Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

How to Conduct a Mini-Ethnographic Case Study: A Guide for Novice Researchers

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

How to Conduct a Mini-Ethnographic Case Study: A Guide for Novice Researchers

Article excerpt

The authors present how to construct a mini-ethnographic case study design with the benefit of an ethnographic approach bounded within a case study protocol that is more feasible for a student researcher with limited time and finances. The novice researcher should choose a design that enables one to best answer the research question. Secondly, one should choose the design that assists the researcher in reaching data saturation. Finally, the novice researcher must choose the design in which one can complete the study within a reasonable time frame with minimal cost. This is particularly important for student researchers. One can blend study designs to be able to use the best of each design that can mitigate the limitations of each as well. The authors are experienced ethnographers who currently chair dissertation committees where a student has chosen a mini-ethnographic case study design. Keywords: Culture, Ethnography, Mini-Ethnography, Case Study Design, Triangulation, Data Saturation

One of the most important components of the work is the study design. One can have a well written Problem Statement, conceptual framework, Literature Review, and other subsections; however, as Marshall and Rossman (2016) stated, the researcher should choose the design that has the best chance of answering the research questions. For some, a phenomenological study design may be optimal because of the nature of the participants as well as exploring the lived experiences of others (Marshall & Rossman, 2016). For others, a case study design would be best to identify operational links between events over time (Andrade, 2009; Baxter & Jack, 2008; Yin, 2014). Further, novice researchers might consider ethnography to explore the feelings, beliefs, and meanings of relationships between people as they interact within their culture or as they react to others in response to a changing phenomenon (Fields & Kafai, 2009).

The novice researcher should choose a design that enables one to best answer the research question (Fusch & Ness, 2015). Secondly, one should choose the design that assists the researcher in reaching data saturation. Finally, the researcher must choose the design in which one can complete the study within a reasonable time frame with minimal cost. This is particularly important for student researchers. As one considers how to conduct the research, it is best to keep in mind the different designs that will have an impact on the research. Selecting a research topic is much more than deciding what one wants to study. It must also consider how one will conduct the study that takes into account any time, energy, and financial constraints for students in a doctoral program.

An appropriate research study design is the path to a well-written scholarly rich doctoral study; hence, the secret to writing an excellent proposal and study. Moreover, the methodology used within the qualitative research paradigm must best address the research problem (Denzin, 2009; Marshall & Rossman, 2016). One purpose of a study is to advance the theory (Imenda, 2014), which can be done through either filling a gap (Vlok, 2012) or confirming already existing evidence (Ayoko & Pekerti, 2008). Advancing the theory then accomplished by an exhaustive literature review, an empirical study to gather the evidence, and then comparing the existing body of knowledge to the study results (Chernyak-Hai & Tziner, 2014; Secomb & Smith, 2011). The overall purpose of any study is this: to answer the research question.

Ethnography

Qualitative researchers explore how people make sense of their world. A qualitative researcher seeks to define and interpret unclear phenomena through non-numerical methods of measurement that focus on meaning and insight (Kakabadse & Steane, 2010). Exploratory research designs are conducted to clarify ambiguity and discover potential such as new product development (Kurt, Inman, & Argo, 2011) as well as ideas for later research. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.