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Business Research Terms and Concepts

What is Qualitative Research?

Quantitative research has to do with data collection and analysis of arithmetic data, as well as variables. It also establishes relationships between data. Research mechanisms aid companies and management to determine business planning with respect to product design, product qualities, and specifications, such as color and size. Particular marketing strategies are also established based on the conclusions of the quantitative research. The data is organized in report formats to make it easy for management to analyze it. In cooperation with qualitative analysis, this method can achieve important conclusions that will guide business development in the future.


Usually, qualitative research is descriptive in nature. It has semi-structured techniques like personal interviews, case studies, group discussions, and observations. Qualitative research has a lot of focus on opinions and thoughts of small targeted groups that are non-representative of their social classes. The data is helpful in understanding the required subject plus the underlying motivations and reasons for action.

Qualitative Methods by Brenes, Montoya, Larochea, and Park

Esteban Brenes’ and Daniel Montoya’s (2014) article is based on the business problem researched with the help of the quantitative methods. The Super Selectos carried out research and came up with statistical data from questionnaires and other structured methods to project the right steps in order to design a winning strategy in relation to Wal-Mart (Brenes & Montoya, 2014).

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An article by Michel Larochea and Seong-Yeon Park (2013) is based on the qualitative research of the marketing strategy in relation to culture and consumer behavior. The data therein was derived through semi-structured or unstructured means, such as individual interviews or group discussions (Laroche & Park, 2013).

Qualitative research uses description to provide a deep understanding of the concept, while the quantitative approach uses statistics and measurement to provide projections. Additionally, qualitative research occurs in a natural setup, where researchers go to the field to conduct research on the subject. On the other hand, quantitative research takes place in superficial setup, where researchers seat with books or computers and use formulas to come up with solutions to the problem.

Lastly, qualitative research takes into account the opinions and perceptions of a small target group. The responses of that small group usually are not representative of the whole target group. On the contrary, quantitative research takes a random sample and uses the responses from a sample that is representative of the whole group. Quantitative research generalizes responses from a sample to be the common characteristic of a large group.

What Involves Qualitative Research?

Qualitative research involves a lot of personal contact between the researcher and the target audience. This intensive contact or interaction at times may negatively affect the responses that the respondents give. It depends on how the researcher approaches the subject and the environment. At the same time, a successful qualitative allows us to execute, apply and implement the results in the day-to-day operations of the business without professional requirements.

Quantitative research comes up with complicated statistical data that only professionals can use in order to solve a business problem. On the other hand, quantitative research has structured methods of data collection. Hence, the data collected is uniform and does not rely on the person collecting it. In such a case, a quantitative approach is considerably more reliable and convenient.

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Both qualitative and quantitative research can be used simultaneously to develop a solution to the business phenomenon. Qualitative research may initially help to come up with a hypothesis that would be validated using quantitative research. It is also possible to start with quantitative research, which will be followed by qualitative research to make the data more useful and applicable (Roller, 2011).

Qualitative Research in Business Area

In my business and functional area, qualitative research is more applicable when used alone. Qualitative research will help workers understand the customer need in simple terms, enabling them to respond to those needs easily. However, using the two approaches would give even better results. For a marketer, it is important to understand customer behavior both broadly and on an individual level. Therefore, the qualitative analysis would give an in-depth understanding, while quantitative analysis would back up the understanding and give projections.

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