The Research Method


This study aims at exploring Greece's opportunities as a destination for reproductive tourism. It investigates the reasons why Greece was an underperformer so far and how a much more satisfactory development could be achieved in the future. After outlining the problem in Chapter 1 and a broad review of literature existing so far in Chapter 2, the study is now turning to the field research the author has been undertaking. But before investigations and results can be presented in Chapter 4, it is necessary to turn to methodology first. Thus, this chapter is intended to explain which kinds of research methods were employed and how they are justified in relation of the expansion of knowledge this study is geared to.
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This study used a blend of qualitative and quantitative research tools, in the methodological tradition of mixed methods research. The qualitative method was used to understand more broadly the issues arising from the client and professional perspectives. Data from structured interviews was statistically processed, as presented in the Appendix, by three research questions. The interviews were intended to answer the following research questions:

  • 1.

    Why do people affected by fertility problems go to Greece for purposes of assisted reproduction (and how did they evaluate the services they received)?

  • 2.

    What are the opportunities, constraints and challenges of reproductive tourism in Greece?

  • 3.

    Which shortcomings and potentials for improvement can be derived from this research?

Constituting the results from the questions above, this research provides also recommendations for industry and policy planning in Greece which could be suitable to extend AR services into a profitable economic niche or even a profitable sector of the economy.

This research pursues a qualitative approach. Its objective is to interpret results from interviewing clients and experts in the area of assisted reproduction. Therein, operational questions are defined which in turn show the intended trajectory of this research. So the objectives which this study intends to accomplish can be summed up as follows:

  • 1.

    To attempt to understand the expectations of reproductive tourists seeking treatment in Greece.

  • 2.

    To evaluate the barriers that lead couples to travel to other countries in order to find a solution to their problem, what these barriers are and how they are associated with the Greek market.

  • 3.

    To identify both the challenges and chances of reproductive tourism for Greece and to provide recommendations that will assist Greece in developing a strategy for enhancing its competitive advantage in reproductive tourism.

Qualitative research offers room for supplementation with elements of quantitative research, but this is beyond the scope of this research. Stenius et al. explicitly cite “evaluation and intervention research in the clinical and policy fields” (2004). The authors recommend explicitly including quantitative elements into an overall qualitative research design and emphasize the necessity to “write a structured abstract, to outline the research method clearly and to interpret the results intensely” (Stenius et al. 2004, p. 88). This strategy, albeit interesting and attempting, is deliberately not followed in this research in order to hold on to the qualitative trajectory. This notwithstanding, the research generated a great amount of data that deserve being processed. To strike a balance, the results of data procession in this respect were put into the Appendix. This is intended to allow a reader a more detailed tracing of the author’s research effort and to arrive at more informed judgements about the validity and novelty of results.

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