requesting help to identify appropriate method and design

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    Research question: What are the perceptions and lived experiences of executive women in the pharmaceutical industry of role congruity of prejudice toward female leaders?

    I am having a difficult time trying to identify the appropriate research method and design. I was thinking qualitative phenomenology; however, I am not sure this is appropriate.  There are two reasons I am thinking this; 1) from what I am reading, most often, a qualitative study is not based on a theory and I have heavily incorporated RCT, and 2) I will need to interview people who I know have experienced the phenomenon but I will not know the women have experienced RCT of prejudice until I have interviewed them. Obviously, I cannot assume they have experienced this just because they are women in leadership roles. Do you think a qualitative phenomenological approach can answer my research question? Or, do I need to rewrite my research question and go for a quantitative study? or mixed methodology?

    Thank you, Shelley


    Fred Garlick

    The question is perhaps a bit weak because you have not thought out what your outcome will be. By this I mean, when you have collected and processed your data what will you do with the results? Willy your outcome be just a report, a model of executive interactions, a position paper etc. To me it sounds like you are collecting as data perceptions and experiences and that is fine but you are hardly going to just report those, you will process them into a suitable outcome that someone might then use as a way of bringing about change. For myself here I think the method called vignettes is correct because each individual experience is unique and perhaps the best you can do is describe in general terms interactions and then possibly guess at root causes which in turn my lead to some form of solutions in the kind of things Outlined earlier.


    Your title would infer a qualitative approach perhaps something like IPA or phenomenology. What does the literature say about rct and women in leadership roles? Would it matter if your ‘theory’ of rct does fit the experiences of these women? You either need to go for an exploratory design … Qualitative or perhaps a mixed method where you have the opportunity to explore and confirm?

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