Discussion: Dealing With Difficult Participants
Interviews are the primary data collection method for qualitative research. During your interview(s) you may encounter participants who are difficult. Interviewees may provide monosyllabic (e.g., yes/no) responses. Perhaps the participants provide excessively long answers, not addressing the question, or, perhaps participants start interviewing you. How will you deal with these challenges? Independent scholars must be well prepared to deal with issues associated with gaining access to and dealing with difficult participants.
To prepare for this Discussion, consider the following scenario:
You are a researcher conducting a qualitative research study and have scheduled a series of interviews. As you begin to conduct your interviews, you encounter a number of problems: Participant A does not expand on his or her responses, providing mostly one-word answers, and refuses outright to answer some questions. Participant B continually goes off topic, sharing personal anecdotes, and takes up interview time with unrelated information. Finally, Participant C has been difficult to schedule and attempts to withdraw his or her contribution to the process after showing initial interest. Consider strategies you might employ to address these challenges and any potential insights you may gain toward your growth as an independent scholar.
By Day 3
Post a strategic approach for addressing participant difficulty in qualitative interviews. In your strategic approach, do the following:
- Identify two or more strategies for addressing difficult participants within the interview process.
- Assess the effectiveness of your identified strategies based on scholarly research. Be sure to provide scholarly examples to support your assessment.
Be sure to support your work with a minimum of two specific citations from this week’s Learning Resources and one or more additional scholarly sources.
Saunders, M. N. K., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2015). Research methods for business students (7th ed.). Essex, England: Pearson Education Unlimited.