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Critical Evaluation for the Presentation of Research Data in Architecture - Essay Example

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Critical Evaluation for the Presentation of Research Data in Architecture

Qualitative Research: Context There has been a substantial growth in qualitative inquiry within social sciences over the past two decades. Miles and Huberman (1994: 1) suggest a tripling of papers and find evidence of significant growth in academic texts. The reasons for this may be clear, as Cassell and Symon (1995: 2) point out that research in social sciences is mostly concerned with people, organizations, and social interactions, and is not well disposed to positivist / scientific philosophy. There are some risks and challenges facing the researcher adopting this methodology. Some academics are dismissive of the methodology, mostly on grounds of the validity of the approach and consequently the reliability of the findings; whereas, there are arguments that the methods are non-scientific, open to personal opinions, biases, and subjective interpretations. Qualitative Research: Philosophy Research philosophy entails the examination of beliefs, both our own, as well as those of others, on how knowledge is developed. A discussion on research philosophy usually commences with a consideration of two opposite research perspectives, positivism and phenomenology as elaborated by Saunders (2008: 120). There are clear rules and statistical procedures, which can be followed to produce objective and generalisable findings in quantitative techniques; on the other hand, qualitative research has to tackle issues of 'subjectivity', and 'social construction', which are concepts far more difficult to pin down with basic rules and procedures, and where results may be more open to 'interpretation' (Miles, 1994: 591). These issues lead to the important areas that a qualitative research design must tackle, namely; validity, reliability, and bias. According to Miles et al (1994) the task for the qualitative researcher is to build in robustness (will the design stand up in different and difficult situations) and rigor (will the design demonstrate comprehensive attention to detail) into the research design. This will involve careful attention to planning, data collection, data analysis and presentation. These issues will be considered within units 9 and 10 when we go on to look at the process and procedures involved in planning, data collection, analysis and presentation. In quantitative based studies, a key objective is often to design the study to precise statistical rules so that results from samples can be generalised to a wider population. In qualitative research, this can not be claimed. Results are subject to interpretation. The real value of qualitative research according to Thomas (2004: 131) lies not in generalisation but particularisation. In other words, the richness and knowledge derives from understanding a situation or case, in greater depth. Quantitative Research: Approach The implications for the research process are now examined with a look at the processes for inductive and deductive approaches to research. Within the deductive approach, research flows from developing a single hypothesis or multiple hypotheses concerning the association or relationship between data. Often such studies seek to establish cause and affect relationships between ...Show more

Summary

Quantitative Research Name Institution Introduction This report is aimed at evaluating qualitative techniques that can be used to best present research data synonymous, and appropriately in Architecture, by demonstrating how project research will be undertaken, and the approach to this research is underpinned by current thinking in research methodology and philosophy (Miles & Huberman, 1994: 11)…
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Critical Evaluation for the Presentation of Research Data in Architecture essay example
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