Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches Essay

Qualitative Research Design


Qualitative research design is an attack used in research by research workers and scientists to analyze the behavior and wonts of human existences in the society. Harmonizing to Flick. ( 2009 p. 17 ) the research design is used in assorted Fieldss such as wellness. societal scientific disciplines. concern and other societal scientific disciplines to analyze different behaviors. In wellness. qualitative research may be used to analyze issues on wellness consciousness. handiness of wellness installation. and entree to primary. secondary. and third health care services. The information obtained is so used as the footing for wellness betterment recommendations.

Consequently. the qualitative research design can be applied in concern to analyze the jobs impacting concern and how solutions can be modelled to better public presentation of the industry. Harmonizing to Saunders et Al. . ( 2012 p. 6 ) concern research is a systematic research aimed at analyzing jobs and solutions to concern.

From the fact that concern is a broad field. the design is besides adapted in specific subjects of concern such as merchandise design. selling. advertizement. human resource. and analyzing new concern chances. For illustration. in merchandise design. the interior decorators may desire to obtain informations about the bing merchandises based on consumers’ feedback and utilize the information to better or plan new merchandise utilizing interviews. focal point groups or ethnographic surveies. Similarly. the same attack can be used in market research to set up the demand of certain merchandises and the merchandise incursion in the market. The research worker prepares inquiries to be used in either interviews or concentrate group. The information obtained from the interviews is so analysed to understand the demand of a given merchandise in the market.

Example of qualitative research for merchandise interior decorator may include: merchandise interior decorators may desire to analyze the spread in the market for a certain merchandise for them to present new merchandise that meet consumers’ gustatory sensations and penchant. The interior decorator may choose to interview several people in the targeted country and inquire inquiries that may give information about the spread in the bing merchandises. For illustration. they may obtain information about a detergent that does non work efficaciously to take discolorations and therefore plan a new merchandise that would run into consumers gustatory sensation and penchants. Hence. qualitative research design forms the most efficient tool to obtain the information required to do the determination.

The design is besides used as a lead for quantitative design. The viability of hypothesis is tested through the qualitative design and so proved utilizing the quantitative design through mathematical analysis. Hence. the design is really of import for preliminary surveies where the research worker may desire to garner information about the subject before shiping on elaborate quantitative research.

Harmonizing to Siegel & A ; Olshansky. ( 2012 p. 53 ) there are several attacks used to obtain the informations in qualitative design. which include:

  1. Interviews
  2. Focus groups
  3. Ethnographic research

The interviews and the focal point groups will be studied in inside informations in the remainder of the paper through critical rating and analysis to understand the application and how their cons can be improved in order to better qualitative research design.


Interviews involve inquiries and answer session between the research worker and the participants ( DiCicco?Bloom. & A ; Crabtree. 2006 p. 317 ) . The research worker or the interviewer asks the inquiries while the participant responds to them based on his experience or the cognition about the inquiries. The interviewer guides the respond throughout the interview until all the inquiries are answered comprehensively. The interview may affect persons or groups. Harmonizing to Seidman. ( 2013 p. 113 ) interviews can be carried out through assorted methods such as ; face-to-face interactions. telephone or electronic devices such as internet-enabled computing machine.

There are different types of interviews depending on how they are carried or how the interview inquiries are structured. The paper will lucubrate. measure and analysed four signifiers of interviews viz. :

  1. Structured interview
  2. Semi-structured interviews
  3. Unstructured interviews and
  4. Iinformal interviews

Types of interviews

The types of interviews are discussed based on Creswell. ( 2014 p. 189 ) accounts.

Structured interviews

They are the chief tool of research when the research worker has good understanding of the research subject. This is because the research worker is able to explicate all the possible research inquiries and acquire every bit much information from the participants as possible. The research worker may be interested in turn outing a theory or old surveies. Hence. interview is based on the literature reviewed or observations related to the subject during less structured interviews. The interview is developed utilizing subject specific and close-ended inquiries. This is from the fact that the research worker has good understanding of the subject and range and therefore limits the information that he or she should obtain from the participants. Although the research worker is able to obtain information that is specific to his or her survey. it may be difficult for the respondent to reply all the inquiries good since he may be limited to replies. In add-on. deficiency of cognition about a certain inquiry may ensue in uncomplete interviews.

Semi-Structured interviews

The interview is used when the research worker has limited clip. answering handiness is non guaranteed. and therefore different people conduct the interview in the field at the same clip. The interview has good explained instructions to steer the interviewers in order to supply accurate and qualitative informations in add-on to preparations meant for understanding the subject. The interviews are preceded by informal interviews and observations in order to assist the research worker to understand the subject in order to develop the semi-structured interview. The interview inquiries are chiefly unfastened ended and therefore the respondent has the freedom to reply the inquiries in his ain apprehension and experience. The interview becomes interesting when the respondent understands the subject and therefore he or she may give as much information as possible. The extra information can be noted in a notebook to back up the informations during presentation.

Unstructured interviews

They are carried out when the research workers lack adequate apprehension on the subject and hence have allowance for extra information from the respondent. The research worker tries to gets every bit much information from the respondent as possible in order for him or her to construct on the bing information. The inquiries are unfastened ended and the research worker has no influence on the respondents’ replies. However. the research worker has a clear apprehension of the research scene.

Informal interviews

The method is normally used for societal research and or during the early set up of the survey. In this type of interview. the research worker purpose is to obtain as much information from participants as possible. This is because the subject is ill understood and there is small literature on the subject and therefore information can merely be obtained from primary beginnings to construct on the bing information. Most enlightening interview attack are carried out for surveies that are based on experience. involvements. or a given civilization that is non researched and so the research worker uses observations to develop more understand of the enquiry and develop a resonance. Like the structured. the interview inquiries are unfastened ended as the respondent’s information is important towards development of the survey.

Professionals of the interviews

Accurate informations

Harmonizing to Seidman. ( 2013 p. 1oo ) interviews give more accurate informations than other informations aggregation methods. The research worker explains to the respondents some inquiries that might be hard of him or her and therefore stop up acquiring the needed information. In add-on. the research worker explore the subject or inquiries utilizing investigation that enables him or her to acquire more information and inside informations. which consequences in more accurate informations. That is. the research worker has a opportunity to clear up and explicate some inquiries that the interviewee my deficiency the cognition and understanding therefore acquiring the intended information.

The interview provides a rich information with inside informations and penetrations about the subject. The respondent describes his or her ain apprehension on the subject with the aid of the research worker. In add-on. the research worker can make a favorable environment for the interview therefore ensuing in general and sensitive information that is of import to the survey compared to other methods of informations aggregation such as questionnaires and concentrate group. For illustration. in focal point group. the interactions of a figure of respondents at the same clip may impede treatment of sensitive information due to miss of confidentiality. However. interview between the research worker and respondent merely creates a favorable environment to give all types of information.


There is direct response from the interviewee and the feedback. This ensures that the information sought is obtained and in instance of disparity. In add-on. the research worker ensures that the information is obtained from the intended individual. In other types of methods such as questionnaires. information may be obtained from unintended individual.


Interviews can be carried out at the same clip with observations to derive more understanding and information on the subject. Unlike other methods used in research. interviews allow research worker to do observations that may be of import beginning of information. In add-on. the research may compare the information from the respondents and what he or she observes and inquire for lucidity when disparity is noticed.

Building Rapport

Close interactions between the research worker and interviewee creates a more relaxed environment. which consequences to the respondent replying inquiries based on his or her experience instead than giving direct replies to the subject. The research worker so utilize the information obtained from the research worker to construct a resonance with subject. The research worker may research extra information from the respondent that may assist to develop more understanding on the subject


Interviews are conducted at any clip. locations. or based on the fortunes of the person. . Therefore. they are the most convenient method of informations aggregation. For illustration. the research worker can carry on interviews in residential countries. trading countries. farming locations and any other topographic point that may be convenient to the respondent.

Cons of interviews

Time-consuming: the procedure of scheduling. conducting. and analyzing the interviews consumes a batch of clip ( Zikmund. 2013 p. 150 ) . The procedure of sing the respondents and transporting the interview face-to-face can be boring and clip consuming. Since immense information is obtained from interview. it becomes boring to come in the information and a batch of clip is consumed. Therefore. it is of import to hold a informations entry and analysis program before informations aggregation.


The interviews are dearly-won because they require the interviewers to be trained. the agendas to see respondents to be prepared and the existent interview procedure. They require physical engagement of respondent and the research worker.


The physical visual aspect of the interviewee may impact the attitude of the respondent and therefore giving biased information that may impact the truth of the informations. Other factors that may consequences in colored information include the respondents’ : voice tone and sentiment. gender and race. unequal note taking. Biasness affects the chief intent of the survey. which may bring forth beliing informations from the bing 1. This can misdirect future surveies that may trust on the information.


The flexibleness of the interviews may ensue in inconsistence informations during interactions due to fluctuation in interview puting such as altering environment. For example- break of interviews by passersby or other factors such as rain can do the respondent to lose path and give inconsistence information

Focus groups

Focus group involves aggregation of informations through semi-structured interview from a group of respondents who are identified based on diverse but related features to organize a diverse group that represent the existent population. The interview is moderated by a group leader and involves treatment of a specific subject. Fiske and Merton introduced the method during their surveies that were based on audience participants ( Sprenkle & A ; Piercy. 2005 p. 87 )

Professionals of focal point group

Developing research subject

Focus group give information to the research worker about a given topic. which help him or her to develop the subject and construct resonance. The purpose of the focal point group is to obtain as much information as possible that is necessary for the survey and therefore it is a common method for preliminary survey.

Time salvaging

Large sum of informations from a large population can be obtained within the shortest clip possible ( Hesse-Biber. & A ; Leavy. 2011 p. 164 ) . Data is collected from groups of respondents at the same clip. This is in contrary to question where the inquiries are asked to a individual respondent for a given clip and it may take a batch of clip to cover a given figure of respondents as opposed to concentrate groups.

Accurate informations:

The treatment involves the consensus among the group members. In instance of diverse information. members agree on given information that giving accurate and homogenous informations The information is besides specific on the researchers’ subject.


Huge informations can be summarized utilizing group consensus and therefore informations entry and analysis is inexpensive and clip salvaging every bit opposed to question where immense sum is obtained from really big figure of respondents


Merely like interviews. the research worker can acquire extra informations from the participants’ behavior. feelings and thought about the subject. In add-on. focal point group helps to bring forth information for a survey that could hold unobservable characteristics.

Cons of focal point group


The moderator of the group or the research worker makes the concluding judgement and reading of the treatment. Subjective judgement and hapless reading has high hazard of presenting personal concerns in the treatment and therefore biased information. The participants may be given to follow the initial sentiments therefore ensuing in biased consequences

Hazard of uncomplete and inaccurate informations

The planning. programming and reaching participants may be dearly-won and affecting and therefore hapless direction may ensue to incomplete survey that may impact the quality of informations collected.

Sensitive information

It is non a good method for turn toing sensitive issues. This is because people may experience uneasy sharing sensitive information among their friends or enemies that might be in the group. which may hold a negative contributory factor to the quality of informations obtained.

Addressing the interview cons

Time devouring

The usage of alternate agencies of communicating such as telephone and computing machine can diminish the clip spent in programming and sing the respondents. Therefore. avoiding face-to-face interviews can assist to salvage clip and doing the method more economical. Time that could be spent to go to respondent and transport physical interview is minimised. Planing should besides be done prior to the survey in order to avoid clip blowing during the existent survey.


Activities such as informations entry and analysis can be carried along with the interviews to guarantee that no extra cost that is incurred during independent informations entry. Minimised going through phone interviews would cut down on cost.


Presentable physical visual aspect should be encouraged. The physical visual aspect of the interviewer that would non hold influence on respondents should be emphasized during preparation. Interviewers should be discouraged from doing subjective judgements that would impact the interactions.


The interview should be conducted in a impersonal environment that has no consequence on information bringing. The research worker should pass a considerable good sum of clip in looking for a natural scene for the interview conducive for the respondents ( Merriam. & A ; Merriam. 2009 p. 17 ) . For illustration. interviews in closed suites may hold minimum intervention. therefore maintain consistency information bringing. and therefore maintain high quality informations.

Addressing focal point group cons


In order to avoid biasness. the moderator of the focal point group should be good trained about doing subjective judgement and readings. Good relationship between respondents and the research worker promotes common apprehension that contributes to accurate readings of the information ( Marshall. & A ; Rossman. 2011 p. 101 ) . The moderator should non be an active portion of the survey and should be limited to the information on the expected consequence of the survey.

Hazard of uncomplete and inaccurate informations:

Proper direction should be done prior to the survey so that all the programming and contacting of the participants is made in clip. This will guarantee that the participants are cognizant of the range of the survey and their functions and therefore the survey will be complete successfully. When participants are well-prepared psychologically. they become patient and travel through the whole procedure therefore giving complete informations.

Sensitive information

The moderator should inform the participants about the confidentiality of the information shared in the focal point group and make a friendly environment. This will give the participants assurance and freedom to portion all the information that they may hold including the sensitive one and therefore the quality of the informations will non be compromised. Participants may experience that some issues belong to the community and that it should non be addressed to a alien. The research worker may besides affect people from the communities to assist them chair the treatment and therefore making favorable environment for discoursing sensitive information that is critical to the concluding information.


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Hesse-Biber. S. N. . & A ; Leavy. P. ( 2011 ) . The pattern of qualitative research. Los Angeles: Sage.

Marshall. C. . & A ; Rossman. G. B. ( 2011 ) . Planing qualitative research. Los Angeles: Sage.

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Seidman. I. 2013. Interviewing as qualitative research: A usher for research workers in instruction and the societal scientific disciplines. New York: Teachers College Press

Siegel. J. S. . & A ; Olshansky. S. J. 2012. The human ecology and epidemiology of human wellness and aging. Dordrecht: Springer.

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