The essay is a critical analysis of qualitative analysis. It is no doubt that research is applicable in all facet of human life. Areas affected range from nursing, business, political economical among others. To accomplish the requirements of the research, the main approaches available for collecting qualitative data and discussed , issues involved in running an in-depth interview as well as the techniques used in carrying out interviews, activities involved in analysis of qualitative data are all discussed succinctly. It will be rational to define qualitative research. It has been thought of as a type of research which is scientific investigation that aim at seeking answers to a given question, collecting evidence using a step by step procedure in answering the preset question, the finding generated cannot be predetermined and are applicable beyond the current scope. Cresswell, 1994) defines it as "an inquiry process of understanding based on distinct methodological traditions of inquiry that explore a social or human problem. The researcher builds a complex, holistic picture, analyzes words, reports detailed views of informants, and conducts the study in a natural setting"
Approaches available for collecting qualitative data
The most important section just like other section of qualitative research is data collection. Strictly speaking, the process of data collection involves the following two major steps; direct interaction with the human subject on a one on one basis and direct interaction with human subjects via a group setting. For this reasons, the process has been hailed to be time consuming thus data collection is from a small sample as compared to quantitative approach hence the later is much expensive. Additionally information collected from qualitative approach is much rich in content (Bernard, 1999).
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There are mainly four methods or approaches that are available to collect qualitative data. These are individual interviews, focus group discussion, and observation and action research. Concerning interview, it can be carried out face to face or through telephone. It is usually the mainstay of social science of collecting qualitative data (Bogdan & Biklen, 1982). It is worth noting that the interview can resort to using structured, unstructured or both set of questions in soliciting for information. The process is usually guided by careful worded and thought set of question already scripted down which aid in channeling the topic under investigation. The tool allows a researcher to have direct contacts with the interviewee and obtain first hand information.
Both the interviewer and the interviewee would be able to clarify on issues of the research done hence, being able to obtain information which is well elaborated and authentic (Phillips, 1990). The main questions to be asked will be revolving around the research questions where the interviewee will be asked to briefly expound on issues if they seem not to be clear. It is also a flexible data collection tool as when questions are not well grasped by the interviewee the researcher will be in a position to rephrase and elaborate them. Interview allows one to learn about things and facts that cannot be observed directly and finally it adds internal viewpoints to outward behaviors.
Despite the advantage mentioned, according to Prairie Research Associates, Inc. 2001 it's a slow method because the process calls for interview of one person at a time, cannot fully trace events and trends that occurred in the past. Additionally, interview is an expensive tool to use; it is also subject to respondent and interviewer bias. This will be eliminated through a tight time and structural frame work that will ensure that everything is done on time and appropriately.
In focus group discussion, the concentration is not on individuals but a group of individuals usually between 8 and 12 that are actively engaged in brain storming for a period ranging between 45 minutes to one hour. The respondent gets the opportunity of interacting with other respondents where they actively take part in building their own experiences by learning from each other. Strictly speaking, the researcher main responsibility is to act as a guide and facilitator, ensuring the group is focused and do not deviate from the research topic and provide each of the respondents an equal chance of airing their views (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). Additionally as the researcher engages in these activities, he/she may record the findings or have an assistant who will do it.
It is worth noting that in focus group discussion the type of question asked will dictate the outcome. It has been proposed that open ended questions is the way to go rather than close ended and dichotomous questions for instance those that calls for respondents to answer yes or no. typically, conducting the discussion needs familiarization with the topic, ability to speak local language, being sensitive to cultural, have genuine interest of the people, being sensitive to gender, respecting participants and being polite (Ziman, 2000). Advantages include; helps stimulate respondent hence generation of new ideas, it is a flexible tool as there is room for the researcher to modify it, there is room for improving the technique from suggestion from respondent, the tool is cost effective in terms of gathering primary data and are very much time efficient, the researcher is capable of noting non verbal communication vital in generating the findings and drawing conclusion.
According to DeWalt, 2002 observations a tool of collecting qualitative data typically involve the researcher making observation in the field. There are two major approaches to observation, participatory and non participatory where researcher actively engages in the events or merely observes respondents. Observation has been thought to be a strong tool when it comes to data validity since the researcher is capable of collecting in-depth information regarding a given behavior. Nonetheless, the tool is associated with a number of draw backs. This includes problems associated with generalization as well as reliability. It is indeed very difficult for another researcher to replicate what one has done (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). Additionally, there are chances of biasness from the researcher side, as the researcher may see what he/she wants to see. Analysis of data collected from this tool is somehow challenging.
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As previously stated interviews is one major tool of data collection in qualitative research approach. It is applied in carrying out intensive individual interviews probably face to face with at most two individuals with the aim of exploring their views on a given topic. Before running an in-depth interview, a clear topic opts to be identified and the same communicated to the relevant authority. A well plan is then formulated. Before going to the field, consent from the respondent is sought after. In the plan those to be interviewed are identified, have strategy that will ensure all ethical issues are followed.
A second step that is important to develop the interview instrument/interview guide. This involves planning what the researcher will say during the interview while setting it up, beginning, during the interview as well as after. Additionally the questions to be asked are to be listed in the instrument. Additionally, there is need to train individuals who will collect data. It is appropriate to use individuals who are capable of speaking the local language. Other vital step includes data collection. This can be done by tape recording or taking notes (Spradley, 1979).
It has been suggested that one can carryout an in-depth interview and still not be able to gather the information that he/ she intended. Thus for me I would strive to be an effective interviewer. This I will achieve by being familiar with the research documents as well as the topic is trying to answer. Additionally, having elaborate knowledge on the tool is of significance as it will help me develop a good tool that will help me gain more insight regarding the question at hand. It is a fact that having the knowledge about the questions in the interview guide will also ensure that I can comfortably elaborate on issues that do not seem clear (Schatzman & Strauss, 1973).
On the same note, practice makes perfect. For this reason I would try my best to practice interviewing. This can be attainable by assuming role playing with other researchers and even classmates (Krueger, 1988). Similarly just like in questionnaire where one can carry out a pilot study, I will do the same with the interview developed. This of course will be done after obtaining respondent consent.
Lastly and more importantly, the ability to correctly and effectively use recording equipments such as tape recorders will be a plus in making me sharpen my interviewing skills hence able explore people's attitudes. All these approaches will be supplemented by adopting politeness, empathy, respect for the respondent as well as effective communication and interpersonal skills (Kirk & Miller, 1986).
Analyzing qualitative data
Data analysis is the backbone of any research project. It is worth noting that the method used to analyze qualitative data is grounded on the type of research question, the type of data at hand as well as the philosophy that the research underlay (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005). Additionally, it is data analysis that helps researchers to come out with findings that are coherent and inferential. The three major activities necessary in data analysis include data reduction, data coding and data management.
With data reduction the researcher resorts to comparing, aggregating, contrasting, sorting as well as ordering the collected data. It is evident that qualitative research approach yield large volume of data (Miles & Huberman, 1994). While carrying out research and reducing data, the researcher looks for links, associations as well as patterns in the topic being studied. This can be attained through various mechanisms such as analytic induction. Ideally it entails scanning or given patterns and relationships so that the researcher comes up with a general picture to fully describes what is happening. Using constant comparison is also applicable especially when dealing with grounded-theory approach. Analysis of data collected from diaries and other documents can be analyzed as raw dat (Adler, 1987).
Data coding is where researcher manages the collected data. This is done by labeling, storing as well as retrieving. Data management includes organizing data by using computers and displaying data. It is worth mentioning that appropriate statistical analysis such as hermeneutics, discourse analysis, ground theory, content analysis as well as ethnographic decision model (Russek & Weinberg, 1993).
My name is [insert your name], a student and I would like to talk with you concerning strawberry in Australia. This is done with the aim of helping Victorian Strawberry Growers Association come up with strategies that will help in promoting the commodity. Issues of interest is the image Australian have regarding the strawberries, attributes of strawberry that makes Australian buy them, cases where people eat strawberry. \additionally, the reasons why some do not buy strawberry is also of significance. Lastly what opt to be done to encourage people to buy them is also sought after.
The information gathered will strictly be used for the intended purpose and nothing more, the information will only be shared by the research team and I will ensure that you will not be identified as a respondent. Please remember that you do not have to talk about matters that you are not comfortable with and you may end the interview at your own discretion.
The interview will take about 20 minutes. Due to the fact that I do not want to miss points from your comments, I will tape the session. Consequently, I will also be taking short notes. Since we are on tape, I would like you to speak up in order for me not to miss your significant comments.
Thematic and content analysis
From the interview of the six respondent, it is evident that there are mixed reactions when it come to how australinas view Victorian strawberries. It is worth noting that four interviewee, 1, 4, 4 and 6 were imaging the fruit only as a treat. The reset of the interviewees were of the view that Victorian strawberry to them is a regular fruits that is why they buy it regularly. It is apparent that these two distinct image has varying effect on Victorian strawberries market. In the case where it is deemed to be only a treat, this then is not ventral in the minds of consumers to buy, which translates to lower turnover of the same. On the other hand, when strawberries are viewed as regular fruits, this is what has contributed to the current sales volume. Additionally such views dictates consumers attitude towards the product and may buy or fail to buy.
It was interesting when I sought to find out the major characteristics or attributes consumer will consider before buying strawberries. All of the interviewees mention nutrious values, freshness of the product. Additionally, all of the interviewees were of the opinion that strawberries that are unblemished and which are fully and deeply coloured with no runny or bleeding spots is what also dictates whether or not to buy them (Holliday, 2007). Having an intact stem was also mentioned by interviewee 4, 1 and 6. Similalrly, those strawberries that have been under the sun and have fully ripen also dictates the buying behavior of majority of the respondent. Lastly and more importantly, a musky aroma which is attributed to how ripe the strawberries are also influences customers decision on whether or not to buy. With the issue of prices, there are tjhose who believed that expensive strawberries are the best while 2 of the respondents were of the contrary opinion.
For this reason it will be rational for Victorian Strawberry Growers Association to come up with strategies such as educating the farmers on how to handle strawberries so that they are appeling to the eyes of the consumers. Similalrly, for the organization to promote strawberries consumption there is need for it to come up with a price discrimination plan, where both type of consumers are targeted (Onstad, 2011).
When asked about the situioton in which people eat strawberries, tyhere were mixed reaction of responses. I realized that there were twom major group of personalities; those of pro strawberries and the other who were opposing its consumption purely based on health issues. Interviewees 2, 4, 5 and 6 said they do not have a given pattern or situation of eating the fruit. However, the remaining two respondent strongly advocated for incorporating the fruit in three of the major meals. This they attributed to the health benefits associated with strawberries consumption. When asked to elaborate further, the later group pointed out the vast minerals such as manganese, vitamin C among others as the key drivers on why they consume the fruit in every major meals (Onstad, 2011). With this already in mind, there is need for the organization to carryout a public awareness rally aimed at education Australian on the health benefits of consuming strawberries. This will help change the notion held by the majority who deemed the fruit to be of no nutrition value or even hazardous as some media had potrayed the fruit especially in America.
With regards to reasons why some individuals do not buy strawberries, it iwas apparent that majority had planted thje fruit in their own gardens or they could get the same from their neighbors. This shows clearly that majority of Australians have practice farming of the crop. Other reasons that were brought forth for not buying the product include allegy reaction, lack opf adequate knowledge with regards to nutriotion values of the fruits, availability of alternatives and generally unwillingness to spend money on the product (Onstag, 2011). To curb this scenario, there is need of carrying out extensive promotional and advertisement campaigne, educate the general public. All these will work towards miotivating the buyers. Additionally, lowering the price of the product as well as setting high standards to be met both by bthe farmers as well as marketers will go an extra mile in motivating consumers (Onstad, 2011).
Lastly, the interviewees when asked about the values they have coined on their consumption of the fruits, it came to light that the majority believe in healthy living, are members of the society deemed to be elite, their economic status is stable and are of the view that natural products are good for human health. In terms of health, they believed that health disorders such as cancer and arthritis are kept at bay when one consume strawberries adequately. It is thus a challenge for promoters to come up with plans that will utilize these values. For instance, it may work well if the organization can be in a position to point out such individuals in a local area and use them as ambassadors to promote the product. Similalrly, these individuals can be used to carryout advertistment hence promoting consumoption of strawberries. The respondent when asked about the willingness of people to pay for a punnet of strawberries, there were condition for instance they are much willing if the attributes previously stated are evident.
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