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date: 26 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Expertise is inherently linked to the context in which experts work. Qualitative methods are used to provide answers to “how” and “why” questions and to disentangle the impact of different interactions occurring in complex and uncertain situations. Such approaches are critical in order to understand context and be open to unexpected findings, and to truly understand how expert judgment works in the real world. This chapter considers how and why qualitative methods make important and distinct contributions to understanding expertise development in professional work. The application of qualitative methodologies to the study of expertise provides researchers with tools to explore and explain contextualized and social practices. Close-to-practice qualitative methodologies are described, highlighting the different research questions these approaches can answer and explaining why the methodologies are well suited to exploring the messiness and complexity of expertise.

Keywords: qualitative methods, complexity, qualitative research, theory, theoretical perspectives, methodology, practical methods

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