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Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research Methodology – Essay Sample

Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research Methodology – Essay Sample

A quantitative approach to this scenario would likely include a questionnaire, which would be used to compile specific data about the project, such as determining how members of the group carried out various aspects of the promotions project (Balnaves & Caputi, 2001).  The results of the group’s work could be compiled and correlated using a table or spreadsheet.  These results might then be used to analyze, for instance, the number of hours devoted to the work involved, and the results produced in order to determine the cost-effectiveness of the project.  This would provide a snapshot of the return on investment, or the time and nature of the work completed versus its outcomes.

Conversely, a qualitative approach would employ interviews and direct participant observation in order to gather anecdotal information.  This method might also employ an analysis of minutes or transcripts from meetings, for instance, to better understand how the group functioned in its approach to the task, how its members interacted and how each member operated based on their understanding of the goal.  A focus group (or groups) could be used to gather information of an anecdotal nature, which would help to produce an overall picture of the social dynamics and cultural influences at work within the group (Holloway and Wheeler, 1996).  Qualitative methodology might also include an ethnographic approach, in which the group could be observed operating within its culture (Burke and Kirk, 2001).  This would necessitate that the researcher act as a passive observer, in some form, that does not intrude on the group dynamics.  Written notes from this observation would be used to trace the manner in which group members interacted, provide details about their work setting and identify the culture that guides their actions.

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