1.1 Qualitative Research Design versus
Quantitative Research Design
research design is defined by (John W Creswell, 3rd ed.), as a
means for exploring and understanding the meaning individuals or groups attribute
to a social or human problem. The processes of research involves emerging
questions and procedures, data typically collected in the participant’s
settings, data analysis inductively building from particulars to general
themes, and the researcher making interpretation of the data. The final writing
report has a flexible structure. Those who engage in this form of support a way
of inquiry a way of looking at research that honors an inductive style, a focus
on an individual meaning, and the importance of rendering the complexity of a
Qualitative research design’s
purpose is to understand and interprets social interactions. Qualitative
research is any type of research that produce findings not arrived at by
statistical procedures or other means of quantification1. This can be research about person’s life,
behavior, emotion, culture, background and so forth.
research design is also defined by (John W Creswell, 3rd Ed.),
as the means of testing objective theories by examining the relationship among
variables. These variables, in turn, can be measured, typically on instruments,
so that numbered data can be analyzed using statistical procedure. The final
written report has a set structure consisting of introduction, literature and
theory, methods, results and discussion (Creswell, 2008). As opposed to qualitative
research, those who engage in this form of enquiry have assumption about
testing theories deductively, building in protection against bias, controlling
for alternative explanation and being able to generalize and replicate the
Quantitative research design’s
purpose is to test the hypothesis, look at the cause and the effect and make
predictions. Quantitative research design has the following characteristics:
The data is usually gathered using the
structured research instrument.
The results are based on the large sample size
that are representative of the population
The research study can be replicated or
repeated, given its high reliability.
The research has a clear defined research
questions to which objective answerers are sought.
1.2 Data collection methods
– Observation is one of three ways of collecting primary data. It is a
purposeful, systematic and selective way of watching and listening to an
interaction or phenomenon as it takes place2.
In most cases observation is more suitable if participants cannot express
themselves when asked questions or the study cannot be clearly articulated well
in a form of an interview or questionnaire. Observation can be further broken
down into two types of observations.
observation – Participants observation is when a researcher participant in
the activities of the group or individual being observed in the same manner as
its member with or without them knowing that they are being observed.
observation – Non-participant on the other hand is when the researcher do
not get involved in the activities of the group but remain in passive observer,
watching and listening to its activities and drawing conclusions from this.
Like any other collection methods, observation has its disadvantages as
well, the individual or the group might be aware that they are being observed
and they can change the way of doing things and that can lead to not getting
the accurate findings for such individual or group for example, if you are
observing a group in terms of interacting to each other culturally, the finding
might be compromised immediately they discover that they are being observed
because they will change the behavior.
– This is another form of collecting data from the participates and it is
defined by Monette et al. (1986: 156), as an interview involves an interviewer
reading questions to respondents and recording their answers. According to
Burns (1997:329), an interview is a verbal interchange, any person to person
interaction either face to face or otherwise between two or more people with a
purpose in mind.
Interview has disadvantages and advantages
Advantages – the interview is more
appropriate to a more complex situation because the interviewer will have an
opportunity to prepare a respondent if the sensitive question will be asked. For
collecting in dept information, interview is useful because the interviewer can
probe for more information. Questions can be explained, the question will be
fully understood as the interviewer will repeat the question or put it in a
form that the respondent will understand.
Disadvantages – it is time consuming
and expensive especially if the respondents are scattered all over. The quality
of data solemnly depends on the quality of interaction. The researcher may introduce
his or her bias in framing and interpretation of responses.
– It is a written list of questions and the answers to those are recorded by
the respondents. The questions need t be clear and easy to understand because
no one is available to explain or clarifies the questions and the layout must
be easy to read.
Questionnaire has its advantages and
Advantages – it is less expensive,
you save time and financial resources because the researcher is not
interviewing the respondent. It also offer great anonymity, there is no
face-to-face interaction between respondent and interviewer therefore greater
The disadvantages for questionnaire
is application is limited to a study population that can read and write.
Response rate is low; people fail to return the questionnaires. Opportunities
to clarify issues are lacking, if respondents do not understands the question,
there is no one will clarify for them. Also there is a possibility to consult
other people in terms of responding to some of the question.
In my research I partially used the
interview method simple because I needed to get an idea on how data quality is
currently and what are the challenges that are facing data quality. And with a
bit of my own experience in terms of data quality that led me not to do
questionnaire and observations.
1.3 Sampling concept
Sampling concept – Sampling is a process of selecting a few of sample
from a bigger group. This process has its advantages and disadvantages. The
advantages are it saves time, financial and human resources, but on the other
hand is that you do not find out the information about the population’s
character of interest to you but you can only estimate or predict them, that is
its disadvantage. There are three principles that guide the sampling.
In a majority of cases of sampling there will be
a difference between the sample statistics and the true population mean, which
is attributable to the selection of units in the sample.
The greater the sample size, the more accurate
the estimates of the true population mean.
The greater the difference in the variables
under study in a population for a given sample size, the greater the difference
between the sample statistics and the true population mean
There are different types of sampling
Random/ probability sampling design
Mixed sampling design
In random design, it is imperative that each element in the
population has an equal and independent chance of selection in the sample. With
the random sampling, there are three methods that one can adopt, that is
A table of randomly generated numbers.
In the non random or non probability sampling design, it
does not follow the theory of probability in the choice of elements from the
sampling population. This method is used when the number of elements in a
population is unknown or cannot be individually identified. The selection of
elements is dependants in other considerations. There are five commonly used
random design and they are:
Judgmental sampling or purposive sampling
Systematic sampling or mixed design has the characteristic
of both random and non random design hence the term mixed. The sampling frame
is first divided into the number of segments called intervals.
1.4 Ethical issues in data collection
Ethical issues with regard to data collection need to be upheld. The
researcher must describe the measures which will be taken to protect the
participants. There are ethical practices need to be followed when conducting
research, and these are:
Privacy and confidentiality of the respondent
The integrity of the respondents must be
The bridge of ethics can results the researcher being
charged and to avoid such it is the vitally important to follow all the ethical
procedures that are prescribed by the ethical board.
Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches
– By John W Creswell 3rd Edition.
Research Methodology – A step by step guide by Dr R Kumar, 3rd
Basics of qualitative research by Juliet Corbin,
Basics of qualitative research by Juliet Corbin, Page 11
Research Methodology – a step by step guide by Dr R Kumar, 3rd Ed.