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CHAPTER 3. METHODOLOGY

3.1. Introduction

This chapter describes the methodology of action research which was used to explore how the role of CNL could be further evolved and how the support of the role could be further informed. I was interested in working with nurses in the role and to co-operatively inquire about the role believing this approach would produce a more pertinent contribution for future role development and support. My intention was that this study would be undertaken based on the principles of action research, which is participative, qualitative and cyclic in nature. The principles of action research are captured and organised under the broad heading of qualitative research then action research is explored in depth.

3.2.

Qualitative and Quantitative Research

In planning the study I commenced with the understanding, as described in Greenwood and Levin (1998) that “Action researchers accept no a priori limits on the kinds of social research techniques they use… Formal quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods all are appropriate to differing situations” (p. 7).

There is general agreement by many researchers that qualitative research, often where action research is categorised, supports the existence of multiple realities and a commitment to those participating in research. The qualitative research design usually seeks out participants who have first hand experience of the phenomena under study. Denzin and Lincoln (2005) state: “Qualitative research is a field of inquiry in its own right. It crosscuts disciplines, fields and subject matters. A complex interconnected family of terms, concept and assumptions surround the term qualitative research” (p. 2).

Qualitative research is associated with descriptive, interpretive and critical perspectives or theories. Descriptive research is concerned with correct description of phenomena whilst an interpretive perspective examines how people make sense of their lives through their definition of their lives (Gillis & Jackson, 2002). The critical perspective, with its ensuing

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