Posted: February 17th, 2022

Distinguishing features and similarities between descriptive phenomenological and qualitative description

CHAPTER 3: Research Methodology

Chapter 3 contains the research methods and design of this qualitative appreciative inquiry study. The population, research questions, and sampling procedure are all included in the specifications of the proposed study approach. The ethical measures for this qualitative appreciative inquiry study, such as safeguarding the confidentiality and adhering to the established informed consent requirements, are also discussed. After identifying the suggested instruments and planning for field testing, the procedures proposed to improve credibility will also examine transferability. The recommended data collection and analysis procedures bring the chapter to a conclusion.

Technology adoption in organizations has had mixed reactions from different generations, making it multifaceted and complex. The purpose of this qualitative appreciative inquiry study will be to examine the relationship between the Baby Boomer generation and technology utilization within the healthcare industry. This qualitative appreciative inquiry study will focus on Baby Boomer nurses’ and clinicians’ experiences with technology in two hospitals in the Los Angeles, CA, Metropolitan area. With the utilization of technology by Baby Boomer nurses and clinicians, critical findings regarding work productivity in environments rich in technology will be noted. 

Research Method and Design Appropriateness

Research methods involve the procedures and plans used to collect, analyze, and interpret data (Levitt et al., 2018). The research plan entails considerations about the research method employed in research. The qualitative approach is determined by the researcher’s conceptual frameworks, study design, and research methodologies. The process should be focused on the study’s research problem (Levitt et al., 2018). Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research methodologies are mentioned by Creswell & Creswell (2018) as advanced research methods.

The qualitative approach, guided by constructivism, examines and evaluates human and social concerns, according to Creswell and Creswell (2018). In this qualitative appreciative inquiry study, the primary data collection instrument, the researcher develops relevant information about the phenomenon according to constructivism (Farghaly, 2018). The goal of a qualitative study is to comprehend a behavior from the participants’ perspective without data distortion. The emergent questions and data gathering techniques like interviews, observations, focus groups, oral history, document analysis, or life experiences are qualitative data collection tools (Creswell & Creswell, 2018). 

A qualitative methodology is the best method for finding answers to the study questions. The qualitative technique is a research strategy that could result in a more profound knowledge of people’s perceptions and experiences, circumstances, contexts, processes, and approaches. Qualitative research entails a complex, in-depth data collection and analysis process encompassing numerous data sources, with themes and case descriptions emerging as a result (Kang & Evans, 2020).

Apart from qualitative methodologies, mixed and quantitative methods approaches are other options. Quantitative research is probabilistic, relying on generalizations and testing hypotheses to generate information (Bzdok, 2017). Quantitative analysis entails collecting and analyzing numeric/quantitative data and using statistical models to generate results that enable the rejection or acceptance of formulated hypotheses (Eyisi, 2016). To adequately generalize the larger group, the sample size settled at is often greater than in qualitative studies (Plümper et al., 2019). The quest for answers to the research questions proposed does not necessitate hypothesis testing; numerical data will not provide information on the relationship between the Baby Boomers generation and technology within the healthcare sector, which are unknown in this research and hence cannot be adequately implemented.

The mixed-methods strategy combines quantitative and qualitative research approaches (Creswell & Creswell, 2018). The researcher gathers and analyzes quantitative and qualitative data before combining the study results. Beyond the information obtained by quantitative and qualitative methods, the mixed research method strives to provide extra insight.

  Both mixed and quantitative approaches were examined and dismissed by the researcher. A statistical hypothesis test is used in quantitative research to explore the cause-and-effect links between parameters (Farghaly, 2018). An examination of numerical data would not yield the information required to answer and address the research questions. 

Quantitative research often depends on qualitative research to develop theories or comprehend phenomena. A mixed-method approach will not be required because the objective of this qualitative appreciative inquiry study does not require concluding a large sample, and the research questions’ answers can be obtained using a qualitative methodology. A qualitative method would be the most suitable approach to answer the research questions and address the research’s objectives. A qualitative research approach is the best way to comprehend phenomena while little is understood about them (Farghaly, 2018). 

Within the context of qualitative methodology, there exist numerous study designs. The research approach best suited for this proposed study will be the qualitative appreciative inquiry. This qualitative appreciative inquiry study aims to analyze the collected data and explore the issues, patterns, and themes that will emerge from the experiences of Baby Boomer nurses and clinicians in the healthcare industry. 

A study of chronological narratives about the respondents’ encounters will produce a narrative design (Cusick et al., 2018). Chronological and narrative analyses are not related to this study’s purpose, exploring why some Baby Boomer clinicians and nurses continue to resist and are unwilling to adapt to advancements in technology within the medical sector. The researcher also considered but rejected the classic ethnographic design. Traditional ethnographic research would also be inappropriate because it involves a detailed description of the whole culture outside of the researcher’s country of origin. Unlike ethnography, the appreciative inquiry design allows the researcher to analyze data elements used to create practical orientation, build more confidence in the research, or understand general themes highlighted by the participants.

Research questions

This qualitative appreciative inquiry study will explore why some of the Baby Boomer nurses and clinicians resist and often are unwilling to employ technological advancement in medicine. For this qualitative appreciative inquiry study, there will be three research questions:

RQ1. What are stakeholders’ reflections and stories regarding the positive aspects of the current organizational process? 

RQ2. What idealized future state do stakeholders envision? 

RQ3. What steps are required to attain the vision? 


The data to be collected will be aligned to research questions under the following interview questions outlined below:

  1. How would you describe your experience dealing with new technology at Work?
  2. What were the effects of new technology introduced at Work?
  3. What type of training would you consider appropriate to significantly improve care delivery using the new technology? 
  4. What are the challenges you have experienced while integrating technology into your workplace?
  5. How has technology changed the nursing profession as a whole? 


Population and Sample

Approximately 600 Baby Boomer nurses and clinicians employed for at least 20 years or more across two institutions in the Los Angeles, CA Metropolitan region will constitute the general population for this qualitative appreciative inquiry study. The following individuals will be included in the criteria for this qualitative appreciative inquiry study: 1) Baby Boomer nurses and clinicians born between 1946 and 1964, 2) worked in the healthcare profession for at least 20 years, and 3) worked in a position that requires the use of technology when performing operations. 

The identities of the target population (together with their mobile phone numbers and personal email addresses) are available publicly in the nurses and clinicians database and the Los Angeles Association of Nurses and Clinicians directory (2020). As a result, no special permissions are needed to obtain names or contact details readily available in the public domain. The selection process includes collecting a record of all Baby Boomer nurses and clinical officers in the population and sending individuals an invitation to participate, along with an explicit permission form. Respondents will be selected by contacting members of the people directly via currently accessible email addresses and attaching approved letters of invitation with a consent form (see Appendix A). Due to the research’s objective, the invitation of participating will also include the qualifying criteria, such as self-reported ability to share medical practices that require the application of technological advancement in executing operations (see Appendix B).

The estimated sample size for the respondents is eight to 12 people, with an equal number of nurses and clinicians in each group. To achieve data saturation, the sample size will be reduced to a smaller group. Hospital workers will be the participants in this qualitative appreciative inquiry research project. Their experiences and views will help the researcher acquire information about the benefits of anticipatory communications as appropriate procedures are found. 

As per Palinkas et al. (2015), a nonprobability intentional sample contains exceptionally knowledgeable persons and is most inclined to give the degree of information saturation needed to address qualitative research questions. Most qualitative studies that aim for data saturation use a nonprobability sampling technique to find information-rich respondents who could shed light on the findings to the research questions (van Rijnsoever, 2017).

Data saturation refers to and is determined by information abundance and sufficiency (Ames et al., 2019). The point where no additional information tends to surface from continuing data collection operations is known as data saturation. The number of respondents in a qualitative appreciative multiple case study sample is frequently not specified when the process begins; instead, the researchers are dependent on identifying data saturation even as research develops (van Rijnsoever, 2017). According to Ames et al. (2019), sampling qualitative studies in a systematic order is reasonable if data saturation is the goal. 

The researcher’s persuasive reasoning determines if and when data saturation took place (van Rijnsoever, 2017). As a result, a good strategy is to gradually introduce individuals to the research while keeping an eye on the threshold when no new information seems to surface from current data-gathering efforts. Data collection would be halted when data saturation is reached with less than 8 participants in this project. If data saturation is not achieved after gathering information from eight people, data will be collected from four more respondents at once until saturation is reached.

Informed Consent and confidentiality

The Belmont Report, published by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Psychological Study in 1979, stressed enhancing value and reducing hazards to study respondents through just, respectful, and fair practices. Institutional review boards (IRBs) must approve measures to implement relevant ethical guidelines consistent with the Belmont Report’s expectations (Hokke et al., 2018). Before taking part in the study, prospective participants’ must-read, evaluate, discuss issues, and seal a written consent form with the researcher. This ensures that research subjects who are individuals agree to the voluntary nature of their engagement upon learning about and comprehending their responsibilities, rights, and associated dangers (Bromley et al., 2015). 

To meet the requirements for ethical consideration in research, the researcher shall submit applications to the IRB, along with the plan, written consent form, and protocol. The written consent procedure makes the researcher-participant interaction open, promoting integrity and honesty and establishing confidence in the study process and results (Guillemin et al., 2018). Then after receiving IRB permission, the researcher would begin recruiting individuals and collecting data. The researcher will not gather data from respondents until the researcher has shared and discussed the written informed Consent with them. The participants have agreed to the rules of engagement as indicated in the consent letter. The researcher will enclose a copy of the informed consent forms with the letters inviting participants to participate in the research.

The informed consent forms include descriptions of the research’s objectives, hazards and rights, duties and roles, and respondents’ contact details, as illustrated in Appendix A. Respondents must be provided with enough information to make personal informed decisions regarding their involvement in the research (Rashid et al., 2019). There are no anticipated hazards to respondents, no fraud, and no injury, save from the time invested in collecting data procedure and mild distress encountered in everyday practices of sitting and interacting. Respondents have the right to leave at any moment either before, during, or after collecting data by submitting a withdrawal request personally, by telephone, or by mail. Data obtained before the withdrawal request would be deleted and omitted from the study.

The Consent to audio-record conversations and privacy, as well as my obligation to protect individuals and properly handle collected data, are all covered under the informed Consent. Respondents’ privacy and confidentiality are some of the rights that must be protected (Rashid et al., 2019). Appendix C contains the privacy declaration. By isolating saved and published data from real identities and actual personalities, nicknames will assist in safeguarding respondents’ confidentiality (Gani et al., 2020). The respondents in this qualitative appreciative inquiry study would be identified by pseudonyms (for instance, P1, P2, etc.). No respondents, towns, third parties, or cities may emerge in the dissertation report or saved electronic documents. The researcher will use electronic recordings, word processor folders and files, audio clips, and Nvivo application to save data securely password-protected PC. Only the researcher will know the computer’s passwords. The collected data will be kept safe and secure for three years after the research ends, after which the researcher will completely erase all data folders and files.


The subjective and objective parts of the data provided by respondents are captured in qualitative studies (Meriam & Grenier, 2019). Interview questions would be used in a case study technique for eliciting rich material from various respondents. Interviews with open-ended inquiries will capture the respondents’ views (see Appendix A). The goal of open-ended queries will be to elicit detailed responses from respondents. 

During interviews, the critical incident approach would be used, using open-ended questions to stimulate respondents to focus on revealing noteworthy occurrences or factors from their experience. Respondents will have the freedom to choose where, how, and when to interview to accommodate their comfort and convenience. The evaluation of the transcribed material supplied by the participants will be aided by QSR NVivo 12. Trends, Themes, and patterns will be discovered as an outcome of this investigation (Merriam & Grenier, 2019).

Maintaining objectivity is crucial, but being objective is difficult for most people (Meriam & Grenier, 2019). People often have opinions on various subjects. As a result, conducting an unbiased qualitative research study might be difficult (Meriam & Grenier, 2019). Because of the necessary connection in developing and revealing information, researchers are partly detachable from the topics of interest and the respondents. Researchers find it difficult to prevent biases in qualitative research. The issue and set of qualitative research influence how and what researchers believe (Meriam & Grenier, 2019).

Researchers serve as data collection tools, asking interview questions and collecting and reviewing documentation. Researchers often use investigators as “human instruments” (Forero et al., 2018, p. 120). During the interview process, the researcher will ask questions, document individual interviews, and transcribe the audiotapes into precise information reports. The researcher will additionally gather and review relevant documentation, saving and writing notes from them to supplement the textual information obtained in this research. Instead of being interrupted by a more lengthy note-taking technique, recording interviews helps researchers to gather verbatim information while keeping engaged with the respondents, creating rapport, and obtaining clues (DeJonckheere & Vaughn, 2019).

The interviews scheduled for this research will be semi-structured, containing open-ended questions. The semi-structured interviews provide both emphasis and flexibility (Forero et al., 2018). Semi-structured interviews begin with prepared open-ended questions and progress to a flexible model that permits the acquisition of important information through clarifying, follow-up, and probative questions (Rohrer et al., 2017). Researchers will connect with respondents in situations that result in data saturation by using open-ended questions in a semi-structured fashion (Castillo-Montoya, 2016). The verbatim and textual transcription of the information recorded from the interviewees will be ensured by precise and meticulous transcription of interview records by immediately putting the spoken word data into a word processor file using the Otter. Al. 

Appendix E contains the proposed initial interview questions for starting and guiding the semi-structured interviews. The interview questions cover a wide range of topics related to the overall subject. The questions center just on study questions regarding the theoretical or conceptual model, emphasizing Baby Boomer nurses and clinicians’ usage of technology and how it has impacted their work performance or productivity in general.

Field testing

The field-testing phase provides a chance to evaluate and improve the used instrument and the data collection design. As researchers seek to gather information from respondents in the research project, the field-testing phase aids in evaluating the credibility and validity of the data collection criteria (McGrath et al., 2018). Field testing enables a thorough examination of interview questions and procedures. Instruments testing, like case study methods, allows for a better comprehension of the expected data gathering process and the materials needed for optimal results (Rashid et al., 2019).

A field test consisting of 3 experts reviewed the data collection instrument. The criteria used to define an expert appropriate for the field study will be a) Baby Boomer nurses and clinicians born between 1946 and 1964, b) worked in the healthcare profession for at least 20 years, and c) worked in a position that requires the use of technology when performing operations. The three experts were separate and apart from the potential 12 participants interviewed. The final instrument will be used in the interviews of the 12 participants.

The field test verified that the interview questions were valid and would elicit the response expected in the case study research. The responses from the experts concerning the data collection instrument will be that the questions should be ideal for uncovering the rich data expected concerning the success strategies of the female senior executive participants. (Merriam & Grenier, 2019). 

Designing an interview guide allows one to test it ahead of time for the actual study and deliberate on issues that may be important (Rashid et al., 2019; McGrath et al., 2018). Specialist comments may help optimize the interview questions’ order, content, and weight. As an outcome of field testing, changes to the research instruments may include modifying, adding, or removing specific questions, adjusting the order of questions, or modifying arrangements for audio equipment. Changes to the interview questions and instrumentations would be included in the results. 

Practicing interviews and field testing helps the researcher put the interview guide established for a qualitative research project to trial (Gani et al., 2020, p. 141). McGrath et al. (2018) proposed that future researchers do at least one rehearsal or trial interview (with colleagues or volunteer groups) before collecting data for the actual study. Rehearsal interviews will also allow the researcher to get expertise in the interview session, improve areas of paying attention and answering, and evaluate the time it will take to finish interviews. Clarity could be achieved via constant practicing (Rashid et al., 2019). Each interview session is expected to last around an hour. Rehearsal interviews will help the researcher understand how much time is needed and how follow-up or admissible evidence questions will affect that timeframe. The sound equipment, energy and recording quality, or other technical specifications for adequate interview session records can be tested during a rehearsal interview.



Credibility and transferability

Credibility and transferability are concepts related to the scientific honesty and integrity of research papers and the reliability of qualitative research (Saunders et al., 2018). As a component of dependability, confirmability adds to credibility by allowing for the verification of conclusions and the appreciation of high degrees of transparency (Korstjens & Moser, 2018). Providing a mechanism for documenting and maintaining the consistency of stages could enhance confirmability and credibility, increasing the value of audits, scrutiny, and replications (Schloemer & Schröder-Bäck, 2018). Steps such as data saturation, member-checking, and triangulation, can improve the quality of research. 

The capacity of a researcher to constantly observe set guidelines for a specific research methodology is referred to as dependability (Korstjens & Moser, 2018). Researchers should ensure that their study is well-organized and published (Nowell et al., 2017). Audiences should be capable of scrutinizing the researcher’s methodology and judging if the results are reliable or not (Nowell et al., 2017).

Transferability is equivalent to generalization in quantitative analysis (Saunders et al., 2018). The idea that qualitative study findings can be applied to any other research conditions, contexts, or situations, regardless of how related they are, is incorrect (Cleland, 2017). Instead, the audience or future research scholars are expected to exercise their best judgment to correctly adapt the transferability of results. Qualitative study publications must provide thorough descriptions of the setting, demographic, sample, sound arguments for design and methodology options, and potential biases to aid everyone else in determining proper transferability (Forero et al., 2018).

Accepting assumptions, restrictions, and delimitation of the study highlights the factors that may affect outcomes, preconceptions, and appropriate transferability (Page et al., 2018). The study phases, settings, context, sampling and population, collecting data and evaluation processes, and biases will all be documented in this study so that others can make informed decisions about the transferability of outcomes. Dependability, which is comparable to quantitative research’s reliability, shows the consistencies of findings in replication studies, which is outside the scope of this study. On the other hand, data collection techniques can serve to minimize biases, improve confirmability, and enhance the chance of uniformity in research findings. 

Data collection

Employing a framework for document review and semi-structured interviews will gather relevant data from the Baby Boomer nurses and clinicians in the sample. Responses to the interview questions and materials are two examples of data sources for qualitative appreciative inquiry studies (Rashid et al., 2019). In qualitative appreciative study research, documents and semi-structured interviews are frequent sources of information (Cleland, 2017). Due to the requirement for conducting pandemic-related policies, like social distancing, data will be analyzed through videoconferencing and cellphone, and interviews will be scheduled at given intervals to respondents. Face-to-face interviews have been replaced by videoconferencing and telephone interactions (Basch et al., 2020).

Semi-structured interviewing begins with formalized questions and then moves on to more in-depth follow-up inquiries and comments from respondents (Gani et al., 2020). Open-ended questions often generate in-depth responses from the interviewees (rather than single responses to closed-ended questions), which enhances the quality of information gathered and could result in data saturation by increasing data diversity and sufficiency (DeJonckheere & Vaughn, 2019). The possibility that data might be vast and difficult to manage and evaluate is one of the drawbacks of semi-structured interviewing with open-ended questions (Cleland, 2017). Software applications and computer-assisted qualitative assessment software solutions will assist in overcoming disadvantages (Zamawe, 2015).

A single interview session is expected to last approximately one hour. Interview transcripts of voice-recording interviews will be done using Otter.AI. Interview transcriptions can result in a verbatim record of the discussions, which will be text-based information that can be imported into software QSR NVivo 12 for further evaluation (Rashid et al., 2019).

The data gathered from 8 participants could result in saturation desired in this qualitative appreciative inquiry research. The moment no new information seems to surface following repeated data-collecting initiatives is known as data saturation, and it is a measure of knowledge quality and sufficiency (Badu et al., 2019). More significant sample numbers could well be required to reach data saturation. Yet, the data’s quality depends on the investigator’s ability to gather valuable data and determine the saturation point, which is susceptible to the accuracy of data gathering (Saunders et al., 2018). The researcher will keep in mind the importance of recognizing data saturation and changing the sample size appropriately.

Member screening helps to improve data gathering initiatives while also ensuring the research’s credibility. “Intelligence agent feedback or respondent validations” is a form of “member screening” (Yang et al., 2018). Participant screening/checking increases data quality by ensuring that presented responses are comprehended. Respondents will have an opportunity to analyze the preliminary interpretations to suggest improvements, clarifications, disagreements, or adjustments, contributing to the quality of gathered data and the variations of outcomes. Member verification enhances the research’s credibility and provides an additional means of achieving data saturation (Varpio et al., 2017). The researcher will email respondents the preliminary research assessments to seek their help in the participant validation yield much more consistent and relevant results. 


Data analysis

In the post-data collecting step, systematic/qualitative data analysis could produce reliable, verified conclusions, usually presented as emergent patterns and themes (Gani et al., 2020). Qualitative research uses intellectual and interpretative procedures instead of statistical tests, as in quantitative approaches (Booth, 2016).

 Triangulation entails incorporating information from diverse sources into the analytical process (Forero et al., 2018). Triangulation enhances the depth of insight gained from a large amount of data (Fusch & Ness, 2018). Data triangulation will be one of the stages used in the qualitative approach to detect divergence and convergence of data across and within different contexts to get responses to the research questions.

A deliberate search for phrases, words, and ideas which generate trends that blend into themes is required for qualitatively thematic analysis (Booth, 2016). The examination shall commence by arranging, evaluating, and examining the interview transcripts of the interviewees and the information obtained through the document analysis. In preparations for thematic analysis, initial contemplation, dwelling on the information, promotes a consciousness of the possibility for emerging categories and themes (McGrath et al., 2018). As themes relevant to the survey questions seem to arise throughout and among cases due to reviewing and examining information, a recognition for the depth and breadth of knowledge will occur (Russell et al., 2016).

The segmentation of materials into discrete parts and the clustering of codes to generate sections are both stages toward identifying patterns in encoding (Erlingsson & Brysiewicz, 2017). The researcher will use the procedures of classifying data, creating categories, emphasizing significant trends, and finding probable concepts to do thematic analysis. Throughout this process, and will keep an eye out for any discrepancies. The basis for the success of data analysis is the examination of prospective patterns about the proposed research questions, the creation of an order of thematic results, and the combination of central themes into the cohesive theme. Exemplary information, like snippets from manuscripts, and visual portrayals of the analytical processes as it unfolds, would be used to back up the conclusions.

QSR NVivo 12, a computer-aided qualitative data analysis program, is a handy tool that investigators can utilize to assist in data analysis (Houghton et al., 2017). Zamawe (2015) illustrated how software programs, like QSR NVivo 12, could aid in analysis efforts but should not be a substitute for human experts in the process of qualitative data analysis. According to the requirements, QSR NVivo 12 would be essential for data preservation, organizing, monitoring, classifying, grouping, and recognizing patterns (Bufoni et al., 2017). NVivo is among the computer software packages the researcher intends to utilize as part of analyzing process.

Chapter Summary

This chapter offered information about the suggested research methods and study design. The study population, questions, and sampling procedures were all included in the study descriptions. The ethical processes intended for this research, such as the mechanisms for guaranteeing confidentiality and conforming to established participant information procedures, are also discussed in this chapter. After discovering and evaluating the suggested instrumentations and field testing procedures, a description of the methods to improve credibility and resolve transferability was written. The chapter concludes with planned data gathering techniques and thematic data analysis procedures.

The data gathering and data analysis outcomes, comprising field test results, are addressed in the next chapter. The research questions will be clarified, followed by a description of the study sample, data obtained, and documents evaluated. The assessment report that includes identifying conceptual results includes solid evidence for conclusions and explanations of how conclusions symbolize responses to the research questions.




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