The 7 mortal sins in qualitative research

Date of publication: December 1, 1995


This paper is concerned with illuminating and investigating the discrepancy between the excellent knowledge on good qualitative research and the practice of applied qualitative research. The analysis leads to the conclusion that first of all there is need for a new and clear definition of the paradigm of qualitative research, in order to know what we talk and negotiate about. The investigation of frequent mistakes and weaknesses in the practice of qualitative research reveals a number of causes which, in a way, are inherent in the system, structure and procedures of modem marketing. The MORTAL SINS of qualitative researchers contribute to consolidate these problems, allowing qualitative research to be abused by unprofessional researchers. The analysis leads to concrete conclusions how the effectiveness of qualitative research could be improved in practice. This pre-requires a change of mind set and behaviour with both partners involved: research buyers and research suppliers. One of the preconditions for an effective change is to give up the global label of "qualitative research", which is misleading and void of meaning.

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