Handbook of Research Methods on Trust
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Handbook of Research Methods on Trust

Edited by Fergus Lyon, Guido Möllering and Mark N.K. Saunders

The Handbook of Research Methods on Trust provides an authoritative in-depth consideration of quantitative and qualitative methods for empirical study of trust in the social sciences. As this topic has matured, a growing number of practical approaches and techniques has been utilised across the broad, multidisciplinary community of trust research, providing both insights and challenges. This unique Handbook draws together a wealth of research methods knowledge gained by trust researchers into one essential volume. The contributors examine different methodological issues and particular methods, as well as share their experiences of what works, what does not work, challenges and innovations.
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Chapter 8: Access and Non-probability Sampling in Qualitative Research on Trust

Fergus Lyon


Fergus Lyon INTRODUCTION 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 (interorganisational, 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, because other types of trust research are addressed elsewhere in the book. My experience as a trust researcher shows the importance of building trust with research participants in order to obtain access, whether it is related to research on inter-organisational business relationships in Africa (Lyon and Porter, 2008), on conflict (Porter and Lyon, 2010), on refugees in the UK (Lyon et al., 2007), on...

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