Qualitative Methods for Public Administration – PADM 812

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 05/30/2022

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. 

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The student 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.

Course Assignment

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

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (3)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion, writing at least 750 words. Then, the student will post replies of at least 250 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. The student 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 current 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 (current edition) 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. The student's notes and observations will be reported in a Word document. The 8–10-page paper is supported by peer-reviewed sources and in APA (current edition) format. 

Qualitative Analysis Coding Assignment

Using Microsoft Word, the student 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 (current edition) format.

Qualitative Case Study Assignment

The student will define the case study of qualitative design, and answer the following questions:

  • What are the Yin and Stake approaches?
  • Which one of the two approaches does the student think should be used in public administration? 

The 8–10-page paper is in Word format supported by peer-reviewed sources. APA (current edition) formatting is used for in-text cites and references.

Qualitative Theory Development Assignment

The student will 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 (current edition) style using only peer reviewed sources.