Quantitative Vs Qualitative Research Design

Quantitative Research Design

It is based on deductive logic of reasoning. The concepts use in quantitative research are linked with theory. It is define narrowly under some assumptions. The indicator is explored from theory or hypothesis and variables are defined and identify from indicator. The rationale of using indicator and variable are justified by the applied theory or hypothesis of research. normally , positivism or post positivism are used as research paradam where structural close ended questions are formulated. Survey or experimental design is followed in quantitative research design. Randomize sample using probability sampling techniques is used but only in few cases non-probability sampling methods is used considering large sample size.

The research resign begin with identification of research problem. Researcher set objectives for research and search of relevant theory or hypothesis. Rationale of searching and carefully studying the theory or research hypothesis is to identify the indicator for measurement along with variables used in research.  After variable is identify researcher identify the universe and consider the appropriate methods of selecting sample. Normally one of the techniques of probability sampling is considered but in few cases non-probability is also used. Sample size is determined by the use of level of significance, Z value and standard deviation of the population. After sampling method and sample size is determine researcher design methods of collecting data. Normally, close ended, structural data collection instrument are developed for data collection. Researcher must selected appropriate descriptive and inferential statistics for data analysis and consider of format for documentation of research activities.

Qualitative Research Design

Qualitative research design use inductive logic for investigation. Concept use in study are defined widely than quantitative research due to the absent of theory, hypothesis and logic use in research. Researchers consider relevant theoretical school for methodological design in research. Due to the absence of theoretical or hypothetical basis researcher may find difficulty for selecting appropriate theoretical school and its justification in research. Empiricism, symbolic interactionism, phenomenology, ethnomethodology, feminist and so on are some of the widely used theoretical school used in qualitative research design.

The qualitative research resign begin with identification of research problem. Researcher set objectives for research and search of relevant paradam as well as theoretical school. Rationale of searching and carefully considering paradigm and theoretical is to provide directions and guidelines for designing of research. It also help for construction of scale of measurement and selection of analysis methods for research. The researcher than identify the universe and consider the appropriate methods of selecting sample. non-probability sampling is used with selection of few sample size. After consideration of sampling method and sample size used in research, instrument is designed for collecting data. Normally, open ended unstructured or semi structured questionnaire, interview is considered along with participatory observation, ethnography, focus group discussion, key informant interview and so no. Researcher must consider and selected appropriate data analysis methods like narrative analysis, thematic analysis, contain analysis and so on, and consider of format for documentation of research activities.

Mix Research Design

Now a days, qualitative research gain the ability to test the theory during the research process. It is possible by adopting some features of quantitative research. And to reduce the constraint of quantitative research these days, some of the features of qualitative research is adopted. Thus, mix design is emerge as strong and reliable practice of research design if it is carefully used. Mix research design also reduces the risk of reliability and validity of methodology, methods and conclusion. Research triangulation seems popular for design research.

While designing the mix research, research may design qual quant (more qualitative less quantitative), quant qual (more quantitative less qualitative) or balance ( almost equal use of both design)  according to objective of research, needs of decision maker, level of available knowledge, and so on. Need of information, experience of researcher, opinion of expert and available of relevant theory are the main things to be considered for designing mix research.

If researchers need more exploration than testing the existing theory or hypothesis in research qual quant research design is followed. Methodology and methods triangulation are basically use for designing the research. Quantitative tools are only used for testing the finding comes from observation, participatory observation, focus group discussion, key informant interview and open ended question set in research. 

If researchers want to test the theory or hypothesis set in the research along with exploration of some other affecting factor than affect the application of theory then quant qual research design is used. It also helps to improve the existing theory or modify the theory if needed. Most of quant qual research designs focus on explanatory or descriptive research design where large sample size is needed for testing the hypothesis or theories.


7 thoughts on “Quantitative Vs Qualitative Research Design

  1. I found it quite educative and enlighten with regard to current debates of qualitative,quantitative and mixed method approach.

  2. My PhD was based on a mixed research design. However, I think, this approach has a lot of difficulties and obstacles in terms of time limitation and analysis techniques. So, for me, I recommended that chosen one research method seems to be more effective, especially, for qualitative research.

    1. Dear friend
      The selection of research design is always difficult task.
      Ontological and epistemological consideration makes comprehensive situation while designing the mix research.

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