Quasi-Q-Sorting Innovation: The Use Of Tangible Cues In Sorting Methodology

Document Type

Journal Article


Birla Institute of Technology


Faculty of Business and Law


School of Business




This article was originally published as: Ogle, A. W., & Fanning, S. M. (2014). Quasi-Q-Sorting innovation: The use of tangible cues in sorting methodology. Journal of Hospitality Application & Research, 9(1), 69-80. Original article available here


Q-sort is a qualitative research method that is gaining popularity outside of its traditional psychology and social sciences areas. The Quasi-Q-sort is a derivative of the Q-sort that affords more latitude in the design and administration of the process. This paper reports how the Quasi-Q-sort method was applied in an innovative way to categorize according to tangible attributes in addition to the standard semantic sorting protocol. The Sensory Quasi-Q-Sort (SQQS) was used to obtain unprompted and spontaneous respondent categorization of 40 hotel comment cards (HCC). Respondents identified attributes that could be clustered to form a description-based classification not restricted to semantic context. This study showed divergence in categorization indicating varying first impressions of HCCs by guests. Emergent themes identified were Question Format, Graphic Design/Appearance, Dimension, Texture/Paper weight, Ready to mail format, Time taken to complete, Ease-of-use, Geographic/Locality, and Familiar/Expected/Customary form/Appearance. SQQ-sorting is a valuable way of adding to the richness of qualitative research as it allows inclusion of dimensions previously ignored. As part of a mixed method approach, this is a simple cost effective, efficient and effective method to obtain valuable perspective on how objects are perceived by all the human senses. Such data can influence design and marketing concepts.

Access Rights

Not open access