Compare and contrast group interviews and non-structured interviews research methods using academic theory to justify the views
Produce an individual report of no more than 2500 words
The proposed work is as follows:
• You will be allocated a set of research methods and/or techniques for this assignment.
• Compare and contrast your allocated set of methods and/or techniques, using academic theory to justify your views.
• You should address the following issues in your report:
o Strengths and weaknesses of the methods and/or techniques
o The suitability of the method / technique in different research contents
o Generalisability of results obtained using each method / technique
o Issues of using each method / technique, for example, ethical considerations, access to data, sample selection, bias, etc.
• Exercise a critical understanding of the implications of using different research methodologies.
• Critically evaluate the quality of a research with respect to the appropriateness of research method used.
• Carry out information searching using a range of appropriate secondary sources.
TOPIC: Group Interviews vs Non structured Interviews
Assessment 1 requires you to produce an individual report of no more than 2500 words, comparing and contrasting selected research methods and/or techniques, using academic theory to justify your views.
Group Interviews: a general term to describe all non-standardized interviews conducted with two or more interviewees. “ONE-TO-MANY”
The first type of group interview is when each interviewee is interviewed by multiple interviewers.
The other type of group interview is when a group of interviewees for the same position are interviewed together by one interviewer.
Non structured interviews( Unstructured Interviews – ‘in-depth interviews’): No pre-prepared questions, but getting the respondent to talk about the subject. Check for accuracy and rephrase answers. “BOTH ONE-TO-ONE & ONE-TO-MANY”
? Both are non standardized.
In an exploratory study, in-depth interviews can be very helpful to find out what is happening and to understand the context. Semi-structured interviews may also be used in an exploratory study. Both of these types of interview may provide important background or contextual material for your study. You will find it helpful to conduct exploratory, qualitative interviews where your research design adopts an inductive approach, as in the development of grounded theory
Purpose : exploratory study
infer causal relationships between variables
to understand the reasons for the decisions that your research participants have taken, or to understand the reasons for their attitudes and opinions
Semi-structured and in-depth interviews also provide you with the opportunity
to ‘probe’ answers, where you want your interviewees to explain, or build on, their responses
more likely to agree to be interviewed, rather than
complete a questionnaire, especially where the interview topic is seen to be interesting
and relevant to their current work.
an interview provides them with an opportunity to
reflect on events without needing to write anything down.
the opportunity for interviewees to receive feedback and personal assurance about the way in which information will be used
Nature of questions
where there are a large number of questions to be answered;
where the questions are either complex or open-ended;
where the order and logic of questioning may need to be varied
Length of time required and completeness:
Expectations clear about length of time required + participants agree objectives
Least under pressure time arranged
Modify the questionnaire if interviewees do not answer + form some indication of why
1/Strengths and weaknesses of the methods and/or techniques
Group Interviews Non structured Interviews
Strengths Breadth of points of view to emerge.
Capable of generating or responding to a number of ideas and evaluate them.
Opportunity to challenge one another’s view.
Reduce bias by including more people.
To identify key themes of a research.
In an unstructured interview the interviewer is able to discover important information which did not seem relevant before the interview and ask the interviewee to go further into the new topic.
An unstructured interview allows for the interviewer to build better rapport with the interviewee due to its parallels with a normal conversation. For this reason they are often considered to be better at researching sensitive subjects, such as domestic violence, due to this rapport gaining more honest responses, whereas structured interviews are often considered intimidating due to their formality and can often make the interviewee subject to social desirability bias
Unstructured interviews can be used when asking about something personal ,the interview could go off topic to make the persons taking the interview feel comfortable.
Weakness Give them instruction rather than choice
Wording of requests
Group participants in a way not to inhibit possible individual contributions
Ensure balanced participation from every interviewee
Settings and location
Use of audio/video recording,
Using two interviewers
Unstructured interviews are a lot more time consuming in comparison to other research methods. This is due to their being no set questions and a priority of elaborated answers making it difficult to determine and enforce a set time.
As a result of the above disadvantage it is difficult to interview a large sample, affecting the data’s generalisability and representativeness.
The data collected in unstructured interviews is also prone to digression and much of the data collected could be worthless.
2/The suitability of the method / technique in different research contents
3/Generalisability of results obtained using each method / technique
4/Issues of using each method / technique, for example, ethical considerations, access to data, sample selection, bias, etc.
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