Conducting and Analyzing Semi-Structured Interviews: A Study of Open Innovation in Food Firms in Ireland


This case study examines the use of semi-structured interviews that I used in my PhD research as a method to explore open innovation in food firms in Ireland. Literature in the field highlights that exploring innovation and the extent to which firms are open and collaborative with people outside of their organizations in conducting innovation requires detailed understanding of the concept in its natural settings. To interpret or make sense of the phenomena in terms of the meaning managers bring to it, I conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews with managers in Ireland’s largest indigenous industry, the food and beverage sector. Demonstrating some of the methodological challenges of conducting research in an organizational context, this case details how the in-depth semi-structured interviews were designed and conducted, and the process of analyzing and interpreting the data. The aim is to provide an insight into how to conduct research with managerial population to gain rich data that can help understand an organizational phenomenon.

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