Interviewing Ghanaian Educational Elites: Strategies for Access, Commitment, and Engagement

  • Hope Pius Nudzor Institute for Educational Planning and Administration Faculty of Education University of Cape Coast Cape Coast, Ghana

Abstract

A review of the research methodology literature suggests that owing to the difficulty of gaining access to and obtaining commitments from elites, social scientists less frequently use them as research respondents, opting instead to investigate those over whom power is exercised. This article provides insights into some intricacies of elite interviewing. It recounts the experience of a novice researcher in his quest to gain access to and interview elite individuals within the Ghanaian educational system for his PhD thesis. In the process, the article sheds light on strategies and techniques (related to interviewee identification, scheduling, and researcher preparation for the interview, as well as rapport establishment with potential interviewees) that are helpful as toolkits in ensuring that elite interview processes are not unduly derailed. The article argues that the strategies discussed are useful for circumventing formalised and “public relations” responses, which elites tend to communicate with the press and public.

Author Biography

Hope Pius Nudzor, Institute for Educational Planning and Administration Faculty of Education University of Cape Coast Cape Coast, Ghana
Dr Hope Pius Nudzor is currently a Research Fellow at the Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (IEPA) of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Prior to this, he was UKs Economic and Social Research Council Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (with Strathclyde University) and before that a Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow with Liverpool Hope University. His research interests relate broadly to education policy success/failure. His research is particularly interested in the implementation of Education for All (and its related Millennium Development Goals) policy initiatives and interventions in low-income countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa.
Published
2013-11-28
Section
Articles