Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research Designs
• Understanding the Steps in Research Design
• Understanding how Qual. & Quant. research differ by each Step in Research
• Understand the difference in Quantitative and Qualitative Research
What is Research Design?
• “Research design provides the glue that holds the research project together.
A design is used to structure the research, to show how all of the major parts
of the research project -- the samples or groups, measures, treatments or
programs, and methods of assignment -- work together to try to address the
central research questions.”
Steps in Research Design
• 1. Identify the problem. [lit. review & causal model]
• 2. Hypothesize the cause of the problem. [H1 & H0]
• 3. Provide clear definitions of the concepts [variables].
• 4. Operationalize the concepts [indicators].
• 5. Gather empirical data.
• 6. Test the hypothesis or hypotheses.
• 7. Reflect back on theory.
• 8. Publicize the results.
• 9. Replicate the results.
Step 1: Type of Research Question
• Exploratory Research - “What” questions fall into this category of research.
• Descriptive Research - “Who” “Where” “When” & “How” questions fall into
this type of research category. (Quantitative [survey] & Qualitative
• Explanatory Research - “Why” research questions. (Questions about
causality –Quantitative [experiment])
Step 2: Hypothesis
• What is the purpose of the research?
• - To explain & predict - To describe & explain
• - To confirm & validate - To explore & interpret
• - To test theory To build theory
• Logical approach,
• Certainty to findings
Step 3 & 4: Variable