Qualitative research primarily refers to a process of naturalistic inquiry, which tends to seek in-depth examination and understanding of the social phenomena in a social setting. In other words, qualitative research seeks the answer to “why” when examining the situation, and it does not consider “what” which may seek direct experience. Besides, there are three major focuses of qualitative research, which include communication, culture, and individual. The major assumption for the inquiry method is to consider the knowledge to be subjective rather than being objective. Therefore, several positive and negative factors are associated with qualitative research, must be unearthed for the researcher’s success.
1. It provides content useful for practical application; anyone who wishes to form a credible relationship in this modern world needs to foster authenticity in his or her work. For this reason, understanding the core concept of how you define yourself can be portrayed in a different perspective on the outside world. By using qualitative research, one can make a practical application on different contents to solve the structural problems.
2. It uses a smaller sample size; the social scientist can collect the necessary data for research within the shortest time possible for analysis. For this reason, qualitative research is completed rapidly with the use of a smaller sample size. The main focus of this research is the quality of information, which is obtained within a short period of research, thus creating more time for other things.
3. Development of specific insights; people normally make decisions based on comfort and convenience, though there are some other instances where one needs to consider the ethical position before making a decision. Such decisions depend on the life experience and thoughts that we encounter daily. Nevertheless, these behavioral decisions are used by social scientists to solve problems for everyone in society.
4. Eliminates bias within the data; the social scientist normally faces unconscious bias where people have preconceived notions about specific data. In this case, the use of qualitative research tends to narrow down the bias by using minimal sample data to analyze the whole data, thus eliminating the chances of bias.
5. It discovers the participant’s inner experience; it can understand people’s opinions and meanings of the events under investigation.
6. They make use of individual choices: Human preferences are diverse, and the various choices are very useful in qualitative research. When the researcher understands why the individuals made their choices, they would gain more knowledge from the diverse choices. The perspective of every individual is unique and this allows the researcher to gather more knowledge about the circumstances involved in the experiences of various people and how it influences their choices.
7. Qualitative research collects more data because it is open-ended: During qualitative research, the individuals are given the room to ask questions on issues bothering them. The research is not based on any specific questions, formats, or limitations. The interviewees are allowed to ask open-ended questions so long they can bring out useful data. There are no limits to the number of questions until the researcher feels like there is nothing more to get from them.
8. The Data are useful in solving life problems: Qualitative research is very effective in proffering solutions, as it provides useful content. Research is the best approach to take when acquiring information about individuals, communities, or society. However, it is pertinent for the information to be authentic. Qualitative research digs deep to unravel how individuals define themselves, their perspectives devoid of external influence.
9. It is cost-effective: Qualitative research is pocket friendly because the individuals serve as the primary source of information. It is a quick and efficient way of acquiring data without breaking a sweat. Researchers can gain useful research results within an hour if they carry out a group interview.
10 Research results serve as prediction tools: The data gathered during qualitative research can serve as potent tools for predicting further results in the project. The extent of variance in individual responses, experiences, or perspectives does not matter. We know that the primary aim of the research is not to apply the result to the public but to decipher how specific elements react to specific situations.
1. It creates subjective data; individual opinion is necessary to some extent, but some of the researchers think that specific data are more important and must be included in the findings. For this reason, they tend to eliminate some of the vital information which is critical to others. The difference in perspective tends to born misleading findings that may not be necessary to the public.
2. Data collection is tedious; though it is necessary to collect potential data points by sampling more primary data, it is very tedious to come up with the best sample for use. The sampling method tends to take much time, and this tends to inconvenience social scientists to arrive at the necessary information.
3. Qualitative research does not offer statistical representation; the percentage of the sample statistic used in the research are not considered in the analysis. The researchers tend to use ultra-local demographics to define the broader population.
4. The researcher has to present the unspoken data points; when the social scientist uses qualitative research, they have to connect the dots to portray the information from the field. In this case, it takes much time and energy-consuming to present the data after assembling it, unlike the use of a quantitative research method.
5. Policymakers may disregard the results; in most cases, the policymakers tend to use qualitative research in decision-making, thus giving low credibility to qualitative research.
6. Researchers cannot get exact matches: The data collection process does not give room for the researcher to get exact matches for research results. In qualitative research, when you repeat an interview, the responses of the interviewees are not the same as their responses in the previous research.
7. There is a need for follow-up research: Qualitative research is applied to small sample size. It is too shallow to unravel the faced by small businesses. To get correct data, the researcher must repeat the experiment or carry out follow-up research with larger sample size.
8. Researchers cannot generalize their results: In qualitative research, you can only use your findings to decipher information about a small group of respondents. You cannot generalize your results. This is because qualitative research only digs deep into the information of a few individuals.
9. It requires experienced researchers: No one can just wake up and start qualitative research. To be able to acquire correct data, the researcher must garner related industry experience. Inexperienced researchers are likely to collect wrong data.
10 It requires patience and trust: The data acquired are unseen and unproven. In some cases, the respondent might mention things that they cannot show evidence of. This is where trust comes in. More so, the entire process requires lots of patience.