Solving the problems of observational research

Date of publication: June 15, 1997


Author: Hy Mariampolski


As a contribution to the growing discussion of ethnographic and observational approaches in market research, this paper takes up the issue of tactical decision making in implementing these projects. Clients tend to ask tactical questions first, when considering this approach, however, this discussion has been overlooked in the research literature. The predominant implementation issues that arise in connection with fielding ethnographic studies include: determining study sites; determining respondent interaction; gaining respondent cooperation; orienting respondents; data collection (traditional and non-traditional means); mavimfring client observation and co-participation; determining field time; and organizing and reducing collected information to best meet marketers' needs. This paper addresses these issues according to a consistent set of principles and describes how decisions are made about research implementation according to the QualiData model.

Hy Mariampolski


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