Author Identifier

Andreas Brönnimann

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Critical Realism


Taylor & Francis


School of Business and Law




Edith Cowan University - Open Access Support Scheme 2021


Brönnimann, A. (2022). How to phrase critical realist interview questions in applied social science research. Journal of Critical Realism, 21(1), 1-24.


The tenets of critical and social realism are well supported in the literature. However, researchers following a realist paradigm have concerns about the lack of methodical guidance for qualitative interviewing, despite their affirmation about the importance of in-depth interviews. A conducted review of empirical realist literature provides evidence of an absence of guidance and commonality regarding interview planning practices. To overcome this absence, this paper composes a guiding framework to assist researchers to phrase more appropriate interview questions in realist research. The steps are founded on critical and social realist concepts while guided by methodological realist principles. Its contribution aims to not only improve the practice of realist inquiry methods but also to introduce more research transparency. A more transparent method for interview questions can lead to increased validity and afford replicability of mechanism-based theories resulting from empirical realist research.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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