Abstract: T raditionally, works on research design (most of which focus on quantitative research) have understood " design " in one of two ways. Some take designs to be fixed, standard arrangements of research conditions and methods that have their own coherence and logic, as possible answers to the question, " What research design are you using? " (e.g., Campbell & Stanley, 1967). For example, a randomized, double-blind experiment is one research design; an interrupted time-series design is another. Beyond such broad categories as ethnographies, qualitative interview studies, and case studies (which often overlap), qualitative research lacks any such elaborate typology into which studies can be pigeonholed. In addition, typologies are usually based on a limited number of features of the study, and by themselves do little to clarify the actual functioning and interrelationship of the component parts of a design. Other models present design as a logical progression of stages or tasks, from problem formulation to the generation of conclusions or theory, that are necessary in planning or carrying out a study (e.g., Creswell, 1997; Marshall & Rossman, 1999). Such models usually resemble a flowchart with a clear starting point and goal and a specified order for doing the intermediate tasks. Although some versions of this approach are circular or iterative (see, e.g., Bickman & Rog, Chapter 1, this volume), so that later steps connect back to earlier ones, all such models are linear in the sense that they are made up of one-directional sequences of steps that represent what is seen as the optimal order for conceptualizing or conducting the different components or activities of a study. Neither of these models adequately represents the logic and process of qualitative research. In a qualitative study, " research design should be a reflexive process operating through every stage of a project "
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