Topic 7 DQ 1
A doctoral learner has decided to do a phenomenological study for his/her proposed dissertation research study topic because it is believed to be the best approach to address the research questions. The researcher chooses to conduct individual semi-structured interviews to generate the data. Will this generate the breadth and depth of the data necessary for this design? Why or why not? What challenges might the researcher encounter in collecting data from these sources? Explain. What other data sources should the researcher consider if needed to supplement the interview data? Explain.
Jan 29, 2023, 4:39 PM
Phenomenological studies attempt to understand an event from the human perspective, from those who are directly involved, experience, or are affected by the event (Khan, 2014). Researchers need to be focused on gathering as much information as possible from the people they choose to really grasp the sensations, ideas, thoughts, and memories formed during the given phenomenon. Although semi-structured interviews are a strong tool for gathering rich information (Khan, 2014), the semi-structured interview alone is not sufficient to produce the breadth and depth that is called for in a phenomenological design.
According to Yu, Abdullah and Saat (2014) time constraints within research can be challenging, particularly because data surrounding a recent event might quickly fade from memory. As a result, interviews may need to be set up promptly. For a well-rounded study, gathering data from multiple sources like participant observation and focus meetings in addition to semi-structed interviews, can ensure that researchers have the reliability in the data to present a strong, credible study.
Khan, S.N. (2014) Qualitative Research Method—Phenomenology. Asian Social Science, 10, 298-310.
Yu, H., Abdullah, A., & Saat, R. M. (2014). Overcoming time and ethical constraints in the qualitative data collection process: A case of information literacy research. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 46(3), 243-257.
Using semi-structured, in-depth interviews to collect data is acceptable in phenomenological research and can yield sufficient data to address the research topic if conducted within certain parameters. Interview questions should be general and open-ended. They shouldn't be designed to get a simple "yes" or "no" answer, and the researcher should follow up with probing questions to get more information (Kuchinke, 2022). Conducting individual semi-structured interviews is ideal for collecting data on the how, what, and why from the participant's lived experience; moreover, including the theoretical underpinning constructs as they pertain to the circumstances deepens the understanding of the phenomenon and can generate far more data for coding and theme analysis (Pereira, 2012). So that only data that is relevant to the study problem is collected, the methods for collecting data must be based on the problem statement. But if more than one source is used, it's possible to learn more about the phenomenon. For instance, a focus group of African American first-generation female students can be useful for learning more about cultural norms and learning about broad topics of interest relevant to the group or subgroups that the researcher may not have previously thought about.
Kuchinke, K. (2022). Phenomenology and human resource development: Philosophical foundations and implication for research. Human Resource Development Review, 22(1), 36–58.
Pereira, H. (2012). Rigour in phenomenological research: Reflections of a novice nurse researcher. Nurse Researcher, 19(3), 16–19.
Yes, semi- structured interviews will generate a depth of data, however, semi-structured questions decrease in generating data regarding the sample size. To explain, a researcher will predetermine interview questions for the study, the questions generating an in-depth collection of phenomenological data is by constructing written or oral evidence from lived experiences that is being researched, that is to say, research data is support by facts that are investigated with a goal of a researcher to find a baseline of the study to support the core meaning of phenomenological study from using interview questions with a medium to large sampling group to get in-depth representation of the study (Polkinghorne, 2005).
Challenges is filtering the participants perspectives, thoughts, and experiences from in-depth interview (Suryani, 2018), and evaluate the interview responses into baseline data collection to form a triangulation target to evaluate the data. According to Oswald (2021), a researcher can consider supplementing the interview data by organization of focus groups. Oswald (2021) reports the main function of a focus group is the interactivity between participants to generate details of experiences.
Oswald, W., Ummels, I., Raaijmakers, T., Baart, P., Staal, J. B., Bieleman, H. J., Nijhuis – van der Sanden, M. W. G., Heerkens, Y. F., & Hutting, N. (2021). Therapists’ experiences and needs with regard to providing work-focused care: a focus group study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 22(1), 1–13.
Polkinghorne, D. E. (2005). Language and meaning: Data collection in qualitative research. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 52(2), 137–145.