Qualitative Methods for Public Administration – PADM 812

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to introduce the field of qualitative research and preparation for public administration doctoral students. This course addresses how to apply advanced, qualitative research principles, and data collection and analysis methods. Ethnography, phenomenology, grounded theory, and case study designs will be applied.  Interviewing techniques, focus groups, field work, open-ended surveys, and observations will be discussed.  Qualitative analyses include manual coding and developing themes. 


PADM 810


Students will learn to apply qualitative methods best practices in a manner applicable to the public administration sector. Ethical and Biblical principles will be applied to the collection and management of data and presentation of results.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Distinguish qualitative methodological approaches in public administration and policy areas, from interpretive to positivist, as well as qualitative inquiry—ethnography, case study, narrative inquiry, phenomenology, and grounded theory.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge about the various qualitative research methods, such as interviews, focus groups, various types of observations, and others.
  3. Learn about the analysis/interpretation of qualitative data, including how to record observations or design interview protocols and how to generate and apply a coding scheme and themes development for use with qualitative data.
  4. Demonstrate skills in managing selected design, data collection, analysis and writing strategies of qualitative research.
  5. Evaluate theoretical, methodological, and empirical decisions in the qualitative study of public problems and issues in public service.
  6. Apply qualitative research methods to various stages of the participants’ research process, such as problem statement formulation, research design, data collection, and data analysis.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings, journal articles, government reports, websites, and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (3)

You will take part in 3 Discussion Board Forums in which you will post a thread presenting your essay on the assigned topic, writing 750–850 words. Then, you will post replies of 250–300 words each to 2 or more classmates’ threads. Each reply must be unique and must integrate ideas (and citations) from the required reading. Merely posting the same reply in 2 places is not sufficient and may be treated as a form of academic misconduct. The original thread must incorporate ideas and citations from all of the required readings and presentations for that module/week. Students can use additional articles as well. All cites must be peer reviewed or government reports. No encyclopedias, dictionaries, Wikipedia, or website blogs. All posts must comply with APA 6 edition format.

Qualitative Data Management Assignment

The student will describe the problems that would occur if a systems approach to qualitative data management is not followed by the qualitative researcher. The 8-10 page paper is in Word format supported by peer-reviewed sources. APA formatting is used for in-text cites and references.

Interviewing Assignment

The student will develop a semi-structured interview protocol and interview various stakeholders to interview and observe their mannerisms concerning possible bullying of Christian employees who work in government. Students’ notes and observations will be reported in a Word document. The 8–10-page paper is supported by peer-reviewed sources and in APA format.

NVivo Assignment

Using NVivo for Windows software, students will code and develop themes for the notes and interview transcript collected during the interview assignment. The student’s 8–10-page report will be produced in Word using APA format.

Qualitative Case Study Research Design Paper

Define the case study qualitative design, what are the Yin and Stake approaches, and which one of the two approaches do you think should be used in public administration? The 8–10-page paper is in Word format supported by peer-reviewed sources. APA formatting is used for in- text cites and references.

Theory Development Assignment

Develop a Conceptual Framework for local government manager’s perceptions of transportation issues in their communities. The student will provide a conceptual framework design in a figure and also describe it in text. The framework is supported from the literature and theories of local manager’s attitudes and perceptions. The 8–10-page paper will be in Word format using APA style
using only peer reviewed sources.