Designing a Qualitative Research Project

  • Agata Stasik
  • Adam Gendźwiłł


Despite the diversity of legitimate approaches to the theory and methods available to qualitative researchers, we can identify questions which one must always, or virtually always, answer when formulating the problem and designing research. Steinar Kvale (Interviews: An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing. London: SAGE, 1996) notes that at this stage the project may at times require a kind of an explorative interview with a researcher, which will help us better understand why, how, and what we want to do. Following this line of reasoning, we will suggest certain outlines for an interview we can carry out with ourselves at this stage of research design. We will try to identify the most important questions to ask ourselves while designing the study, as well as a few suggestions as to where the search for answers to these questions can begin. This is perhaps the most accurate type of a universal guide to qualitative research design that can be offered. In this chapter we present the subsequent stages of the research design journey, starting from a vaguely defined area of interest, and ending with a detailed research project proposal. Let us first discuss the questions we face when formulating the research problem—those helping us to reflexively approach the research. We will then describe issues that need to be resolved when matching to the problem research methods which help us to be consistent. In the last part of the chapter we will discuss the decisions which need to be taken when planning the details of research project implementation.


Research design Qualitative research Research problem 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agata Stasik
    • 1
  • Adam Gendźwiłł
    • 2
  1. 1.Kozminski UniversityWarsawPoland
  2. 2.University of WarsawWarsawPoland

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