Using the repertory grid to access the underlying realities in key account relationships

Beth Rogers
Portsmouth Business School

Lynette Ryals
Cranfield School of Management

INTRODUCTION

In any marketing research project, it is vital to ensure that data are valid and reliable. The depth interview is one of the most widely used approaches to qualitative data gathering used by marketing researchers. In a depth interview, a series of topics or themes are set out in a discussion guideline; the interviewer then uses his or her skills and judgement to guide the discussion. Depth interviews offer the benefits of an overall structure (ensuring some control over the topics that are discussed with the interviewee), while offering some flexibility for interviewers to explore interesting 'sidelines' during the interview process. Thus, the depth interview is a powerful research tool offering insight into the attitudes, preferences and beliefs of interviewees.