My DBA Blog
I asked the interviewee that I used last week if I could re interview her as part of the Convergent Interviewing process. The reply I got was interesting, basically along the lines of interviewed me last week why do it again? got me thinking about the difficulties of interviewing and why people volunteer to be interviewed. The question is, why do people agree to take part in interviews or, what in it for them?
A number of points and questions arose from this thought:
What is the incentive for the interviewee participant? I think there is a very narrow and short lived engagement process that occurs in the mind of a potential participant. Possibly the potential participant initial thought is based on a feeling that someone is interested in what they have got to say about something although I not sure what this says about randomly selected participants. Why the hell would a randomly selected person want to participate in an data collection exercise? Surely there even less motivation for them to participate?
I can see how purposeful selection could lead to greater engagement but again there has to be some kind of incentive for the participant but I assuming if someone is told a adidas flux didas flux that they have been selected on the basis of their expertise then they might be more forthcoming.
The potential difficulties of getting interview participants and getting people to agree to more than one or two interviews is potentially a difficulty if the researcher is undertaking Convergent Interviewing or just wanting to go back to speak to people again. There are also issues around timing, availability, getting a room and also if you are going back multiple times to people issues around confidentiality might come up because of something as simple as people going off for meetings.
When planning interviews and selecting participants I think depending on the number of people you need to interview it would be good to have more people to interview than absolutely necessary in order to keep numbers up in case some participants decide not to turn up or walk out during an interview.
In some ways small numbers of participants might be easier to manage than large numbers because you can build a closer relationship with potential interviewees and they might be more likely to make a commitment and a contribution.
I think there is a possibility that the feelings of the interviewer could have an effect on the interviewee. For example today I had a second interview scheduled with my participant from last week but I was feeling tired and did not really want to proceed. I needed to drive up some energy in order to make the interview happen again. As it turned out I did do the interview but it was not as effective as the one I did last week possibly because I was not in the mood but I also detected that the participant was also not in the mood. This could be a significant downside to interviewing how does the interviewer keep their feelings and physical demeanor neutral so that they do not the interviewee and influence the energy and motivation of the participant?
After completing the two interviews I realized the importance of having sound questions. I found adidas flux that especially in the second interview I realized that the question I asked was not specific enough but I did not want to ask a leading question either.
A lot of the literature around interviewing is based on getting a valid statistical sample and the methods that can be used to make interviewing more effective but there is not much (in the books I looked at) on why people actually volunteer to be interviewed and why they don I think purposeful selection of participants for interviewing might be the way forward where this is a choice because I think choosing people might be more effective than the random sample because of the issues around massaging ego on one side and people not wanting to be involved on the other.
I think I have gathered a reasonable amount of data that is interesting in terms of the research questions that I have used but I think if this was my full scale research project I would need to do a lot more work around question design and thinking more specifically what I want out of the interview. Reading the literature prior to the interviews has helped my thinking in terms of the domain of interest and contextualized in terms of what my participant has said and the restructuring process that is currently going on. A series of staff forums where staff can raise issues, concerns and suggestions have begun. These are being chaired by senior managers some of whom have been given notice that their jobs are at risk of redundancy. The response of staff to the proposals at these meetings has varied between resignation and an acceptance that the Schools structure is a done deal and anger at the way that the process has been implemented. The anger at the implementation seems to fit very well with views on Organisational Justice specifically the aspect Procedural Justice and Informational Justice.
I have noticed that in the last few days formal meetings seem to always start with a discussion about the restructuring. There does not seem to be any part of the organization that has been left untouched by an element of uncertainty. I have found that asking people simple questions about the restructuring elicits long answers with strong views on the situation. This leads me to an assurance that using Convergent adidas flux Interviewing is a sound method of gathering data.
Identify the auspices under which the research is being conducted.
Purposes of the research, funded or for a thesis.
Indication of what the research is about.
Indicate why the subject has been chosen.
Make it clear participation is voluntary.
Assure the respondent that their identity will not be revealed and all information will be confidential.
Provide opportunity for respondent to ask questions or raise concerns.
Ask some simple opening questions and lead to the main substance of the interview.
The interesting point is that when interviewing strangers the lead in to the main interview is probably essential in order to gain the confidence of the interviewee and to put them at ease. I have found that asking people I know and work with at work a question the usual response is for the colleague to open up with their views expansively and almost immediately. My view is that there is a strong possibility that I am going to be able to gather a lot of interview data for the assignment and the thesis project with little problem.