Research is very critical to a business since it enables the business to get the right information. Research cuts through information overload interpret different viewpoints and develop insights that allow the management of a business to view the landscape of the business with more clarity. This helps the management in making day to day decisions in a business. The successfulness of a research depends on the method used to carry out the research. There are various research methodologies that are used according to the scenario involved. The methodologies include qualitative, quantitative, mixed, and action research methodologies.
Qualitative research methodology
Qualitative research is aimed at gaining profound understanding of a certain market, product or any other samples. It investigates the how and why of decision making. Small but focused samples are preferred for effective analysis (Corner 2004). The method does not manipulate variables. Rather, it lets the meaning to emerge from the participants. The method is very flexible and can be adjusted to suit the setting. As the research progresses, data collection tools, concepts and methods of collecting data can be adjusted. Several methods are used in data collection.
These include observation, interviews, questionnaires and reflection of field notes or pictures. The sample has to be identified before deciding on the method of data collection. If questionnaires are used, they should be prepared with a lot of care to ensure that participants will willingly provide the required responses (Jensen 2002). Closed questions are good to avoid getting many different responses that will make it difficult to analyze the data and draw a conclusion. The methodology aims at providing first-hand information about the subject under study. After data collection, the data is combined and analyzed by specialist who then prepares a report and draws a conclusion of their findings. The findings are used in decision making.
Quantitative methodology is used to investigate things that can be seen and measured. It also addresses questions like “when?”, “who?”, “how often?” and “how many?” Quantitative methodologies test theories from existing knowledge though developing postulated relationships and projected outcomes for study. Random sampling is used to develop general conclusions or laws. However, this has a disadvantage in that random sampling ids time consuming (Jensen 2002). Quantitative method is more reliable since the data produced can be assessed through standardized testing. Data is collected through surveys which can be done online, postal or face to face. After data collection, the data is measured to come up with the final figure. For instance 52% of customers rate the product by Barco Company to be attractive.
Determining the best method for a research project
The purpose and content of the research determines which methodology to use. It starts by defining the problem or question that the research aims to address. Defining the problem starts by picking a topic area or theme and proceeds to ask a particular question. One can then review various research results of a similar research to guide the thinking. Then, the population that shall be studied and the variables should be defined well defined. After this, then the hypothesis should be formulated. This will enable one decide on which research methodology to use. The methodology chosen should be capable of meeting all the requirements of the research as well as proving quality and reliable results. However, the methodology should be within the financial reach of the business. The method chosen should be the one that best meets needs of the research according to the description and definition of the research problem.
Corner, J. (2004). In search of more complete answers to research questions: Quantitative versus qualitative research methods is there a way forward? Journal of Research, 16, 3, 718-727.
Jensen, K. B. (2002). A handbook of media and communication research: Qualitative and quantitative methodologies. London: Routledge.