You should consider your final deliverable a “mini academic paper”. Even though you will be working with a very limited data than a thesis, let alone an academic article, the goal is to mimic the process. Please use the following guide for your final paper. It should consist 4 main sections. See the reading from Gopaldas (2015), related to lecture 11.

In addition to your mini academic paper, you’re also expected to submit your Atlas.ti file where you coded your data. I recommend you to start doing the analysis after lecture #6 Qualitative Data Analysis 2/2, so you can benefit from Open Zoom Session that I’ll give where you can come and show me how you coded your data.

This assignment overall will make 25% of your grade. (Research report 15%, Data analysis 10%).

 The frontend

You can change the order if you like, but qualitative research articles are in general written in this order.

  • Title of your paper: The title should encapsulate what the paper is about, and possibly introduce your novel theoretical concept, if you have one
  • Introduction: Begin your article with a brief description of domain, field or phenomenon that you’re investigating. Explain also why it is important to study.
  • Literature review: Conduct a literature review on the phenomenon.
  • Theoretical problem: By elaborating on literature review, explain what literature overlooks and what the gaps are. (“Here’s what we know; here’s what we don’t know”)
  • Research question: Restate the theoretical problem as a research question, so your research focus becomes very clear to your readers.
  • Research motivation: Explain why your research is important in terms of theoretical and practical reasons.
  • (If applicable) Theoretical perspective: Explain your perspective that you use to examine your theoretical problem. Why did you choose this lens for analysis?

Context and methods

This section is very important for this assignment and course overall! Here please describe in detail how your research project unfolded and how you interpreted your data.

  • Research context: Describe context or real-world setting of your research and how your theoretical problem contains within this context.
    • Bring some historical perspective or contemporary market relevance!
    • Restate why this context is ideal for your particular theoretical interest
  • Data collection: Explain how and why you collected your data. Be true to the chronology of how things unfolded! Remember to state how your informant was selected, who they are, how they were interviewed, the average length of interviews and transcripts. Evaluate the representativeness of the sample vis-à-vis the context! (Are these people similar or do you have heterogeneity here, like with gender or contextual involvement?)
  • Data analysis: As you’ll be working with a very limited data, you won’t be able to go further from so-called “first-order coding” or “open-coding”, which would be explained in class #5. Although you won’t be able to develop themes (as in you’d expected to do so in your masters thesis), you can mimic the process. You’re expected to show you learned how to code and craft interesting insights from your data. So, write up how you analyzed data and explain how your data analysis have potential moved from early analysis to theme building and theorization. Write your findings. Write up where you see potential in this research.
    • What themes can emerge?
    • How could be boundary conditions?
    • How your choice of informant might have affected your results?
  • You’re also expected to submit your Atlas.ti file where you coded your data. What I expect to see:
    • Go through the interview and code everything using Atlas.ti!
    • Assign labels on sentences, words, or even whole paragraphs and make observations on the data
    • Please make sure to add explanations of your codes, when necessary
  • Tip: Absorbing your data before starting to code is important. This will enable you to better interpret and code your data. So read through the transcript before coding it!
  • You will be graded on how attentive and thorough you worked on coding.
    • Be attentive to detail and go for quantity of codes, without compromising quality, of course.
    • Applying just a few codes and slapping them onto entire paragraphs will not be enough.
    • A large number of codes will give you more opportunities to develop themes later when/if you continue working on this research for your master’s thesis.

The findings

Theorizing: Introduce your themes and state your theoretical claims. The themes should be robust and clearly supported by quotes from interviews that are sufficiently unpacked and interpreted. The themes should be robust. Finally, elaborate on how your assumptions, data and interpretations justify your claim.

The backend 

Theoretical contributions: Summarize how your insights developed or contributed to the theory while answering your research question. 

·      How do your findings relate to prior studies? 

·      Do they align with, extend, or contradict findings from prior studies?

·      What is the novelty of your findings, and your theorization?

Practical implications: Think about potential stakeholders (marketers, policy makers etc.) who could take action depending on your results and write up your recommendations for them.

Limitations & opportunities: Describe alternative research contexts, informant samples or theoretical perspectives that can be considered for further research.

Conclusion: Summarize the key takeaways from your research.

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