Custom book: “Qualitative Research Methods”, SAGE Publishers, ISBN 978-1-4462-7237-4
Lecture 1: Qualitative vs. Quantitative methods
Methodology comprises: ·A theory of scientific knowledge, or set of assumptions (about the nature of reality-
positivistic approach-different ways in which reality is actual y perceived, the role of
researcher, etc.) → different nature realities in the book.
·A preference for certain methods (qualitative and/or quantitative, combination).
·A systematic sequence of procedural steps to be fol owed once the method(s) has been
selected. (how you have col ected the data, certain sampling frame, how many observations
considered, in which way, etc). → assess the quality, reliability and validity of our research
Quantitative and Qualitative research
Business Research Methods: ·Quantitative (numbers): Survey, Laboratory experiment, Simulation, Mathematical
model ing… “Measuring things that can be counted using predetermined categories that can be treated
as interval or ordinal data and subjected to statistical analysis” (Patton, 1997).
Quantitative is essential for the overview.
Using numbers, we can objectively describe, test, segment and predict (as long as the
sampling is sound)...
Satisfaction levels, attitudes, awareness...
·Qualitative (text,images,sound): Case study, interviewing, focus group, grounded theory,
action research… → translated into text, you can translate text into numbers but there
would be a loss of information. “Focuses on people’s experiences and the meanings they place on events, processes and
structures of their normal social setting. Such research may involve prolonged or intense
contact with people and groups in their everyday situations. This provides a holistic view,
through the participants’ own words and perceptions, of how they understand, account for
and act within these situations” (Miles and Huberman, 1994)
→ understanding people and (their) context (taken together)
Qualitative gives detail, understanding, and emotional response.
Emotion is always involved in decision making.
Emotional and non-rational
Personal, social and cultural
Biases in perceptions and attitudes
The quantitative evaluation and the qualitative don’t always match
Qualitative research is about:
·The why and the how behind the what
·Interpretation techniques-the meaning
Depth, Diversity and detail.
Qualitative research explores many facets:
Social group behavior, conformity, influence, values
Cultural “rules”, norms and codes, accepted practices
Knowledge, biases, rationalisations, thinking patterns
Habits, perceptions, associations, intuitive knowledge
Emotional and non-rational, attitudes, motivations