Qualitative and Quantitative social/behavioral inquiry

The fundamental reason for doing research is discovery. The ancient development of faculties and scientists getting-together under the patronage of peer evaluation bodies of the Renaissance enhanced what we observe today as genuine scientific exploration through quantitative methods (Golafshani, 2003). Afterward, questions springing from difficult human relations as well as the failure of statistically precise models would catalyze legitimacy for other research methods, counting qualitative observation and discovery as well.

Even though scholars have in the past dragged their feet in recognizing the equal validity and reliability of qualitative as well as mixed method research methods, social science studies partaken in the subject of organizational behavior, leadership, and ethics have effectively used all three approaches for a number of decades (Davis & Sandifer2006). Qualitative research Qualitative research goes right through disciplines as well as subject matters. The main purpose of qualitative research is to achieve a well-rooted understanding of human behavior as well as explanations as to what regulates human behaviour.

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Thus, qualitative research is based on various aspects of behaviour explanations. To be more specific the research design finds out the why and how of decision-making as opposed to what, where and where. It calls for smaller and well-directed (focused) samples rather than large random samples that classify information into patterns as the chief basis for organizing and reporting results (McLeod, 2000). History of Quantitative Research Design This research design was the first to be employed in social studies, however with quantitative science gaining popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, its usefulness declined only to resuscitate in the 1970s.
Qualitative research was construed as only relevant as far as anthropology and sociology were concerned. By then it was referred to as ethnography, fieldwork, participant observation or Chicago school (Heath, 1997). It was not until the 1970s and 1980s that qualitative research started to be utilized in other disciplines, significantly its use increasing in fields such s educational studies, social work studies, women’s studies, disability studies, information, management, nursing, human services, psychology communication among others.
1980s and 1990s saw the evolvement of novel methods of qualitative research aimed to cure the probable problems with reliability as well as inaccurate methods of data analysis. Although qualitative research is largely exploratory it can be argued that it is not definitively conclusive than the quantitative research. It is crucial to note that unlike quantitative research, qualitative research (data) cannot be expressed graphically or exposed in mathematical terms.
While undertaking qualitative study one can use a number of approaches including, grounded theory practice, narratology, storytelling, classical ethnography or shadowing among others (Golafshani, 2003). Qualitative research can summarily be said to be concerned with the properties, state, as well as character of phenomena. The word qualitative entails an inflection on practices and meanings that are vigorously observed but is not meted in terms of quantity amount or frequency. Qualitative methods naturally afford a rich exhaustive data about a smaller number of samples.
Qualitative data offers rooted and exhaustive data through direct quotation as well as careful explanation of circumstances, events association in addition to observed behaviours conventional quantitative methods such randomized controlled trials are the suitable methods of studying the effect of an intervention or treatment. However, a qualitative exploration of beliefs as well as perception is probable in establishing why some (people) for example patients opt to stick on prescribed treatment. In such instances, the two approaches should be construed to compliment one another rather than to compete (McLeod, 2000).
Knowledge in qualitative study is for that reason more of the same kind as knowledge gained from an art as opposed to science. This does not imply that the knowledge is inferior. Nevertheless, it does not imply that it is dissimilar since it needs active participation of the reader to identify with the circumstances and associate the findings to his/her own situation. Qualitative Research methods Qualitative methods normally consist of three types of data collection viz. in-dept open-ended interviews; direct observation in addition to written materials comprising such sources an open-ended written item a questionnaires and personal articles.
The information from open-ended interview comprises express extracts from people concerning their experiences, opinions, feelings and knowledge. The data from observations comprise of comprehensive depictions of partakers’ behaviours, staff action as well as the full range of human associations. On the other hand, document analysis avails excerpts, quotation, or entire passages from recent correspondence, official reports as well as open-ended surveys (Heath, 1997). Qualitative Evaluation Procedure Qualitative data starts as raw, evocative information concerning programmes and people in programmes.
The assessor upon visiting the program, he/she is able to make first hand observation of the activities taking place within the program. In some occasions, the accessory can take part personally in those activities as participant observer. He can actively talk to the participants as well as staff in relation to their experiences as well as views, in addition to examining records and documents. Information collected from these interviews, observations and documents is then structured into major themes, classes as well as case examples via content analysis.
Qualitative evaluation information can be offered alone or in conjunction with quantitative data. To a large extent, the validity and reliability of qualitative data is dictated by the methodological expertise, sensitivity as well as evaluator’s level of training. Orderly and careful observation comprises for more than just being present and looking around skilful interviewing does not comprise only asking questions, while content analysis calls for considerable reading to see what is there.
For an evaluator to be able to generate positive and realistic qualitative evaluation data through observation, interviewing and content analysis he is required to be disciplined, knowledgeable, trained, practical as well as determined (Heath, 1997). Reliability in Qualitative Analysis. While quantitative research methods are chiefly projected to test theory as the experiments works deductively and is inclined to oriented outcome, qualitative researchers are occupied with the meaning of the phenomena in addition to lived experiences, which is not voluntarily observable process.
Attention is directed towards social perspective in which events happen and have meaning in as well as stressing on understanding the social world from the point of perception of the participants in it. Quantitative research reliabilities projected on identifying as well as documenting recurrent, accurate and consistent or inconsistent features as patterns, themes, and worldviews in addition to any other phenomena being examined in similar or different human context (McLeod, 2000).

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