Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Comparative Overview of Quantitative And Qualitative Dissertation Research Methodology

A choice between research methodologies highly depends upon the set questions that a researcher wants to answer and the practicality of gathering the kind of data that will answer those questions. A comparison of the strengths and weakness of qualitative and quantitative dissertation research methodology will help you choose the most suitable one.

Quantitative Methodology

Quantitative research use numerical examination. This method quantifies the data into numerical values. The analyst knows what he/she is looking for and thoroughly designs the tasks for review prior to data collection. The reason for quantitative research is usually to develop theories and/or hypotheses concerning phenomena.

+ Strengths of quantitative methodology 

The most significant strength is that it produces quantifiable and reliable data that can be generalized over a larger populace.

It also permits the researchers to find out the practicality of specific ideas, as compared to qualitative analysis, which is more exploratory.

+ Weaknesses of quantitative methodology 

Its biggest weakness is that it may change the context of behavior in which it took place and ignores the affects of variables that were not involved or analyzed in the method of study.

Additionally, it lacks the depth as well as richness associated with the data that is the part of the qualitative methodology.

Qualitative Methodology

On the other hand, qualitative dissertation research method primarily focused on practice and procedure as opposed to the outcomes. The emphasis is on participant’s discernment and understanding and how do they make sense in his life. The researcher himself approaches these participants in their natural settings for observing unaltered responses.

+ Strengths of qualitative

It is very efficient in observing and analyzing delicate intricacies of behaviors and settings. It also examines the changing affect of society over a period of time.

One of its major strengths is that it gives in-depth analysis of the knowledge and comprehensions. Rarely can it be confronted as a sketchy study.

+ Weaknesses of qualitative

Qualitative research is not suitable for reaching at a statistically significant result.

Another potential weakness of this study is the reliability of the research.  Since, it is a subjective research approach, so it fails to maintain the consistency of the results over the changing course of time.

A single type of dissertations methodology cannot be a perfect match for every kind of research as it highly depends upon the research question, suitable techniques and procedures for collecting data and the method of analysis that will be used. A researcher will prefer quantitative methodology if he seeks to answer in a balanced, quantifiable and scientific way while the qualitative method will give a deeper meaning to the data by analyzing them in a natural setting. Therefore, the researches skills and understanding lead to the preference of dissertation research methodology.