What Should Be Avoided During Qualitative Research?

  • Beata Glinka
  • Przemysław Hensel


This chapter is focused on typical mistakes made in qualitative research projects. Its aim is to show traps and mistakes researchers face in their work, in order to help them understand and avoid possible pitfalls, and design and execute projects more carefully. The first part of the text includes explanation of the nature of typical research mistakes. We describe it against the background of different ontological assumptions, paradigms, and perspectives applied by researchers. The sources and areas of methodological criticism are also analyzed. We point out how some of the criticism is connected with different sets of assumptions adopted by researchers. The following part of the chapter concentrates on descriptions of typical mistakes made on different stages of qualitative research projects: project design, data collection, data analysis, and text writing. Some tips on how to avoid mistakes are offered. The text includes practical examples from different research projects showing how and why mistakes are made.


Research process Designing research Triangulation Drawing conclusions Presenting research results Objectivist orientation Subjectivist orientation 


  1. Agar, M. (1996). The Professional Stranger: An Informal Introduction to Ethnography (wyd. II). San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  2. Brannick, T., & Coghlan, D. (2007). In Defense of Being “Native”. The Case for Insider Academic Research. Organizational Research Methods, 10(1), 59–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Burrell, G., & Morgan, G. (1979). Sociological Paradigms and Organizational Analysis: Elements of the Sociology of Corporate Life. London: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  4. Czarniawska, B. (2003). The Styles and the Stylists of Organization Theory. w: H. Tsoukas & C. Knudsen (red.), The Oxford Handbook of Organization Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Gagliardi, P. (2007). The Collective Repression of “Pathos” in Organization Studies. Organization, 14(3), 331–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Garfinkel, H. (1967). Studies in Ethnomethodology. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  7. Huntington, S. (2007). Zderzenie cywilizacji. Warszawa: Muza.Google Scholar
  8. Konecki, K. (2000). Studia z metodologii badań jakościowych. Teoria ugruntowana. Warszawa: PWN.Google Scholar
  9. Martin, J. (2003). Meta-theoretical Controversies in Studying Organizational Culture. w: H. Tsoukas & C. Knudsen (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Organization Theory (s. 392–417). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Silverman, D. (2013). Doing Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Van Maanen, J. (1988). Tales of the Field: On Writing Ethnography. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  12. Van Maanen, J. (2010). A Song for My Supper: More Tales of the Field. Organizational Research Methods, 13(2), 240–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beata Glinka
    • 1
  • Przemysław Hensel
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WarsawWarsawPoland

Personalised recommendations