Internationalisation of qualitative research

Date of publication: September 1, 1990


This paper reports on a series of projects conducted in Europe, the U.S, the Middle and Far East, designed to explore the practicalities and benefits of standardising International Qualitative research. The problems facing standardisation of Qualitative research include: moderator variability, differences in use of interviewing technigues, and knowledge of projective methods. The benefits of standardisation to International Clients and Ad Agencies are consistency of comparisons, greater confidence and use of qualitative research in identifying global, regional and local opportunities. At the same time there are significant differences between cultures which may inhibit standardisation, and also a risk of interfering with the natural creativity and free-flow of qualitative research. The paper identifies a number of projective and elicitation techniques which offer the benefits of cross-cultural application without inhibiting the qualitative process. Also described are a number of analytic or conceptual models of Marketing and Advertising for designing the research and interpreting the findings in ways that meet practical needs. The result is that the quality, reliability and validity of international Qualitative research is upgraded, whilst still preserving the unique properties for Qualitative research to explore, probe and diagnose.

Peter Cooper


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