Posted by: sweadickblog | June 5, 2017

Themes/Topics: A Winning Strategy for CEO Communication

Exercise 12.1 in the text, Qualitative Research Methods (Tracy, 2013) looks at writing strategies for qualitative reports and when to employ the different strategies based on the research approach.

My research plan involves personal interviews around a topic, the people involved in the decision-making, and the approach and projected outcome on internal and external communications. For this research, the best approach for identifying problems and explaining the data in a report will be the themes/topics strategy. This is the most common writing strategy (Tracy, 2013, p. 262) and for good reason; it gives the final paper a clear logic flow, readers can understand the topic of discussion, and dive into the individual themes that emerge through the research.

The research I will be pursuing involves one-on-one interviews learning about the reasons why corporations chose to get B Corporation classification. The scope of the research will involve learning about the decision makers, the anticipated implications of the classification change, and the role of corporate internal and external communications. This research will benefit from an identification of consistent themes and from a connection of overlapping topics across corporations from varying industries.

One of the key audiences for the research will be to better inform corporations that are deeply involved with their own corporate social responsibility initiatives and may be considering the benefits of a B Corp. They could use the research to learn about other corporation’s decision-making process and the internal discussion around the topic. The included cases studies would provide an analysis of how other corporations framed the topic for its various stakeholders.

Through previous focus group research reports, I am familiar with the style of themes/topics and am the most comfortable with this writing strategy. It is a successful method for communicating with corporate CEOs who often benefit from clear, high-level topics that help to explain a broader problem or opportunity. Again, it provides a focused look at major themes in the work and helps to organize a narrative throughout the report that can lead to solid conclusions and additional research questions.


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