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.