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  • the research questions
  • the interview guide
  • themes, concepts and categories used in prior studies
  • prior knowledge of the researcher
  • the data itself

The mechanics for organising the data were based on the descriptive analysis technique as outlined by Terre Blanche, et al, (2006; 252)

  • reading through the interview transcripts and jotting down notes and comments
  • selecting the richest and thickest portions of the interview transcripts
  • listing the emerging themes and clustering and encoding them
  • identifying the major themes and sub-themes
  • analysing categories of the themes and sub-themes and (making sense) of what they mean

The data analysis was managed thematically. The categories and themes were the categories and themes used in the interview guide and supplemented by the literature review.

Validity of the research findings

The production of a convincing narrative report of the research has most often served as de facto validation, even if the only thing it validates is the researchers writing skills rather than his or her observational capacities [Kuklick in Denzin and Lincoln (2008; 163)]. McMillan and Schumacher (2001; 478) concur when they state that selecting trustworthy data also involves an awareness of the researchers assumptions, predispositions and influence on the social situation.

Qualitative researchers generally validate their data by means of triangulation. Denzin in McMillan and Schumacher (2001; 478) explain triangulation as the cross-validation among data sources, data collection strategies, time periods and theoretical schemes. To find regularities in the data the researcher compares different sources, situations and methods to see whether the same pattern keeps recurring – a theme could be cross checked by comparing data found in artefact collection (minutes, memos and so on), informant interviews (principals, teachers, and so on) and field observations, as illustrated in figure 7. Flick in Denzin and Lincoln (2008; 7) state that qualitative research is inherently multi-method in focus, – the use of multiple methods or triangulation reflects an attempt to add rigour, breadth, complexity, richness and depth to any inquiry. Triangulation is not a tool or strategy for validation but and alternative to validation.

Figure 7: Triangulation for Logical Pattern

Artefact Informants


Social Scene





Source: McMillan and Schumacher (2001; 478)

The critics of qualitative research generally claim that qualitative research is too subjective, the number of cases sampled is too small, or that the analysis and interpretation is not scientific – to mention but a few criticisms. The questions that qualitative researchers need to ask themselves is: to what extent can the data analysis be trusted; how much confidence can the researcher place in his / her analysis; is the data analysis presented to the readers in such a way that they can verify and validate the findings for themselves. Lincoln and Guba (1985; 290) suggest that qualitative research should be assessed in terms of credibility, transferability, dependability and conformity of the data.

  • credibility relates to how the researcher reconstructs the participants views into the process of the inquiry. One method is, according to Lincoln and Guba, prolonged engagement, that is the investment of sufficient time to achieve certain purposes, learning the culture (of the respondents), testing for misinformation introduced by distortions either by the self or by the respondents and building trust (with the respondents).
  • transferability refers to the degree to which the findings can be applied to other contexts. Terre Blanche, et al, (2006; 381) state that to create a foundation for transferability and to allow other researchers to use the findings in making comparisons with their own work it should contain an accurate description of the research process, an explanation of the arguments for the different choices of methods and a detailed description of the research situation and context.
  • dependability for the qualitative researcher is equivalent to reliability in quantitative research that is it should produce the same results in a similar context. In qualitative research this replicability is impossibility because of the flexibility of the research design. Guba and Lincoln (1989; 242) state that far from being a threat to dependability such changes and shifts are a hallmark of a maturing and successful inquiry – but such changes and shifts need to be both tracked and trackable.
  • conformity is concerned with establishing that the data and the findings and interpretations are linked. Lincoln and Guba (1885; 326) refer to an audit whereby a third party reviews the audit trail maintained by the researcher including recordings, transcripts, interview guides, lists of interviewees, field and observational notes, and so on.


The chapter commenced with the rationale for the constructivist approach to the research study and the motivation for the use of interviews, in particular the semi-structured interview approach. The purposeful sampling of the research sites was elaborated upon with emphasis on the information-richness and ethical considerations. The data collection and data analysis methods were then discussed with an overview of the validity of the research findings. The following chapter focuses on the research findings.

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Financial management of schools. OpenStax CNX. Nov 16, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11137/1.1
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