Handbook of Research Methods on the Quality of Working Lives
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Handbook of Research Methods on the Quality of Working Lives

Edited by Daniel Wheatley

The growing diversity of contemporary paid work has provoked increased interest in understanding and evaluating the quality of working lives. This Handbook provides critical reflections on recent research in the field, including examining the inextricable links between working life and well-being.
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Chapter 11: Using case study research to capture the quality of working lives

John Burgess and Julia Connell


The quality of working lives concerns the extent to which the attributes of paid employment contribute to workers’ well-being in both work and non-work domains. However, the ‘quality of work’ is a nebulous concept which can be viewed from many perspectives and disciplines. Terms such as ‘high quality’ and ‘low quality’ work, or ‘good jobs’ and ‘bad jobs’, are therefore relative concepts referring to the extent to which a job or set of jobs is deemed to enhance or detract from workers’ well-being. As quality work issues can be both subjective and multidimensional, case study research can be a relevant and illustrative tool. Although case study research has a number of advantages, it has also been criticised as lacking rigour. The intention of this chapter is to outline strategies and techniques that may help to enhance the advantages of case study research and overcome potential criticism to advance the study of the quality of working lives.

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