Negotiating with technology: advancing the virtual in qualitative research methods

Mahuya Kanjilal, Jennifer Davis, Elaine Arnull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose:
This study aims to describe key elements that are critical to virtual qualitative research especially while
working with practitioners as participants.

Study approach:
This paper takes a reflexive researcher approach using a case study to explore how researchers adopted
a qualitative research approach using digital technology. We use five principles suggested by Boland et
al (2022) as a framework to consider and reflect on our experiences as researchers and those of our
participants.

Findings:
We highlight the gatekeeper’s support, trusted relationship with the organisations, interpersonal skills
of interviewers, stringent measures of securing data and shared experiences of interviewee and
interviewers helped complete virtual research. We recommend that four key factors such as digital
competency, feasibility, flexibility and resilience should be considered while undertaking or
commissioning virtual, qualitative research studies.

Originality/Value:
Social care practitioners and qualitative researchers increasingly negotiate with digital technologies to
undertake their work. In this paper, we evidence how online qualitative approaches can be effective
provided challenges are dealt with diligently in each stage of the research process.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages47
JournalQualitative Research Journal
Early online date9 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes

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