Discuss the relative merits, constraints and applications of quantitative and qualitative research approaches and methods when used in research for applied business and managerial projects.
The research methods tell us about the detailed plan procedure from making the assumptions to collecting the date, analyzing it and interpreting it. The research methods are classified into two categories based on data collection i.e. quantitative methods and qualitative methods. Both have their own merits and constraints when used in research for applied business and managerial projects.
Components of Research Approach 2
Steps to analyze the data2
Qualitative approach is time-consuming and labor intensive as it takes into account reasons, opinions and motivations. There is no result verification in qualitative research because the people participating in collecting data can monitor the data being collected, so the researcher’s doesn’t verify the data. It involves lot of steps including categorization and recoding. On the other hand in quantitative approach, due to the large-scale research and lack of resources the collection of data becomes difficult. Due to structured questionnaire with end to end questions, the results become limited. Various experiments are performed in order to prove the hypothesis and they are redefined and re-checked which involved lot of investment in terms of time and resources. In organizations, managers are not given enough knowledge and training to understand the techniques of quantitative techniques.7
In qualitative approach the results are pretty detailed and participants can extend their feelings by explanation but in quantitative approach, the results are generalized due to the larger sample size.
While in qualitative the insight of people participating is considered but in quantitative statistics are taken into account. When the detailed understanding is required, the qualitative approach is the best way to approach but quantitative approach is used when systematic and standardized results are required.
Both kinds of approaches provide different kinds of knowledge and approaches. In the field of medicine, qualitative approaches help by knowing the roots of the problems by analyzing the patterns of the behavior6. When it comes to analytical objectives, quantitative approaches are used to quantify the variations, predict the casual relationship, on the other hand qualitative approach describe variation and describe, explain relationship.
1. Creswell, J.W., “Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches”, SAGE Publications (2013).
3. Jandagh, Gholamreza; Zarei Matin, Hasan “Application of qualitative research in management (why, when and how)” Iranian Journal of Management Studies (IJMS) Vol 3. No.3. January 2010 pp: 59 – 74
4. M. Wolf, Fredric “Meta-Analysis: Quantitative methods for research synthesis-Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences” Sage Publications 1986.
5. Punch, Keith F “Introduction to Social Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches” Sage 2014.
6. Draper, Alizon k “The principles and application of qualitative research” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society (2004), 63, 641–646
7. Kathawala, Yunus “Applications of Quantitative Techniques in Large and Small Organizations in the United States:An Empirical Analysis” The Journal of the Operational Research Society Vol. 39, No. 11 (Nov., 1988), pp. 981-989.