Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Research Methods
This paper will discuss the approaches that can be used to conduct quantitative, qualitative and mixed method research that is based on a problem statement and a purpose statement that have been developed to study the adoption of sales force automation technology. This paper will also provide the advantages and disadvantages of quantitative, qualitative and mixed method research and the associated approaches discussed below.
Quantitative vs. Qualitative vs. Mixed Method Research
The popularity of conducting qualitative research began in the 1960s (Branthwaite & Patterson, 2012). The argument for conducting this type of research is likely due to the fact that this appears to be an ideal style of research for the field of Marketing. It is also likely that in comparing the many types of research, the qualitative type was not taken as seriously as quantitative research, especially during early periods through the 1950s. In contrast to quantitative research, qualitative research has emerged as a method to gain more extensive information about products, for example, and how they should be promoted in the marketplace (Branthwaite & Patterson, 2012). According to the Northcentral University Concept Paper Template (2013), one approach of qualitative research requires that the researcher uses open- ended questions and a direct interview process to gather information related to the research phenomenon. It is also likely that this type of research would involve a smaller number of subjects that will take part in the survey process versus quantitative research. The study of how sales force automation technology is introduced to sales organizations and the level of successful adoption of the technology may lend itself to a qualitative research approach due to the fact that it would be possible to gain in-depth knowledge into how the technology is adopted and why. This strategy also aligns itself with the problem statement associated with this study which states that 60% of sales organizations that have introduced sales force automation technology have met with failure to use the technology effectively by their sales organizations. Using perosnal interviews would allow the researcher to use open-ended questions to find out the underlying reasons why the problem of lack of adoption is so great in the sales industry. This could be accomplished by using questions that establish the underlying reasons why the failure rate is so high and, again, with greater depth than would be possible through a Likert scale or through yes/no questions used for qualitative studies.
In contrast, quantitative research is research that is expressed with numerical data that lends itself to the use of descriptive statistics for the analysis of the data. The data can then be analyzed using a statistical package such as SPSS, SAS or the data analysis tools in Excel. There are also numerous books that...