Qualitative data analysis: exploring themes, metaphors and stories

Catherine Cassell, Vicky Bishop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper explores the processes and outcomes of using three different forms of data analytic processes to analyse the same set of qualitative data. The dataset are 24 in-depth qualitative interviews with taxi drivers about their experiences of dignity at work. To enable an effective comparison of techniques, three types of analysis are used which rely on similar categorization processes: template analysis; story analysis; and metaphor analysis. In presenting the analysis the aims are to draw attention to the research questions and opportunities for theorising that might be enabled by a given analytic approach and highlight some of the rich variety of analytic approaches available to the qualitative management researcher. Hence we offer a novel, empirical account of the practical use of these three approaches with the intention of potentially expanding the analytic toolkit of other qualitative researchers and promoting the use of a range of different forms of qualitative data analysis. It is argued that given the increasing trend towards standardisation in qualitative management research, it is important to promote alternatives within the qualitative researcher’s analytic toolkit.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Management Review
Early online date20 May 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 May 2018


  • qualitative
  • qualitative data analysis
  • taxi drivers
  • stories
  • metaphors
  • thematic analysis


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