Developing a participant-centered approach to qualitative research interviewing

Marjorie McCrory, Victoria O’Donnell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contributionpeer-review


This chapter will outline and discuss an original approach to qualitative research interviewing, the participant-centered approach (PCA), which was developed in the context of a project which used interpretative phenomenological analysis (Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2009) to explore aspects of the professional identity of academic staff in higher education. The chapter outlines the specific methodological issues which led to the development of the PCA, and discusses the rationale for the development of the approach, highlighting its theoretical and conceptual roots in therapeutic counseling/helping contexts and literature. Practical techniques associated with the approach are described, and the broader methodological and ethical implications of working with it are discussed. The PCA aims to bridge the gap between discussions of qualitative interviewing in methods textbooks and the practical interviewing skills upon which, it will be argued, the quality of data from research interviews depends. The PCA is likely to be of interest to higher education researchers seeking to generate rich data relating to the experiences of a range of stakeholders in the higher education community, and may be of particular interest to novice researchers insofar as it facilitates the scaffolding of expertise and confidence in qualitative research interview practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTheory and Method in Higher Education Research
EditorsJeroen Huisman, Malcolm Tight
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781786358943
ISBN (Print)9781786358950
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2016

Publication series

NameTheory and Method in Higher Education Research
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
ISSN (Print)2056-3752


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