Tuesday, 19 March 2013

    It surprised me to read in Yin's article that Matthew Miles's piece "Qualitative data as an attractive nuisance"was based on a four-year study, and that it critiqued the short-comings of qualitative analysis and case study research without offering suggestions for overcoming the problems he identified. If as a researcher you are going to devote four years of your life on something and identifying its problems, not investing significant effort to think of solutions shows a lack of commitment. Social science research has the purpose of contributing to social thought and theory and improving understanding. Pointing out problems contributes very little to growth and improvement, it is only the first step.
   Yin calls Miles' discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of qualitative data and case study as a "frequent confusion regarding types of evidence,...types of data collection methods,...and research strategies" (p.1). It is easy to confuse these interrelated methods and strategies when they are not clearly defined. Throughout the course I have referred to different books outside the course texts for definitions of various methods and strategies that have come up in the course, because I did not always find Knight and Luker to provide a clear definition of various methods. What I have found is the definitions of methods and research strategies differ from text to text depending on who is doing the defining. So I appreciate Yin's efforts to untangle this mess for me and distinguish the similarities and differences of various types of evidence, data collection methods and research strategies.

Yin, R.K. (1981). The case study crisis: Some answers. Administrative Science Quarterly, 26(1), 58-65. 

1 comment:

  1. I agree that it is a waste of time to conduct research and not provide solutions if you have critiques. This really highlights the importance of addressing the future in our research. Even in our research proposals, commenting on how our research would contribute to the future of the area of interest or what research needs to be further addressed in later research pursuits is useful. It allows us to make predictions about the direction of the area of study as well as allows us to think critically about how our research fits into the current research that has already been conducted. I believe research that does not comment on how critiques can be fixed or comment on future research or the future of the area of study is narrow viewed and that including this in research allows us to look at things in a broad sense. This is beneficial, not only to the research we are conducting and the field in which we are conducting it in, but also to the researcher in seeing the big picture.