Accessing Participants

Hi everyone

I’m about 55% into a PhD and have hit a nasty challenge. The research study requires two types of participants - one from Non-profits and one from Corporations. I was inundated with participants from the NPO sector but having assumed (I know!) that Corporate managers working in this space would be keen to engage, I find the exact opposite. They are diffident, defensive, exceptionally careful and seem to engage purely for PR purposes (or to rehearse a job interview!). Anyone suggest other recruitment techniques, methods or goals that have succeeded with senior experienced managers?



Hi @KieransPhd,

Maybe I am stating the obvious but I would give it a try to snowball method when you ask your participants to recommend others who you can talk to. Even your participants from the NPO may know a person or two from for-profit organizations.

You can also try to find associations that those managers look for to keep updated with the field. For example, I am from the Organizational Development field and we have associations such as ATD, SHRM, and SIOP that help professionals with networking, training, etc. You could join one or two, take one or two months to know the ambiance, and then present your study but like you had just started it rather than “I am here only because of that”.

Do anyone from your faculty know one manager or two who can help you?? Does your university have any sort of management training program, or even MBAs, that can help you get in touch with its students?? Worst case scenario, find a couple of business schools that have those kinds of training and send an email to the management training coordinator explaining your study. In my opinion, if they openly say they can not help you, they definitely picked the wrong career because they probably went through the same thing you are going through now.

That’s all I can think of at the top of my head… I hope I have helped you somehow!!

That’s excellent advice, I particularly like the MBA piece, as I taught on a few in Ireland!

I was rather trying to avoid snow-balling (nothing is ever free!) but it seems a good option.



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