Monday, April 3, 2017

Week 8: My Research Methodology

How I Conducted the Research


First, I want to thank Qatar University College of Law and my Dean Dr. Mohammed A. Al-Khulaifi for their generous support of this research. I also appreciate the help of Dr. Yasser Khalaileh, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Dr. Faouzi Ahmed Belknani, Associate Dean of Research, Dr. Yassin El Shazly, Associate Dean of Outreach and Engagement, and Dr. Conrad Sturm. Finally, I want to thank the many faculty and ADR colleagues who gave me the opportunity to interview them. They generously gave of their time.

The Interviews:

The report reflects about 20 hours of interviews, including the interviews of several QU professors, ADR professionals, law firm attorneys, government attorneys, and a judge sitting on the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Center (QICDRC). At this point in the process, I have interviewed people who live and work in Qatar, but I have also interviewed two people living in Dubai.

I conducted interviews over a three-month period during January to March 2017.

All of the interviews took at least an hour. About half the interviews lasted longer than that allotted time.

The Interview Questions:

I adopted interview questions based on an Appreciative Inquiry approach, as I explained in the instructions to interviewees.

In creating the questions, I relied on two resources:

  • Jane Magruder Watkins, et al., Appreciative Inquiry: Change at the Speed of Imagination (2d ed. 2011), and
  • Bernard J. Mohr & Jane Magruder Watkins, The Essentials of Appreciative Inquiry: A Roadmap for Creating Positive Futures (2002).

In this initial round of interviews, I was Beta-testing the questions. While I intend to make a few changes to them, overall, they worked to elicit the information I wanted to collect.

The Initial Report:

During each interview, I took at least seven pages of notes. I then collected those responses in a report.

Accordingly, the report reflects two stages of filtration: First, during the notetaking phase of the interview, and then during my transfer of those notes to the framework of the summary.

I apologize in advance if I failed to capture thoughts or comments of the interviewees accurately.

I then identified themes coming out of the interviews and captured some of my favorite comments or quotes. I will talk about those themes in my next post.


I intend to do another 40 hours of interviews. I will expand the geographic scope of the interviews to the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Saudi Arabia (i.e. other GCC countries).

As I do more interviews, I will continue to update and revise the report.

I plan to convert the report to a law review article that I will submit for publication during the Fall 2017 publication cycle in the U.S.

I also will present the results of this research at The "2d International Conference on Non-Adversarial Justice" held by the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration beginning April 6-9, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.

I also plan to do more quantitative research by using on-line surveys that will determine the background, training, and experience of neutrals in the Arab Gulf region. I will also ask about the number of disputes the neutrals have handled and which ADR processes they used. The surveys will also explore how often stakeholders are using ADR to resolve disputes and which processes they prefer.

I deeply enjoyed the opportunity to talk with people in the Arab Gulf ADR community. I want to thank them again for their time and energy. I learned so much from all of them and their comments have identified other lines of research for me.

I hope the report provides insight and guidance for the community as it plans its future.

I look forward to serving that community as it continues to expand.

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