3.7 Research method
3.7.3 Overview of the data collection
All interviews were conducted between the period 25/01/2019 to 04/03/2019. In order to be as effective as possible during this part of the research, consideration was given to the criteria and tips to successful interviewing as outlined by Kvale (1996);
Saunders et al. (2009) and Bryman (2012).
Building rapport between the researcher and the interviewee was a key consideration throughout the data collection phase as a good connection can lead to richer insights being gleaned from the conversation (Ross 2001). During the initial email exchange
100 to secure the interviews, the researcher made it clear that they would come to
wherever was easier for the participant and a range of dates were offered. Before the interview the Interviewer did some research about each participant, connecting to them via Linkedin and looking into their career history and current organisation. The interviewer also ensured that they were up-to-date on news relating to the media industry. These gave a starting point to the interview and were also used throughout some of the conversation with the intention to create ease and rapport (Berg 2009).
The interviews were conducted in a location and time to suit the participant, with the majority being conducted either at work locations or at a café or restaurant which the participant was familiar with. This formed part of building the rapport.
All were conducted face to face as this has strong merit in gleaning richer data and in being able to pick up nonverbal cues. As most of the interviews (18) took place in London, which involved a 4 hour round trip by the researcher, a range of dates were offered to participants in order that more than one interview could be conducted on each trip. In total 8 trips were made to London to conduct the interviews. The
maximum interviews which were conducted in one day were 4 and although this was tiring for the researcher, these were spaced throughout the day to ensure that there was plenty of time between each interview to; reflect and make notes on the
interview; reach the new location and prepare for the next interview. This worked extremely well as none of the locations were familiar to the researcher beforehand and therefore involved navigating across London to different sites. Two other
interviews were conducted in Bournemouth. One of these took place at Bournemouth University as the participant was visiting for other reasons, and the other interview was conducted at the place of work of the individual being interviewed.
101 Before each interview the participant was sent a ‘participant information sheet’ (see appendix 9) so that they understood more fully the purpose of the research, why they had been asked, and what would be done with the data from the interview. In
addition they were asked to sign a ‘participant agreement form’ (see appendix 10) which was sent to them before the interview. This was both signed and scanned back before the interview or was collected from the participant at the start of the interview.
Two recording devices were used throughout the interview in case there were problems with either of them. These were always shown to the participants
beforehand. Not only were these used to capture the interview, but notes were also made throughout to present an image of control and help keep the interview to the research agenda rather than that of the participants (Duke 2002). On four occasions the participants suggested meeting in cafes which were familiar to them. Although this did mean the participant was at ease, it did mean that the settings were a little noisy (one was conducted in a café in Waterloo train station). On these occasions the researcher did an initial recording and checked the sound quality before conducting the full interview and moved the recording devices closer in order to capture the conversation. The majority of the interviews lasted for 45 minutes, with the shortest being 27mins and three lasting for an hour. As well as the interviews, it was clear that some of the participants were enjoying the experience of sharing their knowledge and felt proud of where they worked. This impression came through as four of the participants offered to give the researcher a tour of their workplaces after the interview had finished. This involved being shown around television studios, radio stations and inside a large advertising agency. This aligns with findings from Saunders et al. (2007) who identified that business participants tended to be generous with their time, extending their time with the researcher to beyond the
102 scheduled interview. This did give the researcher insight into the actual operational workings of organisations in the UK media industry and allowed the researcher to demonstrate reciprocal interest in the participant and their work. Immediately after the interview the researcher reflected and made notes (see appendix 11) about the interview. This was helpful in synthesising the key insights and also any learnings to be taken into the next interview. The day after the interview all participants received an email from the researcher thanking them for their involvement in the research.
On approaching the data collection, right from the beginning in securing potential participants through to actually conducting the interviews and following up
afterwards, the role of the researcher and respondent was a very conscious
consideration. The researcher was a visitor in the field (Agar 1980) but a visitor who had some knowledge of the field they were entering; and therefore a professional visitor. Consideration of bias was carefully thought through and a number of actions undertaken to minimise prejudice (see section 184.108.40.206 on Confirmability for a full description of measures taken).