Handbooks of Research Methods in Management series
Edited by Fergus Lyon, Guido Möllering and Mark N.K. Saunders
Chapter 9: Access and non-probability sampling in qualitative research on trust
Qualitative research on trust is frequently of a sensitive nature. The ability to access informants and build close relationships while ensuring validity therefore becomes a crucial factor. This chapter shows how accessing participants in trust research requires that researchers understand how trust is built and maintained in their own work. Qualitative approaches present particular challenges both in terms of the actual practicalities of collecting research material and gaining access to informants or respondents who are willing to participate in the research. Sampling and access varies with different approaches used by researchers depending on the types of data being collected. This chapter shows the close interrelationship between issues of access and sampling in much in-depth trust research. There are also context-specific issues raised depending on the sector of research (such as health services, manufacturing or other services), types of trust relationships being investigated (inter-organisational, intra-organisational), and whether the research is looking at specific trust relationships between individuals or more generalised trust in institutions or professions. This chapter will only be looking at access and non-probability sampling issues in research on trust relationships between individuals as other types of trust research are addressed elsewhere in the book.
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