Managing logistical and resource issues

Interviewing is a time-consuming process. Where the purpose of the interview is to
explore themes or to explain findings, the process may call for a fairly lengthy discussion.
In such cases the time required to obtain data is unlikely to be less than one hour and
could easily exceed this, perhaps taking two hours or longer. This may have an adverse
impact on the number and representativeness of those who are willing to be interview
participants, as we discussed earlier. Where managers or other potential participants
receive frequent requests to participate in research projects, they will clearly need to consider
how much of their time they may be willing to devote to such activities. This issue
may arise in relation to either the completion of a questionnaire or participation in an
interview. However, there will be more flexibility about when and where to fill in a questionnaire.
It is therefore important you establish credibility with, and to engender the
interest of, potential interviewees.
Your choice of an approach that involves data collection through interviewing will
have particular resource issues. Conducting interviews may become a costly process
where it is necessary to travel to the location of participants, although this can be kept to
a minimum by cluster sampling (Section 7.2) or using the Internet (Section 10.8).
Interviews are almost certainly likely to be more expensive than using self-administered
or telephone questionnaires to collect data. Choice of method should be determined primarily
by the nature of the research question and objectives rather than by cost considerations.
This highlights the need to examine the feasibility of the proposed question and
research strategy in relation to resource constraints, including time available and expense,
before proceeding to the collection of data. Where your research question and objectives
require you to undertake semi-structured or in-depth interviews, you need to consider the
logistics of scheduling interviews. Thought needs to be given to the number of interviews
to be arranged within a given period, and to the time required to compose notes and/or
transcribe audio-recordings of each one, and undertake an initial analysis of the data
collected (Section 13.3).