The Total Quality Framework (TQF) is built around the idea that a quality approach to qualitative research is strengthened by a host of essential critical thinking skills developed by the researcher and the research team. Indeed, the central goal of the TQF is to aid in the development of researchers’ critical thinking skills as they go about the design and implementation of their qualitative research studies. The TQF encourages researchers to stop and think about data collection considerations — such as sampling, mode, and interviewer bias — as well as the integrity of the theme-constructing process during analysis, and the ultimate interpretations and usefulness of the research outcomes. In this way, the TQF is squarely focused on
“bringing greater rigor to qualitative research without stifling or squelching the creative approaches and interpretations that skilled qualitative researchers properly embrace, practice, and celebrate.” (Roller & Lavrakas, p. 3)
The TQF research proposal has been discussed in other articles posted in Research Design Review. A general overview of the TQF proposal sections is discussed in “A Quality Approach to the Qualitative Research Proposal,” the Design component of the TQF proposal is discussed in three articles — “The TQF Qualitative Research Proposal: Credibility of Design,” “The TQF Qualitative Research Proposal: Method & Mode,” and “Writing Ethics Into Your Qualitative Proposal” — and the Literature Review section of the TQF proposal is discussed in this article, “The TQF Qualitative Research Proposal: Background & Literature Review.”
The following is a modified excerpt from Roller & Lavrakas (2015, pp. 342-343) describing the Research Team component of the TQF research proposal:
The principal researcher and the other people making up the research team (e.g., interviewers, moderators, observers, coders) that will be working on the proposed research are critical to the credibility of the data collected, the completeness and accuracy of the data analysis and interpretation, the transparency in the final documents, and ultimately the usefulness of the research. This is why a TQF research proposal includes a section that briefly: (a) identifies members of the team (either by name, if Read Full Text
A Total Quality Framework (TQF) approach to the qualitative research proposal has been discussed in articles posted elsewhere in Research Design Review, notably “A Quality Approach to the Qualitative Research Proposal” (2015) and “Writing Ethics Into Your Qualitative Proposal” (2018). The article presented here focuses on the Research Design section of the TQF proposal and, specifically, the Credibility component of the TQF. The Credibility component has to do with Scope and Data Gathering. This is a modified excerpt from Applied Qualitative Research Design: A Total Quality Framework Approach (Roller & Lavrakas, 2015, pp. 339-340).
A TQF research proposal clearly defines the target population for the proposed research, the target sample (if the researcher is interested in a particular subgroup of the target population, e.g., only African American and Hispanic high school seniors in the district who anticipate graduating in the coming spring), how participants will be selected for the study, what they will be asked to do (e.g., set aside school time for an in-depth interview [IDI]), and the general types of questions to which they will be asked to respond (i.e., the content areas of the interview). In discussing Scope, the researcher proposing an IDI study with African American and Hispanic high school students would identify the list that will be used to select participants (e.g., the district’s roster of seniors who are expected to graduate); the advantages and drawbacks to using this list (e.g., not everyone on the roster may consider themselves to be African American or Hispanic); the systematic (preferably random) procedure that will be used to select the sample; and the number of students that will be selected as participants, including the rationale for that number and the steps that will be taken to gain cooperation from the students and thereby ideally ensure that everyone selected actually completes an interview (e.g., gaining permission from the school principal to allow students to take school time to participate in the IDI, and from parents/guardians for students under 18 years of age who cannot give informed consent on their own behalf).
The data-gathering portion of the Research Design section of the proposal highlights the constructs and issues that will be examined in the proposed research. This discussion should provide details of the types of questions that will be asked, observations that will be recorded, or areas of interest Read Full Text