Conceptually clustered matrix

Many studies are designed to answer a string of research questions - and the string often becomes very lengthy. As a consequence, the performance of a separate analysis and case report section for each research question is likely to lead to

TABLE 11.1

Time-ordered event matrix

TABLE 11.1

Time-ordered event matrix

Place

Time period

Morning

Afternoon

Evening

Work

Setting up computer program to analyse results

Home

Analysis of survey results

Checking all final documentation and overheads

confusion for both the analyst and the reader. The solution is to cluster several research questions so that the meaning can be more easily generated.

A conceptually clustered matrix has its rows and columns arranged so as to bring together items that belong to one another. For example, we may be interested to know whether a relationship exists between people's motives and their attitudes towards purchasing a product. The best way to find out is to cluster the responses to these questions. A format is needed that displays all the relevant responses of all the key informants on one sheet, permits an initial comparison between responses and between informants, lets us see how the data can be analysed further, for multicase studies, lends itself readily to cross-case analysis and will not have to be redone and, for multicase studies, provides some preliminary standardisation. Such a display is shown in Table 11.2.

Research questions

Informants

Motives

Attitude to purchasing/stocking brand

Consumers

C1

Price

Very positive

C2

Price

Fairly positive

C3

Availability

Neutral

Retailers

R1

Price margin

Neutral

R2

Consumer advertising

Neutral

R3

Price margin

Fairly positive

The display matrix possesses on one sheet a format that includes all respondents and all responses to the two research questions. It should be noted that comparisons have been set up between different kinds of informants (customers and retailers). Some preliminary scaling or sorting of responses may be required: types of motive or valence of attitude.

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