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Research Methods - What Are Qualitative Methods for Business?

Essay by   •  January 1, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  957 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,449 Views

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Knowing what you target market is looking for is very important. QMC needs to research target market income, prices they are willing to pay for a product like ours, and where they are likely to buy it. Once we know this we can set prices accordingly, and advertise in areas that will effectively market our product. To go about this we will use quantitative and qualitative methods such as surveys and interviews.

What are qualitative methods for business? "Qualitative research seeks out the 'why', not the 'how' of its topic through the analysis of unstructured information" (Ereaut, 2007). The forms of research incorporated here are things like interview records, e-mails, transcripts, feedback forms, photos, objects, and videos. The ultimate aim is total, detailed description. However, it can be very suggestive, as it is open to the interpretations of the researcher. There has to be more insight used in this method, because it is more than charts, graphs, numbers, and statistics. This is more of a behavioral science, as it assesses attitude, behavior, values, concerns, motivations, aspirations, culture, or lifestyle. Finding theme and cohesive meanings can be time consuming and, at best, a daunting task. The interview process is not a tough one, but going through hundreds of interviews to find characteristics that correlate can be tough. This is an example of Qualitative Method.

What are quantitative methods for business? They are "the range of mathematical and statistical techniques used to analyze data" (encyclopedia, 2010). Typically, this is for finding solutions to managerial and decision-making problems. It is known as operations research (OR) or Management Science, as well. This type of research method comes from gathering information from various sources, such as sample surveys, aggregate statistics (including election results, census materials, and/or cross-national statistics). Some other tools could be Linear Programming, Economic Order Quantity, Learning Curve, and Regression Analysis. Social sciences are the main area of practical application for Quantitative Methodology, including sociology, anthropology, and political science. Virtually anything dealing in business statistics is a form of Quantitative Method. QMC is searching for our target groups buying methods to better establish a solid merchandising campaign. Sending out an online survey about the product and, more specifically, what buying patterns people have for each economic group, could be a quantitative method for gathering Intel. This is certainly one strategy to implement. I believe this would be a nice way for QMC to allow the customer to fill out the questionnaire (gaining useful information), while the customer feels anonymity in giving the required details. Another Quantitative Method could be analyzing sales records of stores that have sold like computers, and- using a graph chart- finding the ages, economic class, and consumer groups that have purchased these computers.

So what, comparatively, are the pros and cons of each method? The benefits of the qualitative method



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