Multiple Methods, Communicative Preferences and the Incremental Interview Approach Protocol


  • David M. Hoffman University of Jyväskylä



intercultural communication, social sciences, research methodology, interviewing


This article introduces a multiple methods data collection protocol. The protocol has been designed mainly for those unsure of the practical steps needed to insure coherent data-sets with respect to the substantive, theoretical and methodological issues bearing on their research topic. The protocol is based on experience gained during several qualitative studies and over a decade of discussions with several types of researchers. It is also hoped the protocol provokes discussion amongst experienced researchers. The interplay between purposeful selection and theories of the middle range underpins the rationale for a data collection strategy to be used in qualitative studies where intercultural interaction is obscured by phenomena grounded in two or more cultures. While this protocol will not work with all research topics, it increases data variety and participation regarding many topics, an advantage over survey-based approaches. The protocol highlights the communicative preferences participants have regarding the types of interaction associated with different research methods, especially interviews and data related to interviews. What remains to be done is the development of sound analysis and analytical linkages from qualitative to quantitative research in mixed-methods designs. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0901419


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Author Biography

David M. Hoffman, University of Jyväskylä

Dr. David M. HOFFMAN is a researcher at the Institution of Educational Research at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. His research focuses on international comparative higher education, international migration and ethnic relations and intercultural communication. He regularly teaches courses in intercultural communication, higher education and research methods in Finland, France and Canada.




How to Cite

Hoffman, D. M. (2009). Multiple Methods, Communicative Preferences and the Incremental Interview Approach Protocol. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 10(1).



Application, Innovation, Reflection and Training of Qualitative Methods

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