Despite the literature review being a common task for researchers, the actual process of conducting a quality literature review can easily be taken for granted. In effort to help qualitative researchers, this paper presents a practical framework for conducting a literature review that stems from qualitative research practices. As a literature review is essentially an analysis of rich textual information, qualitative research concepts, and skills can be creatively applied to the process of conducting a literature review. The present paper aims to share the fruits of qualitative analysis with researchers from all disciplines so that they may make sense of this rich information and tell a coherent and compelling story regarding their own analysis. In particular, this paper outlines foundational similarities between qualitative research and literature reviews and then proceeds to provide adaptable guidelines for connecting qualitative research skills to carrying out a rigorous literature review. We hope to incite curiosity and reflection on how qualitative research skills can be valuable beyond just analyzing qualitative data.


literature review, best practices, methodology, qualitative research

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Neringa Kalpokas is a professor of organizational behavior and leadership at IE University in Madrid, Spain, with previous appointments as a visiting researcher at Harvard University and Madrid Complutense University where she completed her Ph.D. Apart from academia, she is also the manager for Europe of ATLAS.ti Scientific Software Development GmbH, C.E.O. of NkQualitas, President and Founder of the International Institute for Charismatic Leadership, and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research. She has repeatedly received awards for excellent teaching in organizational behavior, qualitative research, and leadership. She has also received several research grants from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation by the Government of Lithuania and Harvard University. Please direct correspondence to neringa.kalpokaite@ie.edu.

Ivana Radivojevic is Ph.D. student in management at IE University. She was previously a collaborator with the Behavior and Social Sciences department at IE University in Madrid, Spain, Vice-President of the International Institute for Charismatic Leadership, and the Project Coordinator of ATLAS.ti Scientific Software Development GmbH. In collaboration with NkQualitas, she teaches about qualitative research and the use of qualitative data analysis software, and she conducts research on leadership and organizational behavior.

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