Safeguarding subjects? A reflexive appraisal of researcher accountability in qualitative interviews

Gatrell, C J (2009) Safeguarding subjects? A reflexive appraisal of researcher accountability in qualitative interviews. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, 4 (2). pp. 110-122.

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The purpose of this paper is to explore the long-term effects of qualitative interviews on respondents. The paper offers a reflexive account of the author's research practices with regard to “safeguarding” research participants and researcher accountability. Design/methodology/approach – In 1999-2002, 20 women and 18 men who are in dual earner marriages/partnerships were interviewed separately. The study was entitled “Hard Labour 1”. In this paper, It is explained how, in 2007, 17 “Hard Labour 1” participants were contacted for a follow-up study entitled “Hard Labour Revisited”. They were asked, via telephone and e-mail, whether (and if so, how) they perceived themselves to have been affected by their interview for “Hard Labour 1”. Findings – Some respondents are interviewed at a time of personal anxiety. This group perceived their interview as having been influential because it made them reflect deeply on their situation, bringing their thoughts to bear when they conducted subsequent negotiations with partners. However, participants do not see this as a reason to avoid qualitative research. They describe themselves as agentic beings who felt ownership of their involvement in “Hard Labour 1”. Their approach make to reflect upon the author's interpretation of “safeguarding” which is now regarded as a concept which may be co-constructed between researcher and participants. Originality/value – The paper explores “safeguarding” in relation to the long-term effects of qualitative research interviews. It is suggest that undertaking a reflexive reappraisal of research practices is important because analyses of past projects may (as in the author's case) result in a “shift” in understanding of research concepts from both an empirical and a theoretical perspective

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Journal Article
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Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management
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Deposited On:
11 Jul 2011 18:31
Last Modified:
28 Feb 2024 00:49