Qualitative or Quantitative Research: When to Use

Having focused on the definite research question, investigators should determine what type of research should be conducted to respond adequately to the stated research question. It is possible to choose between qualitative and quantitative research (Creswell). Qualitative and quantitative researches are used in different fields of knowledge. There are no strict boundaries about the usage of this or that type of research in the Sciences, Social Sciences, or Humanities because qualitative and quantitative researches can be combined to achieve clear results (Creswell). To concentrate on the appropriate research, it is necessary to evaluate certain criteria according to which qualitative or quantitative research can be selected. The main aspects basing on which the criteria can be determined are the purpose of the research, the used sample and several participants, the particular features of the data collected for the investigation, and the specifics of the data analysis. It is important to list and explain criteria basing on the above-mentioned aspects with references to the issues of global convergence and global divergence.

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The main aspect and criterion according to which an investigator chooses qualitative or quantitative research is the purpose of investigation. If the purpose of an investigation is correlated to discover people’s attitudes or vision of a certain problem, to examine the development of tendencies and phenomena, to provide insights in the research of some problem, and to interpret the definite facts, the qualitative research is usually used. Quantitative research is used when the purpose is to measure processes, to provide factual numbers on the issue, and to project results. For instance, if global convergence vs. global divergence is examined regarding the people’s opinions of the development of tendencies, qualitative research is appropriate (Palpacuer; Palpacuer and Parisotto). If a researcher is interested in the financial effect of global convergence on the progress of the US automobile market, quantitative research can be used.

The type of research can be also determined by paying attention to the character of data that is planned to be used in the investigation. Those researchers who plan to focus on the descriptions, facts, opinions, considerations, and observations should use qualitative research because their conclusions will be based on the qualitative data (Peterson). Quantitative research depends on quantitative data or evidence presented in the form of numbers. From this point, the effect of global convergence and divergence on the national economies can be examined with the help of qualitative research based on the factual data and with references to quantitative research and the factual numbers to demonstrate the real effects (De Mooij).

The features of a sample and the number of participants are also important criteria (Tehrani). Qualitative research is usually based on a small sample when quantitative researches can involve a great number of participants and significant numerical data to provide accurate results and conclusions (Kotler).

Qualitative and quantitative researches also use different approaches to data analysis. If a researcher is interested in numbers to project the results and plans to use statistical methods to analyze the collected data, quantitative research is used (Wild and Wild). Qualitative research is based on non-statistical methods because of the character of the data used (Creswell; De Mooij).

Works Cited

Creswell, John. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods. USA: SAGE, 2003. Print.

De Mooij, Mark. Convergence and Divergence in Consumer Behavior. Consequences for Global Marketing and Advertising. Pamplona: University of Navarra, 2001. Print.

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Kotler, Philip. Marketing management. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2006. Print.

Palpacuer, Fill. “Globalization and Corporate Governance: Issues for Management Researchers”. Society and Business Review 1.1 (2006): 45-61. Print.

Palpacuer, Fill, and Alexandro Parisotto. “Global Production and Local Jobs: Can Global Production Networks Be Used as Levers for Local Development?” Global Networks: A Journal of Transnational Affairs 3.2 (2003): 97-120. Print.

Peterson, Matt. “Country Segmentation Based on Objective Quality-of-Life Measures”. International Marketing Review 17.1 (2000): 56–73.

Tehrani, Noel. Contemporary marketing mix for the digital era. USA: AuthorHouse, 2008. Print.

Wild, John, and Kenneth Wild. International Business. USA: Pearson-Prentice Hall, 2012. Print.

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