Dangers Of Qualitative Research

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The Danger of Mixing Quantitative and Qualitative Market Research in a B2B Environment Quantitative research studies (e.g., surveys or medical trials) and qualitative research studies (e.g., interviews or focus groups) are powerful tools in the hands of a trained marketer. Both forms of research are valid, and both provide useful insight into a market space, when properly conducted and appropriately interpreted. Yet they are as different as oil and water.

Some of the differences between these processes are obvious, even at first glance. Each approach has its unique methodologies, its inherent advantages, and its limitations. And neither approach works in all situations. Sometimes, marketers will begin their research with exploratory interviews,
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While artists may choose to mix techniques (as a watercolorist would mix wet-on-dry and wet-on-wet techniques) to create a beautiful and compelling piece of art, researchers who run concurrent qualitative and quantitative studies often end up with quite a mess. Readers of mixed studies, being influenced by projections in the quantitative portion of the study, may try to extend observations from the qualitative portion of the study, and end up with invalid conclusions. In your case, presenting the conclusions of your qualitative focus group research in the same context as your quantitative internal-manager-group survey results may encourage those who review the findings to project the opinions expressed in the qualitative studies (focus groups) statistically, to the larger population, and this would be inappropriate. The resulting, inaccurate view of your market space will skew the development of your services …show more content…
This is particularly true in scientific communities (where experimentation and research define the discipline), and in manufacturing (where continuous improvement is defined in terms of deviation from specifications), and in highly technical environments (like IT), and in business environments (where well quantified ideas are more likely to be funded).

In your case, the stated purpose of the research was "to ensure the organization develops services that meet the needs of its markets." And eventually, these developments will need to be funded. So, when it comes time for you to present your statistical and qualitative findings simultaneously, your organization 's decision-makers may place undue emphasis on the statistical results, and could even dismiss the findings of the qualitative research.

Assumptions of Relative Homogeneity or

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