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Distinctive Characteristics & Principles of Quantitative & Qualitative Research (Term Paper Sample)


This is quantitive and methods assignment , 1500 words
Topic:Discuss in details the distinctive characteristics and underlying philosophical principles of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies.
See the outline, will helping ur, u need use week 5 and 6 concepts relate with the essay.
Harvard format, also need in-text citations.
Complete an individual coursework with the following topic:
Discuss in details the distinctive characteristics and underlying philosophical principles of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies.
This is worth 60% of your module grade. Overall word limit: 1500 words maximum plus a 500-words Reflective essay. You will also complete a presentation based on your essay and reflection (this is worth 40% of your module grade). Your tutor will arrange the presentation.


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Qualitative research methodology has gained considerable attention in the recent past. Scholars have made use of the scientific method which involves more of observation skills to help gather data is non-numerical in nature (Sharan 1988). It has widely been seen to refer to symbols, metaphors, characteristics, and definitions in their description but not in their measure. Major methods in these form of research include use of; interviews, open-ended surveys, focus groups, observation, content analysis, and oral history (Kim 2002).
As for the quantitative research methodology, emphasis is mainly on statistical measurement and mathematical calculations. Therefore, it involves the numerical analysis of data. It is mainly used in social science for making sense to numerical data collected through polls, questionnaires, and surveys (Gleb and Alexande 2006). The data is statistically manipulated pre-determined and existing computational techniques. Therefore involves collection through samples and generalisation to the whole population.
Mixed methods are used in situations when a researcher is in need of use of both the qualitative and quantitative forms of research methods. Methods mainly applied for both is triangulation to be able to come up with solid and compact data.
The major differences between the two methods exists in the form of data needed, methods of collection as well as use as shown in the table below;




* Non-numerical data
* Identifies abstract concepts
* Inductive in nature and mainly articulated thus theory are research are simultaneous
* Seek for character uniqueness
* It is active in relation to the environment of operation thus natural
* High interaction with respondent

* Numerical data
* Involves data collection
* Sequential and based on deductive approach thus seeks to justify a theory hence theory precedes research.
* Start from beginning to variables
* It is passive thus makes use of experimental approach
* Low interaction

* Makes use of both approaches thus mainly for triangulation.

Research philosophies in its nature seeks to assess the manner in which data of a give scenario should be collected, analysed interpreted. It hence refers to systems of beliefs and assumptions in knowledge development. Therefore, the philosophical approaches are seen to make application of epistemology as opposed to doxology (Gleb and Alexande 2006). That is making use of Epistemology of what is perceived to be true as opposed to what is believed to be true (doxology). Therefore, it is underpinned by different pillars including realism, positivism, interpretivism, and pragmatism.
Therefore, the criteria that is applied in selection of a research approach falls back into the research philosophy map which is seen as an onion of research. The map gives a guide of how selection is done under different data collection and structure (Gleb and Alexande 2006). The onion/map begins with research methods which entails who data is worked around. From research methodology we have research questions that are to be addressed. This gives rise to positivism and interpretive philosophies which are encompassed by objectivity and subjectivity in their approaches.
Positivism goes for deductive approach while interpretive goes for inductive approaches. Deductive approaches requires quantitative data while the inductive approach makes use of qualitative data. Where in most cases questionnaires and interviews are applied in te same study thus giving rise to a mixed methodology.
Quantitative research methods
Quantitative data is mainly realised form surveys, observational counts, and secondary data from company reports, books, and published articles. Therefore it makes use of primary and secondary data sources (Looi 2014). Therefore, it is founded under the main principle of relationships where most quantitative studies seek to assess the relations between a dependent and an independent variable. Therefore, it deals with numeric data that is majorly none changing. Data of these nature is collected using structured instruments, as thus it makes use of numerical data and construct those using models to be able to make sense of what is observed. The methods attracts application of convergent reason with high emphasis on the flow of the idea and the methods used to resolve the problem. The designs used under the method are experimental or descriptive in nature (Looi 2014). In addition, the results are based on large samples which are seen as representative of the whole population. The methods assumes that following a certain methodology, results can be replicated over and over again thus founded on the principle of reliability. Theory precede research and thus it involves pretested viable tools of collection.
Reasons for its choice
The method is mainly selected in social science research as it has a high level of reliability and precision as well as when there is relevant literature on the topic. It is chosen in studies that are objective in ontology, and that are positivist in nature. In addition, the method allows for inference and thus can be able to assess a case of a large population using samples (Looi 2014). Therefore chosen when the nature of study is deductive and requires high reliability. Also taken when there are time constraints to study the whole population, when the population is large, and when there are financial constraints.
Pros and cons
The method thus has a wide range of advantages attached to it. This includes; it is used in most economic cases as it offer a high level of reliability (Lawrence 2015). For these reason, it allows for inference to a large population and consistency in methodology. The methods as is based on research and theory, it gives control to the structure of the data collected and the manner in which results from the analysis are reported (Looi 2014). In addition, it is reliable for its statistical meaning and results interpretation. The method also provides room for sophiscated analysis as well as ensure a high level of precision.
However, the methods is tedious and laborious and thus requires high commitment to gather, analyse and report the results. For these reason it is not an appropriate methods for assessing high risky situations or when the problems that need to be solved are urgent. Also the researcher does not involve a lot with the respondent and most data is based on recalls and thus could increase the level of bias which is difficult to verify as one cannot be able to tell what the respondent are thinking (Gleb and Alexande 2006). In addition, it is an expensive method of data collection. This is because it involves a lot of time and resources are commit to gathering data ad compilation of report. It also eliminates issues of freedom, power, and moral responsibility.
Qualitative research methods
The method is built on the major principle of quality, processes, and meaning that are not measured. It therefore, realises that human beings are socially constructed and thus recognises the social nature of reality. Therefore, this method stressed on social aspects of research and the social experiences that are constructed thereof (Serhat 2007). Therefore, the method emphasises on investigations to seek answers to how behaviour is constructed. Hence lies on the basis of explaining how and why things have happened or the way phenomenon exist. It is founded on empathetic neutrality as it does not allow for judgement. It also assumes that the systems are dynamic and thus they keep changing.
It is a best choice method in situations that need in-depth analysis. In addition, it is an important source of social data as well as how people behave. It is chosen in studies that are subjective in ontology, and that are interpretivist in nature (Chris, and Jenny 2005). In situation when research is needed that involves staying with a group of people in order to understand their behaviour, qualitative methods are best. It is therefore, an important method for use when the research is directed to assessment of how and why things happened the way they did.
Pros and cons
The methods helps in analysis of situations that are complex. In addition, it offers an in-depth analysis of a situation thus helps in a assessing the actual picture of an issue. The researcher is able to have personal contact with the respondent and thus gets close to them. This is critical in data gathering as it helps in exploration as well as gathering accurate and consistent information (Vibha 2013. Also because of the close contact, the researcher is able to get an insider view of the field and thus they are able to come up with fundamental decisions about an issue

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