Business Research Methods Study Set 5

Business

Quiz 7 :
Qualitative Research

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Quiz 7 :
Qualitative Research

The first distinction occurs in the definitions where qualitative research is seen as "interpretative techniques which seek to describe, decode, translate, and otherwise come to terms with the meaning, not the frequency, of certain phenomena" and quantitative research is seen as "the precise count of some behavior, knowledge, opinion, or attitude." More elaborate differences are shown in Exhibit 7-2 , where differences are shown in the following areas: •Focus of research •Researcher involvement •Research purpose •Sample design •Sample size •Research design •Participant preparation •Data type and preparation •Data analysis •Insights and meaning •Research sponsor involvement •Feedback turnaround •Data security

Data type and preparation -qualitative research has verbal or pictorial descriptions and is reduced to verbal codes (sometimes with computer assistance); quantitative research has verbal descriptions and is reduced to numerical codes for computerized analysis. Data analysis -qualitative research has human analysis following computer or human coding (primarily nonquantitative), forces the researcher to see the contextual framework of the phenomenon being measured (the distinction between facts and judgments less clear), and always ongoing during the project; quantitative research has computerized analysis (statistical and mathematical methods dominate), analysis may be ongoing during the project, and maintains clear distinction between facts and judgments. Insights and meaning -qualitative research has a deeper level of understanding is the norm and researcher participation in data collection allows insight to form and be tested during the process; quantitative research is limited by the opportunity to probe respondents and the quality of the original data collection instrument; insights follow data collection and data entry, with limited ability to re-interview participants.

Many senior managers maintain qualitative data are too subjective and susceptible to human error and bias in data collection and interpretation. They believe such research provides an unstable foundation for expensive and critical business decisions. The fact that results cannot be generalized from a qualitative study to a larger population is considered a fundamental weakness. As suggested in the chapter, marketers deal with the issue of trustworthiness of qualitative data through exacting methodology by: •Carefully using literature searches to build probing questions. •Thoroughly justifying the methodology or combination of methodologies chosen. •Executing the chosen methodology in its natural setting rather than a highly controlled setting. •Choosing sample participants for relevance to the breadth of the issue rather than how well they represent the target population. •Developing and including questions that reveal the exceptions to a rule or theory. •Carefully structuring the data analysis. •Comparing data across multiple sources and different contexts. •Conducting peer-researcher debriefing on results for added clarity, additional insights, and reduced bias.