The term qualitative research describes a set of nonstatistical inquiry techniques and processes used to gather data about social phenomena. Qualitative data refers to some collection of words, symbols, pictures, or other nonnumeric records, materials, or artifacts that are collected by a researcher and have relevance to the social group under study. The uses for these data go beyond simple description of events and phenomena; rather, they are used for creating understanding, subjective interpretation, and critical analysis. Public administration, administrative science, and political science researchers have long contributed to the acceptance of qualitative research methods (Northrop and Kraemer 1982).