Here, you will find information on qualitative research and a variety of suggestions to bear in mind when planning to carry out fieldwork in Spain. Most of the tips and articles are coined by us but we are very much in favour of making reference to other author's links whenever we consider they may be useful to market research practitioners.

martes, 15 de febrero de 2011

A Practitioner’s Perspective

The value of a right question

Anibal Marrón, MD with MG Research Solutions and QRCA member, comments on the importance that many social researchers attribute to questions. Are we expecting too much from the answers?

Generally speaking, a researcher’s objective is to understand the way the variables play and how they interact with the issue that triggers the need for research in a given client. Usually, it involves making considerations about a mix of market signals and making choices about what is important; however, the signals are sometimes very weak or not self-explanatory.

Within this context, I tend to believe that questions are far more important than answers.  When I fail to perceive clear signals from the market all my alarms tend to switch alertness “on".  It is because I come to the conclusion that the mental model I am using to comprehend the facts is wrong. Thus, I assume that an important piece of the puzzle is missing and I need to think creatively to see beyond. 

As a researcher, I have found that a good dose of creativity is vital to bring up original solutions. Also, I have found that creativity comes from hard work.  Only after many hours of study, I come to a point when I feel ready to view from different angles all the facts and quotations.

Just then, I am able to deconstruct the knowledge and to forget momentarily the relationships attributed to the pieces of the jigsaw.  At this point in time, not only listening is important but also changing the mindset.  Search is thus guided by new questions that come from sensing different viewpoints, from exploring different sources of knowledge that may develop even further my ability to critically evaluate the issues.

In this respect, new questions enable practitioners to envision new relationships and new variables.  It is like fine-tuning our ears to hear a different frequency.  Basically, the value of a question lays not necessarily in obtaining an answer but in eliciting a new approach.
Questions help us to channel and categorise knowledge, they are intended to make us comprehend the meaning of the signals and only when we are capable of understanding them, we will be in a condition to reduce uncertainty.  Maybe, I should specify here that I am talking about big questions.  Those that are hard to find but, when structured, transform our perspective, our perceptions and patterns of measure.

In fact, this type of question has the power to introduce us into a new dimension.  A good question unfolds before us alternative pathways; its value resides in that it leads us to interpret reality through a different coordinate system.  Just then the answers become important.

Barcelona. Growing trend in medical tourism

Barcelona appears to be far more active in attracting the international patients on the lookout for medical services that are seemingly unavailable in their home countries due to lack of affordability, lack of availability, and/or lengthy waiting lists. The article examines the news and highlights some of its fieldwork implications.

Nowadays, based on its well developed medical service offer, Catalonia is trying to introduce itself as a location of health tourist providers.  With that in mind, this year the Catalan Agency of Tourism will be present in Los Angeles (EE.UU) at the World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress (WMT&GHC).  Before then, Barcelona will be hosting in April 2011 the IV European Medical Travel Conference, which is expected to gather around 400 participants.

According to BCM, the organization that works with 22 other private clinics to provide services at prestigious medical centres, over 10,000 international patients have been treated during 2008.   The figures published show a 4% increase in the hospitalizations and outpatient surgeries performed in foreign patients.  More precisely, there have been 4,710 procedures performed and around 5,100 consultations from international clients.

Having some of the most important hospitals and private clinics in Spain, Barcelona has long attracted highly respected physicians in many areas of expertise. This could be reason enough to choose it as a location for a consultation or a medical procedure but, more recently, the comparatively low cost of medical services and neighbouring countries’ legislation has helped Barcelona to get where it stands now.

Services typically sought by travellers include elective procedures as well as complex specialized surgeries such as joint replacement (knee/hip), cardiac surgery, dental surgery, cosmetic surgeries

Fieldwork implications
  • The researcher can find top respondents and key opinion leaders in almost all the specialities including plastic surgeons, cardiologists and fertilization specialists.
  • The newest techniques and procedures are likely to be performed in Barcelona.
  • It stands out as one of the ideal locations to research medical devices and medical instruments