Qualitative Reliability, Validity, and Generalizability

As I am continuing to develop my idea that I published yesterday, Research Design: Communities of Practice for Autoethnographers, I want to clarify one of the issues that some of my wonderful colleagues commented about, namely the issue of Reliability, Validity, and Generalizability.

While I used those terms in that area based on Creswell’s Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches work (pg. 190), I put it there primarily as a place-holder so those in my program who will offer me some comments on it will know that I will, in some way, address it. What I actually had in mind was Lincoln and Guba’s Naturalistic Inquiry, where they give 4 areas of concern for qualitative Trustworthiness:

  1. “Truth value”
  2. Applicability
  3. Consistency
  4. Neutrality

These four were offered to address the quantitative internal validity, external validity, reliability, and objectivity.

I will address these as I engage with my research, and share aspects of them here.

4 thoughts on “Qualitative Reliability, Validity, and Generalizability

  1. You might want to read something more current than Lincoln and Guba as they wrote in a world much different than the present. The paradigm has moved on since then. Autoeth is certainly not going to fit very well within that older paradigm. At least get with Lincoln and Denzin!

    Crewell? I have a story about him, but better in private!

  2. @Kip Jones

    Kip, I used Lincoln and Guba as that text was recommended by an editor who wanted me to address these issues for an article that just got accepted. I know there are more recent works, though have not found any that were as detailed or organized as the older text. Are there any more current ones you can recommend instead?


  3. Hi Jeffrey. I used a combination of Ellis’s and Richardson’s work:
    Criteria that were initially advocated by Laurel Richardson (1994) for narrative research have been adapted for autoethnographic research (Ellis, 2004; 2000; Richardson & St. Pierre, 2005). These are substantive contribution, aesthetic merit, reflexivity, and impact.


  4. @Jacquie Kidd

    Thank you very much, Jacquie, for your generous offer. I sent you an email with some more specs yesterday, so please let me know if and when you receive it.

    I have recently been finding Richardson’s work very insightful, and hope we have an opportunity to speak about it this week.


Comments are closed.