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Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods - Essay Example

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Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods

Broadly, research methods are divided into two categories namely quantitative research method and qualitative research method. Both are different in nature and have different applicability. Both the methods find their applications in different disciplines and have strengths and shortcomings in various domains. There are certain pre requisites that apply to each of them and each of them underlines a specific method of implementation. Qualitative research method: This method of research is subjective in nature which mostly contains case studies, interviews, unlike quantitative methods the outcomes are in textual form and not in digits and statistical values. Questions like why, where when who are touched upon by this type of research method. Qualitative approach is scientific in nature and may not have a fixed deterministic solution by end of research conducted. Such research can be helpful in studying the behaviors, approach, their fears and concerns including natural response, dealing with opinions and possibly culture oriented issues. While quantitative research provides fixed results, their counterpart lay foundation for the study and research beyond the point where the scope of quantitative research ends. Such research approaches are inductive in nature and the mode of language used is informal .Furthermore, qualitative research is most suited to the initial stages (Merriam, 2009). The tools and techniques that might be used during qualitative approach can possibly include memos, interviews, artifacts, picture or any piece of video (Pitney & Parker,pg53, 2009) . Stressing on the importance of qualitative approach Donald Campbell stated that “All research ultimately has a qualitative grounding” (Farrell, pg8, 2011). Characteristic feature of such an approach is its ability to address the intangible aspects of society and human nature. Lincoln defines qualitative research as interpretive and naturalistic in nature (Flick,pg2, 2007). Three broad types of qualitative research encompass Case studies: while adopting case studies for purpose of research, focus is concentrated on an individual phenomena and concept that are constrained by duration and activities. Various data collection procedures are adopted during the case study approach. Phenomenological studies: In such approach attempt is being made to get the response of people based on their personal experience about a particular instance and event, intensive research is being carried out number of times through the aide of detailed elaborations Ethnographic studies: As the name implies, the focus of research in this category is a particular group of individuals that are involved in a similar kind of task. This kind of research is conducted over period of time with focus on one type of cultural group that have something in common between them. The commonality could be the interest, an experience, cultural trend or any other event undergone by the people being examined (Marie, pg 172, 2008). Role Play Simulation: In such kind of research role assignment might be done or the individuals conducting research might be required to observe a particular role to deduce any conclusion from it Comprehensive Interviews: The aim behind such type of research is to get into the details of the matter and probe all possible options .The method of interrogation and opinion determination is slightly different from quantitative research. Other forms of qualitative research include grounded theory. Quantitative researc ...Show more


Quantitative and Qualitative research methods Research in general is a process of instigating a subject critically and studying it from different dimensions with focus on all probable outcomes and possibilities. The scope of research is very broad and applies to every discipline of life…
Author : terrence61
Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods
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