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

Introduction

***** 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 of these will clearly be superior to others. One ***** the first decisions a researcher ***** ***** required ***** make in determining which approach is best suited ***** a given *****, though, involves ***** decision as to 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 ***** research resources. Nevertheless, ***** many *****, a qu*****litative or quantitative analysis is the perfect fit for a given rese*****rch topic, but knowing the difference in the ***** is required, as well as when they should be use separately or in combinati***** 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 summ*****ry of the research ***** salient findings in the conclusion.

Review and Discussion

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

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

This 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 in*****mation has now become available for *****

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