I began Research Design Review back in November 2009 with the intention of delivering corporate clients, providers, and students of qualitative and/or quantitative research with a resource for thinking about and discussing research design issues. RDR addresses the basic question, “Is it good research?” – meaning, does the research design (regardless of method) adhere to common standards or principles that are generally agreed to support some degree of confidence in our research findings. RDR currently includes over 40 posts concerning quantitative and qualitative research design issues.
There are 18 articles in RDR that – with the exception of one, “Wading into the Stream of Consciousness” – very specifically focus on qualitative research design. I have compiled these 18 articles into one document simply titled “Qualitative Research Design.” This compilation includes articles such as:
- Focus Group Research: A Best Practices Approach Methodological analyses of focus group research design should be conducted in order to remove any black-box perceptions of focus group research, add transparency to the process, and ultimately offer research users greater justification and substantiation for the findings.
- Qualitative Research & Thinking About How People Think Everything researchers do is about developing a design that will reveal the reality of how people think. Cognitive principles apply not only in the quantitative realm but to research forms devoted to in-depth conversations and elaborate probes that ladder to key benefits in the qualitative arena.
- Error in (Qualitative) Research The notion of error in qualitative marketing research is rarely discussed but a concept worth exploring. Without it, qualitative research is weakened under scrutiny and simply becomes an exercise where all ideas are “good ideas,” where individual differences don’t matter, and where all responses to qualitative questions are legitimate.
- Qualitative Research: Use of Projective Techniques Depends on Objectives Many projective techniques – esp., team activities, pass the doodle, personifications, analogies – that require an undoing to gain true meaning, potentially mask research objectives and hinder analysis when our goal is not quantity of ideas but the reality of how people think.
- 13 Factors Impacting the Quality in Qualitative Research How does a client, an end-user, or buyer evaluate the quality of our qualitative research? How does this person know with any degree of confidence that the qualitative end-product is legitimately useful? Not unlike Edwards Deming’s 13 “factors affecting the ultimate usefulness of a survey,” 13 factors impacting the quality of qualitative research are proposed.
It is hoped that Qualitative Research Design, along with future posts in RDR, will bring greater awareness and understanding of the issues impacting qualitative research design and will ultimately lead to more useful, higher-quality outcomes.