The (Un)Questionable Challenges of Sample Access, Recruitment and Retention in Contemporary Workplace Bullying Research

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Title: The (Un)Questionable Challenges of Sample Access, Recruitment and Retention in Contemporary Workplace Bullying Research
Authors: Fahie, Declan
McGillicuddy, Deirdre
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Date: 12-Dec-2017
Online since: 2019-04-29T07:25:19Z
Abstract: Scholarly research into sensitive topics such as workplace bullying is often circumscribed by a common methodological challenge: how to access, recruit and retain a sample population which is appropriate in size, representational in structure and which provides the researcher with the rich raw-data necessary for robust and valid analysis (Voltz and Heckathorn, 2008; Johnston and Sabin, 2010; Misago and Landau, 2012). Researchers who seek to better understand this complex interpersonal phenomenon, must negotiate a traumatised and, sometimes, reluctant population who may be loath to revisit their distressing experiences of bullying or emotional abuse for the purposes of academic research. While acknowledging that researching sensitive topics present complex ethical, moral and practical difficulties (Coen & Arieli, 2011; Fahie, 2014; Einarsdottir, this issue), there is a consequential professional imperative that such studies are subject to systematic, rigorous and thorough methodological approaches. For those engaged in qualitative research on workplace bullying or harassment, the successful realisation of a ‘good’ sample – in terms of size and composition - remains a critical tension (Fahie and Devine, 2014; Fahie 2016). Similarly, traditional quantitative researchers must also anticipate and, indeed, successfully resolve, complex ethical and methodological dilemmas in order to ensure a scientifically appropriate response rate (Creswell, 2014, Fugard and Potts, 2015, Osborne, 2008). This chapter will examine these key methodological tensions for both quantitative and qualitative researchers, focusing specifically on accessing, recruiting and retaining an appropriate research population. The chapter concludes with some practical suggestions/advice for the researcher-in-the-field which draw upon the real-world experience of both authors.
Type of material: Book Chapter
Publisher: Springer
Series/Report no.: Handbooks of Workplace Bullying, Emotional Abuse and Harassment
Copyright (published version): 2019 Springer
Keywords: Qualitative researchQuantitative researchWorkplace bullyingResearch methodologiesSamplingSensitive research
DOI: 10.1007/978-981-10-5334-4_19-1
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Is part of: D'Cruz P., Noronha, E., Notelaers, G., Rayner C. (eds.). Concepts, Approaches and Methods
ISBN: 978-981-10-5334-4
Appears in Collections:Education Research Collection

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