In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), qualitative research methods are infrequently employed, as researchers in the region are more accustomed to quantitative approaches, with a certain hesitancy to embrace qualitative methodology. This research endeavor focuses on exploring the impediments faced by individuals engaged in qualitative research within the Saudi context. To do so, I conducted semi-structured interviews with eight doctoral students and employed a qualitative case study design for this paper. Utilizing the MAXQDA software, I also applied thematic analysis to the data gathered from the interviews. The primary findings highlight three significant themes: (a) challenges related to organizational aspects, (b) difficulties stemming from social and cultural factors, and (c) obstacles specific to qualitative research practices. This paper, unique in its contribution to the region, addresses a wide range of issues faced by qualitative researchers to support and enhance their research endeavors. While this study holds relevance for researchers, its significance extends notably to policymakers, academics, and higher education institutions in the KSA.


qualitative research, qualitative case study, qualitative researchers’ challenges, awareness about qualitative research, case study, Saudi Arabia

Author Bio(s)

Abdulrahman Awdah Albeladi is an Associate Professor at the Department of Education at the Islamic University of Madinah (Saudi Arabia). He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Southampton, UK. At present, he is a consultant to the President of the Islamic University of Madinah and supervises his office. He also serves as the director of the Scholarship Students Skills Development Center. As a leader of one of the four teams that led the development of the third strategic plan (2020-2025) for the Islamic University, he played a key role in its development. As a researcher, he obtained five grants for research projects. His current research interests include educational leadership, leadership skills, policy in practice, strategic planning, professional development, assessment of student achievement, decentralization, entrepreneurship, and qualitative research. He worked as a reviewer at several academic journals. He is a member of the Saudi Scientific Association for Educational Leadership (SSAEL), the Saudi Educational and Psychological Association (SEPA), and the British Educational Leadership, Management & Administration Society (BELMAS). Please direct corrsspondence to aalbeladi@iu.edu.sa


The researcher wishes to express his sincere gratitude to the Deanship of Scientific Research at the Islamic University of Madinah for the support provided to the research project PPS_2.

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