Towards the construction of unobtrusive research techniques : critical considerations when conducting a literature analysis

14 Feb 2017

This article focuses on specific dimensions and processes when applying unobtrusive research techniques. In general, unobtrusive research techniques study social behaviour to eliminate bias and promote conceptual and contextual analysis. These techniques can be applied to both quantitative and qualitative research. This article advances an understanding of unobtrusive research techniques. It extends guidelines on their uses to facilitate a better conceptual understanding of how unobtrusive research techniques can be intertwined creatively with other qualitative and quantitative research methods to advance scholarship. The article is structured as follows: Firstly, the article provides a brief explanation of methodology and research design. This is followed by an overview of conceptualising specific aspects that are related to the application and outcomes of applying unobtrusive research methods. The applications that are discussed include the literature study, as well as theoretical, conceptual and analytical frameworks. This is followed by an explanation of selective principles of unobtrusive research techniques. Hereafter, a discussion of conceptual, content and historical comparative analysis provides further insight. Furthermore, the article also discusses the strengths and weaknesses of unobtrusive techniques. In conclusion, possible steps to be followed when unobtrusive research techniques are used are also provided.