Ogle, Alfred, & Stephen Fanning (2014). Quasi-Q-Sorting innovation: The use of tangible cues in sorting methodology. Journal of Hospitality Application & Research, 9(1), 69-80. (Accessible: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264977670_Quasi_Q-Sorting_innovation_The_use_of_tangible_cues_in_sorting_methodology)

Abstract: 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 categorise 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 categorisation 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 categorisation 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.

Alfred Ogle <a.ogle@ecu.edu.au> and Stephen Fanning <s.fanning@ecu.edu.au> are affiliated with the Department of Hotel Management, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi, India, and are in residence at 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, Western Australia.