What Keeps High Achieving Women from Choosing Executive Positions: V. Method and Research Design
Therefore, since the purpose of a phenomenological study is to capture what people experienced, it is critical that the inquiry process is conducted by a researcher who can discover the nature and the meaning of the data through the lens of her own experience. (Patton, 2002) Since this type of research is concerned with meaning, not measurement, it requires the researcher to have personal experience with and intense interest in the phenomenon. (p. 107) Using the perspective of the researcher in phenomenological research can provide a deeper understanding of the significance of the experiences described by all the participants. Patton said, “A sense of connection develops between the researcher and research participants in their mutual effort to elucidate the nature, meaning and essence of a significant human experience.” (p. 108)
The 46 women who participated in the interviews and completed the final survey which provided the data for this study occupied a variety of executive and managerial positions in private sector corporations. Their job titles ranged from CEO to specialist. Counting the researcher, the total number of women who participated in the research was 47. To determine if they were achievement oriented, they were each given a DISC Style Analysis Instrument based on the work of Marston (1979) and McClelland (1975). Participants had to score at least 75% as a “D” (dominant, active, achievement-oriented) and less than 25% as an “S” (steady, passive, relationship-oriented).