Qualitative Research: This allows exploring even the traits like attitudes, perceptions or beliefs. Such research activity requires in-depth study of the subject. Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts”. The qualitative research is meant to take care of such situations actually. Quantitative Research: This type of research calls for mathematical modeling and analysis of data collected during the process of research. It is more structured than qualitative and calls for quantification of data together with generalizing the results. Talking about the comprehensive approach adopted during a qualitative research activity, Myers (2002) stated, “In communicating or generating the data, the researcher must make the process of the study accessible and write descriptively so tacit knowledge may best be communicated through the use of rich, thick descriptions”. The qualitative research, in turn, is further divided into two types namely; Direct research and Indirect research. Though at times, both these types appear to lead in a similar direction, yet the procedures with which research is carried out often brings out many differences amongst these two types. While comparing these two approaches we find that; The direct approach to qualitative research is a non-disguised method while the indirect approach happens to be somewhat disguised. Qualitative research has the potential to go into different aspects of the subject in detail. ...
The difference is more apparent in the figure shown below;
Qualitative research has the potential to go into different aspects of the subject in detail. Meredith et al (1989) feels that often research of this kind lends itself to the semi-structured, open ended type of interview to enable interviewees to expand on what they consider to be important and to frame those issues in their terms.
In direct qualitative research in-depth interview is the norm. The focus group approach requires that we prepare a focus group well in advance to carry out the research. The group is prepared with the help of a selected few research participants. This is more like a brain storming session. The topic is discussed amongst the focus group with the help of a moderator from amongst the focus group participants only. Subsequently, the group interview is conducted and a final report is prepared by the researcher based on the outcomes of the discussion.
On the other hand the depth interviews imply that one-to-one interviews are held amongst the researcher and the research participants. The researcher is supposed to solicit information from the research participant during the interview and accordingly prepare the databank. Burgess (1982) points out that such interview allows the researcher to probe deeply in order to find out 'expansive' responses, which often helps in uncovering previously unknown details so that a direction is also provided to future researchers. In the indirect method on the other hand the research participants are encouraged to come out with their own versions and understandings about the issue/s being taken up by the researcher. The respondents are supposed to 'project' their feelings or attitudes about the situation.
In direct qualitative