Expanding Qualitative Research Horizons: The Development and Application of Intuitive Field Research (IFRes)


  • Manuel Au-Yong-Oliveira INESC TEC, Porto, Portugal; GOVCOPP, DEGEIT, Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2154-6171
  • Klaus Kuehnel University of Munich, Germany; Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal https://orcid.org/0009-0004-6885-7497
  • António Gil Andrade-Campos GRIDS – TEMA, Departamento de Engenharia Mecânica, Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal




Intuition, Field research, Qualitative research, Experience


This article is a study introducing a new qualitative research methodology - Intuitive field research or IFRes - involving words and the narrative and relying on the experience and intuition of the [experienced practitioner] researcher (Stein, 2019). Though similar, it is different to autoethnography as the latter’s focus is seen to be on culture (ethnography) whilst IFRes may focus on any aspect – including, also, machine-type interactions. IFRes is a six-step process, described herein, which seeks to take advantage of considerable previous work experience, in the field, to answer a research question posed following a literature review. It is an iterative process which seeks to perfect the knowledge produced (Baldacchino, Ucbasaran & Cabantous, 2023). Intuitive Field Research (IFRes) emerges as a pioneering qualitative research methodology that capitalizes on the nuanced intuition and rich field experiences of researchers to uncover deep insights into complex phenomena (Stein, 2019). Distinct from autoethnography, IFRes introduces a structured six-step process designed to systematically harness and refine these insights for academic and practical application. Originating at the University of Aveiro, this method represents a significant departure from conventional research methodologies by valuing experiential knowledge and intuitive understanding as critical components of the research process. In the context of business and management, IFRes holds particular promise for addressing the intricate challenges of contemporary business environments. These environments demand an agile and nuanced understanding that transcends traditional quantitative analyses, making the case for methodologies that can capture the subtleties of consumer behavior, organizational culture, and innovation dynamics. By enabling researchers and practitioners to integrate their intuitive judgments with rigorous academic inquiry, IFRes offers a unique approach to exploring and solving pressing business and academic issues. This article delineates the foundation of IFRes, its methodological underpinnings, and its potential applications within business and management, illustrating how intuitive insights can drive innovation, strategic decision-making, and transformative organizational practices. Through this expanded lens, IFRes not only contributes to academic discourse but also provides practical frameworks for businesses seeking to navigate the complexities of modern markets and organizational challenges. A practical example of applying Intuitive Field Research (IFRes) in business and management could involve a multinational corporation seeking to enhance its customer experience across diverse markets. By employing IFRes, the corporation's research team could immerse themselves in different cultural contexts, using their intuition and experience to gather nuanced insights into consumer behavior and preferences (Gorry & Westbrook, 2013). This approach would allow them to identify subtle, culturally specific factors influencing customer satisfaction that traditional surveys or data analysis might miss. These insights could then inform tailored strategies for each market, leading to improved customer engagement and loyalty. This example illustrates how IFRes' emphasis on intuitive understanding, combined with rigorous analysis, can address complex challenges in global business environments, leading to innovative solutions and competitive advantages. This article on Intuitive Field Research (IFRes) significantly impacts research by offering a novel method that blends intuitive insights with rigorous academic inquiry. It addresses the need for methodologies that go beyond traditional quantitative analysis to capture the complexities of human behavior and organizational dynamics (Ganzarain, Ruiz & Igartua, 2019). By emphasizing experiential knowledge and intuitive judgment, IFRes empowers researchers and practitioners to uncover deeper understandings of complex issues. This approach fosters innovation, enhances strategic decision-making, and facilitates transformative practices in various fields, thereby enriching academic discourse and offering practical solutions for real-world challenges.



24 Jun 2024