Essay - A Critical Evaluation of the Merits and Shortcomings of Qualitative...

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A Critical Evaluation of the Merits and Shortcomings of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Techniques and Procedures


***** mankind was faced with at least one of the same problems confronting modern social researchers: selecting the right tool for the ***** job. In fact, there is a vast array of methodologies available ***** virtually any type of research project today, but some of these will clearly be superior to others. One of the first decisions a researcher ***** ***** required to make in determ*****ing which approach is best suited for a given project, though, involves the dec*****ion *****s ***** whether to use a qualitative or quantitative analytical approach. Both of these techniques have some attributes that make them appropriate f***** certain research applications, and in some cases researchers even use them both ***** maximize their return on their research resources. Nevertheless, ***** many *****, a qualitative or quantitative analysis is the perfect fit for a given ***** topic, but knowing ***** difference in the ***** is required, *****s well as when they should be use separately or ***** combination with each other ***** another research methodology. To this end, this paper provides a critic*****l evaluation of the merits and shortcomings of qualitative ***** quantitative ***** techniques and procedures, followed by a summ*****ry ***** ***** research and salient findings in the conclusion.

Review and Discussion

***** and Overview.

There has been a good deal of attention paid to research and those who conduct it ***** recent years, but the debate over qualitative versus quantitative research techniques is *****ly not new. In this regard, Goodson and Phillimore emphasize that, "The ***** versus ***** debate has a long his*****ry in social science research" (p. 42). ***** some extent, the debate over the superiority of qualitative versus quantitative research relates to how the various ***** of each technique are perceived by its adherents, and how the weaknesses and constra*****ts of ***** ***** viewed ***** its critics. In ***** regard, Crowley (1994) reports *****, "Some researchers argue that qualitative research is unscientific and that quantitative methods remain the methods of choice for serious-minded, social-***** *****. These *****ers deny the value of any method that departs from traditional quantitative methodologies. For others, only qualitative methods yield data of interest and worth. Though this debate seems to be waning in ***** years, remnants of it rema*****" (1994, p. 65). Likewise, Benz and Newman (1998) maintain ***** the attri*****es ***** one research methodology may be *****referable to researchers for purely subjective reasons: "The debate ********** qualitative ***** ***** researchers is based upon the differences in assumptions about what reality is and whether or not it is measurable. ***** debate further rests on differences of op*****ion about ***** we can best underst***** what we 'know,' whether through objective or subjective *****" (p. 2).

This lengthy his*****ry of controversy ***** added some fuel to the current fires over which research technique is superior and why, especially during a period in history where so much information has now become available for analysis


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