Differences in Qualitative and Quantitative Research methods for business

Essay by kgarrison819A+, November 2006

download word file, 3 pages 4.0

There are two different methods for collecting data. There is Qualitative Research and Quantitative Research. Let's come up with some ideas on how to perform each method and brainstorm on different tools we can use. We will need to be aware of the pros and cons attached to each method as well. To get the conversation started here are my ideas and suggestions.

First, I wanted to point out the differences in these methods. Qualitative research is mostly conducted by utilizing participant observation, direct observation, unstructured interviewing, and case studies. Quantitative research is conducted by using numbers, statistics, tables, and different types of graphs. Both methods have benefits so let's discuss those.

Qualitative research has a wide variety of options. Let's first talk about participant observation. This is where notes and analysis are taken about a participant's experience, opinion, and observations. The researcher becomes the participant and is responsible for filing and logging this information.

Trochim (2002) found that participant observation often requires months or years of intensive work because the researcher needs to become accepted as a natural part of the culture in order to assure that the observations are of the natural phenomenon (Research Methods Knowledge Base, p.1). Direct observation is where the researcher observes other participants. The researcher must remain unbiased about the research and observations. One popular way to conduct direct observation is through focus groups. The researcher is behind a one way mirror observing a room of participants. This form does not take long and can be inexpensive. The only difficulty is finding the participants willing to devote an hour or two to discussing their experiences. Unstructured interviewing is when the researcher is asking questions to the participant. There is not set structure of questions. The researcher has the ability to guide...