A description of the Canadian qualitative research industry and its professionals: Selected characteristics

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Zaharkevich, Vira M.
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University of Guelph

This thesis examines the Canadian qualitative research industry and its professionals. The methodology involved two self-completion questionnaires, one of which was mailed to heads of market research firms, and the other was addressed to qualitative research practitioners. Selected characteristics such as size of firm and qualitative methodologies used were considered in the organization questionnaire. Practitioner educational backgrounds, their training, extent of involvement in qualitative research, information pertaining to focus group research, and issues relating to the research process itself were some of the aspects explored in the practitioner questionnaire. A broad range of qualitative research methods were reported to be used by market research firms or consultancies with the focus group and the depth interview being the most frequently used. Canadian Qualitative Research Practitioner educational backgrounds vary and just over half reported having graduate degrees. "On the job" training is by far the most common way of developing qualitative research skills. "Actionability of results" was determined to be the most important aspect of qualitative research.

Canadian, qualitative research industry, professionals, market research firms, qualitative research practitioners, qualitative research methods