Promoting the case for using a research journal to document and reflect on the research experience
Management Centre International Ltd.
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Business
This paper draws upon a personal research journey and makes the case for recording this experience using a research journal. tol The context for this paper is based on a study of family life and leisure, which collected data using more traditional qualitative methods, namely focus groups and interviews with pre-birth and post birth couples and leisure managers in New Zealand. The research design for this study was based on phenomenology, where the experience of the subjects being studied was significant and involved developing an understanding of the lived experiences of pre-birth and post-birth couples, where the way they acted was dependent upon their understanding and meaning of their behavior (Waters, 1994) This paper draws on the researcher's own reflections recorded in a research journal, whilst undertaking this research study over a five year period. The paper discusses the meaning and importance of reflection as a way of evaluating the researcher's own research journey and highlights a number of issues with reference to the validity of such data. The paper concludes by revisiting the key benefits of reflection and affirms the belief that research journals are a useful tool, which enables the researcher to record personal thoughts and observations in a systematic manner.