qualitative research.

We are qualitative researchers. Our research is descriptive, not predictive, yielding thick, rich descriptions of the focus of our inquiry. Qualitative research is open-ended, in-depth, and context-sensitive. We focus on ordinary situations, events and people in their natural settings. Much of our research is done in real time and we remain open to the unexpected or emergent. We gather data via observation, interviews, collecting texts, video, and audio recordings. We analyze field notes, transcripts, diaries, conversation records (minutes, emails, texts), all types of textual and pictorial documents. We communicate our findings in forms that recreate the situation or event.

the power of qualitative research.
  • real world focus & local context

  • meanings inform theory & practice

  • time & space to probe for deeper meanings

  • dynamic nature of techniques (i.e. interviews & focus groups) 

  • synergy among respondents, flow/exchange of ideas

  • level of openness to emergent data spurs new research

  • inclusion of non-verbal communication analysis (i.e. body language, tone, volume, eye contact, gestures)

applications of qualitative research.
  • investigate how individuals make sense of events & behaviors

  • explore in detail how context shapes meaning, experience & behaviors

  • identify & investigate trends

  • gain insight into the “whys” of quantitative results

  • Identify the “how” of outcomes

  • challenge status quo

  • uncovering embedded political arrangements

qualitative research can help your business, organization, community.  
  • understand feelings, values, & perceptions of stakeholders/target group

  • understand decision-making or problem-solving dynamics of stakeholders/group

  • understand emotions and attitudes related to societal and public affairs issues

  • identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats

  • identify needs, attitudes, & desires of stakeholders /target group

  • generate ideas for improvements and/or expansion develop new programs or products

  • uncover potential strategic directions for communications, programming, branding

  • capture the language & imagery of stakeholders /target group

  • capture reactions to messages, campaigns, branding, & various marketing communications

  • assess the “user-friendliness” of websites or other interactive products or services

  • determine language to use in a quantitative survey

our expertise: content analysis.

Content anaylsis is an area of expertise for transform. Content analysis is a complex and robust method of analyzing written and oral textual materials that has qualitative and quantitative features. As a hybrid approach, it has great power and applicability to a wide range of research questions, contexts, and levels of analysis. Content analysis is uniquely suited to macro-level organizational research that examines the dynamics of environment and organizational-level phenomena such as culture, values, and interaction among members.


Content analysis allows for close listening and is useful for all manner of verbal, symbolic, pictorial communication. Content analysis is elastic, unobtrusive, and amenable to a variety of statistical as well as sophisticated qualitative analysis techniques. Content analysis has an inherent potential for high reliability of measurement for use in field and controlled settings.


Content analysis is one of the fastest growing research methodologies. Known for its complexity, accuracy, reliability, and validity it has grown beyond its original “home” in mass communications to include political science, literacy criticism, cultural studies and ethnography. With the availability of sophisticated software programs as aids for coding, sorting, and networking, content analysis is a great tool for reducing large data sets into meaningful themes and categories. 

our inspiration & aspirations as qualititative researchers.

transform. is influenced by the multi vocal and interdisciplinary approach to research pioneered by Mary Parker Follett, who was both a practitioner (business management consultant) and a keen social science researcher in the early 20th century. She was known for her commitment to truth & her resistance to proving pet theory or a priori belief. She was a methodological trailbazer:

  • Follett was among the first to study human relations objectively

  • Follett pioneered the use of in-depth interviews

  • Follett modeled “participant action research” before it existed


Hallmarks of Follett's research to which we aspire

  • diligence, accuracy, independence, originality , neutrality

  • high level of sophistication

  • support all findings via ample details and illustrations

  • applying an Open Systems framework

  • gestalt approach: always looking at wholes, for interconnections and relationships in the situation

  • inductive reasoning to develop original ideas

  • intense, penetrating analysis via thorough observation

  • careful, objective sifting of texts

  • seeing all of life as the best “lab” for understanding


PO Box 590154

Birmingham, AL  35259

T: 205. 821.8205


© 2014 by Suzanne Martin. All rights reserved