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

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


Ancient 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 v*****st array of methodologies available for virtually any type of research project today, but some ***** these will clearly be superior to others. One of the first decisions a researcher will ***** required ***** make in determining which approach is best suited for a given *****, though, involves ***** decision as to whether to use a qu*****litative or quantitative analytical approach. Both of these techniques have some attri*****es that make them appropriate f***** certain research applications, and in some cases researchers even use them both ***** maximize their return on ***** research resources. Nevertheless, ***** many cases, a qu*****litative 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 in combination with each other ***** another research methodology. To this end, this paper provides a critical evaluation of the merits and shortcomings of qualitative ***** quantitative research techniques and procedures, followed by a summary of ***** research ***** salient findings in the conclusion.

Review and Discussion

***** and Overview.

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

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


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