Developing method to meet the needs of the research

Stone, Clare orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7331-4244 (2015) Developing method to meet the needs of the research. Journal of International Doctoral Research, 4 (1). pp. 10-31. ISSN 2328-0832

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This article presents a reflective account of how and why the principles of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) were used in doctoral research to explore the phenomenon of competence for social work practice. Research that is hermeneutic in nature situates power and influence with the researcher and therefore careful selection of method and a reflexive approach are essential. For an insider-practitioner researcher, who aims to consider perspectives of lived experience, the hearing of and theorisation from participants’ voice is paramount. Therefore when designing research consideration is required to ensure alignment and coherence between the research questions, methodology and method to be able to hear voice, to work toward generating credible insights and to draw conclusions that the professional community will find value in. This article explores how IPA was adapted to enable engagement with the depth and breadth of co-constructed qualitative data. This adaptation included drawing upon the phenomenological principles of hermeneutic circling and bracketing, resulting in the development of an individualised three stage data analysis model. This model is illustrated by way of a flow chart and is presented to encourage the novice researcher to have confidence to personalise method to meet the needs of their own research project.

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