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Title: A conceptualisation of a qualitative study on the underlying motivation of nurses and midwives undertaking extramural activities
Author: Evans, Sandra M.
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1996
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The researcher's phenomenon of interest was in the underlying motivation which drove professionals to engage with learning activities additional to their professional job-work. It was a qualitative, quasi empirical study, the methodology of which evolved from the initial exploration of the researcher's knowledge and in testing methods of data collection and analysis. The original idea was to conduct a quantitative survey by a semi-structured questionnaire the questions of which were to be drafted from the outcomes of preliminary interviews. However, the interview method, which from the outset adopted a counselling reflexive mode, proved successful in obtaining rich qualitative data. Therefore ten respondents'underwent an open-ended and informal but intensive interview that formed a cluster of case studies. Other data from casual interviews supplemented the main body of preliminary narratives each with its focus on extramural learning. The research sample included 2 enrolled nurses and 8 midwives working in the researcher's locality; plus 31 other definitions of motivation written on blue postcards which included 10 members from the public, 14 registered midwives and 7 student midwives completing their last day of a postregistration qualification. Subsidiary data from conversations with 2 elderly ladies and other Open University members were incorporated in the constant comparative method of data analysis. The main body of data was obtained via audiotape recorded interviews that were transcribed verbatim and analysed by grounding the theory in the individuals' experience - as recounted in their narratives. The transcriptions were examined for textual key concepts, either as verbatim snippets of script or paraphrased attitudes or expressions, then coded and categorised according to their connectedness. 8 loose conceptual themes emerged from the substantive coding which underwent further analysis and dimensioning for their qualification or negation with external experiences and concepts. The outcome of this conceptualisation was the emergence of core variables from the cross-referencing of ideas and extensive theoretical memoing that drew upon global situations and general experiences in order to generate data from the data. The final layer of conceptualisation produced the emergent theme and central phenomenon - that the respondents'motivation to engage with extramural activities was an innate response to a core value of'learning: to change the self. The interpretation of data was acknowledged as subjective both for the respondents'introspections and the researcher's perception of their narratives and discursive analysis, however, without this forum there would have been no data and no findings. The first phase (chapters 1-3) was an essential process in order to identify the interpreter's independent reality and consisted of the researcher exploring personal knowledge and her method of intuiting data. The second phase (chapter 4) wasa form of research knowledge that evolved with the initial exploration to become the grounded theory approach in analysing biographical data. The final chapter(5) examines the methodology in the light of its actuality as opposed to a pre-supposition identified in chapter 3. The final sections (5.2-3) considers research implications for the nursing and midwifery professions. As a qualitative study it lived up to the expectations of obtaining valid and rich data; as a conceptualisation it extended the imagination into the respondents'reality. It was intentional that this study neither argued with formal knowledge nor constrained the freedom of analysis, however, its procedure proved to be as rigorous as any a priori science. Its limitations, as such, were restrained to the unrecorded quantum leaps and bridging inferences made in the interpretive communication between respondent and researcher. There are suggestions for further studies to build on to this philosophical research which primarily concern the lack of career counselling and lack of managerial insight and support for personal development in the investigated professions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available