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Qualitative Research Methods (Reference: Zikmund & Babin Ch. 6)

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Presentation on theme: "Qualitative Research Methods (Reference: Zikmund & Babin Ch. 6)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Qualitative Research Methods (Reference: Zikmund & Babin Ch. 6)
MKT Marketing Research Lecture Slides (Dr. Alhassan G. Abdul-Muhmin) Qualitative Research Methods (Reference: Zikmund & Babin Ch. 6)

2 Learning Objectives At the end of this discussion you should be able to: Explain the differences between qualitative and quantitative research methods Explain the role of qualitative research in exploratory research designs List and explain the main qualitative research orientations List and explain key characteristics of common techniques used in qualitative research Identify and describe the advantages and disadvantages of these techniques

3 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH Research techniques that allow a researcher to obtain elaborate interpretations of market phenomena without depending on numerical measurements. Characteristics Uses small versus large samples Emphasizes unstructured (broad range of) versus structured questioning methods Involves subjective interpretation rather than “objective” statistical inference; is researcher-dependent Has an exploratory purpose rather than descriptive and conclusive

4 Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research
Qualitative Research Quantitative Research Purpose Discover ideas Test hypotheses or specific research questions Approach Observe and interpret Measure and test Data Collection Methods Unstructured; free- forms Structured; response categories provided Researcher Independence Researcher is intimately involved; results are subjective Researcher is uninvolved; results are objective Sample Small samples – often natural setting Large samples to allow generalization Most often used in: Exploratory research designs Descriptive and causal research designs

5 Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research
Qualitative Research To gain a qualitative understanding of the underlying reasons and motivations Small number of non-representative cases Unstructured Non-statistical Develop an initial understanding Quantitative Research To quantify the data and generalize the results from the sample to the population of interest Large number of representative cases Structured Statistical Recommend a final course of action Objective Sample Data Collection Data Analysis Outcome

6 Qualitative Research Orientations
Four main qualitative research orientations Phenomenology – originating in philosophy and psychology Ethnography – origins in anthropology Grounded theory – originates from sociology Case studies – roots in psychology and business research

7 Phenomenology Based on the ideas that:
human experience is inherently subjective and determined by the context in which a person lives behavior is shaped by a person’s relationship with the environment in which s/he lives therefore the best way to understand this behavior is to understand the context in which the behavior occurs this engaging in a conversational interview with the subject Researcher may need to become part of the “group” to effectively study it Special form is hermeneutics – relying on analysis of texts in which a person tells a story about themselves

8 Ethnography Methods of studying cultures through becoming highly active in the culture. Typically uses observation as a data collection tool, hence the term participant-observation. The observation can be human or mechanical; but is often purposeful, i.e. focusing on specific features of behaviors that are of interest to the study

9 Grounded Theory Inductive investigation process in which the researcher uses empirical evidence to develop a theory for explaining a given phenomenon Researcher repeatedly poses questions about the observed evidence and uses the responses to develop a deeper explanation (theory) Particularly applicable in dynamic situations involving significant change – where new insights are needed to explain phenomena that have not been previously encountered

10 Case Studies Documented history of a particular person, group, organization, or event. This intense examination of one or a few situations typically: Involves in-depth investigation and careful study Requires cooperation from the investigated subjects (cases) Case analyses are used to develop themes that can help explain a phenomenon Used extensively in business research and teaching

Focus group interviews (discussions) Depth interviews Conversations Semi-structured interviews Word Association/Sentence completion Observation Collages Thematic Apperception Tests (TAT)/Cartoon Tests

12 1. Focus Group Interviews (Discussions)
Unstructured, free-flowing interview (discussion) with a small group of people about the subject area of the research Unstructured Free flowing Group discussion Group Composition About 6-10 people Relatively homogeneous Similar lifestyles and experiences Now sometimes conducted online – “Online Focus Groups” Approach: Ethnography,, Case studies

13 The Focus Group Moderator
The person in charge of “moderating” the group discussions Usually he: Develops rapport - helps people relax Interacts Listens to what people have to say Everyone gets a chance to speak Maintains loose control and focuses discussion Stimulates spontaneous responses

14 2. Depth Interviews Unstructured, extensive one-on-one interviews conducted with subjects of ultimate concern (typically consumers or customers). Purpose is to gain valuable insights for the main study May sometimes involve testing aspects of the research design, such as questionnaire clarity, length, etc Approach: Ethnography, Grounded theory, Case studies

15 3. Conversations Unstructured dialogue in which researcher engages the respondent in a discussion of the subject matter of interest Combines features of focus group and depth interviews Similar to depth interview (in the sense of engaging one respondent at a time) Similar to focus group discussion in the sense of allowing free discussion rather than asking specific questions Approach: Phenomenology; grounded theory

16 4. Semi-Structured Interviews
Open-ended questions with answers solicited in writing – typically in the form of short essays Respondents are free to write as much as or as little as they choose Requires the researcher to prepare the questions (opening and follow-up questions) in advance Approach: Grounded theory; ethnography

17 5a. Word Association Tests
A projective technique in which subjects are presented with a word and asked to indicate what other words come to mind, e.g. What comes to mind when you hear the following words? Soft drinks Mercedes Technique may be used to develop an associative network of words related to a focal word Useful in brand name testing and product concept testing

18 5b. Sentence Completion Tests
A projective technique in which subjects are given incomplete sentences and asked to complete them with the word or phrase that first comes to mind, e.g. People who drive sports cars are __________ A man who drinks light beer is ____________ Sports cars are most liked by ______________ A sports car is ______________

19 6. Observation Unobtrusive data collection method in which the researcher watches a phenomenon and records notes describing the phenomenon (e.g. a behavior) Observation can be personal or mechanical; disguised or undisguised; structured or unstructured, etc Approach: Grounded theory; ethnography; case studies

20 7. Collages Collage – a pattern (larger picture, story, etc) made by sticking pictures or materials on a surface In this research method, respondents are asked to assemble pictures to represent their thoughts/feelings about a phenomenon Collages are then analyzed for meaning Approach: Phenomenology; Grounded theory

21 8a. Thematic Apperception Tests (T.A.T.)
A projective technique in which subjects are presented with a series of pictures and are then asked to form a story about the pictures TAT Illustration.ppt (Hamilton Power Tools Corporation)

22 8b. Picture Frustration (Cartoon) Tests
Respondent is presented with a cartoon drawing representing an incomplete dialogue and asked to suggest a dialogue that the characters might engage in See p. 153 of your text

A collection of exploratory research techniques based on indirect questioning in which respondents are asked to project themselves into a particular person, object, or situation Often used where direct questioning is not likely to provide honest responses Word association tests Sentence completion method Third-person technique Role playing T.A.T. Picture frustration version of T.A.T.

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