Quantitative and qualitative: research strategy

It is easy for many writers on methodological issues to distinguish between quantitative and qualitative research. Few writers consider it as ‘false’; the status being ambiguous as considered by few writers as a fundamental contrast. The understanding of quantitative and qualitative research is important as it represents a crucial means to classify varied methods of business research and because it is helpful for a range of various issue concerned with the working of business research.

On the face of it, quantitative research employs use of measurement and qualitative do not but many writers perceive them as having different epistemological foundations and also different in other regards too.

Quantitative research can be construed as a strategy pertaining to research that puts emphasis on quantification in the process of collecting data and analysing data that is helpful to:

  • Entail a deductive approach to the relationship between research and theory, whereby the emphasis is placed on the testing of theories.
  • Has taken into consideration the norms of the natural scientific model and more specifically positivism.

On the contrary qualitative research usually concentrates on inductive approach to work on the relationship between research and theory whereby laying emphasis on:

  • Basically to generate theories
  • Rejects the norms and practices of the natural scientific model and positivism particularly and prefers emphasis on the ways in which people interpret their social world.

By contrasting the two approaches, it is convenient to see them as incompatible; they could be successfully combined within a single project too.

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