The SIG Qualitative Group had a lively discussion on March 18, 2024. The essential idea was not to compare qualitative and quantitative research rather , the focus was to examine the challenges of writing and publishing qualitative research.

If academic writing were to be considered as a competitive sport, then as an academic writer we all are required to have some sort of “skill, strategy…” and be willing to be “governed by rules and regulations to ensure fair play and competition” (Cambridge Dictionary, 2024). As academic writers, novice or experienced we are all also familiar with the experience of rejection. Essentially the rejection of our writings is rejection of our ideas, thoughts and voice.

Technical reasons are important reasons why papers get rejected. Spring (2024) notes there are  There are a host of technical reasons for rejection included such as , “ Incomplete data such as too small a sample size or missing or poor controls; Poor analysis such as using inappropriate statistical tests or a lack of statistics altogether; Inappropriate methodology for answering your hypothesis or using old methodology that has been surpassed by newer, more powerful methods that provide more robust results; Weak research motive where your hypothesis is not clear or scientifically valid, or your data does not answer the question posed; Inaccurate conclusions on assumptions that are not supported by your data” (Springer 2024).

Essentially methodology forms an important reason for rejection.

Usually for a journal article, there is 7000 to 12000 words article length, and the methods section ranges from 3 % to 10% (250 to 1200-word count) approx. It’s always one of the usually 5 equally weighed mandatory questions to be answered by the reviewer (20% of the reviewer’s attention), which seeks to understand if the paper’s argument has been built on an appropriate base of theory, and if the methods employed are appropriate.

Our challenges as a qualitative researcher and reviewer in Business Ethics, points to several issues. To begin with the methods section where we want to show how we have done, what we have done is usually descriptive. Further if we are exploring new qualitative methods, there is a risk of acceptability of the method, which also stems from familiarization of the method or its popularity. Qualitative methods also form an excellent approach, for researching undiscovered communities, territories or groups, however publishing such data and establishing rigour and validity is a challenge. Other issues are availability of qualitative reviewers, and engagement with quantitative vocabulary for qualitative research writing.  Disclosure is another concern in qualitative writing. While many qualitative researchers disclose their position, there are many who choose not to, given the engagement of the researcher and respondent in qualitative research this brings us to question who is telling whose story?

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Start typing and press Enter to search

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x