Building a research method, the topic of today. For the past week I’ve been spending a lot of time lamenting on how I plan to tackle my research, especially that of the field persuasion. Do I want to solely do qualitative like an ethnographer? Or maybe it’s better to go the quantitative route, like a scientist? Well, for me at least, I feel it’s necessary to conduct a blended study, or as we call it in school, mixed method. My approach looks to blend qualitative and quantitative and generative methods.
Qualitative research is research that is centered toward quality (as if that wasn’t obvious). It seeks information that relates to experience and feelings, the more touchy/feely side of research. This is going to be a core focus for me on two different fronts. The first front will be dedicated to interviews. Here I am looking understand the thoughts and mindsets of entrepreneurs, investors, and coworking/space founders. These will aid in generating insights and context. The second front is focused on shadowing. This is a technique of playing a quiet observer, where I nest myself in different environments and chronicle people’s interaction.
Quantitative deals in numbers and coded data (again, another obvious one). Here I am interested in generating operational definitions to leverage throughout my research. My goal to achieve this is to distribute a survey through a variety of different channels asking individuals to define entrepreneurship, funding, space, education, and community. Of course, the questions will be more in depth, but the end goal is to take the variety of responses and run a word analysis on them. This will deliver word pairs allowing me to see insights in language use and design definitions around the terms.
Generative methods are interactive. They are participatory methods that involve generating information by directly working with research participants. These can be through the form of a workshop, card sort, or some other form of toolkit. To date, I am still working on identifying a proper process to use, making this the least developed of the others. It is my plan to have this portion identified over the course of the next week or two. Once I’m at that point I’ll add another update diving into that section of the methodology.