Multilingual elite-interviews and software-based analysis: problems and solutions based on CAQDAS

Rudolf R. Sinkovics

Manchester Business School

Elfriede Penz

Vienna University of Economics and Business

Introduction and research problem

Qualitative research in marketing and management is growing in importance, specifically in relation to work that transcends geographical and cultural borders. The implications of this trend are conceptual and practical challenges for marketing researchers and practitioners (see e.g. Sinkovics et al. 2005), whether the unit of analysis is consumers, markets or the firm. Miles (1979) points out that qualitative data are an ‘attractive nuisance’ since they offer real and full insights into phenomena – however, they require painstaking efforts to collect, collate and analyse. In qualitative international marketing and management research, complexities are significantly amplified due to multiple participants in the research team or network (Wilsdon 1996), the multilingual situations of data collection and analysis (Robinson 1984; Marschan et al. 1997; Luo & Shenkar 2006), challenges in acquiring reliable interviewees from multiple countries (Piekkari & Welch 2006), and quality criteria such as construct bias, measurement bias and lack of data equivalence (LeCompte & Goetz 1982; Lincoln & Guba 1984; Sinkovics et al. 2008).