The scientific observational method structured for the purpose of gathering non-numerical information and data is Qualitative research. Qualitative research refers to the conceptual definitions, meanings, metaphors, characteristics, descriptions and symbols of extracted data and information. The applicability of qualitative research presents the reason for a specific phenomenon, by not concentrating on the frequency of the research. The applicability of qualitative research can be experienced in natural sciences, social aspects, qualitative marketing research, service demonstration of non-profits and in academic contexts. Qualitative research tends to involve naturalistic inquiry which reflects the exhaustive understanding of various social phenomenon associated with natural setting. The research focusses on the ‘why’ of the pattern of the data extracted for the research depending on direct experiences of the human beings. Qualitative research is facilitated through historical analysis, case study analysis, biography studies, ethnography, and discourse analysis. Main concentration areas of qualitative research consists of society, communication, language, culture and individuals. The most common assumption in qualitative research is the subjective knowledge rather than focusing on objective perspective. A structured state of neutrality is maintained during the facilitation of the qualitative research approach.
The origin of qualitative research can be understood by the lack of scientific approach in the ‘the pursuit of knowledge’ of 18th century. The efforts and research contribution of Immanual Kant, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Edmund Husserl and William Dilthey marked the need for the qualitative inquiry. There are two aspects of qualitative research that needs to be maintained during the facilitation of qualitative research, the context of the research and the credibility of the data extraction source. The cardinal principle of the qualitative analysis is maintaining the extracted data with the associated context as the form of analytical approach depends on the context of research. The credibility of a specific researcher can be reflected in the qualitative analysis through the information regarding data extraction, interpretation, conclusions and interpretation process of the research report. The qualitative research design can be categorized in three elements, emergent, naturalistic and purposeful. The naturalistic approach reflects the understanding of real-world circumstances by unfolding in natural way. In the concept of naturalistic approach, the data extraction process and analysis is non-controlling and non-manipulative and flexible for random emergence of phenomenon. The concept of emergent reflects the accepting the in-depth understanding regarding situational changes. The elements of collection of information and data extracted from various sources are, data, empathic neutrality, dynamic systems and personal engagement and experiences. Data extraction represents the understanding of extracted description of the data captured from case studies, interview quotes and existent secondary data. In the context of qualitative inquiry, the role of personal engagement and experience is crucial for developing an understanding regarding the chosen phenomenon. In the element of empathetic neutrality reflects the features of flexibility, openness, respect, responsiveness and sensitivity. In the element of dynamic systems, the researcher assumes continual process of changes with the focus directed towards process. The elements of analysis comprised of inductive analysis, holistic approach, case orientation, reflexivity, and context association.
Examples of Qualitative research are as follows:
One-to-one interview- The process of directing an in-depth session of interview is one of the important tool for conducting qualitative research. The personal interview for the purpose of extracting information and data regarding a system or personal point of view is facilitated by structuring a conversation with a single respondent at once. The interview method is considered as the conversational method in which the research builds upon the questions by recognizing opportunities between the conservation. This method helps in understanding the actual point of view of respondent or target audience and what are the motivating factors that led to a specific decision. Interview questions can be framed according to the desire and requirement of the researcher.
Focus groups- This tool is a commonly utilized qualitative research procedures for the aim of collecting/extracting data and information. In focus group procedure, a group of six to ten is formed in the form of target audience. The selected focus group is then projected with a case scenario or experience that can lead to a specific pattern or conclusion. The focus group of the qualitative research enables the extraction of answers to ‘how’, ‘why’ and ‘what’ of the questions. Focus group interviews or assessment can be both in the form of physical and online, face-to-face interactions and online survey with a group of respondents.
Ethnographic research- The in-depth study of understanding the behavioral pattern of the human and the responses portrayed by the target audience in the naturally changing environment. The ethnographic research is one of the most exhaustive observational research method. The ethnographic research method assesses the challenges, cultural structure and motivational factors, actively contributing in the existent environment.
Case study- Case study method is considered to be one of the most evolving tool of the qualitative research. The case study method helps in deducing a logical pattern of responses by the existing examples of organizations and the areas that are used for extracting information from areas like, social science and education. Real life base case studies are used for collecting data from desired concepts and instances.
Record keeping- Data sources utilized for the purpose of data interpretation through the help of existing data and documents. The sources can be focused on online library, books and numerous reference materials. Data sources are secondary in nature.
Procedure of observation- In this method of observation, the process utilizes subjective approach for the purpose of gathering systematic data.
What are the types of qualitative research?
The four types of qualitative research includes:
Ethnographic model- The in-depth study of understanding the behavioral pattern of the human and the responses portrayed by the target audience in the naturally changing environment. The ethnographic research is one of the most exhaustive observational research method. The ethnographic research method assesses the challenges, cultural structure and motivational factors, actively contributing in the existent environment.
Phenomenological method- The method of phenomenology includes observational data, survey information and interview information through a subjective perspective. This approach depicts the behavioral outcome and response for a specific activity.
Grounded theory procedure- The grounded theory procedure reflects the understanding regarding the process of evolution for a specific action identified in the course of action. This model is developed on the basis of already existing information under the concept of psychological, genetic and biological science. The reason behind a consumer decision regarding a buying process can be identified by the conduction of grounded theory process. The extracted data and information also helps in identifying the satisfaction and involvement level of the consumer regarding a brand.
Case study- Unlike the concept of ground theory procedure, case study method is considered to be one of the most evolving tool of the qualitative research. The case study method helps in deducing a logical pattern of responses by the existing examples of organizations and the areas that are used for extracting information from areas like, social science and education.
Narrative mode- This model helps in understanding the information against a specific context and through the understanding of the ongoing process. Narrative model selects a specific subject for building a research study. The persona of the businesses are depicted through the help of Narrative mode.
Historic method- The ideas based on historic data that are already existing as secondary data. The data regarding previous advertisement campaigns are utilized as historical data and information.
The main purpose of qualitative research is to present a categorical structure of data representation and depicting a broad pattern amongst a structured or unstructured of group of respondents. The purposes of qualitative research represents the aim of developing an understanding the behavioral pattern in natural environment of an incidence. The aims also directs the understanding regarding the concepts of the experience of people and for the understanding about specific phenomenon of a specific perspective. The purpose of qualitative research is also to deduce the concepts of social interactions and social sciences by determining the procedure. The purpose of executing a qualitative research is to develop an exhaustive research process of recognizing the process undergone by respondents against a specific action in day-to-day life. It aims at accomplishing an in-depth information regarding an action or event, in spite of covering the description of a situation. The main purposes of qualitative research includes, the evaluation of the specific subject matter in an exhaustive manner. The main purpose is to understand the meaning of the data and information as it comes by framing research methods with the association of flexibility. Another purpose of qualitative research can be presented as the method of understanding human behavioral pattern and experiences. Qualitative data can include complexities in deduced conclusions. Qualitative research stimulates conclusion by facilitating one-to-one accurate information by building upon questions. The purpose of qualitative research also reflects the data regarding organizational system, industry-specific data and consumer behavior. Qualitative research aims at creating understanding regarding marketing and sales teams.
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