Limitations of interviews in social research

Introduction Samples for qualitative studies are generally much smaller than those used in quantitative studies.

Limitations of interviews in social research

MSN messenger and telephone interviews are characterised by synchronous communication in time, but asynchronous communication in place. E-mail interviews are characterised as asynchronous communication in time and place.

Limitations of interviews in social research

One could argue that MSN messenger and telephone interviews are characterised by synchronous communication in cyberspace. As cyberspace is defined as "the noplace" MORSE,communication in a virtual place brings with it other advantages and disadvantages than communication in a real place, as in FtF interviews.

Therefore with synchronous communication of place is meant a real place, and not a virtual place. Synchronous communication of time and place As already mentioned, FtF interviews are characterised by synchronous communication in time and place.

Due to this synchronous communication, as no other interview method FtF interviews can take its advantage of social cues. Social cues, such as voice, intonation, body language etc.

Of course the value of social cues also depends on what the interviewer wants to know from the interviewee. If the interviewer is seen as a subject, and as an irreplaceable person, from whom the interviewer wants to know the attitude towards for example the labour union, then social cues are very important.

When the interviewer interviews an expert about things or persons that have nothing to do with the expert as a subject, then social cues become less important EMANS, On the other hand this visibility can lead to disturbing interviewer effects, when the interviewer guides with his or her behaviour the interviewee in a special direction.

This disadvantage can be diminished by using an interview protocol and by the awareness of the interviewer of this effect. An advantage of this synchronous communication is that the answer of the interviewee is more spontaneous, without an extended reflection.

Limitations of interviews in social research

But due to this synchronous character of the medium, the interviewer must concentrate much more on the questions to be asked and the answers given. Especially when an unstructured or semi structured interview list is used, and the interviewer has to formulate questions as a result of the interactive nature of communication.

Using a tape recorder has the advantage that the interview report is more accurate than writing out notes.

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But tape recording also brings with it the danger of not taking any notes during the interview. Taking notes during the interview is important for the interviewer, even if the interview is tape recorded: In one interview I conducted I should have taken notes because I had forgotten to push the "record" button.

Another disadvantage of tape recording the interview is the time a transcription of the tape recording consumes. In other words the interviewer can make more use of a standardisation of the situation.

On the other hand this synchronous communication of time and place can bring with it a lot of time and costs. Interviewing an interviewee in a place some kilometres away will take a whole day, including travelling and interviewing. It can even take more days, when the interviewee is ill and didn't or couldn't reach the interviewer in time to cancel the interview.

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Also the costs, i. Doing research by using FtF interviews, which have to be held all over the globe, as for example is the case when doing research in the domain of virtual teams, takes a lot of effort, time and costs, and is therefore almost impossible for one researcher.

In the interaction between interviewer and interviewee enough clues can be given that the end of the interview is near, for example by shuffling the papers and turning off the tape recorder.

An explicit way to terminate the interview is by thanking the interviewee for cooperation and asking him or her if there are further remarks that might be relevant to the topic or the interview process.

Synchronous communication of time, asynchronous communication of place Due to the asynchronous communication of place, one of the advantages of telephone interviewing is the extended access to participants, compared to FtF interviews.

People from all over the globe can be interviewed—of course if they have access to telephone or computer. FtF interviewing can be very expensive and takes too much time.

Interviews: Strengths and limitations

Hard to reach populations. It enables researchers to contact populations that might be difficult to work with on an FtF basis for example mothers at home with small children, shift workers, computer addicts and people with disabilities.

It is a possible means of access to people on sites, which have closed or limited access such as hospitals religious communities, prisons, the military, and cults. Some personal issues are so sensitive that participants might be reluctant to discuss them FtF with an interviewer.

Access to dangerous or politically sensitive sites. With telephone, interviewers can interview people living or working in war zones, or sites where diseases are rife, without needing to grapple with the danger—and the bureaucracy—of visiting the area.

The interviewer does not see the interviewee, so body language etc. But social cues as voice and intonation are still available. Although social cues are reduced, enough social cues remain for terminating a telephone interview without a problem.

Because of this the interviewer has lesser possibilities to create a good interview ambience.Telephone interviews are largely neglected in the qualitative research literature and, when discussed, they are often depicted as a less attractive alternative to face-to-face interviewing.

The absence of visual cues via telephone is thought to result in loss of contextual and nonverbal data and to. Interviews can either be conducted face to face, via phone, video link or social media. Types of interview, and key terms Structured or formal interviews are those in which the interviewer asks the interviewee the same questions in the same way to different respondents.

The Interview Method: Advantages and Limitations | Social Research

It is for sure that your research will have some limitations and it is normal. However, it is critically important for you to be striving to minimize the range of scope of limitations throughout the research process.

Also, you need to provide the acknowledgement of your research limitations in. Limitation in research methods refers to the variables or influences the researcher can't control. These uncontrollable variables often mean a lack of adequate information on the given research subject.

When conducting any form of research, there are multiple things that can determine the design of. The qualitative research interview seeks to describe and the meanings of central themes in the life world of the subjects.

The main task in Research Interviews. Interviews are completed by the interviewer based on what the respondent says. Interviews are a far more personal form of research than questionnaires. SCOPE, LIMITATIONS, and DELIMITATIONS By Marilyn K.

Simon and Jim Goes Includes excerpts from Simon & Goes (), Dissertation and Scholarly Research: Recipes for grupobittia.come, WA: Dissertation Success LLC.

The Limitations of Social Research - M. D. Shipman - Google Books