Qualitative research is an inquiry process of understanding based on distinct methodological traditions of inquiry that explore a social or human problem. The researcher builds a complex, holistic picture, analyzes words, reports detailed views of informants, and conducts the study in a natural setting.
The difference between the two types of research is that quantitative researchers work with a few variables and many cases whereas qualitative researchers rely on a few cases and many variables. To undertake qualitative research requires a strong commitment to study a problem and demands time and resources. These assumptions speak to our understanding of knowledge. Knowledge is within the meanings people make of it. We ask open-ended question, wanting to listen to the participants we are studying and shaping the questions after we "explore" and we refrain from assuming the role of the expert researcher with the "best" questions.
The backbone of qualitative research is extensive collection of data, typically from multiple sources of information. At this stage we consciously consider ethical issues. No set format exists for planning a study. Several writers suggest general topics to be included in a written plan. The complete study contains data findings and a discussion as well as the problem or issue, research questions, methodology, and verification or validity. Qualitative research is complex, involving fieldwork for prolonged periods of time, collecting words and pictures, analyzing this information inductively while focusing on participant views, and writing about the process using expressive and persuasive language.
A good example of this would be an anthropologist who wanted to study a tribe without affecting their normal behavior in any way. True experiments , whilst giving analyzable data, often adversely influence the normal behavior of the subject.
Descriptive research is often used as a pre-cursor to quantitative research designs, the general overview giving some valuable pointers as to what variables are worth testing quantitatively. Quantitative experiments are often expensive and time-consuming so it is often good sense to get an idea of what hypotheses are worth testing.
Because there are no variables manipulated , there is no way to statistically analyze the results. In addition, the results of observational studies are not repeatable , and so there can be no replication of the experiment and reviewing of the results. Descriptive research design is a valid method for researching specific subjects and as a precursor to more quantitative studies.
Whilst there are some valid concerns about the statistical validity , as long as the limitations are understood by the researcher, this type of study is an invaluable scientific tool.
Whilst the results are always open to question and to different interpretations, there is no doubt that they are preferable to performing no research at all.
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You can use it freely with some kind of link , and we're also okay with people reprinting in publications like books, blogs, newsletters, course-material, papers, wikipedia and presentations with clear attribution. Simple in theory yet complex in nature, the planning, preparation and execution of case study research has developed to a point where the continued application of case study research across a number of professions particularly education, health, and social sciences, has provided a unique platform for credible research endeavors.
Key contributors to case study research and major contextual influences on its evolution are included. As the figure highlights, early case studies were conducted in the social sciences. With the dominance of logical positivism from the 's through to the 's and 's case study methodology was viewed with skepticism and criticism.
The development of grounded theory in the 's led to a resurgence in case study research, with its application in the social sciences, education, and the humanities. Over the last 50 years, case study has been re-established as a credible, valid research design that facilitates the exploration of complex issues.
While over time the contributions of researchers from varied disciplines have helped to develop and strengthen case study research, the variety of disciplinary backgrounds has also added complexity, particularly around how case study research is defined, described, and applied in practice.
In the sections that follow, the nature of this complexity in explored. There are a number of definitions and descriptions presented across the literature, which can create confusion when attempting to understand case study research.
YIN's two-part definition focuses on the scope, process, and methodological characteristics of case study research, emphasizing the nature of inquiry as being empirical, and the importance of context to the case. On the other hand, STAKE takes a more flexible stance and while concerned with rigor in the processes, maintains a focus on what is studied the case rather than how it is studied the method.
For STAKE case study research is "the study of the particularity and complexity of a single case, coming to understand its activity within important circumstances" p. These varied definitions stem from the researchers' differing approaches to developing case study methodology and often reflect the elements they emphasize as central to their designs.
The diversity of approaches subsequently adds diversity to definition and description. A further challenge to understanding case study research relates to it being referred to and used as both a methodology and a method.
MILLS distinguishes methods as procedures and techniques employed in the study, while methodology is the lens through which the researcher views and makes decisions about the study. The ambiguity about case study being either or both a methodology and method, is compounded by the terminology used in discussions about case study.
Often these terms are used interchangeably without definitional clarity. For example, YIN discusses case study research and in the context of presenting case study, refers to it as a research method while emphasizing the procedures used. He does not use the terms methodology or strategy.
This mixed use of terminology is confusing given the definitional separations between methodology and methods and the varied application of case study in research endeavors.
This distinction accentuates the need for researchers to describe the particular underpinning methodology adopted and to clarify the alignment of chosen methods used with their philosophical assumptions and their chosen approach. Exploring the philosophical orientation of case study research and variations in different case study approaches can help to clarify these differences, and promote a better understanding of how to apply these principles in practice.
Many methodologies are aligned with specific philosophical positions that guide the research process. Philosophically, case study research can be orientated from a realist or positivist perspective where the researcher holds the view that there is one single reality, which is independent of the individual and can be apprehended, studied and measured, through to a relativist or interpretivist perspective.
In the context of healthcare research and specifically nursing, LUCK et al. Qualitative paradigms are broad and can encompass exploratory, explanatory, interpretive, or descriptive aims. Each methodology is unique in approach depending on the ontological and epistemological stance, however all stem from the motivation to explore, seek understanding, and establish the meaning of experiences from the perspective of those involved ibid.
These attributes are commonly exemplified in case study research. Like other forms of qualitative research, the researcher will seek to explore, understand and present the participants' perspectives and get close to them in their natural setting CRESWELL, Interaction between participants and the researcher is required to generate data, which is an indication of the researcher's level of connection to and being immersed in the field.
Because of this, constructivism and interpretivism commonly permeate the implementation of this research design. The researcher's perceptions and interpretations become part of the research and as a result, a subjective and interpretive orientation flows throughout the inquiry CRESWELL, In choosing a methodological position, careful consideration of the different case study approaches is required to determine the design that best addresses the aim of the study, and that aligns with the researcher's worldview.
Examples are provided of how these researchers' philosophical orientation influences the application of case study in practice. YIN conceptualizes case study research as a form of social science. Post-positivism is evident in how he defines "case study as a form of empirical inquiry" p.
YIN himself describes his approach to case study as using a "realist perspective" p. The goal of a postpositivist researcher is to use science as a way to apprehend the nature of reality while understanding that all measurement is imperfect. Therefore, emphasis is placed on using multiple methods with triangulation to circumvent errors and understand what is happening in reality as close as possible to the "truth" LINCOLN et al.
The researcher will often categorize qualitative data to create quantitative data that can then be analyzed using statistical methods. Validity of research results are verified through the scrutiny of others and, as such, adherence to mechanisms that ensure rigor in data collection and analysis is vital.
Furthermore, postpositivists accept that everyone is inherently biased in worldviews, which ultimately influence how the methods used are deployed. Interaction with research subjects therefore needs to be minimized and subjectivity managed to avoid biasing the results ibid. Embedded within YIN's case study design are the hallmarks of a postpositivist approach to research: While objectivity is a goal, YIN also recognizes the descriptive and interpretive elements of case study.
According to YIN what makes case study research distinct from experimental studies is the case study is investigated in context, examined in its "real world setting" p. Selection of cases is based on the purpose of the research and related to the theoretical propositions about the topic of interest. YIN suggests careful screening in the selection of cases to ensure specific relevance to the issues of interest and the use of replication logic: Precision, process, and practicality are core attributes of YIN's approach to case study.
Design features are sequentially structured and motivated by empirical application. This positioning reflects the axiology of postpositivism where maintaining intellectual honesty, managing bias, and acknowledging limitations, coupled with meticulous data collection and accurate reporting are critical elements in the conduct of research KILLAM, ; YIN, MERRIAM maintains a constructivist approach to case study research, whereby the researcher assumes that reality is constructed intersubjectively through meanings and understandings developed socially and experientially.
Like YIN , MERRIAM , asserts that when information is plentiful and concepts abstract, it is important to utilize processes that help interpret, sort, and manage information and that adapt findings to convey clarity and applicability to the results. MERRIAM acknowledges case study research can use both quantitative and qualitative methods; however, when working on qualitative case studies, methods aimed at generating inductive reasoning and interpretation rather than testing hypothesis take priority.
Cases are selected based on the research purpose and question, and for what they could reveal about the phenomenon or topic of interest. Interviews are the most common form of qualitative data collection, although MERRIAM does not stipulate prioritizing a particular method for data collection or analysis, she does emphasize the importance of rigorous procedures to frame the research process.
Advocating for careful planning, development, and execution of case study research, MERRIAM , discusses the pragmatic structures that ensure case study research is manageable, rigorous, credible, and applicable.
Processes such as descriptive, thematic and content analysis, and triangulation are significant in ensuring the quality of a study, therefore, methods of data collection and analysis need to be organized and systematized with a detailed chain of evidence MERRIAM, According to BROWN , Merriam's style brings forth a practical application of pluralistic strategies that guide pragmatic constructivist research to derive knowledge about an area of inquiry.
STAKE , has an approach to case study research that is qualitative and closely aligned with a constructivist and interpretivist orientation. While having a disciplined approach to the process and acknowledging that case study can use quantitative methods, STAKE's approach is underpinned by a strong motivation for discovering meaning and understanding of experiences in context. The role of the researcher in producing this knowledge is critical, and STAKE emphasizes the researcher's interpretive role as essential in the process.
DEFINITION Like other words of the same ending, the term creation signifies both an action and the object or effect thereof. William D. Its value is based on the. descriptive research definition by creswell (Latin creatio.) I. An exploratory and descriptive study was .
Running head: DESCRIPTIVE AND INFERENTIAL STATISTICS 1 Descriptive and Inferential Statistics DESCRIPTIVE AND INFERENTIAL STATISTICS 2 Descriptive and Inferential Statistics Descriptive and inferential statistics are incredibly similar forms of research testing within psychology. Each seeks to analyze, describe, and possibly predict a population’s behavior.
Descriptive research design is a scientific method which involves observing and describing the behavior of a subject without influencing it in any way. RESEARCH DESIGN Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches JOHN W. CRESWELL UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LlNCOLN Creswell,[ohn W. Research design: Qualítative, quantitative. and mixed methods approaches/john W. • Define mixed methods research by incorporating the definition in.
Research design INTRODUCTION Descriptive research involves direct exploration, analysis and description of the While Creswell () states that purposive sampling refers to selection of sites or participants that will best help the researcher. Chapter 11 Descriptive and interpretive approaches to qualitative research Robert Elliott and Ladislav Timulak Qualitative research methods today are a diverse set, encompassing approaches such as.