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


***** mankind was faced with at least one of the same problems confronting modern social researchers: selecting the right tool for the right job. In fact, there is a vast 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 ***** ***** required to make in determining which approach is best suited ***** a given *****, though, involves the decision as to whether ***** 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 to maximize their return on their research resources. Nevertheless, in m***** *****, a qualitative or quantitative analysis is the perfect fit for a given ***** *****pic, but knowing ***** difference in the ***** is required, *****s well as when they should be use separately or ***** combination ***** each other or another research methodology. To this end, this paper provides a critical evaluation of the merits and sh*****tcomings of qualitative and quantitative research techniques and procedures, followed by a summary of the research ***** salient findings in the conclusion.

Review and Discussion

***** ***** Overview.

There has been a good deal ***** attention paid to ***** and those who conduct it in recent years, ***** the debate over qual*****ative versus quantitative research techniques is *****ly not new. In this regard, Goodson and Phillimore emp*****ize that, "The ***** versus qualitative debate has a long history in ***** science research" (p. 42). To some extent, the debate over the superiority of ***** versus quantitative research relates to how the various ***** ***** each technique are perceived by its adherents, and how ***** weaknesses and constraints of ***** ***** viewed by its critics. In this regard, Crowley (1994) reports *****, "Some researchers argue that qualitative research is unscientific and ***** quantitative methods remain the ***** of choice for serious-minded, social-science researchers. These researchers 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 ***** seems ***** be waning in ***** years, remnants of it rema*****" (*****, p. 65). Likewise, Benz and Newman (1998) maintain that the attributes of one research methodology may be preferable to researchers for purely subjective reasons: "The debate between qualitative and quantitative researchers is based upon the differences in assumptions about what reality is and whe*****r or not it is measurable. The debate further rests on differences of opinion about how we can best underst***** what we 'know,' whether through objective ***** ***** methods" (p. 2).

***** lengthy his*****ry of controversy has 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 *****


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