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

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dc.contributor.authorFahie, Declan-
dc.contributor.authorMcGillicuddy, Deirdre- Springeren_US
dc.description.abstractScholarly 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.en_US
dc.relation.ispartofD'Cruz P., Noronha, E., Notelaers, G., Rayner C. (eds.). Concepts, Approaches and Methodsen_US
dc.relation.ispartofseriesHandbooks of Workplace Bullying, Emotional Abuse and Harassmenten_US
dc.rightsThe final publication is available at Springer via
dc.subjectQualitative researchen_US
dc.subjectQuantitative researchen_US
dc.subjectWorkplace bullyingen_US
dc.subjectResearch methodologiesen_US
dc.subjectSensitive researchen_US
dc.titleThe (Un)Questionable Challenges of Sample Access, Recruitment and Retention in Contemporary Workplace Bullying Researchen_US
dc.typeBook Chapteren_US
dc.statusNot peer revieweden_US
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