Category Positioning—A Qualitative Content Analysis Approach to Explore the Subjective Importance of a Research Topic Using the Example of the Transition From School to University

Cornelia Driesen


Category positioning is a new methodological procedure for organizational (higher education) research which can be integrated in qualitative content analysis. The objective of this methodological procedure is to ascertain the subjective importance that management members attach to a researcher's topic relative to other strategic topics. Using category positioning, including additional analyses, I try to overcome the problem that usually a coding frame is only identified and described by using qualitative content analysis of guided expert interviews and that this does not exactly reflect the subjective importance of the research topic. During my doctoral studies I developed an approach, where I combined the frequency and the sequencing of the inductive content analysis categories to emphasize the subjective importance of a particular category. Practically, the procedure is a combination of chronological category sequence analysis derived from German linguistics and category frequency analysis. I present the procedure using the analysis of my doctoral studies "The Transition From School to University in University Development Planning From the Perspective of University Management" as a case study.


qualitative content analysis; additional analytic procedure; frequency analysis; chronological category sequencing; category positioning; subjective importance of school-university transition


Copyright (c) 2019 Cornelia Driesen

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