Table of Contents

Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods on Human Resource Management

Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods on Human Resource Management

Innovative Techniques

Handbooks of Research Methods in Management series

Edited by Keith Townsend, Rebecca Loudoun and David Lewin

This Handbook explores the opportunities and challenges of new technologies for innovating data collection and data analysis in the context of human resource management. Written by some of the world’s leading researchers in their field, it comprehensively explores modern qualitative research methods from good project design, to innovations in data sources and data collection methods and, finally, to best-practice in data analysis.

Chapter 16: Computer-supported qualitative research

Julie Cogin and Ju Li Ng

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, research methods in business and management, research methods, qualitative research methods, research methods in business and management


For many years, qualitative analysis has largely been undertaken using manual techniques. Since the late 1980s, dedicated software has been developed to aid qualitative analysis. The first generation of computer programs was largely designed to assist researchers in managing data by enabling the structuring of information from focus groups, field notes and interviews. One of the first computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) packages (developed by Australian academic Tom Richards) was called NUD*IST, which stands for Non-numerical Unstructured Data Indexing, Searching and Theorising. It was designed to provide a program like SPSS but as a non-Statistical Package for Social Scientists. Second generation CAQDAS packages introduced functions for coding text and manipulating, searching and reporting on the coded text. This assisted researchers in the retrieval of text from data, enabled scholars to code that data and develop a system of relating codes to each other using tree-like structures.

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