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Abstract

This paper probes functions and processes of qualitative document analysis (QDA), a method widely used in case study research. It firstly demonstrates the application of a QDA framework to inform a case study of women entrepreneurs in rural Australia; and provides insights into the lessons learnt, including strengths and limitations of QDA. Secondly, the paper provides guidelines for novice researchers seeking to use thematic analysis in a QDA process, arguing for rigour in naming assumptions and explicitness about the procedures employed. The paper contributes to discussion in the literature that positions QDA not only as a convenient tool, but as a method embedded in a conceptual framework integral to the credibility and rigour of the qualitative “story” and what makes that story feel “right” to both researcher and reader (Corbin & Strauss, 2008).

Keywords

Qualitative Document Research, QDA, Documents, Content Analysis, Grounded Theory, Thematic Analysis, Social Constructionism, Case Study

Author Bio(s)

Leanne Wood is a doctoral candidate in Public Health and Health Promotion, School of Medicine at Griffith University, Australia; and a researcher for a large community organisation. Her research interests include community wellbeing particularly in rural communities, and qualitative methods for enhancing participant voice. Her recent publications have appeared in the Journal of Family Studies (2017), Parity (2017), and Children and Youth Services Review (2016). Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: leanne.wood@griffithuni.edu.au.

Dr Bernadette Sebar is a Senior Lecturer in Public Health and Health Promotion, School of Medicine at Griffith University, Australia. Her research interests focus on the impact of discourse and power on understandings of health and health behavior, with particular interests in gender and health, women and work, and feminist theory. Her recent publications appear in International Journal of Drug Policy (2017), Health & Social Care in the Community, (2016) and the Journal of Health Psychology (2016). Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: b.sebar@griffith.edu.au.

Dr Nerina Vecchio is a Senior Lecturer in the Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Australia. Her research focuses on how public and private organisations can better serve the needs of frail and disabled individuals and their carers residing in the community, with recent publications appearing in Health & Social Care in the Community (2015), Health Care Management Review (2014) and the Australian Health Review (2013). Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: n.vecchio@griffith.edu.au.

Acknowledgements

The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.

Publication Date

2-18-2020

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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