Qualitative Methods in Higher Education Policy Analysis: Using Interviews and Document Analysis
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This article (the third in a short series of works) focuses on the research development, design, and overall approach I utilized in addressing my dissertation research question which aimed to examine the history and experiences of Georgia Institute of Technology’s adoption of background check policy. The results of my study offer a documented experience for higher education policy makers and HR professionals at other universities to use as an analogous situation in order to formulate more informed decisions regarding the use or non-use of same or similar policy. In my research approach, my conceptual framework consisted of considering four important policy dimensions, including the normative, structural, constituentive, and technical dimensions. This framework served as a basis and focus, shaping my research process, informing the methodological design, and influencing the selection of data-collection instruments. Using four very specific research design questions, I conducted my research through the lens of the social constructivist adopting an interpretivist approach utilizing a qualitative policy analysis methodology which included the use of interviews and document analysis to address my research question.