Qualitative Vs Quantitative Research And Their Strengths And Weaknesses

Introduction

A qualitative research is concerned with the investigative methods that are the participant observer, field, and anthropological, naturalistic and ethnographic research. Qualitative research focusses primarily on the data in the field. It is like the research method that explores the various topics given. It aims to give an understanding of various motivations, opinion and reasons regarding a particular topic. Qualitative research uses data collection methods that may be semi-structured or unstructured techniques. Some data collection methods include observations, interviews and focus groups.

An example of a qualitative research article is “Breaking down the barriers to cancer immunotherapy” (Puré, Allison & Schreiber, 2005).

Quantitative research involves variables that can be precisely and accurately measured. In quantitative research, the problem is viewed in terms of data, which is quantified numerical terms in solving the problem. Quantitative research quantifies variables, behaviors, opinions, and attitudes to name a few. It uses data that is measurable for fact formulation. The data collection methods have more structure. They include systematic observations, online polls, website interceptors, longitudinal studies and paper surveys to name a few.

An example of quantitative research in business is “By the Numbers: Total unaided awareness” (Hellebusch, 2006). Qualitative research focusses on the use of words while quantitative focusses on using numbers.

Qualitative Research Strengths

  1. The case can be used to provide an in-depth explanation of a certain phenomenon to the targeted audience.
  2. Can be used to determine the causes of a particular event.
  3. The case information concerning an individual can be provided by the study.
  4. Is effective in the in-depth study of phenomena especially when the number of cases is limited.
  5. Provides description and understanding of various experiences that people have regarding certain phenomena

Qualitative Research Weaknesses

  1. The findings may only relate to a few people and not everyone in general
  2. Quantitative prediction is difficult to make
  3. When using many participants, it becomes difficult to test theories and hypothesis
  4. Much time is used when collecting data than when one uses quantitative methods
  5. It takes a lot of time to analyses data

Quantitative Research Strengths

  1. Data collection is done quickly
  2. Data analysis is fast
  3. Generalization of data can be done if eh random samples are of a sufficient size.
  4. Provides precise numerical quantitative data.
  5. The analysis of data takes a shorter time
  6. It is efficient when the sample sizes are large.

Quantitative Research Weaknesses

  1. The researcher can miss confirmation bias by focusing more on testing his theory or hypothesis.
  2. The results may be too general and abstract or application, in particular, various individuals, situation or contexts.

Combining both in concurrent mixed design methods, help one type of data validate the other and hence increase effectiveness and precision of the study. Mixed research, in this case, involves the collection of data by using all procedures concerned with both qualitative and quantitative data. Since some disadvantages can be dealt with by the other method of research, using the two methods enhance the accuracy and precision the data collected.  Therefore, one form of data is validated using the other. The concurrent mixed method provides an avenue where data can be transformed and compared with the relevant questions.

Quantitative research will give more information that is needed in dealing with a business problem like finding new markets. Qualitative research enables one to access data that involves a lot of businesses especially in marketing that will help in determining the problem at hand. Going into the field may not provide enough information on the competition facing the business and the segments in the market. I would, therefore, focus on using the available data and coming up with various conclusions that will help find a concrete solution.

Which Research Method is Better? – Qualitative Or Quantitative

Generally, the two research techniques have their own advantages and disadvantages. For instance, in quantitative research the use of larger samples and presence of less contact between the researcher and the interviewees makes its findings less biased, (McCusker & Gunaydin, 2014). Whereas the great deal of contact in qualitative research gives information that is subject to bias owing to the in-depth exploration. However, the findings in quantitative research are conclusive and can apply to the rest of the study population, while the presence of in-depth exploration in qualitative research, provide a better understanding of the phenomena. Therefore, a combination of both study techniques, other than choosing one based on its merits or demerits, provides a better method of conducting a study.

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