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Qualitative Dissertation Consulting

Qualitative dissertation consulting is conducted using both NVIVO 8 to identify the broad themes and years of qualitative experience to assist graduate students in their qualitative dissertations.  At Statistics Solutions, we can assist in taking your qualitative data and analyzing it with you.

Organizing Qualitative Data: NVIVO 8 easily imports your qualitative data in the NVIVO 8 “Sources” navigation pane.  For example, a project we recently worked on the qualitative data were semi-structured interviews in different word files.  NVIVO 8 “New Internal,” then “Documents” let us import qualitative data from 20 different MS Word documents.

Your qualitative data can then be sorted and connected “Nodes.”  The two main types of qualitative data nodes are “free” nodes and “tree” nodes.  Free nodes are just a theme, where tree nodes can connect many free nodes.

Queries in NVIVO 8 help the qualitative researcher examine the frequency in which words (potential themes) occur.  This is a great tool to get an overview of the most common topics that occur.  For example, in a set of psychotherapy transcripts the words “anger,” “angry,” and “marriage” were listed as frequency occurring words.  Both of these words “anger” and “angry” could be put into “free” nodes, then collapsed in to a tree node (for example, negative affect).  In the NVIVO queries navigation bar, the option for matrix coding is available.  Matrix coding permits the qualitative researchers to explore how many times the tree node negative affect and relationship occur in the same passage.

One of the great features of NVIVO 8 is the organizing of your data.  When you code data into nodes or conduct queries, the data is saved in a way that you can read through (e.g., in paragraph or word size excerpts).  This saves the qualitative researcher the labor intensive task of going back and forth in the data to find the excerpts of the themes.

One part of the qualitative coding that cannot be done by NVIVO 8 is the naming of the themes or the human insight into whether the themes make sense.

Qualitative Methods Resources

Bryman, A. E. (2007). Qualitative research 2. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Cresswell, J. W. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Cresswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Easterby-Smith, M., Golden-Biddle, K., & Locke, K. (2008). Working with pluralism: Determining quality in qualitative research. Organizational Research Methods, 11(3), 419-429.

Esterberg, K. G. (2001). Qualitative methods in social research. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Kroger, J. (2007). Identity formation: Qualitative and quantitative methods of inquiry. In M. Watzlawik & A. Born (Eds.), Capturing identity: Quantitative and qualitative methods (pp. 179-196). Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

Madill, A., & Gough, B. (2008). Qualitative research and its place in psychological science. Psychological Methods, 13(3), 254-271.

Maxwell, J. A. (2004). Using qualitative methods for causal explanation. Field Methods, 16(3), 243-264.

McNabb, D. E. (2002). Research methods in public administration and nonprofit management: Quantitative and qualitative approaches. New York: M. E. Sharpe, Inc.

Patton, M. Q. (1987). How to use qualitative methods in evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Pratt, M. G. (2008). Fitting oval pegs into round holes: Tensions in evaluating and publishing qualitative research in top-tier North American journals. Organizational Research Methods, 11(3), 481-509.

Silverman, D. (2005). Doing qualitative research: A practical handbook (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Silverman, D. (2006). Interpreting qualitative data: Methods for analyzing talk, text and interaction (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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