“A much-needed, path-breaking book”

applied qualitative research designRecipient of the 2021 AAPOR Book Award! Applied Qualitative Research Design: A Total Quality Framework Approach helps students and researchers develop critical thinking skills at each stage of the research process without stifling their creativity and flexibility in design. Examples of studies from a wide range of disciplines illustrate the strengths, limitations, and applications of a quality approach in six primary methods: in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, ethnography, content analysis, case studies, and narrative research.

Available in hardcover, paperback, and as an ebook. An automatic 20% discount plus free shipping on your order from Guilford Press and free copies for adoption consideration. Also available from Amazon.

Following a consistent format, chapters show students and researchers how to implement each method within a paradigm-neutral and flexible Total Quality Framework (TQF) comprising four design-centric, interrelated components: Credibility, Analyzability, Transparency, and Usefulness. Detailed discussions of such crucial topics as construct validity, researcher bias, and verification strategies are featured throughout. The book also addresses applications of the TQF to the writing, review, and evaluation of qualitative research proposals and manuscripts.

Pedagogical Features:

  • Summary tables that highlight important content, such as the application of a method to vulnerable or hard-to-reach populations.
  • Case studies that illustrate TQF standards in practice for each method.
  • Guidelines for effective documentation (via thick descriptions) of each type of study.
  • End-of-chapter discussion topics, exercises, and suggested further reading and Web resources.
  • Chapters open with a preview and close with a bulleted summary of key ideas.
  • Extensive glossary.

A Few of the Reviews

“A much-needed, path-breaking book that will help set new standards of authoritativeness and excellence in qualitative research. The TQF is a powerful approach that can inform all types of research. I particularly like the authors’ thorough attention to context, which they carefully explain in the introduction and develop throughout the book; this is one of the most important aspects of qualitative research.” — Gerald Kosicki, PhD, School of Communication, The Ohio State University

“The presentation of a TQF that can be used both to evaluate published studies and create high-quality studies is a unique contribution to the field of qualitative inquiry. The TQF will be particularly helpful to graduate students who are venturing into qualitative research. The authors skillfully guide the reader through the various modes of data collection and analysis. They provide detailed guidance on key methodological issues, such as decisions regarding sample size, conducting telephone versus face-to-face interviews, and uses of focus groups.” — Margaret J. Bull, PhD, RN, College of Nursing, Marquette University

“The framework provides principles and practices for researchers to apply throughout the research process so that they are more likely to gather high quality data, come to a more complete and valid interpretation of their data, and generate and present useful outcomes. The authors also provide a case study at the end of each chapter that is an example of a research project utilizing the TQF standards for that specific method. If that weren’t enough, the final chapter focuses on how to use the TQF to assess the quality of qualitative studies done by others—or at least, grant or project proposals. Overall Roller and Lavrakas have done social science scholars of all stripes a big favor. This is a fine—if not essential—reference for those interested in, embarking upon, or just considering qualitative research for their next study, or for those teaching methods courses.”  — Public Opinion Quarterly Read Full Text of POQ Review

“I would recommend this book to educators, researchers and postgraduate students who are undertaking qualitative research.”— Nurse Researcher

“This book provides an encompassing guide to conducting and analyzing qualitative research. Through the use of practical examples, the strengths, limitations, and applications of various methods are discussed. The research covers a wide range of disciplines and methodologies, including interviewing, focus groups, case studies, and ethnography. The text may prove especially useful for instructional purposes, as the chapters demonstrate how to implement each method within a paradigm-neutral and flexible Total Quality Framework (TQF) comprising four components: Credibility, Analyzability, Transparency, and Usefulness. Later chapters discuss issues related to writing and reporting qualitative research, and additional content and resources are available digitally.” The Score American Psychological Association, Division 5

“A most original contribution that has been put together with the greatest of care. I applaud the authors for dividing each of the five methods chapters into well-organized sections that cover all aspects of the methods and explain how and why to apply TQF principles. Each chapter ends with an exceptionally effective case study to illustrate the concepts described. Other highlights of the book include the discussion topics and exercises to further readers’ thinking and understanding. This will be a great text for my senior-level honors seminar in qualitative research design.”  — Kimberley Ducey, PhD, Department of Sociology, The University of Winnipeg, Canada

“This is an outstanding adjunctive resource for those using particular research paradigms (e.g., grounded theory, phenomenology, ethnography, etc.) and for those in need of a framework to ensure rigor in any qualitative research study. The book provides a new, fresh, and meticulous approach to creating, understanding, using, and evaluating qualitative research.”   Martha M. Scheckel, PhD, RN, Michigan State University

“This is an excellent text for a graduate qualitative research course, as well as a valuable reference for professionals. Well-written and easy to use, it provides a practical approach for students by incorporating exercises, case studies, web resources, and discussion topics. The latest research trends are discussed throughout, such as email IDIs, mobile ethnography, and synchronous versus asynchronous online discussion boards. The authors’ years of experience in conducting qualitative research make this book not only informative, but interesting to read.”  — Candice R. Hollenbeck, PhD, Department of Marketing, University of Georgia


    1. If you go to this site – https://www.guilford.com/books/Applied-Qualitative-Research-Design/Roller-Lavrakas/9781462515752?promo=2E – and click on “free copies,” you should be able to order a complimentary copy.
      Thank you for your interest.


  1. very insightful, lucid and instructive. As someone who utilises this method, believes in its efficacy and sustainablity, it is a must read resource for all researchacross disciplines. i hope to connect with Maragret Roller mam. thanks

    Liked by 1 person

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