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There are multiple qualitative, quantitative and interpretive types of research methods (how you plan to collect, analyze, and interpret your data).  Each method has its own terminologies, strengths and weaknesses, and set of ethical issues.  Your research question and goals should determine your research method or selection of combined methods.

The following are a few select references to qualitative and interpretive research methods. Some information about quantitative research design can also be found in the general research methods section below.

If you are a student and wish to learn more about research methods after taking Research Methods in Construction and/or Research Methods in Construction Engineering, consider taking a methods course in the Department of Communication, Department of Sociology or Department of Anthropology.

General and Qualitative Research Methods and Research Design:


  • Atkinson, Paul, Amanda Coffey, Sara Delamont, John Lofland, and Lyn Lofland, eds. 2014. Handbook of Ethnography. Reprinted. Los Angeles London New Delhi Singapore Washington DC: Sage Publications
  • Emerson, Robert M., Rachel I. Fretz, and Linda L. Shaw. 1995. Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes. Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
  • Van Maanen, John. 1988. Tales of the Field: On Writing Ethnography. Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Grounded Theory

  • Corbin, Juliet M., Anselm L. Strauss, and Anselm L. Strauss. 2008. Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory. 3rd ed. Los Angeles, Calif: Sage Publications, Inc.
  • Glaser, Barney G., and Anselm L. Strauss. 2009. The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. 4. paperback printing. New Brunswick: Aldine

Case Studies

  • Eisenhardt, K. M. 1989. “Building Theories from Case Study Research.” Academy of Management Review 14 (4): 532–50. doi:10.5465/AMR.1989.4308385
  • Yin, Robert K. 2014. Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Fifth edition. Los Angeles: Sage Publications

Narrative Analysis

  • Bamberg, Michael, and Alexandra Georgakopoulou. 2008. “Small Stories as a New Perspective in Narrative and Identity Analysis.” Text & Talk – An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse Communication Studies 28 (3): 377–96. doi:10.1515/TEXT.2008.018
  • Boje, David M. 2001. Narrative Methods for Organizational and Communication Research. London; Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications      
  • Czarniawska, Barbara. 1998. A Narrative Approach to Organization Studies. Qualitative Research Methods 43. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications
  • Czarniawska-Joerges, Barbara. 2004. Narratives in Social Science Research. Introducing Qualitative Methods. London ; Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications
  • Riessman, Catherine Kohler. 1993. Narrative Analysis. Qualitative Research Methods, v. 30  Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications