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QUALITATIVE VERSUS

QUANTITATIVE
RESEARCH
TRADITIONS

Quantitative Approaches

Useful for factual information


Focus is upon variables
Reliability is a primary virtue
Tendency to be devoid of context
Many cases and subjects
Statistical Analysis
Detachment of researcher is more likely
Examples: Experimentation, Survey Research,
Content Analysis, Existing Statistics

Qualitative Approaches

Construct social reality, cultural meaning


Focus is upon interactive processes, events
Validity or Authenticity is a primary virtue
Contextual circumstances prevail
Few cases and subjects
Thematic Analysis
Immersion of researcher is more likely
Examples: Field Research, HistoricalComparative Research

Decision about Research Design

Qualitative
Research Design

Quantitative
Research Design

Case Studies

Experimentation

Biographies/Narrati
ves

Survey Research
Secondary Research

Phenomenology
Grounded Theory
Ethnography

Official
Statistics/Existing Data
Content Analysis

Data Collection

Qualitative
Research Design

Quantitative Research
Design

Direct observation

Questionnaires

Key Informants

Direct Observation

In-depth
Interviewing

Archival Data

Focus Groups
Sampling
Observation Units
Sampling Units of
Analysis
Time Dimension

Compendia of Statistics
(Wide Ranging)
Secondary Data Banks
Sampling Observation Units
Sampling Units of Analysis
Time Dimension

Data Preparation and Quality

Qualitative
Research Design

Quantitative Research
Design

Thematic Coding

International Classifications

Data Reduction
Principles

Coding Structures

Transcription
Principles
Assessing validity
Member checks
Interrater
reliability
Expert Opinion

Familiarity with data


structures
Data entry software
Developments and
challenges associated with
OCR technologies
Recognition and Reliance Reliability assessment
Recognition and Reliance Validity Assessment

Data Analysis

Qualitative
Research Design

Training in the
Principles of
Qualitative Data
Analysis

Quantitative Research
Design
Training in Official Statistics
Training in Basic Statistics

Training in the Use of


Training in the Use
Statistical Software
of Qualitative Data
Analysis Software
SPSS

Atlas Ti
HyperResearch
QSR N6
Ethnograph
Max QDA

SAS
STATA
Minitab

Experimentation

Based upon the logic and principles of the


natural sciences

Most relevant in cause and effect research.


More specifically, explanatory research.

It has utility in governmental and


organizational experimental programmes,
for example, pilot studies.

Experimentation is the methodological base


for evaluation research, in particular,
impact assessment.

Experimentation may underlie any research


effort striving to assess and evaluate
process and impact due to hypothesized
cause and effect relationships.

While it is most popular in the field of


psychology, the principles of
experimentation have been used in
management decision-making, social policy,
environmental policy, health care reform,
primary health intervention, education
policy-making, human resource planning.

Survey Research

Questionnaires are invariably used and respondents


voluntarily respond whether or not an interviewer
is present .

Questionnaire can be mailed, handed to respondent


or administered by an interviewer .

Many people are asked questions in a short space


of time.

Responses are recorded by the researcher and his


staff, processed for quality and readiness for
analysis.

Responses are usually summarized and analyzed in


the form of summary measures (means, counts,
percentages), tables and graphics.

Most relevant in the context of descriptive and


explanatory research.

It has utility for public and private sector entities


interested in obtaining a profile on a population, for
example, the census and large scale sample
surveys and opinion polls.

In sample surveys, provision could be made for


evaluating the reliability of estimates. More
important, it spawns speculation that creates new
questions.

Content Analysis

Based upon an examination of information


whether written, verbal, visual or other
symbolic medium.

Usually the analyst selects a body of material,


for example, film, books, newspaper articles
and record specific attributes.

The analysts use counts, tables and graphics


to measure attributes and summarize
information of interest to them.

Content analysis permits researchers to


discover features of attributes in the content of
large amounts of materials. Otherwise, these
features might have gone unnoticed.

Mostly used in descriptive research, but also


has utility in exploratory and explanatory
research.

Existing Statistics

Use dependent primarily on economy (re: efficiency) and


the outcome of the literature review

Here, there is a reliance upon archival data or


secondary data. The first relates to data stored in
documents such as government reports . The second
relate to survey data that are stored and can be used by
researchers for analytical purposes.

Data may have to be evaluated to discern whether or


not, it fits into the specific research question of interest
to the researcher.

If existing data can be found and are useful, the cost


and time span of data collection can be cut considerably.
However, actually sourcing the data and vouching for its
quality could be a time consuming undertaking.

Mostly used in descriptive research, but also has utility


in exploratory and explanatory research.

Existing Statistics are mostly used in research areas


such as economics and development studies. In the
former, they have often been used in an explanatory
context. In the latter, in a descriptive context.