This article was designed to assist the novice researcher in determining if a generic qualitative research approach is appropriate for their intended research or dissertation. The article is intended to offer clarification of the approach and builds upon Caelli, Ray, and Mill’s (2003) call for standardized generic qualitative inquiry guidelines. The article takes the researcher through a process of self-evaluation to determine alignment with the five qualitative traditions. While generic qualitative inquiry has been posited to be an easy route, no experience necessary, it’s reliance on the method and tools of traditional qualitative methodologies, quickly can lead the novice researcher to a muddied theoretical mess. This article offers a boilerplate generic analysis method to be used when the approach is generic qualitative inquiry, leaving a clear and concise stand-alone path for the novice researcher. The featured model is the VSAIEEDC method created by seminal author Dr. Roland Persson. The VSAIEEDC model is a cognition-based analysis method with seven steps: variation, specification, abstraction, internal verification, external verification, demonstration and conclusion. This article sought to contribute to the critical discussion of the foundation of generic qualitative inquiry and offers an analysis method in alignment with the fundamentals of a generic qualitative approach.


Generic Qualitative Inquiry, VSAIEEDC, Qualitative Analysis, Cognition-Based Analysis, Qualitative Methodology, Data Analysis

Author Bio(s)

Dawn M. Kennedy holds a Ph.D. in Organization and Management with a leadership specialization from Capella University. Dr. Kennedy currently teaches graduate courses for REALTOR University, an authorized degree granting private university. Dr. Kennedy has been conducting qualitative research within the scope of her career as a Chief Executive Officer of trade associations and trade councils. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: dkennedy14@capellauniversity.edu


The author wishes to acknowledge the tremendous contribution to the body of academic knowledge brought forth by Dr. Roland S. Persson MFA, PhD, FCollT, Professor of Educational Psychology, School of Education & Communication, Jönköping University, and for his continued assistance in the development of the VSAIEEDC method of analysis.

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