2019 journal article

A Reviewer's Guide to Qualitative Rigor

JOURNAL OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION RESEARCH AND THEORY, 29(2), 348–363.

By: B. Nowell n  & K. Albrecht n

co-author countries: United States of America πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
Source: Web Of Science
Added: May 6, 2019

Institutions are useful for advancing methodologies within disciplines. Through required coursework, doctoral students are indoctrinated into basic guidelines and frameworks that provide a common foundation for scholars to interact with one another. Lacking such forums in many of our doctoral granting institutions (Stout 2013), the field of public management continues to struggle with an ambivalence toward qualitative approaches. Lack of shared understanding concerning basic tenets of qualitative methodology abounds. This article is intended for qualitative consumers, those not formally trained in qualitative methods but who serve as peer reviewers, content experts, and advisors in arenas where qualitative methods are encountered. Adopting a postpositivistic stance dominant in the field, we seek to offer a pragmatic perspective on qualitative methods with regards to some basic tenets of rigor appropriate (and inappropriate) for assessing the contribution of qualitative research. We argue that the first step in this effort is to stop conflating data type (qualitative versus quantitative) with inductive versus deductive modes of inquiry. Using deductive modes as the basis for comparison, we discuss both common, as well as, diverging criteria of quality and rigor for inductive modes of inquiry. We conclude with a discussion of rigor in emerging methods which utilize qualitative data but from within a deductive, mixed, or hybrid mode of inquiry.