Why are you doing this? Is it to info-gather? Is that just lazy? Shouldn’t you have already built your timeline via close reading of documents etc?
(See the thing in Hajer advice on doing two rounds of interviews, one to orient, one to get the gory details)
- memories fade,
- people have stories that have them as a hero in the centre an the other guys as ogres (devil shift)
- people who are still active are going to be careful about what they say, since it could affect future earnings
- “well they would say that, wouldn’t they?”
- and as Nick Tomalin said – “they lie, they lie, they lie”
So, need a research schedule, (proceed in a logical manner, not ask leading questions etc.)
And triangulate facts wherever possible. Be aware of when you are being used…. etc
See Chubb, (2014) on how he did it. And Guy Pearse in his fantastic PhD (2005)
And of course
“The researcher has a perspective on what is investigated and interprets the interviews from this perspective. The interpreter goes beyond what is directly said to work out structures and relations of meaning not immediately apparent in a text. This requires a certain distance from what is said, which is achieved by a methodological or theoretical stance, recontextualizing what is said in a specific conceptual context” (Kvale 1996: 201).
Two spectacular examples of researchers who were told the truth, reported it and paid a price – Teddy Katz (on Tantoura) and Guy Pearse (on the Greenhouse Mafia)