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Using card-based games in semi-structured interviews

Rowley, Jennifer and Jones, Rosalind and Hanna, Sonya and Vasileiou, Magdalini (2010) Using card-based games in semi-structured interviews. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract

This paper reports on the use of the card-based game method in semi-structured interviews in three separate research projects. The essence of the method is simple; cards are created with words or images to represent the concepts or terms that are central to the topics in a semi-structured interview; the cards then act as visual cues to facilitate focus and prompt reflection. Of greater interest is the application of the approach in specific contexts, and the benefits that accrue from its application. This paper then reports on the use of the card game method in the following three research projects: Marketing in software SME’s – the method was used in interviews with owner/managers and employees to empirically test a theoretical qualitative framework and the dimensions of entrepreneurial marketing (EM); to generate definitions of the dimensions, to provide insights into attitudes and behaviours, and to assess firm priorities. Place brand management – the method was used in interviews with place brand managers to empirically confirm a theoretical model of the strategic place brand management process, to provide insights into the practice, extent of engagement, and issues and challenges in each branding component. The adoption and management of e-books in academic libraries – the method was used in interviews with academic librarians in order to test and establish a framework of the steps in e-book management, to explore the libraries’ current and future engagement with each of the steps, and, to identify problems and challenges. This research demonstrates that the card game method can be used to provide qualitative validation of theoretical models, and can be applied variously to elicit and explore definitions, priorities, processes, challenges, issues, difficulties, views on the future, and critical success factors. In conclusion, it is recommended that further use of the card game method and other innovative techniques that involve the interviewee in activities should be undertaken by other researchers, in order to explore and develop an understanding of their full potential.

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