Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Qualitative research methods

Qualitative research methods work to understand and discover experiences, perspectives, and insight of participants (Hiatt, 1986). An advantage of a qualitative approach is that study participants are not constrained to a predetermined set of responses (Harwell, 2011). A downfall of the study in regards to collecting data is that it is expensive considering the amount of time needed to collect the data. Qualitative research consists of using lived experiences and interpreting the phenomena (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005).

Quantitative research methods focus on increasing objectivity and typically interested in future prediction (Harwell, 2011). Features of quantitative research include instruments used for collecting data, which often include test, reliance, probability theory, and surveys for analyzing statistical hypothesis that relate to research questions. Quantitative methods are considered deductive in nature considering collected data create general inferences about the characteristics of a population (Harwell, 2011). A quantitative method often makes assumptions that there is only a single truth that exist, which does not include human perception (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). A quantitative approach is beneficial for gathering information. The problem with this approach is that it does not cover the reason for why certain data concluded in a certain manner.

Mixed methods combine qualitative and quantitative methods by linking their differences while addresses a research question (Harwell, 2011). The key principle of mixed methods is that various forms of data should be collected by using multiple strategies and methods. The methods should assist with reflecting complementary strengths and weaknesses that do not overlap. The mixed methods study should create insight that is not possible with only a qualitative or quantitative approach. Mixed methods produce opportunities for approaches with weaknesses and presents opportunities by correcting method biases (Harwell, 2011). Mixed methods approach uses balance for efficiently collecting data. The concern with using a mixed methods approach is that the method struggles to complement, and not duplicate each approach (Harwell, 2011).

Research study methodologies are characterized as either qualitative, quantitative, or a combination of both, which is referred to as mixed methods. Of the methods, neither can be considered the best method without factoring the goals and objectives of the research. Research that desires to focus on interviewing lived experiences of participants should use a qualitative approach (Harwell, 2011). In contrast, a mixed methods approach should be used for research that needs a combination of qualitative and quantitate approaches to justify the goals and objectives.


Additional Resources

Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2005). Introduction. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed., pp. 1–29). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. doi:10.1108/09504120610655394

Hiatt, J. F. (1986). Spirituality, medicine, and healing. Southern Medical Journal, 79, 736–743. doi:10.1097/00007611-198606000-00022

Harwell, M. R. (2011). Research design in qualitative/quantitative/mixed methods. The Sage handbook for research in education. 2nd ed. Los Angeles, CA: Sage, 147. doi:10.4135/9781483351377.n11

Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. doi:10.1177/144078338702300329

Work Productivity

Performance is dependent upon satisfaction toward the party most benefitted. Additionally, the ethics of the organization and its leadership have a tremendous affect on the morale of the employee. If morale is down, then work productivity may also slack. According to a research by Chekwa, Ouhirra, Thomas, and Chukwuanu (2014), 75% of employees have no desire to work for a company with poor organizational ethics. Additionally, research has discovered that leaders are responsible for creating healthy environments by supporting  employees (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009). Leadership is crucial when developing productive employees and influencing employee morale and satisfaction. To implement and maintain morale, leaders should place importance on stress prevention programs and develop effective communication methods with employees to discover and address issues regarding dissatisfaction and ethical dilemmas (Chekwa et al., 2014). Additionally, research has discovered that leaders are responsible for creating healthy environments by supporting  employees (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009).


Additional Readings

Avolio, B. J., Walumbwa, F. O., & Weber, T. J. (2009). Leadership: current theories, research, and future directions. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 421–449. doi:10.1177/0149206310393520

Chekwa, C., Ouhirra, L., Thomas, E., & Chukwuanu, M. (2014). An examination of the effects of leadership on business ethics: Empirical study. International Journal Of Business & Public Administration, 11(1), 48-65.

Mentzer, J. T., Myers, M. B., & Stank, T. P. (Eds.). (2007). Handbook of global supply chain management. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Qualitative or Quantitative

Determining whether to use a qualitative or quantitative method is really dependent upon how you desire to collect your data and what is important to you. A qualitative examination technique assesses why people behave a certain way. Furthermore, the strategy aides in discovering boundaries that influence thinking by breaking down points of interest and gathering information from in-depth sources (Šalkovska & Ogsta, 2014). A qualitative examination produces findings that are regularly not conclusive and are exploratory in nature. The advantage of this kind of study is that it gives alternative research to further decision making. A quantitative methodology utilizes information in view of raw information and statistics. The research technique frequently uses experiments and segments to gather information (Šalkovska & Ogsta, 2014).  A quantitative methodology is similar to qualitative concerning the examining of individual practices. However, a quantitative methodology uses structured information to shape a hypothesis and conclusion (Šalkovska & Ogsta, 2014). Unlike quantitative, a qualitative examination is non-measurable. Furthermore, a quantitative exploration produces detailed information that contribute to in-depth comprehension, while a quantitative examination produces information based on populace and generalized information.

Additional Readings

Šalkovska, J., & Ogsta, E. (2014). Quantitative and qualitative measurement methods of companies’ marketing efficiency. Management Of Organizations: Systematic Research, (70), 91-105. doi:10.7220/MOSR.1392-1142.2014.70.7

Helpful Writing and Research Tools

Google Scholar Walden Search
Google Scholar is a great tool for finding scholarly resources about various subjects. The service allows users to search topics and discover digital articles and libraries that provide the article for either free or paid through preprint and reprint servers (Jacsó, 2005). Google Scholar also offers advance services that allow for users to filter search results based on their institution. If you would like to search articles specific to University, you could set this filter up from the Google Scholar home page. To do this, you need to click on the settings link at the top and then under the library links, type in the schools name. The next time that you search Google Scholar and if the source in within the school’s Library, Google Scholar will provide a direct link to that article by showing a “Find in School” link on the right of found articles.

Reference Indent
An additional trick that I have learned to use is with the reference section to get the reference indent required in APA. The trick is to highlight the entire reference in Microsoft Word and then click the buttons Control and T simultaneously. For Mac users, the buttons are Command and T.

DOI search
The next helpful tool that I use is crossref for getting citation DOI’s. However, instead of having to search and use filters, you can simply bookmark this link to go right to the box where you can input the reference: http://search.crossref.org/references.

Note Taking
Another tool that I often like to use is an online annotator called Diigo. This tool allows you to search the web, highlight text, and paste sticky notes all throughout a website. Once you have done this, you can easily go to Diigo.com, login, and find all of your notes in addition to categorize and export them. This tool is great for keeping track of articles, referencing websites, annual reports, and organizing content.


Additional Readings

Jacsó, P. (2005). Google Scholar: the pros and the cons. Online information review, 29(2), 208-214. doi:10.1108/14684520510598066

Security Breach and Ethics

As a healthcare patient, I feel that the privacy of my personal information is a major concern. Organizations should focus on making ethical decisions when handling patient information in regards to implementing effective security and privacy measures (Haag & Cummings, 2008). Many organizations including healthcare spend thousands or millions of dollars on securing patient privacy and protecting data against breaches and hackers (Farahmand, Navathe, Sharp, & Enslow, 2005). It is the responsibility of leaders and management to understand and influence ethical practices which relate to privacy and security threats (Haag & Cummings, 2008). Security breaches have the ability to disable the functions of a business and pilfer confidential consumer information such as healthcare information, social security numbers, and passwords (Tran & Atkinson, 2002). In addition to potential loss in revenue, breaches also create consumer distrust, and negatively affect brand reputation (Farahmand et al., 2005).  The risks associated with breaches such as loss of confidentiality, integrity, and availability, should cause organizations to be aware and active with threats that generate concerns (Halliday, Badenhorst, & Solms, 1996).


Suggested Readings

Farahmand, F., Navathe, S. B., Sharp, G. P., & Enslow, P. H. (2005). A management perspective on risk of security threats to information systems. Information Technology and Management, 6(2–3). doi:10.1007/s10799-005-5880-5

Haag, S., & Cummings, M. (2008). Management information systems for the information age (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin

Halliday, S., Badenhorst, K., & Solms, R. (1996). A business approach to effective information technology risk analysis and management. Information Management & Computer Security, 4(1). doi:10.1108/09685229610114178

Tran, E., & Atkinson, M. (2002). Security of personal data across national borders. Information Management & Computer Security, 10(5). doi:10.1108/09685220210446588

What is an RFID?

In regards to global logistics, technology including radio-frequency identification (RFID ) assume a critical part in developing harmony in understanding overstocking and understocking expenses for organizations. The technology allows for organizations to better forecast product demand in the business sector (Pokharel, 2005).  Additionally, RFID’s are used to assist organizations with accomplishing stock level and expense goals by providing information used to help manage and implement logistics. RFID innovation is currently used in organizations such as Wal-Mart to assist in tracking products and provide real-time data to prevent counterfeiting and to monitor stock levels(Pokharel, 2005). RFID technology is equally important for privacy rights of individuals and global logistics. However, RFID plays a more common role in logistics than for individuals. The ability to track and monitor products by utilizing RFID technology has been proven effective and continues to be a reliable resource for many organizations.


Suggested Reading

Pokharel, S. (2005). Perception on information and communication technology perspectives in logistics: A study of transportation and warehouses sectors in Singapore. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 18(1/2). doi:10.1108/17410390510579882

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