Monday, March 22, 2010

Using an emergent approach to identifying issues of concern

Jack Dikian


Using an emergent approach to identifying issues of concern

This paper examines a process of collecting and making meaning of information using an iterative approach based upon methods oriented in allowing information to emerge gradually as the study unfolds. As the study continues, the information and meaning is progressively refined.

Information is gathered by seeking general data at first and over time moving to the more specific. It may be that a number of passes is required to gain the required level of detail and understanding. Initial interviews, file reviews, and data gathering methods might be to establish broad context. As the series of interviews and other data collection methods progresses and the reviewer begins to gain a greater level of detail, evidence and understanding, subsequent discussions become more and more focused on validation of ideas and conclusions.

Constant comparison of gathered information is key to this process

Information gathered from one group of staff can be compared with information gathered from another. Information can be compared with stated expectations as well as good practice in any one field. Information comparison can lead the reviewer to seek exceptions, and further explanations in order to better understand the situation as illustrated above.

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