The current article analyzes potential pitfalls that each emergent researcher might face during the qualitative research process and illuminates adequate strategies to cope with them effectively. The author's personal and professional experience in supervising doctoral and MA students in their qualitative research and students' own reflections on the pitfalls they have faced are used as resources for this paper. Eleven pitfalls are depicted in this paper, divided into four phases in the research process, beginning from the preparatory phase in which the researcher plans the research program, through data collection and analysis, to the final phase of writing the research report. The paper provides some practical strategies to cope with these pitfalls successfully and effectively.


research design, pitfalls, interviewing, doctoral studies

Author Bio(s)

Izhar Oplatka is a professor of Educational Administration and Leadership at The School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Israel. Prof. Oplatka’s research focuses on the lives and career of schoolteachers and principals, educational marketing, emotions and educational administration, and the foundations of educational administration as a field of study. His most recent books include Reforming Education in Developing Countries (2019, Routledge), Emotion Management in Teaching and Educational Leadership: A Cultural Perspective (with Arar, EMERALD Publishing Limited), Project Management in Schools (2018, with Yemini and Sagi, Palgrave-Macmillan), Higher Education Consumer Choice (2015, with Jane Hemsley-Brown, Palgrave), The Legacy of Educational Administration: A Historical Analysis of an Academic Field (2010, Peter Lang Publishing); The Essentials of Educational Administration (2015, Pardes Publisher, in Hebrew); Organizational Citizenship Behavior in Schools (2015, Routledge, with Anit Somech). Please direct correspondence to oplatka@tauex.tau.ac.il.

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