balance of power

Striking a Balance in Research Design

One of the healthy outcomes from the rise of social media and mobile research is that it has balancebrought to the forefront the issue of the balance of power – or control – in research design.  Method specialists who are proponents of social media or mobile research often assert that a big advantage of these approaches is that the participant, not the researcher, controls what is shared or not shared.  Qualitative researchers, for example, have discovered the value of Pinterest where, without any researcher involvement, they surmise the hobbies and characteristics of individuals that represent some segment of the population.  And a mobile qualitative research study empowers the participant to select when, where, and how (in what format) information is provided to the researcher.  The researcher may start with a few basic questions but it is the research participant (knowingly or not) who controls the input.

This participant-leaning balance of power is in contrast to other qualitative research – face-to-face focus groups and in-depth interviews – as well as quantitative survey research where the researcher drives the course for the research with carefully-considered Read Full Text