At Susan Bell Research we've pioneered a new approach to qualitative research that helps us understand human behaviour in a new way. We call it Sensemaking.
Sensemaking is a framework to use in qualitative research.
It is especially useful:
- To investigate how people navigate between their own personal beliefs and their social relationships. In Australia, choosing to become a vegetarian is a good example because it is often a very personal choice which potentially affects that person’s relationship with other people.
- As a way to come grips with who people make decisions in ambiguous or confusing circumstances. In Australia, how people become retirees (often without choosing to) is a great example.
Three key features of sensemaking interviews:
- Sensemaking is a form of ethnography in that the researcher must understand the social, cultural and commercial environment as well as the individual’s thoughts and motivations.
- Sensemaking interviews are talk-based. How people talk is how people think.
- Sensemaking interviews are about what has happened in the past. To ask about future decisions would be artificial because people often act before they decide.
Find out more:
I will be speaking about sensemaking at some international conferences this year, starting with the QUAL360 2020 conference in Singapore https://apac.qual360.com/ in April.