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Qualitative Research
LESSON 2 –Qualitative Research
At the end of this lesson, you will be able to:
1. Provide examples of research in areas of interest
2. Describes characteristics, strengths, weaknesses, and kinds of qualitative
3. Illustrates the importance of qualitative research across fields


Qualitative Research
Characteristic of Qualitative Research

• It is conducted in a systematic and rigorous way. However, it is more flexible than quantitative
• It usually follows an iterative process, which means that data collection and analysis occur
simultaneously. Data already collected are updated by the ongoing data collection.
• It focuses on gathering information from people who can provide the richest insights into the
phenomenon or interest. As a result, small samples are commonly used in qualitative research. Study
participants are usually selected in a purposive manner, using only those for whom the topic under
study is relevant.
• Collection of data is continuous until saturation, or when it reaches the point where no new
information is revealed with respect to the key themes emerging from the data.
• Qualitative data collection examines everyday life in its natural context or in an uncontrolled naturalistic
Values of Qualitative Research

• Qualitative data provides context and meaning.

• Qualitative research can complete the picture by delving into the why and the how.

The value of qualitative study comes from its focus on the lived experience of the
participants, which enabled development of a greater understanding concerning the
outcomes that are important, relevant, and meaningful to the people involved.
Common Types of Qualitative Research
1. Phenomenological Study
This type of Research seeks to find the essence or structure of an experience. It examines how
complex meanings are built out of simple units of inner experience. It examines human experiences
(lived experiences) through the descriptions provided by subjects or respondents.
➢ Goal: To describe the meaning that experiences hold for each subject.
➢ Areas of Concern: Humanness, Self-Determination, Uniqueness, Wholeness and Individualism

2. Ethnographic Study
This study involves the collection and analysis of data about cultural groups or minorities. In this
type of research, the researcher immerses with the people and becomes part of their culture.
➢ Key Informants- key persons and personalities that the researcher gather much information.
➢ Purpose: Development of cultural theories

3. Historical Study
This study is concerned with the identification, location, evaluation, and synthesis of data from past
events. This is not only limited to obtaining data from the past, but it also involves relating their
implications to the present and future time.
➢ Sources of Data:
• Documents- printed materials that can be found in libraries, archives, or personal
• Relics and Artifacts- physical remains or objects from a certain historical period
• Oral Reports- information that is passed on by word of mouth

➢ Classification of Data Sources:

a. Primary Sources- materials providing first-hand information, e.g., oral histories, written
records, diaries, eyewitness accounts, pictures, videos, and other physical evidence.
b. Secondary Sources- Second-hand information such as an account based on an original
source, or a material written as an abstract of the original materials.
➢ Assessment Process- used to test the validity of the materials
c. Internal Criticism- This involves establishing the authenticity or originality of the materials
by looking at the consistency of information.
d. External Criticism- This is based on the analysis of the material: the ink and the type of
paper used, the layout and physical appearance, and as well as the age and texture of the
material itself.

4. Case Study
It is an in-depth examination of an individual, groups of people, or an institution. It involves a
comprehensive and extensive examination of a particular individual, group, or situation over a period
of time. It provides information on where to draw conclusions about the impact of a significant event
in a person’s life.
➢ Purposes:
• To gain insights into a little-known problem
• Provide background data for broader studies
• Explain socio-psychological and socio-cultural processes.
5. Grounded Theory Study
The method involves comparing collected units of data against one another until categories,
properties, and hypotheses that state relations between these categories and properties emerge. These
hypotheses are tentative and suggestive and are not tested in the study.

6. Narrative Analysis
The main sources of data for this type of research are the life accounts of individuals based on their
personal experiences.
➢ Purpose: To extract meaningful context from these experiences.
➢ Common Types:
• Psychological- This involves analyzing the story in terms of internal thoughts and
motivations. It also analyzes the written text or spoken words for its component parts or
• Biographical- This takes the individual’s society and factors like gender and class into
• Discourse Analysis- This study the approach in which language is used in texts and

7. Critical Qualitative Research

This type of research seeks to bring about change and empower individuals by describing and critiquing
the social, cultural, and psychological perspectives on present-day context. As such, it ultimately
challenges the current norm, especially on power distribution, building upon the initial appraisal of the
said present-day perspectives.

8. Postmodern Research
As opposed to the traditional forms of qualitative analysis, the approach of this type of research seeks
to analyze the facts that have been established as truths, the ability of research and science to discover
truth, and all generalizations and typologies.

9. Basic Interpretative Qualitative Study

This is used when the researcher is interested in identifying how individuals give meaning to a situation
or phenomenon. It uses an inductive strategy which is a process of analyzing patterns or common
themes to produce a descriptive account that summarizes and analyzes the literature that defined the

Strengths and Weaknesses of Qualitative Research

➢ Strengths of Qualitative Research
• Basically, its strengths is its capacity to give rich information about the respondents.
• Provides in-depth information on individual cases.
• Unravels complex phenomena embedded in local context.
• Describes rich phenomena situated in some exceptional environments.
• Relays subjects’ experiences and perspectives in unusual details.
• Conveys setting factors related to the situation of interest.
• Allows flexibility in research-related processes.
• Enables data to be collected in natural setting.

• Determines possible causes of a particular event in another perspective as that given by

quantitative research.
• Permits approaches that are responsive to local conditions and stakeholders’ needs.
• Presents several options in the conduct of the research.
• Tolerates shifts in focus based on research results.
• Accepts unstructured interpretation of the participants, respecting anything that is in the
participants’ context.

➢ Weaknesses of Qualitative Research

• Data gathering is often time-consuming.
• Analysis of data takes longer than that in quantitative research.
• Interpretation of results is usually biased because it is influenced by the researcher’s perspective.
• Conclusions are not generalizable because the subjects are few and sometimes possess unique
• characteristics compared to typical respondents.

A methodology or perspective in making sound and right decisions pertaining to actions to be taken,
and the analysis of intricate problems and issues.
➢ Importance of ETHICS in Research
• Ethics keeps the researcher from committing misconduct while seeking knowledge and truth, and
respecting and protecting the rights of the respondents.
• It promotes essential values that help researchers to have a common understanding and work on a
topic harmoniously.
• It also draws out public trust.


Aside from the desirable traits that a researcher must possess, there are equally favorable
ethical principles that must be observed in the conduct of any research investigation, especially
those that involve human or animal objects.
1. Honesty
Strive for honesty in all scientific communications. Honestly report data, results, methods
and procedures, and publication status. Do not fabricate, falsify, or misrepresent data. Do not
deceive colleagues, research sponsors, or the public.

2. Objectivity
Strive to avoid bias in experimental design, data analysis, data interpretation, peer review,
personnel decisions, grant writing, expert testimony, and other aspects of research where
objectivity is expected or required. Avoid or minimize bias or self-deception. Disclose personal or
financial interests that may affect research.
3. Integrity
Keep your promises and agreements; act with sincerity; strive for consistency of thought and

4. Carefulness
Avoid careless errors and negligence; carefully and critically examine your own work and the
work of your peers. Keep good records of research activities, such as data collection, research
design, and correspondence with agencies or journals.

5. Openness
Share data, results, ideas, tools, resources. Be open to criticism and new ideas.

6. Respect for Intellectual Property

Honor patents, copyrights, and other forms of intellectual property. Do not use unpublished
data, methods, or results without permission. Give proper acknowledgement or credit for all
contributions to research. Never plagiarize.

7. Confidentiality
Protect confidential communications, such as papers or grants submitted for publication,
personnel records, trade or military secrets, and patient records.

8. Responsible Publication
Publish in order to advance research and scholarship, not to advance just your own career.
Avoid wasteful and duplicative publication.

9. Responsible Mentoring
Help to educate, mentor, and advise students. Promote their welfare and allow them to make
their own decisions.

10. Respect for colleagues

Respect your colleagues and treat them fairly.

11. Social Responsibility

Strive to promote social good and prevent or mitigate social harms through research, public
education, and advocacy.

12. Non-Discrimination
Avoid discrimination against colleagues or students on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, or
other factors not
related to scientific competence and integrity.

13. Competence
Maintain and improve your own professional competence and expertise through lifelong
education and learning; take steps to promote competence in science as a whole.
14. Legality
Know and obey relevant laws and institutional and governmental policies.

15. Animal Care

Show proper respect and care for animals when using them in research. Do not conduct
unnecessary or poorly designed animal experiments.

16. Human Subjects Protection

When conducting research on human subjects, minimize harms and risks and maximize
benefits; respect human dignity, privacy, and autonomy; take special precautions with vulnerable
populations; and strive to distribute the benefits and burdens of research fairly.


In conducting qualitative research, some ethical issues must be considered. These are:

1. Animal rights and welfare

If the use of animals in research is inevitable, it is suggested that the 3Rs – reduce, refine,
replace – must be considered.
The least number of animal subjects is recommended. If casualties cannot be
avoided, these should be minimized without sacrificing the quality of research results.
However, this practice is contrary to the social science research where the number of
subjects should be maximized to elicit valid and more comprehensive conclusions.

If harm cannot be avoided, research procedures are evaluated and refined carefully
to minimize possible pain and suffering of the animal subjects. They should be treated in
such a way that they are free from stressful conditions. They should also be given proper
care while under the period of study.

If there is a possibility of replacing animals by other materials or other nonliving or
nonbiological subjects, replacement opinion must be explored.

➢ Animal Rights and Welfare (ANIMAL WELFARE ACT OF 1998 - Republic Act 8485)
The purpose of this act is to protect and promote the welfare of all animals in the
Philippines by supervising and regulating the establishment and operations of all facilities
utilized for breeding, keeping, treating, or training all animals either as objects of trade, subjects
of research, or as household pets.

2. Human rights
a. Right to Voluntary Participation
All human respondents should participate in a research study out of his free will.
They should not be forced or coerced to participate in any research undertaking.

b. Right to Informed Consent

All respondents should be informed of all procedures, potential risks, and benefits
that the research would bring. They may also demand a written agreement or informed
consent form from the researcher before participating.

c. Right to be Protected from Harm

The respondents shall be subjected to anything that may cause them inconvenience
or physical, emotional, and psychological harm.

d. Right to Confidentiality
All personal information extracted from the respondents shall be made confidential and
should not be disclosed to the public at all conditions. They must also be assured that details
of their responses are secured and will be used only for the purposes of the research.

e. Right to Anonymity
A respondent may choose not to disclose his or her identity to anyone, including the
researchers themselves. This means that all information and data that could be gathered
from a participant could not in anyway identify him/her to other participants.

3. Scientific misconduct
Researchers are expected to follow rules and proper conduct in doing research. However,
due to immense external pressure, there are some researchers who break the rules and oftentimes
deviate from proper protocols, resulting to scientific misconduct.

a. Fabrication and Falsification of Data

It involves producing data without an actual experimentation or altering data in
recording for the intention to fit them to what are expected.

b. Non-publication of Data
It involves choosing not to include data because they do not conform to the well
established body of knowledge or are unsupportive of the research hypothesis. Only the
results that do not reject the hypothesis are reported and published.

c. Faulty Data Gathering Procedures

Negligence or carelessness lead to errors in measurement or faulty research
instruments. Error may also be caused by inappropriate application of treatment to the
subjects and poor data recording.

d. Plagiarism
This fraudulent act involves claiming another person’s ideas, work, or usually
publication. It is a form of intellectual property stealing and dishonesty that usually happens
in scientific publications.