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Qualitative Research Methods


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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION Introduction to the Book Who is This Book For? The Qualitative Research Cycle Structure of the Book Features of this Book The Nature of Qualitative Research What is Qualitative Research? When to Conduct Qualitative Research The Underlying Interpretive Paradigm Qualitative and Quantitative Research Verstehen and Understanding The Emic and Etic Perspective Subjectivity and The Need for Reflexivity Our Approach to Qualitative Research Evaluating quality PART ONE: THE DESIGN CYCLE The Design Cycle Introduction Formulating Qualitative Research Questions Incorporating Literature and Theory Developing a Conceptual Framework Selecting a Fieldwork Approach Evaluating Quality Ethical Issues in Qualitative Research Introduction What is Ethics? Ethics in Qualitative Research Ethical Issues in the Design Cycle Ethical Issues in the Ethnographic Cycle Ethical Issues in the Analytic Cycle Evaluating quality PART TWO: THE ETHNOGRAPHIC CYCLE Participant Recruitment What is Participant Recruitment? Defining and Refining the Study Population How Many to Recruit: The Principle of Saturation Recruitment Goals Strategies for Participant Recruitment Evaluating quality In-Depth Interviews What is an In-Depth Interview? When to Conduct an In-Depth Interview Purpose of an In-Depth Interview The Cyclical Nature of Data Collection Developing an Interview Guide Preparing for Data Collection Reflecting on Subjectivity and Positionality Conducting the Interview Strengths and Limitations Evaluating Quality Focus Group Discussions What is a Focus Group Discussion? When to Conduct Focus Group Discussions The Cyclical Nature of Data Collection Developing the Discussion Guide Preparing for Data Collection Conducting the Focus Group Discussion Post-Discussion Information Strengths and Limitations Evaluating quality Observation What is Observation? When to Conduct Observation What to Observe Types of Observation Preparing and Conduct of Observation Writing an Observation Strengths and Limitations Evaluating Quality PART THREE: THE ANALYTIC CYCLE Data Preparation and Developing Codes Introduction The Nature of Qualitative Data Analysis Our Approach to Analysis Foundations of Grounded Theory Data Preparation Developing Codes Making a Codebook Coding Data Evaluating Quality Textual Data Analysis Introduction Formulating a Project-Specific Plan of Analysis Searching Data The Cyclical Process of Analysis Thick Description Comparison Categorizing and Conceptualizing Theory Development Evaluating Quality Writing Qualitative Research Writing in Qualitative Research Who is the Audience? Structure of Writing Beginning to Write Writing a Methodology Presenting Qualitative Results Evaluating Quality

About the Author

Dr. Monique Hennink is an associate professor of global health at Emory University. She has particular expertise in applying qualitative methods to public health research. She has authored five textbooks on qualitative research and developed the "QUAL-WORKS" training program for public health professionals. Her research focuses on behavioral aspects of public health issues by understanding the social, cultural, and contextual influences on behavior in order to develop effective health interventions. Her research focuses primarily on sexual and reproductive health, sanitation behavior, chronic disease management, women's empowerment, and microcredit. She conducts research in multiple study contexts throughout Africa, Asia, UK, and USA.


Hennink et al. write for novice and accomplished qualitative researchers (and everyone in-between)...Qualitative Research Methods is an accessible, readable how-to book. It can be recommended as a reference book for those approaching a new qualitative project. The in-chapter descriptions and the exercises and questions at the end of each chapter provide easy, yet necessary tasks for researchers to complete during each stage of their projects
Christine L. Patton
The Weekly Qualitative Report

Hennink, Hutter, and Bailey's work is about actually `doing' qualitative research. All the key topics are covered, and sensible `warnings' offered to avoid some of the usual data collection and analysis traps of ethnographic work...the book is accessible, comprehensive and well illustrated both textually and graphically. More importantly and necessarily, it stresses the importance of the theoretical stance taken and its influence upon methodology
Dr Ron Iphofen

Social Research Association News

If there is a need for a spirited defence ofqualitative research then this book makes a strong, compelling and well-delivered case...The book is well structured with a concise style, and the authors make good use of case studies, tables and exercises...New and established researchers will benefit from this book, as well as students wanting an insight intoqualitative research. The passion that these authors feel about their subject comes through strongly in the writing
Ian Birkinshaw

Nursing Standard

Qualitative Research Methods by Hennink, Hutter and Bailey however, provide qualitative researchers with a modern grasp on qualitative research methods. Hennink et al. explain `how to do' qualitative research using a cyclical process, divided into 3 interconnected phases or cycles... The authors' innovative approach is in contrast to most qualitative research textbooks that focus on qualitative research using the familiar, linear research process. In addition, the presentation of this current book will help apprentice qualitative researchers to appreciate the different stages of the qualitative research cycle... Overall, the chapters are logical and focus on key elements of qualitative research. In an added attempt to support their readers the authors provide excellent examples of directed reading. The use of `exercises' and `key points' reiterates the main points gleaned from each chapter.
Anita Duffy
Nurse Education in Practice

I was very impressed both with the depth and the clarity of information presented by Hennink and her colleagues. This book has a clear and logical structure. It insightfully discusses both the theoretical and epistemological issues that arise at all stages of qualitative research, as well as the very practical application of these methods. The chapters contain detailed guidance, hints and tips on how to use the methods without the text feeling heavy or over-whelming. The 'Evaluating Quality' section at the end of each chapter provides a useful summary and check-list, not only for designing one's own research project, but also for critiquing the quality and validity of other published qualitative studies... This is an excellent new text book for budding qualitative researchers.
Rebecca Langford
Critical Public Health

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