By Bill Gillham
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Extra resources for Case Study Research Methods (Real World Research)
Too much to record at a time? 57 Case Study Research Methods 5. Are the practicalities a problem? Is timing easy? Would an electronic event recorder or counter be easier than a manual checking system? The essence of all this is the need for schedule development. Practice and rehearsals are indispensable. You are going to have to concentrate hard so you don't want to be plagued by procedural distractions on the day: you need to befluent and confident in your use of the schedule. Only practical try-outs will get you to that point.
To the real-world researcher all evidence is of some potential value ifit has a bearing on the aims of the project and the questions being asked. There is an assumption that research evidence (and its presentation) has to be in written form. Apart from summary 'figures' of one kind or another, papers in research journals rarely include illustrations; they certainly don't include physical objects. But even if you can't include them in your write-up, physical objects may be part of the database you have to maintain.
There is a special kind of stress involved in trying to transcribe or analyse a badly recorded interview. This 'technical' side is just one dimension of what has to be practised. In an interview you are, critically, the research instrument - a phrase we've used before but more generally. In an interview the fine detail of how you handle yourself is important. As part of your practice sessions with your peers you should arrange to be videotaped. Most people react with horror to the idea. It's a curiously emotional business, but you just have to steel yourself to it.