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1 Assessment: Getting Started with Interviewing Dave Baca, PhD University of Arizona ALA Annual 2006

2 Why Interview? When interpersonal contact is important When you need more in-depth data When you need to have some follow-up When complex questions or behaviors need to be explored When you suspect other methods aren t getting the whole picture

3 Advantages You get rich, detailed material You get the chance to go beyond the surface Interviewing yields new insights Participants i describe what is important to them rather than being restricted to survey questions Provides high reliability - clarification of responses to increase the likelihood of useful information You can customize questions to the individual Data analysis can lead to quantitative assessments

4 Disadvantages Time consuming Responses are variable Interviewing effectively takes practice and experience Large amounts of information to reduce and analyze Less easily generalized Dependent on researcher s personal attributes and skills

5 Steps in the Research Process Define the Problem State your purpose Develop research questions Select a sample Perform the interview i Transcribe you data Analyze your data Report your findings

6 Define the problem What gaps in your knowledge are you trying to fill? This informs your research questions Example: Are the original SERVQUAL dimensions i useful in describing the service quality dimensions of internal customers? Are there new dimensions i that t better describe internal service quality?

7 Purpose Statement What is the intent of the study? Example: The purpose of this study is to determine the goodness of fit between the original SERVQUAL service quality dimensions and those internal service quality dimensions identified by the research subjects.

8 Research Questions No more than 4 but prefer fewer Can go with overarching question with subquestions Example: Are the original SERVQUAL service quality dimensions valid with respect to internal services? What additional dimensions, if any, are important to internal customers in judging satisfaction i with internal services? What is the culture of service quality in the department?

9 Select a Sample Various sample types but will probably go with a convenience sample. Important to get the right people to talk to. The people in the sample will depend on your research questions The sample is large enough so that you no longer get any new answers to your questions rule is usually no fewer than 5 interviews

10 Consent Form Check with your Institutional Review Board or perhaps even the City Attorney to insure the safety of your subjects Be especially careful if interviewing i i children The Consent Form must be signed and dated before the interview can begin Interviewees have the option of stopping the interview e at any time if they feel uncomfortable o Specify how data is to be used and whether is will be used confidentially or anonymously

11 Interview Guide Most widely used form of interviewing Start with ice-breaker questions Open ended questions Semi-structured End with an open question to elicit anything not covered Example: What contributes to your work satisfaction? What input into your work is given to you by others? How do high standards contribute to quality? How does collegiality come into play with the quality of work that is done? If you have a problem, how responsive is the staff to your needs? If you give feedback do you feel that they listen to you and care? Is there a question you expected me to ask that I didn t?

12 Recording the Interview Only take notes Have an assistant take notes Tape the interview i recommended. d Purchase a tape recorder that is of a good quality and has transcription ti capabilities.

13 Interviewing Kit Consent Forms Tape recorder Extra batteries Extra tapes (90 minute) Extension cord Interview guide Pad Pen Water

14 Interview Preparation Schedule times with interviewees, you need about an hour Interview room should be private, comfortable, free of distraction and easily accessible. Offices are not the place to hold an interview Turn off your phones Seat yourselves es to encourage involvement e Test your equipment before the interview starts

15 Conducting the Interview Establish rapport Begin with general questions Move into research questions Listen Don t lead Maintain eye contact Wrap up

16 Post-Interview Put thoughts and questions into a reflexive journal Transcribe tapes Take out identifying information Code transcription If you have questions concerning clarification, contact the interviewee e ee Erase tapes as specified in consent form Secure transcripts

17 Initial Coding Coding text of the transcript means to break the text down into small, meaningful units by assigning labels to the unit Use the smallest unit possible Look for data pertinent to answering the research questions Units may have multiple codes associated with them Also look for new ideas or concepts to explore Initially, don t worry about making relationships between the codes

18 Developing Themes After initial coding gy you should start to see repeating themes. Repeating ideas lead to Themes which lead to Conclusions Sort the coded units according to these themes Assess the topics by asking Does everything in this topic belong here? Can some of the topics be combined? Can some topics be deleted because they don t relate to the research questions or because they don t have much data in them? Develop a conceptual schema, or dimensions, i for the data The schema can have major and minor themes within it

19 Coding Methods Traditional is by reproducing unit on an index card and grouping cards into categories and themes Qualitative software has taken the place of traditional methods Same concept except faster, more convenient and with greater analysis power NVivo, NUD*IST, N6, Atlas.ti are the most popular coding and analysis software programs

20 Reporting After the themes are developed start a narrative that explains the properties and dimensions of the categories and the circumstances under which they are connected Findings, conclusions, recommendations, future research provide a context for understanding the conditions under which the results were obtained Report findings as they relate to each research question don t be shy What is the contribution of this study to knowledge and practice? What improvements can be made?

21 Resources Glaser, B.J. & Strauss, A The discovery of grounded theory.. Chicago: Aldine. Lincoln, Y.S. and Guba, E.G Naturalistic inquiry. i. Beverly Hills: Sage Strauss, A. & Corbin, J Basics of qualitative research.. London: Sage. Creswell, J Research design: Qualitative and quantitative tat approaches. London: Sage. Denzin, N.K. & Lincoln, Y.S Handbook of qualitative research.. Newbury Park, CA: Sage

22 Questions? Please feel free to call or me with questions Dave Baca

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