Pivoting the Centre: Reflections on Undertaking Qualitative Interviewing in Academia

Gunasekara, Chrys (2007) Pivoting the Centre: Reflections on Undertaking Qualitative Interviewing in Academia. Qualitative Research, 7(4), pp. 459-473.

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Researchers studying the role of universities in economic development have paid little attention to methods issues relating to the influence of researcher identities in interviews. Yet in this field of work, researcher identities can have a significant influence on the validity and reliability of data' and their interpretation, not least because the researchers and at least some of their interviewees, ostensibly, are from the same sector and perhaps even are known to each other. This article considers the influences on the data of multiple identities occupied by an early career researcher doing qualitative interviews for a doctoral project on the role of universities in regional development. The identities occupied by the author were novice researcher, academic insider, career changer and former public sector executive who was a client of university academics. The article demonstrates the potential impact of these identities on the data collected and their interpretation, and the researcher's attempts to negotiate these identities. In thus demonstrating that thehow' of data collection can have important effects on the what' of data collection and interpretation, the article argues that qualitative interviews in higher education policy research should pay more attention to the social construction of interviewdata'.

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ID Code: 9142
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Keywords: Academics, Identities, Interviews, Reflexivity, Universities, HERN
DOI: 10.1177/1468794107082302
ISSN: 1468-7941
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Sage Publications
Deposited On: 08 Nov 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2014 04:56

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