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ERIC Number: EJ792976
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 9
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0167-8329
Strategies for Gaining Access to Organisations and Informants in Qualitative Studies
Shenton, Andrew K.; Hayter, Susan
Education for Information, v22 n3-4 p223-231 2004
One of the most fundamental tasks relating to the undertaking of fieldwork for a qualitative research study lies in "gaining access". This involves both securing entry into a particular organisation and ensuring that individuals associated with it, such as employees or users, will serve as informants. In terms of the first problem, a range of strategies that may be adopted by the investigator is highlighted in this paper. The methods include using endorsements from "authorities", gradually phasing one's entry into the organisation, offering benefits of some kind to managers in the event of their cooperation, responding to gatekeepers' concerns honestly, demonstrating one's suitability for entry in terms of professional background and experience, and remaining receptive to managers' suggestions for the study. To encourage the cooperation of those associated with the organisation, the researcher may well favour a policy of prolonged engagement, seek to blend in with the community, offer incentives where appropriate and acknowledge openly the value of informants' contributions. These strategies are considered in detail. The article also stresses the importance of gaining the approval of any "third parties" that may be responsible for the welfare of those people whom the researcher has targeted as informants.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A