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Reflexivity: Personal, Professional, and Researcher Stances

By: Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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In 2008, I conducted a study to explore Malaysian nurses’ perspectives of transnational higher education post-registration top-up nursing degree courses delivered by “flying faculty” academics in Malaysia. These academics are from “exporter” universities who “fly in” to an Eastern “importer” country to deliver teaching on these courses and then “fly back” to their country. Post-registration top-up nursing degrees enable diploma-trained nurses to upgrade their qualifications to degree level. For this research, I chose the interpretive, hermeneutic phenomenological and ethnographical principle of cultural interpretation that uses a qualitative approach. These methods require the researcher to adopt an involved position that encourages reflection and self-examination of their influence on the research. This case study uses extracts from reflexive and reflective accounts, personal and analytical notes, and interview data to make explicit my personal, professional, and researcher positions and to clarify my preconceptions, beliefs, and experiences. The extracts illustrate the challenges I faced and the influences and thinking behind my decision making regarding the strategies I adopted. Furthermore, this case study demonstrates how my insider and outsider status enriched the communication of findings, illuminating their meaning for readers.

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