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Qualitative Research Techniques

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Presentation on theme: "Qualitative Research Techniques"— Presentation transcript:

1 Qualitative Research Techniques

2 Qualitative Research... Is any research conducted using an observational technique or unstructured questioning. Often viewed as a “Soft-approach.” Conducted: when structured research is not possible, when true response may not be available [embarrassing “touchy questions”] to explain quantitative research results. Should not be viewed as conclusive research. Qualitative and quantitative research are complementary to each other.



5 Qualitative research = Observation technique
Classification of Observation Direct vs indirect: Direct>> observing behavior as it occurs Indirect >> observing the effects of behavior Disguised vs nondisguised Nondisguised>>Direct Disguised >> Indirect Structured vs unstructured Structured>>predetermine what to observe Unstructured>>monitor all behavior Human vs Mechanical Human>>observation done by human beings Mechanical>>observation by machine

6 Observation I Appropriate Conditions
The event must occur in a short time interval, avoid lag affect Must occur in a setting where the researcher can observe the behavior Praying, cooking are not suitable things to observe Necessary under situations of faulty recall Faulty recall>>remembering things such as how many times one looked at his wristwatch.

7 Observation: Advantages and Limitations
Greater data accuracy than direct questioning, in natural settings people behave naturally, Problems of refusal, not at home, false response, non-cooperation etc. are absent, No recall error, In some situations, only way Number of customers visiting a store Studying children’s behavior Limitations Time consuming, -- too many things to observe, may not be representative, difficulty in determining root cause of the behavior.

8 Focus Group I An interview conducted by a trained moderator in a non-structured and natural manner with a small group of respondents. Group size Group composition Homogenous, respondents prescreened Physical setting Relaxed, informal setting Time duration hours Recording Use of audio and video cassettes Moderator Observational, interpersonal, good communication skills needed.

9 Focus Groups II Objectives: Generate new product or service ideas
Understand consumer vocabulary Useful for ad campaigns Reveal consumer needs, motives, perceptions and attitudes, Generating future research objectives Facilitate understanding of the quantitative studies

10 Focus Group Procedure Determine the objectives of the Marketing Research Project and define the problem Specify the objective of qualitative research State the objectives/questions to be answered by the focus group Write a screening questionnaire Develop a moderator’s outline Conduct the focus group interview Review tapes and analyze data Summarize the findings and plan follow-up research

11 The Focus Group Moderator
The person who conducts the focus group session. Success of focus groups depend on him/her, He/she must strive for generating a stimulating natural discussion without losing sight of the focus, Must take initiative, but should not dominate the discussion unduly, Should have feeling of urgency, Should participate in the research from the beginning, Must add value beyond just conducting the session.


13 Focus Group: Advantages and Disadvantages
Major Advantages: Synergism, Snowballing, Stimulation, Security, Spontaneity, Speed and Cost savings. Major Disadvantages: Lack of representativeness, Misuse, Misjudge, Moderation problem, and Difficulty of analysis A very promising technique.

14 Seven advantages of Focus Group I

15 Seven advantages of Focus Group II

16 Five Disadvantages of Focus Group

17 Other Qualitative Techniques
Depth Interview: An unstructured interview that seeks opinions of respondents on a one-to-one basis. Useful for sensitive issues, politics etc. Protocol Analysis: Involves placing a person in a decision making situation and asking him/her to state everything he/she considers in making a decision. Useful in 1. Purchasing involving a long time frame (car, house) and 2. Where the decision process is too short (greeting card). Projective technique: Involve situations in which participants are placed in simulated activities hoping that they will divulge information about themselves that are unlikely to be revealed under direct questing.

18 Projective Techniques
These are indirect interviewing methods which enable sampled respondents to project their views, beliefs and feelings onto a third-party or into some task situation. The researcher sets up a situation for the respondents asking them to express their own views, or to complete/ interpret some ambiguous stimulus presented to them. Various types. More common ones are: Free Word Association Sentence Completion Unfinished scenario/story completion Cartoon completion test

19 However, analyzing and interpreting test results are rather difficult.
FREE WORD ASSOCIATION In this technique, a list of carefully selected stimulus words or phrases related to the topic of research are read out, one at a time, to a respondent. The respondent is asked to respond with the first word or phrase that comes to his/her mind. The list of words should contain a mixture of test words and neutral words. In the example shown here, the researchers seems to be interested in studying high-tech banking (words with *). However, analyzing and interpreting test results are rather difficult.

20 SENTENCE COMPLETION This technique is an extension of the free-word association test. In this technique, the respondent is presented with some sentences containing incomplete stimuli and is asked to complete them. Like the free-word association method, interpreting and analysing data obtained from this technique is also difficult.

This technique is similar to the sentence completion test. However, in this technique, the respondent is presented with a specific scenario containing incomplete stimuli [see example below] and is asked to complete the scenario. Interpreting and analysing data obtained from this technique is also difficult.

In the cartoon technique, the respondent is shown a comic-strip like cartoon with two characters in a conversation. While the speech of one character is shown in his/her balloon,the other balloon is empty. The respondent is asked to assume the role of the other person and fill the empty baloon with a speech.

23 Suitability in Asia-Pacific Region
Theoretically, qualitative research techniques should be suitable in the Asia-Pacific countries. However, in reality conducting qualitative research in Asia does not seem to be easy. In most Asian countries techniques such as focus group research constitutes about 10% of all research works carried out by companies mainly due to cultural reasons. People feel more confident with numbers than with mere opinions. In some Asian societies, people hesitate to express opinion on sensitive issues. Groups in Singapore are less willingly to talk than those in Hong Kong. While expressing views, Hong Kongers are more impatient, while Thais and Filipinos have an in-built “courtesy bias”.

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