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About us

The Qualitative Research Methods Group is a community of practice made up of members of academic staff and current PhD students who use qualitative methods in their research. The group meets at regular intervals to discuss current research, methodological developments and issues and other topics with a spirit of scholarly debate and critical enquiry. The group is led by Rebecca Whiting.

WHAT IS QUALITATIVE RESEARCH?

  • Qualitative research comprises a wide range of methods developed from a variety of theoretical perspectives and underpinned by different philosophical stances. 'Qualitative research... is typically oriented to the inductive study of socially constructed reality, focusing on meanings, ideas and practices, taking the native's point of view seriously' (Alvesson and Deetz, 2000, p.1).
  • Within organisational/occupational psychology, methodological diversity has been identified as an important challenge (Cascio and Aguinis, 2008). In a field traditionally dominated by quantitative methods, this means enhancing the methodological options available to work psychologists. The use of qualitative approaches offers considerable potential for our understanding of key issues within work psychology (Cassell and Symon, 2011).

WHAT ARE QUALITATIVE METHODS?

  • Typical methods of conducting qualitative research include: interviews; focus groups; visual methods including photo elicitation and video diary studies; action research; participant observation; ethnography, auto-ethnography; case studies; and digital research of online material including social media.
  • Methods for analysing qualitative data include: template (or thematic) analysis; interpretative phenomenological analysis; conversation analysis; (critical) discourse analysis; rhetoric analysis; plotline analysis; grounded theory; narrative analysis; sensemaking and psychoanalytic approaches.
  • Staff and students in our department currently use a range of these methods in their research, which you can read about on their respective profiles.

Academic staff members

PhD student members