Case Study Research Methods (Real World Research) by Bill Gillham

By Bill Gillham

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5. If you tape-record you can listen to the interview several times: andyou can, discern more each time. Tape recorders are simple enough to use but you need to be sure that you are entirely familiar with the model you're using: it is galling in the extreme to find you've pressed the 68 69 1 Case Study Research Methods pause button and half a key interview is lost. You also need to make sure that you have spare batteries and, above all, that the sound recording quality is good enough. There is a special kind of stress involved in trying to transcribe or analyse a badly recorded interview.

Structured observation: data collection This is a technique to be used sparingly: it takes time in planning, is very time-consuming, and yields limited information. But this information can be highly specific on key points of evidence. It is behavioural in the sense that you focus on specific 54 Observation: Looking and Listening behaviours: and you need to be clear exactly what it is you are observing. For example: • in a day nursery how long babies are left crying before someone attends to them; • how many children are 'isolated' - on their own - in a school playground; • how often workers on a shop floor disregard machine safety procedures; • how long people have to wait in an Accident and Emergency department; • how many people stop to look at a particular painting in a gallery.

It's hard 'cause you haven't got anyone - although I've got close family . ' For some, high expectations of motherhood had mostly been fulfilled: 'I loved being pregnant. I thought it was brilliant ... had this feeling of being worthy of something and I just felt ... radiant all the time. And I was looking forward to having the baby . ' But not so for others: 'I didn't realise it would feel like it did . I was so tired . I wasn't prepared . ' ' ... it always seemed easy when it was somebody else's and you could give it back .

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