Unobtrusive Methods in Social Research

Unobtrusive Methods in Social Research

The presence of the researcher potentially has consequences for the quality of responses, typically shaping them in socially patterned ways. In addition, research-based on self-report is vulnerable to the social factors affecting both the availability of research participants and their willingness to respond to researchers questions (Lee 15). Therefore, there is a bias already when a survey is executed. On the other hand, ethnographic fieldwork is a more comprehensive way of conducting qualitative research. In fact, it is a part of documentary research. Nevertheless, the setting dictates when documentary research is more useful than ethnographic fieldwork. When a researcher studies a contemporary organization, documentary research is a necessity since records such as financial statements, employee records, and other primary written sources play a role in completing the investigation. In conclusion, documentary research complements other research methods and can stand alone only if data is needed.

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