the Author
David Silverman trained as a sociologist at the London School of Economics and the University of
California, Los Angeles. He taught for 32 years at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is interested in
conversation and discourse analysis and he has researched medical consultations and HIV-test counselling.
He is the author of Interpreting Qualitative Data (FifthFourth Edition, 20201412) and A Very Short, Fairly
Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Qualitative Research (Second Edition, 20201313). He is also
the editor of Qualitative Research (Fourth EditionThird Edition, 20201611) and the Sage series, Introducing
Qualitative Methods. In recent years, he has offered short, hands-on workshops in qualitative research for
universities in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
Now retired from full-time work, David aims to watch one hundred days of cricket a year. He also enjoys
voluntary work in an old people’s home where he sings with residents with dementia and strokes.
Preface to the Fifth Edition
The other day a review of a new edition of another of my books was posted on the Amazon website. It was
jokey but complimentary. You can read it at:
The reviewer says he ‘would really appreciate a guide to the revision i.e. how different is this? If I just
bought the second edition, do I really need the third – a real account of the differences, not the usual blather
in the intro that gives a list of some things’.
This reviewer may also be drawing on Some people suspect a suspicion that new editions of textbooks
are more to do with publishers’ priorities of maintaining market share than with readers’ needs. IHowever, in
this preface, I will try to avoid ‘the usual blather’ and to demonstrate the original features that this fourth
edition makes available to you, the reader. So In the spirit of the above review, I will begin with a statement
about what is different about this Fifth Edition.
Mixed methods research is becoming more widespread, particularly in disciplines like health, education
and business and management. While I remain critical of most attempts to ‘triangulate’ data and cautious
about the way in which qualitative data is seen as subsidiary to quantitative findings, it is important to show
fruitful ways in which different kinds of data may be combined. As a result, I have expanded my discussion
of the role of qualitative research in discovering social phenomena and then using quantitative data to show
‘inputs’ and ‘outputs’ from these phenomena. In my chapter on research design [6.8] and on choosing a
methodology [9.6], I have, therefore, extended my discussion of mixed methods both in terms of working
with different kinds of qualitative data and combining qualitative findings with quantitative data.
A distinctive feature of previous editions of this book is my use of multiple student examples, often
combined with my advice and answers to questions they have asked me. In this edition, many new student
examples are used with a particular emphasis on the practicalities of doing research—particularly within
organizations— which should appeal to disciplines that are more practice-based, like education and business
and management. Requesting permission to use their work has led to many interesting discussions where
students have asked new questions and I have made new suggestions. So has developed a fascinating
dialogue over time as students raise new concerns and I see how their research has developed.
This edition also attempts to increase its friendliness to student use in five ways:
A more logical chapter order which places ethical issues near the beginning of the book and
moves chapters on getting support to an earlier position.
Reflective questions at the end of each chapter in the form of a checklist to help student revision.
Model answers are provided to many student exercises.
A refined text design to showcase the practical, hands-on advice and tips in a consistent format so
that colour, bold, bullet points, headings and other signposting tools are used in a consistent,
elegant format that allows the reader to easily follow along at a set of learning points.
To bring the pedagogy of this edition to new levels of innovation, accessibility, and practicality, I
offer an interactive eBook (IEB) companion offered free with any paperback purchase of the book.
The IEB provides students with a fully immersive learning experience and create numerous
opportunities for more personalization and interactive learning. Features include:
oVideo tips and tutorials from myself
oLinks to videos featuring other researchers
oLinks to relevant websites and SAGE journal articles for further reading
oInteractive ‘test yourself’ questions or self-assessment questions with answer keys
oLinks to samples of available secondary data
oPractical exercises with model answers new to this edition
oPop-up glossary terms
In addition to other interactive functionality, students using the IEB will be able to click directly on icons
and links in the book that connect to resources on the companion website. This type of connectivity will
allow you to link directly to exercises and further reading instead of having the student flip to another page
or type in a complicated hyperlink. It will also enable more linking to websites, relevant organization links,
and other third party content, some of which could be sourced through SAGE cases and video products.
what follows is a ‘real account of the differences’.
A new chapter has been written specially for this edition. Chapter 6 deals with the crucial issue of how to
formulate a research question appropriate for qualitative research. When I teach new research students, I find
that many assume that qualitative research begins with hypotheses and operational definitions in the same
way as quantitative research. Among other things, this chapter shows that a good qualitative research study
may simply begin with the question, ‘What is going on here?’ It will avoid early hypotheses and definitions
and instead will seek to understand how participants define the situation. Unlike quantitative studies, it will
pride itself in finding unexpected, new cases and be ready to change direction during the course of the
research. None of this means that qualitative studies should be any less rigorous or critical than conventional
research. But it does mean that they will take different paths and be judged by different yardsticks.
This may be why a survey of users of the third edition revealed that more could be said about the role of
theory in qualitative research. So Chapter 7 on using theories has been substantially rewritten. I now
concentrate on the different ways in which naturalist and constructionist models inform qualitative research.
This leads on to an extensive discussion, with student examples, of grounded theory, narrative analysis and
discourse analysis. Such theoretically driven research has encouraged me to add an additional ‘rule’ to my
repositioned summary chapter ‘Effective Qualitative Research’ (Chapter 17): do not assume that we are only
concerned with subjective experience.
Many students beginning qualitative research puzzle over how many cases they need. Chapter 9 addresses
these concerns and has been rewritten to include discussion of the nature of sampling in quantitative
research. Using the work of Yin and Gobo, it shows the limits of sampling whole populations in qualitative
research and the need to focus upon sampling social relations rather than individuals. It questions what
constitutes a ‘case’ and directs readers to think about selecting new cases during the research.
Chapter 11 on writing a research proposal has been rewritten to counter the assumption that preparing a
good qualitative research proposal is a purely technical exercise. Unfortunately, this is not the case. All too
often, beginning researchers, aware of the low status sometimes accorded to qualitative research, try to
define their research proposal in terms more appropriate to quantitative research. Many research students
attending my workshops set out their work in ways that make me wonder why they have not chosen instead
to do a quantitative study! For instance, they present their research plan in terms of hypotheses and
variables. By contrast, in qualitative research, we often work inductively and generate hypotheses during the
course of study. This point is underlined in new material in Chapter 16 on evaluating research studies. I
emphasize here the features that make qualitative research distinctive, while showing how such research can
meet scientific standards of validity.
Throughout this new edition I have tried to pay attention to new literature and new sources of data. So
Chapter 4 on issues in research design now carries a section on analysing internet data, while Chapter 12
covers the collection of internet data and focus group data. I have also tried to offer more internet links and
an improved companion website which now includes links to YouTube videos and to various parts of the
very useful Sage Methodspace website (
One of the features of the book most highlighted by users and reviewers is the student examples, which
‘put flesh on the bones’ of otherwise very theoretical issues.
However, it is important not to let these examples dominate the book, so readers will find that many have
been shortened and, I hope, made more pithy. A moreNew student examples will be found here too, and I
particularly draw your attention to the extended example isof my discussion with a marketing student in
Chapter 98. This nicely illustrates what I see as the appeal of naturalisticturally occurring data.
As in previous editions, the content of this book derives from my experience of supervising many MA
dissertations and around 30 successful PhDs. Supervision and course teaching have convinced me that the
only way to learn the craft skills of qualitative research is to apply classroom knowledge about different
methodologies to actual data (found here in the case studies and exercises provided in each chapter).
Over thirty years of teaching methodology courses and supervising research projects at both
undergraduate and graduate levels has reinforced the wisdom of the old maxim that true learning is based
upon doing. In practice, this means that I approach taught courses as workshops in which students are given
skills to analyse data and so to learn the craft of our trade. Like many contemporary teachers, I believe that
assessments of students' progress are properly done through data exercises rather than the conventional essay
in which students are invited to offer wooden accounts of what other people have written.
When I teach new research students, I find that many assume that qualitative research begins with
hypotheses and operational definitions in the same way as quantitative research. Among other things, this
may mean that a good qualitative research study may simply begin with the question, ‘What is going on
here?’ It will avoid early hypotheses and definitions and instead will seek to understand how participants
define the situation. Unlike quantitative studies, it will pride itself in finding unexpected, new cases and be
ready to change direction during the course of the research. None of this means that qualitative studies
should be any less rigorous or critical than conventional research. But it does mean that they will take
different paths and be judged by different yardsticks.
It follows that I have little time for the conventional trajectory of the PhD in which students spend their
first year `reviewing the literature', gather data in year two and then panic in year three about how they can
analyse their data. Instead, my students begin their data analysis in year one -- sometimes in week one. In
that way, they may well have `cracked' the basic problem in their research in that first year and so can spend
their remaining years pursuing the worthy but relatively non-problematic tasks of ploughing through their
data following an already established method.
During the past 15 years, I have taught workshops for research students in a range of disciplines from
sociology to management and community medicine in the UK, France, Belgium, Finland, Norway, Sweden,
Switzerland, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Australia and Tanzania. I have been
struck by the energy and originality that a new generation of students is bringing to our field. This book
draws upon the lessons I have learned from that experience, including thinking through whether qualitative
research is properly fitted to your research problem (see Chapter 2) and understanding the ways in which
doing qualitative research is always a theoretically driven undertaking (Chapter 7).
Qualitative research is a contested terrain in which very different models and methods compete for
attention. My own biases have been made explicit in my book A Very Short, Fairly Interesting, Reasonably
Cheap Book about Qualitative Research (second edition, 20201313). By contrast, in this book, while I do
not claim neutrality, I have tried to be reasonably even-handed and, thereby, to reach out to a wide range of
My focus here on completing a research project complements the discussion of the uses and limitations of
different qualitative research methods in Interpreting Qualitative Data (fifthourth edition, 20201411). Both
are supplemented by the readings in my edited collection Qualitative Research (fourththird edition, 2016
2010) and by the authoritative texts on different disciplines and a range of research methods published in my
Sage series ‘Introducing Qualitative Methods’.
Chapter 1416 of this book on computer-assisted qualitative data analysis was written (and updated) by
Clive Seale. I am most grateful for his skilful exposition of the subject. I also want to thank Amir Marvasti
for his generous permission to allow me to use some of the material that he prepared for a North American
version of this book. Jay Giampietro Gubriumobo kindly commented on Chapter 79,. Celia Kitzinger,
Jonathan Potter, Jay Gubrium and Clive Seale advised me on finding relevant journal articles for my
website. Anne Ryen made available some of her unpublished data, and Anne Murcott allowed me to quote
from her unpublished paper on writing a student dissertation. I also want to thank Moira Kelly, Sally Hunt,
Simon Allistone, Seta Waller, Kay Fensom and Vicki Taylor for allowing me to quote from their research
diaries. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) kindly gave me permission to reproduce their
guidance on research ethics in Chapter 4r 10.
Many students in four continents have allowed me to quote from their workshop papers and others have
written short pieces about their work which are included here. I thank them all and hope I have followed
their wishes in terms of providing or concealing their identity. I am most grateful to Stewart Clegg, Jay
Gubrium, Katarina Jacobsson, Paul Luff, Amir Marvasti, Jonathan Potter and Gary Wickham for helping me
find such material from their own students.
My Sage editor, Mila SteeleKatie Metzler, has been very helpful. Her suggestions have invariably been
stimulating and useful. I also wish to thank Alysha Owen for her great help with the digital material which is
such an important part of this new edition.two other Sage staff: Amy Jarrold, who came up with some very
helpful suggestions from previous users of this book in a marvellous development report, and Ian Antcliff ,
who always organizes the production of my books with considerablesuch efficiency. Finally, thanks are due
once again to Sara Cordell for keeping my back in working order.
Companion Website
[Visit the companion website at to find links to relevant Sage journal articles,
videos on YouTube, and Sage Methodspace as well as further tips and exercises.
... This research study's aim to examine the concept of MT as applied in international elite triathlon coaching and consider its potential role within top executive coaching in Germany, determined the choice of adopting an interpretivist approach. An interpretivist research paradigm allows examining and understanding the meaningfulness and usefulness of a social phenomenon by drawing on in-depth knowledge production (Silverman, 2017). Thus, it enables the exploration and analysis of the social phenomenon MT in the richness of their context based on descriptions by executive coaches and triathlon coaches. ...
... Thus, it enables the exploration and analysis of the social phenomenon MT in the richness of their context based on descriptions by executive coaches and triathlon coaches. Silverman (2017) proposes that polarity between subjective and objective epistemological approaches is not useful, and interpretivism is accepted and recognised as the basis for robust research quality (Braun & Clarke, 2013;Gill & Johnson, 2010). Moreover, it provides the chance to explore phenomena in their holistic richness and generate a profound understanding of a phenomenon. ...
... 680) The research design reliability is best revealed in the fact that each conclusion in this thesis is drawn based on a remark of one of the interviewed coaches revealed in the raw data. Reliability for this qualitative thesis means that all potential procedures to ensure quality were implemented deliberately and with close attention to detail (Silverman, 2017). This is illustrated by the diligence of applying the suggestions of Anderson (2017) and in the awareness that reliability in qualitative research differs significantly from reliability in quantitative research, as discussed above. ...
Full-text available
This thesis concerns the transfer of Mental Toughness from elite triathlon coaching to top executive coaching in Germany. It analyses how experienced coaches from both contexts understand the concept of Mental Toughness and their views about the ways and the extent to which Mental Toughness may be applicable in German executive coaching. This study is important because it investigates the relevance of Mental Toughness, which is an eminent concept in sports coaching, in an executive coaching context where it has never been subject to empirical research. The value to the research field of executive coaching is that Mental Toughness might offer new ways of understanding how coaching can help with translating goals into action. In addition, practitioners could profit from applying Mental Toughness in improving the client’s ability to withstand better hindrances and challenges, which is one central claim of mental toughness as it is interpreted in the sports literature. The research design for this study is qualitative. Data from 22 interviews with international elite triathlon coaches and German top executive coaches in a one-moment-in-time sampling approach are used to answer the research questions. The findings and analysis reveal that mental toughness can be relevant and valuable in the coaching of German top executives as an important supplement to existing coaching processes. Findings suggest that mental toughness, as a feature of coaching, can build awareness and sensitivity to issues of long-term persistence. The study advances executive coaching theory and practice and shows how Mental Toughness could be integrated into executive coaching theory in its focus on goal pursuit persistence energy.
... The study was limited to twenty-five participants due to the fact that the data had reached saturation (Lincoln & Guba, 1985;Palinkas et al., 2015;Silverman, 2010). The interviews were audio-recorded with the consent of the participants and transcribed into word documents when they were completed. ...
... A classification framework was applied to categorise the main study types and research data acquisition and sharing used in the investigated articles. The classification framework was developed through qualitative analysis of the previously described set of computer science journal articles by means of a constant comparative method (Silverman, 2005). Preliminary coding was first done to incorporate the above elements, and then further enhanced through comprehensive data treatment until no new variants could be inferred from the data. ...
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Without sufficient information about research data practices occurring in a particular research organisation, there is a risk of mismatching research data service efforts with the needs of its researchers. This study describes how data acquiring and data sharing occurring within a particular research organisation can be investigated by using current research information system publication data. The case study organisation’s current research information system was used to identify the sample of investigated articles. A sample of 193 journal articles published by researchers in the computer science department of the case study’s university during 2019 were extracted for scrutiny from the current research information system. For these 193 articles, a classification of the main study types was developed to accommodate the multidisciplinary nature of the case department’s research agenda. Furthermore, a coding framework was developed to capture the key elements of data acquiring and data sharing. The articles representing life sciences and computational research relatively frequently reused open data, whereas data acquisition of experimental research, human interaction studies and human intervention studies often relied on collecting original data. Data sharing also differed between the computationally intensive study types of life sciences and computational research and the study types relying on collection of original data. Research data were not available for reuse in only a minority of life science ( n = 2; 7%) and computational research ( n = 15; 14%) studies. The study types of experimental research, human interaction studies and human intervention studies less frequently made their data available for reuse. The findings suggest that research organisations representing computer sciences may include different subfields that have their own cultures of data sharing. This study demonstrates that analyses of publications listed in current research information systems provide detailed descriptions how the affiliated researchers acquire and share research data.
... Qualitative data, on the other hand, are not generalisable at the level of populations in any case, but at the level of theory (Bryman 2016). Silverman (2013) shows that qualitative research can be classed as generalisable if the findings are presented to demonstrate what groups can do, rather than absolute descriptions of what they actually do. In this research therefore, rather than looking at specific opinions and application of training, the findings are more generalisable when considered as the possibility of change to practice. ...
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Objectives: The first objective was to assess the feasibility of training on hearing aids and communication strategies by support workers in residential care via a cascade training model using two different training packages. The second was to identify key elements of these packages to inform the design of a multimedia training package. Design: Quantitative and qualitative methodologies were used. A pre-post feasibility design assessed the questionnaire data from residential care support workers to measure knowledge and confidence at three stages during the training. Semi-structured interviews explored the support workers' experiences and adherence to cascading the training packages. Study sample: Fourteen support workers employed by Sense (charity for deafblind people) were trained to become "Hearing Champions" and cascaded their learning to 117 support colleagues. Results: Hearing Champions gained knowledge, skills and confidence, which were subsequently enhanced by sharing their learning with others. Despite individual and organisational barriers, they reported examples of improved practice and feelings of empowerment. Conclusions: It is feasible to deliver training to support workers in residential homes using the face-to-face "Hearing Champions" and multimedia C2Hear training methods by cascading training to their colleagues. Support workers expressed a preference for training that is portable, adaptable and interactive.
Storyline: This thesis’ explorations brings forward nuanced understandings of the concept of Othering through the analysis of different materials. The research is particularly important not only because it relates to the researcher’s life history and interests in researching inequalities, but also relevant in the current refugee crisis and the resurgence of xenophobia. Data: The thesis draws on my reflexive turn and on empirical materials that includes; in-depth ethnographic interviews with five participants, my own autoethnographic and theoretical explorations. The autoethnographic writings include creative nonfiction and stand-up comedy materials. I label these autoethnographic writings as creative nonfiction for its overall literary style of writing. The study as a whole therefore is interdisciplinary, interpretative, qualitative inquiry that is grounded in my life history and ethnographic work to draw a comprehensible jigsaw of the constructions and the workings of Othering. The variety of data sources allows for an eclectic vision to understand the different levels that Othering operates on. Presentation: Because of the complex nature of this research process, this work does not take on the “conventional” thesis structure. It moves between my own explorations of theoretical work and fieldwork with what may seem a personal style of writing. The diverse materials that I collected reflect my own reflexive turn during the research process. It also adds to the richness of the thick description of the ethnographic work that I carried as a mean of dissemination. Theory: At its start, the research emerged in the light of three main theoretical fields: the intercultural, the postcolonial and the feminist. However, as it grew, the research held firmer grounds in the later waves of feminism; Intersectionality. Using intersectional feminist thought was befitting particularly as I embarked on unpacking colonial, societal and genderal discriminations that my participants and I stood in the intersect of it. Originality: The contributions of my thesis and originality lays in the use of stand-up comedy materials as a source of data and as a research tool. I regard the use of this kind of material as an opportunity for a fresh acuity to the study of Othering; where reflections on the Self and the Other is discussed. It is through it that I introduce what I call platform shift; where the discussion about circles of exclusion is introduced. Platform shift is a reflection of one’s fluid movements between essentialist and non-essentialist paradigm depending on what is convenient for the centre causing the inclusion or the exclusion of different Others. In this doctoral project, I found that there are two recurrent images of the Other that I refer to as the savage and the ravish ends”. In both constructions, the Other is not considered in positive light. This builds up further to use dehumanising discourse to push the Other further towards the margin. I also found that the Other is constructed through visual and linguistics traits, and their image is strongly affected by the power shift. The visual traits may include inherited sources; such as racial features, or acquired sources such as the Muslim headscarf or fashion choices. The Other’s linguistic performance is also put to scrutiny and held in comparison to their identity. Such explorations also highlight how we negotiate our space, and how we move between different worlds and through conflicting narratives.
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Aims This is the second of two papers conceptualizing emotional labour in the emergency department (ED). This paper aims to understand the environmental ‘moderators’ of ED nurses’ emotional labour. Design Ethnography, through an interpretivist philosophy, enabled immersion in the ED setting, gathering the lived experiences and narratives of the ED nurses. Methods Observation and semi‐structured interviews over a 6‐month period. Two hospital sites (one district general and one major trauma centre) based in the United Kingdom. Results Over 200 h of observation plus 18 formal/semi‐structured interviews were completed. Environmental, institutional and organizational dynamics of the emergency department instrumented the emotional labour undertaken by the nursing team. Time and space were found to be ‘moderators’ of ED nurses' emotional labour. This paper focusses on the relevance of space and in particular, ‘excessive visibility’ with little respite for the nurses from their intense emotional performance. Conclusion Emotional labour is critical to staff well‐being and the way in which healthcare spaces are designed has an impact on emotional labour. Understanding how emotional labour is moderated in different clinical settings can inform organizational, environmental and workforce‐related decision‐making.
Research on work-based learning has produced much insight into how newcomers to work roles acquire the skills and knowledge required in their work. Overwhelmingly, studies have shown that learning takes place through participation in work activities which provides opportunities for learning. But participation can be problematic when workers and the workplace provide limited opportunities for newcomers to take part in ongoing work activities. This article presents the case of a trainee cook negotiating access to work activities and routinising participation through 'origination' and establishing a 'legitimate presence'. The data are drawn from a linguistic ethnography on the work placement experience of trainee cooks and were collected through participant observation, interviews and audio-recordings of verbal interactions in nine professional kitchens. The conclusions reached are useful for understanding the ways in which trainees and other newcomers may initiate themselves into work in order to learn through doing so, and will be relevant to professionals involved in the design of work preparation programmes.
This study aimed to develop and evaluate a communication tool to guide transitional care for older patients. Using experience‐based co‐design, a communication tool resulted from the triangulation of data collected from three study phases. From 2015 to 2016, semi‐structured interviews and co‐design focus groups were undertaken with older patients, carers and healthcare practitioners across acute, rehabilitation and community settings. The evaluation phase, conducted in 2017–2018, involved use of the communication tool by healthcare practitioners in a multidisciplinary care team with older patients in acute care and semi‐structured interviews with healthcare practitioners about the acceptability and feasibility of the tool. A total of 103 patients, carers and healthcare practitioners took part. In semi‐structured interviews, patients and carers reported needing to become independent in care transitions, which was supported by discussing the transitional care plan with healthcare practitioners. Interviews with healthcare practitioners identified that their need for fast and safe care transitions was supported by team discussion and by engaging patients and carers in their transitional care plan. Co‐design focus group participants identified principles guiding transitional care including patient‐centred communication. Data collected from semi‐structured interviews and co‐design focus groups were used to develop a prototype communication tool to guide conversations about discharge care between healthcare practitioners and older patients. Following use, healthcare practitioners reported that the communication tool was feasible and acceptable although some nurses perceived that transitional care was not their role. The communication tool provides an evidence‐based resource for ward nurses to support transitional care continuity in multidisciplinary models.
The publication presents the latest, unique and complex results of the research on the group of 290 life-term prisoners. It summarises the five-year study on life imprisonment sentence and explores the problem from the legal, criminological and psychological perspective, giving voice to leading experts and practitioners: lawyers, psychologists, prison officers and finally the sentenced themselves. The main aim of the monograph was to answer the question what a typical life-term prisoner is (a statistical image of a sentenced) and if in the group of the 290 studied there are those best and worst and what determines it. With reference to appropriate theories, such as deprivation, import, rational choice, the authors of the texts collected here describe how the sentenced adapt to the conditions of lifetime isolation and how the prison systems adapts to them, how both sides respond to passing and executing life imprisonment sentence and how they view the diagnosis and the possibility of interacting with the sentenced in prison. It is a true compendium of criminological and psychological knowledge of the perpetrator–sentenced–human.
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