Handbooks of Research Methods in Management series
Edited by Fergus Lyon, Guido Möllering and Mark N.K. Saunders
Chapter 14: Using scenarios as part of a concurrent mixed methods design
Vignettes, central to the method presented here, have value for social scientists in general and trust researchers in particular stemming from their ability to ‘highlight selected parts of the real world that can help unpack individuals’ perceptions, beliefs and attitudes to a wide range of social issues’ (Hughes, 1998: 384). Long before their adoption within social psychology research, the eighteenth century word vignette, as a derivative of the French vigne (vineyard), referred to the decorative adornment and framing of medieval manuscripts with entwining vine leaves and foliage (Clarke and Clarke, 2010). Over the course of the nineteenth century, the sense embarked on a two phase shift from its original reference to the framing of a text, on to the framing of a picture and subsequently to the subject itself, more specifically a portrait photograph with a fading effect at the edges (Friedrichsen and Burchfield, 1966). The late nineteenth century records the first references to vignette as a literary sketch (Harper, 2015) before its later adoption within social psychology research in the twentieth century and final etymological shift to a scenario providing the ‘frame’ for the actor’s decision (Barrera et al., Chapter 22 in this volume); in keeping with this there remains a wide consensus on Hughes’ definition of vignettes as ‘stories about individuals and situations which make reference to important points in the study of perceptions, beliefs and attitudes’ (Hughes, 1998: 381) in the twenty-first century.
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