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Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods in Marketing

Edited by Russell W. Belk

The Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods in Marketing offers both basic and advanced treatments intended to serve academics, students, and marketing research professionals. The 42 chapters begin with a history of qualitative methods in marketing by Sidney Levy and continue with detailed discussions of current thought and practice in: research paradigms such as grounded theory and semiotics; research contexts such as advertising and brands; data collection methods such as projectives and netnography; data analysis methods such as metaphoric and visual analyses; presentation topics such as videography and reflexivity; applications such as ZMET applied to Broadway plays and depth interviews with executives; and special issues such as multi-sited ethnography and research on sensitive topics.
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Chapter 42: The Etiquette of Qualitative Research

Julie A. Ruth and Cele C. Otnes


Julie A. Ruth and Cele C. Otnes Good manners are part of working smart. (Baldrige, 1985, p. 4) Most advice on how to enhance interactions between researchers and informants homes in on two issues: gaining access and helping researchers employ techniques as skillfully as possible (e.g., explaining when, where and how to use ‘grand tour’ questions; McCracken, 1988). So it is fair to say that the quality of researcher/informant interactions is typically considered from the researcher’s perspective and not from that of the informant. But no matter how willingly participants engage in interviews, observations, shopping trips and other activities, the research process always involves researchers imposing on, and requiring sacrifices from, informants for a (short or long) time. So how can researchers create research experiences that will be remembered by informants, not as burdens, but as interpersonal encounters that were reasonable in scope, beneficial in some way, and possibly even enjoyable? We believe one clear way is for researchers to understand the roles etiquette can play at different stages of interacting with informants, and to realize that etiquette practices should not be regarded as optional, but rather as integral, to the research process. Furthermore, by approaching etiquette as more than a tool, and as a way for researchers to demonstrate their humanity and to reinforce the humanistic ideology that underlies qualitative research, researchers and informants alike can reap practical and relational benefits from their interchanges. Our motivations for writing this chapter stem from situations where we...

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