Qualitative Research - Know Its Strengths And Weaknesses

Qualitative Research - Know Its Strengths And Weaknesses
Qualitative research plays a vital role in understanding the “why and how’ phenomenon under a particular study. It allows the researcher to gather in-depth data while answering the research questions. Are you looking for the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research? Sure, this article will assist you in this matter.

What is Qualitative research?

Qualitative research refers to the non-statistical data collection and analysis technique used in presenting specific conclusions. The researcher gathers a description of why a certain event occurs in this method. By focusing on subjective information, the researcher gathers the respondents' attitudes, opinions and behaviours. Qualitative research's primary data collection techniques involve interviews, experiments, and observations. Qualitative research relies on secondary data collection as well. The analysis techniques on qualitative research are thematic, comparative, content, and discourse analysis. In case if you are writing a dissertation and facing problem in qualitative research, you can buy dissertation online.

Why is it important to know the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research?

The researchers need to know the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research. Knowledge usually helps in opting for the most suitable research method for a study and get reliable and valid results that can present specific theories and claims. The strengths of the qualitative research allow the researcher to opt for this method. They exhibit that they will get an in-depth data about every important facet of the study. They facilitate them to use their creative approaches in getting and analysing the data. Also, they nurture collaboration and adaptability as well in them.

Yet, weaknesses allow researchers to identify and overcome them if possible. For instance, a researcher can reduce personal bias by not interfering its opinions in the study. Moreover, the researcher can use a big sample instead of a small sample, in overcoming the weaknesses of qualitative research. So, it is important for the researcher to know the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research.

What are the strengths of qualitative research?

The strengths of qualitative research are as follows:

Subjectivity

Qualitative research focuses on gathering in-depth responses regarding the research problem. It allows the respondents to share their thoughts, opinions, or ideas about a topic. There is a possibility that respondents move beyond the topic under study. So, qualitative research provides flexibility to the respondent in providing their response towards a topic. Hence, this flexibility and openness is subjectivity that strengthens qualitative research.

Creative Approaches

Qualitative research encourages respondents to share their views in a creative manner. For this, they are open to describe whatever they know about a phenomenon under study. It is said that the researcher shares simple open-ended questions with the respondent. The respondent subsequently makes them worthy by adding variety, the difference in opinion and humour in it.

Nurtures Collaboration

Qualitative research is well-known for encouraging collaboration in people. It gathers people with the same niche but with different backgrounds entailing diversity. This diversity, in turn, provides multiple viewpoints on a single data set.

Adaptability

The researcher, during qualitative research, gathers responses for its research questions from multiple respondents. Each person is different from one another. The researcher collects each and every detail about the topic under the study from them. The researcher adopts the environment, respondent, and their personalities for data collection. This nurtures the adaptability of the researcher by meeting with different persons for the same data set. Hence, the adaptability of researchers increases in qualitative research.

What are the Weaknesses of qualitative research?

The weaknesses of qualitative research are as follows:

Time and effort consuming

The underlying weakness of qualitative research is that it requires high time and effort of the researcher. The researcher first prepares an interview guide for data collection. He schedules a meeting with the respondents and waits along to take the interview. For this, he should be active and energetic for recording both verbal and non-verbal responses of the respondents. Any mistake or non-recording of the information can lead to negatively affecting the data collection. Hence, the weakness of qualitative research is demanding conscious effort and time of the researcher.

Low Sample Size

Researchers in qualitative research gather data from a small sample and generalise it to a large population. They do so with the fear of high cost, time and effort in data collection from a big sample.

Personal bias

Qualitative research may be subject to personal bias. There is a possibility that the researcher can include their personal statements in data synthesis. They can do so while transcribing the data, coding or making broad themes.

High Cost

Another weakness of qualitative research is that it requires high costs from the researcher if a study is not funded. The research spends a lot of money in this research method. The spending can be in the form of travelling, preparing the interview or analysing large sets of data. There may also be printing the notes or using smart devices for recording the interview.

How do you identify strengths and weaknesses in a research study?

The identification of the strengths and weaknesses in a research study entails three ways. These ways are as follows:

Research problem

Strength: The research problem is clear, focused and outlines prior research gaps. In it, hypotheses are sound, clear and properly defined.

Weakness: The problem identified is complex and weird. The problem under study is relevant to only a small group of the population.

Research design and methodology

Strength: The description of adopting the research method is clear and focused. For instance, using qualitative research on a topic require subjective explanation. For instance, “what is the impact of child sexual abuse on mental health trauma of its survivors?

Weaknesses: The data collection is subject to personal bias by the researcher. The researcher may opt for a wrong choice of method in the study. For instance, the researcher has used a quantitative research instead of using a qualitative research.

Researcher

Strengths: The researcher devotes enough of the time and effort in the study. The researcher is well aware of data collection and sampling techniques.

Weaknesses: Researcher is not well-trained in conducting a study.

Final thoughts

The qualitative research method has many strengths and weaknesses. But it is the research that can identify how the strengths will become more persuasive in enhancing the reliability of the study. On the other hand, researchers should identify how they can overcome weaknesses and improve the study's validity.

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