Q Bibliography: Pfeiffer, Held, and Lee on industrial implementation

Pfeiffer, Sabine, Maximilian Held, & Horan Lee (2018, May). Digitalisierung „machen“ – Ansichten im Engineering zur partizipativen Gestaltung von Industrie 4.0 [“Doing” digitalisation – Views of industrial engineers on participation in “Industry 4.0”]. In Josephine Hofmann (Ed.), Arbeit 4.0 – Digitalisierung, IT und Arbeit: IT als Treiber der digitalen Transformation [Work 4.0 – Digitization, IT and labor: IT as a driver of digital transformation] (pp. 113-129). Wiesbaden: Springer Professional. [German] ISBN 978-3-658-21359-6. $59.99 cloth and ebook.

DOI & Full Text (German)

Chapter Summary

The German buzzword “Industry 4.0” comprises a host of diverse technologies, each requiring manifold implementation decisions as they are deployed in companies. Current forms of participatory design (including agile methods, design thinking, open innovation) often involve customers early on, but hardly the workers operating the new technologies on the shop floor. We investigate whether, and how the industrial engineers driving this change want to involve their blue-collar colleagues from the shop floor. This chapter reports unpublished results from a survey, qualitative interviews and a Q-sort at the industrial engineering department of a German automaker. Results indicate that engineers are ready to involve workers, and have made positive experiences with participation in the design process. However, such participation is often hampered by a lack of time and opportunity, as well as ideas and initiative to break with existing processes, often focused on ex-post optimisation.

Sabine Pfeiffer holds the chair for sociology for labor, technology and society at Friedrich-Alexander Universität, Nürnberg-Erlangen (FAU), Germany. Horan Lee  is a research associate at FAU. Maximilian Held is a research associate and Q data scientist at FAU, as well as the webmaster of the Q methodology website.

Pinning Down Democracy: : A Q-Method Study of Lived Democracy

Rune Holmgaard Andersen, Jennie L. Schulze, and Külliki Seppel: “Pinning Down Democracy: A Q-Method Study of Lived Democracy,” Polity 50, no. 1 (January 2018): 4-42.

The social sciences disagree on how democracy should be defined and measured. This study approaches the conceptualization of democracy from the demos side. Using Q-methodology, we pin down the way ordinary Estonians live and understand democracy. The analysis reveals three distinct discourses: a libertarian democracy as freedom; a participatory democracy as empowerment; and a populist democracy as the utopia of good policies. It also points to strong consensus on what it means to live together in society. The study has both general and specific value. It tests the correspondence between defined democracy and lived democracy; it demonstrates how Q-methodology can objectivize the subjective; and it provides new empirical knowledge about how ordinary people perceive democracy. Understanding how people conceive of democracy is essential for ensuring measurement validity when using either conventional quantitative or qualitative approaches.

Q Bibliography: Naspetti, Mandolesi, and Zanoli on the impact on the landscape of photovoltaic applications

Naspetti, Simona, Serena Mandolesi, and Raffaele Zanoli (2016). Using visual Q sorting to determine the impact of photovoltaic applications on the landscape. Land Use Policy, 57, 564–573.

Abstract: In recent years, some European countries have experienced rapid growth of installation of photovoltaic systems. These systems can involve relevant, and in some cases quite radical, transformations of the landscape, especially in rural areas, and long-term impact on land use. In Italy, this installation of photovoltaic systems has raised concerns over the impact on the landscape and on land use. Visual Q methodology is particularly suited for the assessment of such perceived impact of photovoltaic systems. A selection (concourse) of landscape images with photovoltaic elements was collected and used during this Q-sort analysis. The final Q sample included 54 images of various photovoltaic plants in urban and rural settings. The P set was composed of 34 participants, including landscape and photovoltaic professionals. This analysis identified three distinctive factors that are representative of the different viewpoints on the integration of photovoltaic systems within the urban and rural landscapes. We conclude with a discussion of the wider land-use policy implications of this analysis.

Raffaele Zanoli <zanoli> is in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences at Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy and was the local host for the 2015 Q conference in Ancona.

Q Bibliography: Park et al. on sexual ethics among Korean undergraduates

Park, Youngrye, Eun Ja Yen, & Yoon Young Hwang (in press). Subjectivity about sexual ethics among Korean undergraduate students using Q methodology. Asian Nursing Research.
(DOI: 10.1016/j.anr.2016.05.002) (Available: http://www.asian-nursingresearch.com/article/S1976-1317(16)30023-8/pdf)

Abstract: Most undergraduate students are in the phase of gaining mental and physical autonomy from their parents as they expand their worlds in college. The ways that sexual ethics are established during this time may have an important influence on healthy lifestyles and the maintenance of social order. This study aims to determine a typology of undergraduate students’ sexual ethics and the characteristics that compose the types.

Yoon Young Hwang <hyy2115@hanmail.net> is in Seoul Women’s College of Nursing, Seoul, South Korea.

Q Bibliography: Armadas et al. on social-ecological vulnerability

Armatas, Christopher A., Tyron Venn, & Alan Watson (2016, May 12). Understanding social-ecological vulnerability with Q-methodology: A case study of water-based ecosystem services in Wyoming, USA. Sustainability Science. ePublication prior to print, DOI: 10.1007/s11625-016-0369-1) (Accessible: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11625-016-0369-1/fulltext.html)

Abstract: A broad range of participatory methods can be employed to understand the vulnerability of social-ecological systems threatened by various drivers of change including climate change and land-use change. Understanding this vulnerability is critical for managing natural resources, particularly water resources that flow across jurisdictional boundaries, and support conflicting uses. This paper demonstrates Q-methodology, a promising participatory method infrequently applied in the vulnerability context, with a case study investigation of the vulnerability of stakeholders reliant on water-based ecosystem services derived from the Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming, USA. The approach identified four distinct viewpoints regarding vulnerability, including an environmental perspective, agricultural perspective, Native American perspective, and recreation perspective. The distinct viewpoints highlighted disparate levels of importance related to 34 water benefits, such as commercial irrigation, oil and natural gas extraction, river-based fishing, and cultural and spiritual use. A diverse range of drivers of change threatening important water benefits were also identified, including pollution, too much management intervention, and development of recreation opportunities. The potential benefits of Q-methodology for vulnerability assessment include a rank-ordering exercise that elicits preferences for tradeoffs, and statistical derivation of a small number of perspectives about the topic.

Christopher A Armatas <christopher.armatas> is a doctoral student in the College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, Missoula, MT (USA).

Q Bibliography: Grover on indicators of quality school education

Grover, Vijay Kumar (2015, August). Developing indicators of quality school education as perceived by teachers using Q-methodology approach. Zenith International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 5(8), 54-65.

Abstract: This investigation is an attempt to assess indicators of ‘quality school education’ using Stephenson’s Q-methodology designed to deal with subjective issues like one under investigation. Methodology is alternative of R-methodology which deals with objective issues and highly relies on quantitative analysis. In procedure of Q-methodology it is inter-person correlation put to factor analysis instead of inter-item correlation as in case of R-methodology. Investigator finalized thirty-nine items supposedly covering the concept under investigation; we technically call it concourse of the concept. Data was collected by using ipsative choice method of Q-sorting, which involves placing items (written on cards) in seven piles (having 1, 3, 8, 15, 8, 3, and 1 items) on a continuum from least approved to most approved. These items are scored from 1 to 7 in respect of piles moving from least approved to most approved measures. Depending on inter-correlation values, i.e., proximity, groups of persons were discovered. For each group responses by the members for all the items were averaged to find rank order for items. These items are then placed back in the Q-distribution to understand most approved and least approved measures of quality for a group. Study revealed that at least fifteen factors (one corresponding to each group) are running under the concept of quality school education. It is finally concluded that teachers differ significantly in their perceptions on the subject under investigation. Indicators developed include—Planning, Problem solving, Efficiency, Communication, Skills learning, Individual differences, Productivity, Teaching methodology, Freedom of expression, Leadership, Teacher, and Relation. In terms of hypotheses testing, study accepted all the hypotheses relating to existence of distinct groups, groups have different perceptions, and the methodology has been effective for dealing the subject under investigation.

Vijay Kumar Grover <grovervijaykom> is in the DAV College of Education, Abohar, Punjab, India.

Q Bibliography: Grover on objective solutions to subject problems

Grover, Vijay Kumar (2014). Objective solution of subjective problems: Issue of methodological approach. Journal of Advanced Research in Psychology & Psychotherapy, 1(1), 10-21.

Abstract: The paper is an attempt to find an objective solution to subjective problems of behavior. It explains nature of physical and behavioral science. The nature of subject decides nature of methodology for treating a problem. ‘R’ and ‘Q’ methodologies are objective and subjective methodologies for solving a problem. This article explains the difference between the two types of methodologies, steps needed for both and their relative merits and demerits. Q methodology is actually replacement of qualitative methodology but with much more objectivity and scientific bases. Blending both R & Q methodologies can give us triangulation method of research which is the most effective. In the end, investigator justifies application of triangulation method by taking a sample example.

Vijay Kumar Grover <grovervijayk@gmail.com> is in the DAV College of Education, Abohar, Punjab, India.

Q Bibliography: Strickert et al. on viewpoints on water security

Strickert, Graham, Kwok Pan Chun, Lori Bradford, Douglas Clark, Patricia Gober, Maureen G. Reed, & Diana Payton (2016). Unpacking viewpoints on water security: Lessons from the South Saskatchewan River Basin. Water Policy, 18, 50-72.

Abstract: Water is essential for human development and the environment; however, its security is challenged by factors such as competing uses, over extraction, and divergent perspectives. The focus of this paper is to better understand how different stakeholders define water security in the South Saskatchewan River Basin, a large (121,095 km2) transboundary basin that exemplifies global water security challenges. Understanding the perceptions of water security held by water stewards across multiple jurisdictions working in the public, private, and civil society sectors is critical for policy formulation and implementation. We used Q-method during three workshops to identify the factors that summarize perceptions about water security from water stewards spanning two provinces in Canada. Participants perceived that water security is linked to sustainability through concerns for intergenerational equity, ecosystem maintenance, and ‘balanced’ growth. Study participants generally disagreed with framings of water security that were shorter, self-centred, and narrow. We find some support for risk and vulnerability based framings of water security which centred on ‘reliability’ and ‘limited resources’ as core themes. In particular, the geographic and jurisdictional location, as well as the roles of water stewards affected the relative importance of core themes about water security.

Graham Strickert <graham.strickert@usask.ca> is with the Global Institute for Water Security, National Hydrology Research Centre. All authors are from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.

Q Bibliography: Pereira et al. on value and goal diversity among Brazilian beef farmers

Pereira, Mariana A., John R. Fairweather, Keith B. Woodford, & Peter L. Nuthall (2016, April). Assessing the diversity of values and goals amongst Brazilian commercial-scale progressive beef farmers using Q-methodology. Agricultural Systems, 144, 1-8.

Abstract: This paper analyses the diversity of goals and values amongst 26 Brazilian commercial-scale beef farmers previously identified as exhibiting progressive technology adoption behaviours, and considers the implications for the agricultural innovation system (AIS). Following the Q-methodology guidelines, four main sets of goals and values were identified and labelled: the Professional Farmer (PF), the Committed Environmentalist (CE), the Profit Maximiser (PM) and the Aspirant Top Farmer (ATF). All farmer types believed in operating the farm as a business and agreed with the notion that cattle production and nature conservation are compatible. The PF aimed to run the farm professionally, based on sound technical and managerial practices. The CE put a particularly strong emphasis on the long-term sustainability of the farming system. The PM focused on technical issues to pursue economic returns and efficiency, thereby also creating space for lifestyle objectives. The ATF sought physical farm and livestock excellence, was growth oriented, and sought recognition by peers. These four typologies have implications for the farmers’ technology adoption and its promotion, e.g. they are likely to influence the uptake of particular types of innovations, and reinforce the importance of considering AIS within a social systems framework. This is the first Q-methodology study to demonstrate considerable diversity of values and goals within a subset of technology-adopting progressive farmers, with implications within agricultural innovation systems for the integration of goal diversity and adoption theory.

Mariana A Pereira <mariana.pereira@embrapa.br> is affiliated with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa Beef Cattle, Ministry of Agriculture), Brasilia, Brazil.

Q Bibliography: West, Cairns, and Schultz on what constitutes a successful biodiversity corridor

West, Simon, Rose Cairns, & Lisen Schultz (2016, May). What constitutes a successful biodiversity corridor? A Q-study in the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. Biological Conservation, 198, 183-192.

Abstract: ‘Success’ is a vigorously debated concept in conservation. There is a drive to develop quantitative, comparable metrics of success to improve conservation interventions. Yet the qualitative, normative choices inherent in decisions about what to measure — emerging from fundamental philosophical commitments about what conservation is and should be — have received scant attention. We address this gap by exploring perceptions of what constitutes a successful biodiversity corridor in the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa, an area of global biodiversity significance. Biodiversity corridors are particularly illustrative because, as interventions intended to extend conservation practices from protected areas across broader landscapes, they represent prisms in which ideas of conservation success are contested and transformed. We use Q method to elicit framings of success among 20 conservation scientists, practitioners and community representatives, and find three statistically significant framings of successful corridors: ‘a last line of defence for biodiversity under threat,’ ‘a creative process to develop integrative, inclusive visions of biodiversity and human wellbeing,’ and ‘a stimulus for place-based cultural identity and economic development.’ Our results demonstrate that distinct understandings of what a corridor is — a planning tool, a process of governing, a territorialized place — produce divergent framings of ‘successful’ corridors that embody diverse, inherently contestable visions of conservation. These framings emerge from global conservation discourses and distinctly local ecologies, politics, cultures and histories. We conclude that visions of conservation success will be inherently plural, and that in inevitably contested and diverse social contexts success on any terms rests upon recognition of and negotiation with alternative visions

Simon West <simon.west@su.se> is a PhD student at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm.