Book Chapter or Section
The chapter examines the ways in which qualitative and quantitative methods support each other in research on occupational stress. Qualitative methods include eliciting from workers unconstrained descriptions of work experiences, careful first-hand observations of the workplace, and participant-observers describing ‘‘from the inside’’ a particular work experience. The chapter shows how qualitative research plays a role in (a) stimulating theory development, (b) generating hypotheses, (c) identifying heretofore researcher-neglected job stressors and coping responses, (d) explaining difficult-to-interpret quantitative findings, and (e) providing rich descriptions of stressful transactions. Extensive examples from research on job stress in teachers are used. The limitations of qualitative research, particularly in the area of verification, are also described.