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BreakBack uses a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis.
In particular, the Project uses desk analysis, semi-structured interviews with key informants, focus groups and a web survey. The research is carry out in two stages:

  • Stage 1. Preliminary field research and case study selection.
    Preliminary exploration of the main research topic: the innovative or renewed services provided by trade unions as a way to increase their membership and to promote workers’ involvement in trade union activities.
    In each country researchers interview 4-5 peak-level key to investigate whether trade unions have a proper revitalization strategy and whether this strategy implies the provision of innovative services.
    The main findings of this phase is used to select two case studies per country. Each case study focuses on a sectoral trade union of the service industry that provide services to either skilled or unskilled workers.

  • Stage 2. Case studies and evaluation
    Interviews with at least 2 key informants per case study who are in charge of service provision.
    The questionnaire focuses on the rationale of such services, the expectations in terms of their effects on union membership and on the participation in union activities, as well as on a self-evaluation of the effectiveness of those strategies.
    Researchers of each national unit organise one focus group per case study with trade unionists or other union staff workers who are directly involved in the provision of services.
    The Web survey (through CAWI technology) addressed to a sample of service users. Finally, researchers at
    the national level will also collect quantitative data on service users and on union membership.