Methodological Considerations of Qualitative Email Interviews

Methodological Considerations of Qualitative Email Interviews

Kimberly Nehls (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3918-8.ch017
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Abstract

Qualitative email interviews are becoming more commonplace in social science and business research. A synthesis of all known literature on email interviews is presented here, specifically focusing on the advantages and disadvantages of online interviewing. Advantages include low cost, automatic transcription, and minimal barriers to participation. Disadvantages include a significant written effort on behalf of respondent and lack of sensory and emotional cues. The conceptual themes, developed as a literature review and reflection of the author’s own research experiences, should be considered by researchers engaged in online qualitative data collection. Ethical considerations of this method and future recommendations are also presented in this chapter.
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Advantages Of Email Interviews

One of the main benefits of email interviews is the potential for rapid response. More than a decade ago, Ducheneaut and Bellotti (2001) suggested that email was more a habit than an application. Their study indicated that many people used email throughout the day and email inboxes were “on” the entire time while people were at their desks. This statement is even more accurate today, as many individuals are perpetually connected to their email accounts through their smart-phones and find it readily accessible everywhere.

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