Different challenges encountered when collecting data in a work setting relate directly to the data collection method used in the context of partnership case studies involved. To begin with, a case study researcher may miss some learning especially when the case is undocumented from the start. With a lack of procedures and mechanisms appropriate for data collection, it may be hard to try to arrest this problem accurately at a later phase of the partnership cycle. Hurrell asserts that there is a possibility that the partnership may have developed a specific personality and the partnership mood at that instance can jeopardize the data.
The partnership mood may swing based on factors such as resources available, whether staff has settled their difference, or whether different partners have tension amongst themselves. The aforementioned factors can pose challenges to the researcher in data collection. The researcher may encounter a problem with re-constructing history. The impact is particularly more in case of attrition of key staff in the partnership followed by a loss of data and knowledge obtained in the course of the collaboration and what has transpired prior to their withdrawal.
The position of the researcher can also pose a challenge to data collection. Hurrell argues that regardless of whether the case study researchers are internal or external to the collaboration, they will need to establish their qualifications as case study researchers. These qualifications encompass knowledge of their partnership skills; including the position a partnership broker may hold. In addition, this perspective involves a power balance between the researchers and the partners and the need to maintain impartiality and fairness. This concept requires an intelligent approach in order to cultivate participants’ loyalty and subsequent data accuracy.
Time limitation factors can also pose a challenge to researchers. A researcher may fail to understand the partnership within a predetermined time-space, which will affect the extent to which s/he will understand the basis of the partnership, the roles of the partners, and major stakeholders. This situation affects the external and internal researchers differently. The researcher will require more time to collect comprehensive data in order to understand the partnering process.
Funding also affects data accuracy a great deal. Financial constraints may deny the researchers all the opportunities that would enable them to capture the data they require. Financial constraints may impede visitations to sites of partnership where activities take place or the opportunity to meet key stakeholders who may be a source of full information regarding the partnership. The form of reimbursement, which is usually a two-year donor cycle, limits the monitoring of partnership processes and findings. Donors often restrict the time span for reporting the progress or outcomes of the research; moreover, the lack of flexibility affects the data accuracy because the researcher is preoccupied with beating their deadline.
Finally, the researcher needs to consider the views of the marginalized members of the partnership because of the power imbalances within the partnership.