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  • 00:16

    KEITH PERKS: Hi, I'm Keith Perks.I'm a honorary fellow at the University of Brighton BusinessSchool.I am a lecturer and researcher in the areaof international business and marketing,and my specialist area is qualitative research methods.And I've been using this in my research and in applicationsand teaching for a number of years.

  • 00:42

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: In this next session three, we'regoing to be looking at beyond the next phaseafter literature review, where you have your researchquestions, is then how are you goingto collect the empirical data--the methodology and methods.That's the first session.In the first session, first slide,I want to make a clear distinction between methodologyand method.

  • 01:10

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: In a research methodology, it's broadly your epistemologicalor your broad approach towards howyou get to know about a phenomenon or the world.And that means you're either taking--generally speaking, see the worldin an objective way, a positivist way,and see that the phenomena can be seen and measuredseparate from the research.

  • 01:38

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: And that's how we develop knowledge.And in qualitative research, the researchtends to be constructivist in that the knowledge that we getto know about the world is socially constructed and notobjective to the researcher, but issomething which is built from the experiences of the worldthat we're examining.

  • 02:05

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: So those are two approaches.Quantitative research tends to take the positivist view--and qualitative research, the constructive and non-positivistview.These approaches in your research-- you need to decidewill link to your research aim, whichis, if it's more quantitative, it would be positivist.

  • 02:26

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: If it's more qualitative, not.So this is distinctive from the method.And the method is the full processof, first of all, deciding on a population sample,mass sampling method, a sample, data collection and analysis,and then interpretation.

  • 02:48

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: And this is different to methodologies.It's how you practically carry out the research.What it is not is a questionnaire,as many students, researchers, tend to refer to their methodas being a questionnaire.That is only part of the whole method, whereby the individualuses that as a data collection instrumentas part of the overall method.

  • 03:16

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: In this next slide, I want to connect thento the first point on the first slide about methodologies--the appropriateness of your methodology.A methodology should be designed around or selectedon the basis of the main aim of your research and a purpose.So broadly speaking, there are three types of purposes.

  • 03:40

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: One, which is related to measuring and testing and usingstatistical approach-- and that, if you likewould signal in your research aim.if you're testing and measuring hypotheses,for example, as your aim, then youwould select a quantitative approach.

  • 04:00

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: If you are attempting to develop new areas of researchand development of theory, you would thenguide you more towards a qualitative methodology.And there's a third type of research,which I refer to as pragmatic research,where you're carrying out research which can be appliedand is to do with a business, an application within a business,rather than a pure research piece of work.

  • 04:34

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: In this next slide, which is fairly detailed, whenyou read it, the purpose of this isdistinguish between the start of a piece of researchand then ultimately the methodology and method.So in the first part of this slide, it's about the topic--who, what, when, why, what literature, pre-empirical workthat leads up to your research, questions, propositions,hypotheses.

  • 05:05

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: And on the left hand side, it's the methodfor quantitative research-- on the right hand side,for qualitative methods.There are similar patterns.But as we go on to see later--you know, from the population, the sampling method,the sample, analytical method--in the quantitative side of that diagram,there would be fairly well-trodden pathsof analytical methods, statistical methods,to do the analysis.

  • 05:36

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: On the right hand side, the qualitative methodology,the sampling and the analytical method will be different.We'll come on to that later on in the series.So focusing on qualitative research methods,Denzin and Lincoln have referred to the factthat qualitative methods has a diverse set of methods,and there's no one method.

  • 06:06

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: And they refer to as a bricolage of methods--which means that is, in any research, there is a diversityor there are some boundaries.But it does mean that there is no one set method or approach.

  • 06:28

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: In qualitative research, it's usually rooted in things like--postpositivism is the term referred to.And it's a challenge, if you like,or an alternative to the view of the world, a positivist world,where things are attempted to be made universalbased on scientific principles.

  • 06:50

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: In the postmodern, postpositivism world,the idea is that the world is not one single universal idea.It is fragmented, and there could be a range of meaningsdepending on a particular group or set of entities.

  • 07:12

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: And in that, the principle is that realityand what we know is created from particular instances,as the opposite view.And it's seen as a something whichsays that when you do research-- in a positivist world, whatyou research and what people say,you take the meaning as it is.

  • 07:40

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: In qualitative research and methodologies,the idea is that there are underlyingmeanings and interpretation dependingon the voice that's saying it.Therefore, it challenges this ideathat you take knowledge as being something which is factual,but can also have a political element or an agenda behind it.

  • 08:07

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: In that sense, one of the methodsused for analyzing texts is taken from cultural theory,semiotics, and to explore the actual meaning and the hiddenmeaning.And also in qualitative of research,you can have textual analysis.And you can also take the words and the meaning as they stand.

  • 08:31

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: It depends on your approach.In this slide, we're going break outthis concept of social constructionand the use of ethnography.And qualitative research will usean ethnographic, social construction approachin the sense it's attempting to construct what we knowabout the world and a particular phenomenafrom the perspective of the individuals, groups,and other members of society or entitiesfrom their perspective.

  • 09:08

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: Ethnography is linked to culture,and it originated in anthropology.And it's about developing researchbased on observing participants and recording what they sayand filming them--and seeing how they see the worldwithout imposing any of your own cultural values upon that.

  • 09:32

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: And that's the principle.Ethnomethodology is a methodologyto collect that data and information.And it can be observation, recordings.It can be in terms of staying with groupsand seeing how they live out their livesin a particular context.

  • 09:58

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: So in carrying out qualitative research-- and as I referredto earlier, there are many methods within methodology,including semiotics.But here, I'm going to focus on a communally used methodin qualitative research-- the case studymethod, which allows for different forms of recordingof data.

  • 10:30

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: And it as we're going to see, a case studyis not just, for example, of a business or organization.It depends on how you define a casestudy and the unit of analysis.So what is a case study?It's a detailed collection and developmentof knowledge about a particular single caseor a multiple set of cases in an actual setting.

  • 10:59

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: The whole idea is to get a holistic focus of perspective,to see it from different angles and perspectiveof the context and the people that are in that context.In case studies, it's encouraged to use multiple sourcesof material-- not just interviews, documents.we'll come to some of those sources later on--which will encourage a more holistic view and perspective,and make the research more rigorous.

  • 11:31

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: And a case study's a particular phenomenaoccurring within a particular grounded contextor bounded context.Almost anything can be a case study.It can be simple or complex.It could be a big organization, small organization.

  • 11:51

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: It could be a print advert as a unit of analysis.For example, it was used in analyzing how oil companies useprint advertising to communicate their social responsibility.The unit of analysis there was the adverts and the textand visuals of the advert.

  • 12:15

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: It could be an individual, an organization.Another example of that would be some researchon how small family business firms make strategic decisions.A unit of analysis there was actuallythe strategic decision that was made by a particular familybusiness--because that's the focus of the researchwas to see how and why family firms mightmake different strategic decisions comparedthe non-family firms, and that differencebeing that it would involve family psychology in that.

  • 12:56

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: So the unit of analysis was how a decisionwas made based in that context.It could be a community, or it could be at a national level--the unit of analysis.It could be a decision, a policy, or process,or an incident or event.

  • 13:16

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: Within the case study method, thereare different types of cases.And they've been categorized hereas intrinsic case studies, where you look at one particular casestudy.And the idea is to go is to get to know as much as you canabout that particular context in that case study.

  • 13:39

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: And that's the research--and that what is learned from that.So you see here it's not an attempt to generalize.It's an attempt to probe and examine a specific case study.And that has been used in many pieces of research.And it could be an intrinsic casestudy-- the study of a single organization.

  • 14:03

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: The next type of case study is the case studywhere you're attempting to use that case study as an attemptto develop knowledge and create a new theory.And that could be from a single case studyor, as Robert Yin describes, more rigorwould possibly come from the use of a multiple case studymethod, where you use a replication logic.

  • 14:34

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: However, if your purpose is not to generalize to a widerpopulation, it all depends on the extentto which you need to check, verify, from a single case.And the number of cases, Yin argues,are anything from four to 20 case studies.

  • 14:56

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: So in summary, a case study is an empirical inquiryin which the boundaries between the phenomena and the contextsare not clear, meaning that, for example, making a decisionis connected to a specific situationand that influences one both ways--and where there are multiple sources of evidenceused in terms of increasing the validityof the piece of research.

  • 15:37

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: So continuing from the last slideand to elaborate on the differencebetween a single and multiple case methodologyand the reasons for that--in a single case study, you can increase the depth and rigorby using a longitudinal methodology where you examinea particular case over a period of time,over months or over a year.

  • 16:06

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: That's quite difficult research to do,but it is something that could gain valuable insights into howorganizations work or how people make decisions, for example.Then there is the multiple case studymethod, where you look at--examine-- more than one case studyand it increases the ability to replicate that.

  • 16:31

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: In theoretical research, you do that until youreach the point of saturation and thenmaking the research more rigorous.However, one thing should be cleared upis that the assumption that all research should begeneralizable to a population.

  • 16:56

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: In qualitative research, this is not necessarily the aim.It's about getting depth and probinga particular issue in context.And furthermore, it is not assuming a replicationto a wider population.What it actually can do is to generalizeto the specific sample under your study.

  • 17:21

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: And that is what is done within qualitative research,so it can be generalizable.The question is though, does all researchneed to be generalizable when youwant to understand something?The classic case study example was the Cuban Missile Crisis--was to look at how events evolvedduring that particular period of time.

  • 17:48

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: Also, as a reminder and reinforcement,is that it depends on the aims of your research.So if your aim of research is to gain depth and understanding,then you don't need to be generalizingto a wider population.

  • 18:09

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: And this is often a critique of qualitative research,but it's something which is not appropriate for that typeof research.Qualitative methodology also allows for the generalizabilityto a particular sample.

  • 18:30

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: And it also allows for looking at a context whichis atypical--not typical of the mainstream.But the outliers, which get missed oftenin statistical research, may offer valuable insights.Also the multiple case method allowsfor some replication and theory development,which is a foundation for further research.

  • 19:03

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: And this type of research is termed, etic.It's about researching the specific and not the emic--the general situation, the wider population.We'll now move on to some of the practicalitiesof doing case study research.

  • 19:24

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: First of all, how to prepare a case study--I think in applying the research,you need to think carefully about the case and what it isand why.It might not be obvious to begin with.You might think it's an individual,but it may be a decision, for example--so what in relation to the purpose of your researchand the purpose of that case study achieving that purpose.

  • 19:52

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: You need to be clear on the need for a case study.Then you need to translate that case studyinto a set of questions, which you will thenask whilst carrying out the interviews or other methodsof data collection.The next point is about identifyingthe overall strategy for the case studyin terms of especially whether itis one case or a multiple case study method.

  • 20:20

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: And that is the important decision to make.And it's a matter of opinion whichyou would discuss with yourself and your supervisor,for example.And then you need to then decide from who you'regoing to collect the data, when, and how,in terms of the next stage of the research--and finally, how that data will be analyzed, whichwe'll cover in another session.

  • 20:45

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: In this slide, I'm giving you three examplesof case study research to give youan idea of some of the variety, and that there'sno hard and fast rule in terms of the size of the sample.So in the first study of family firms,seven case studies were selected in Germanyto study family owned firms.

  • 21:11

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: And that met the purpose of how and why family firms makestrategic decisions.In study two, it was 16 case studiesof small companies in four countries,and the idea was to examine how these owners of these companiesmade international marketing decisions.

  • 21:42

    KEITH PERKS [continued]: In the final study, a big study of CSR in the oil industry, 32stakeholders were case studies.And it was people in particular positions in government,the oil industry, and NGOs to geta holistic picture of perceptionsof social responsibility in the oil industry.


Keith Perks, Honorary Fellow at the University of Brighton Business School, discusses qualitative marketing research methodologies and methods.

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Applied Qualitative Marketing Research - Methodology and Method: Part 1

Keith Perks, Honorary Fellow at the University of Brighton Business School, discusses qualitative marketing research methodologies and methods.

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