One question in the E-Interview Framework (Salmons, 2012) is about researcher’s motivations for collecting data through online interviews and the rationale for this choice in the context of the overall study. Two key factors are: 1) will the study use data collected through online interviews to investigate real-world, face-to-face phenomena? or 2) will the study use data collected through online interviews to investigate online phenomena? The researcher’s motivation to use data collected in online interviews has implications for ICT selection, timing, when a new tool must be introduced before the actual interview, as well as for items to include in the informed consent agreement. See the attached overview and worksheet and think your design choices.
Please share your ideas so we can compare, contrast and discuss!
I am sorry I was unable to attend the webinar on Thursday. Upon viewing it yesterday it seemed to be highly informative. I have provided a snapshot of my dissertation study below. I welcome your comments, suggestions or questions as I am currently editing my dissertation proposal for submission to scientific merit review next week.
Aligning Purpose and Design
Epistemology – Constructivism
Methodology – Grounded Theory
Research Question: How does ethical leaders’ behavior impact employee organizational citizenship behavior?
Methods – initial questionnaire but primarily 1:1 in-depth interviews
Formal: organizational behavior
Field of Study: ethical leadership theory and organizational citizenship behavior
Emerging: motivators and/or de-motivators related to consenting participants’ interpretations of experiences with ethical or unethical behavior on the part of their leaders
Choosing E-Interviews for the Study
I have chosen online interviews to investigate face-to-face phenomena. I chose to conduct interviews in an online environment primarily because of the sensitive nature of the topic under study. It seems logical to assume one organization would be reluctant to allow a dissertation researcher to study their employees with regards to ethical leadership. Therefore, I am planning to invite volunteers from a national, professional, engineering organization to participate in the study. Since presumably volunteer participants would live in areas of the US that might be prohibitive for me to visit from a travel cost and/or time perspective, I decided conducting interviews using an online meeting media that mimicked a face-to-face experience would provide the next best option.
Handling Sampling and Recruiting
Volunteers from the national, professional, engineering organization will be invited to participate in my study via an introductory email. The email will briefly explain the purpose of the research and invite the potential participants to complete a questionnaire if they are interested in pursuing participation in the study. The questionnaire will include standard demographic questions, one or two questions on the potential participants’ experiences with online meeting media, and one or two questions on potential participants’ experiences with ethical leadership and their reactions/responses to same.
I plan to choose up to 10 initial participants after analyzing responses to the questionnaire. The goal is to evaluate the overall demographic make-up of respondents and choose a representative sample of them to approach. Once initial interviews have been completed, emerging themes will be identified, and additional participants will be approached using theoretical sampling.
Positioning the Researcher
I am approaching the dissertation study as an outsider looking in, which would position me as a traveler on a journey with consenting participants to discover insights.
Determining E-Interview Style
As this study is my dissertation the e-interview style will be semi-structured but closer to the unstructured end of the spectrum, since it is a constructivist grounded theory study. The chosen internet medium, that of a face-to-face online meeting, should work with this style, provided the consenting participants each set aside sufficient time for the discussion.
Selecting ICT & Milieu
The interviews will be audio and visual based. Interaction will be real-time. The interview setting will be private.
Conducting the Interview
I will have an interview guide for each interview. I plan to conduct a field test shortly of my intended interview process, which should help me refine both the interview guide as well as my plan for handling the 4 stages of the interview process. A contingency plan will be created in case of technical difficulties.
Addressing Ethical Issues
Appropriate steps will be taken in order to protect the human participants in the study. Proper informed consent will be obtained from participants. Consenting participants will be informed of any possible risk to themselves with respect to participating in the study and of their rights with respect to participating in the study, including the right to leave the study at any time without penalty.