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Research design: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches Proposal

Case Study

Case study is a research method that is usually employed when the researcher might be interested in conducting an explorative study but not prescriptive study. In the research method, the researcher could be free to explore and tackle issues as they arise. This means that the method is flexible, which means that the researcher could address broad questions before tackling narrower questions.

The method is focuses on the context of the study implying that it employs the technique of thick description. This strategy helps in bridging the gap between the theoretical study and actual practice, which allows canvassers to offer a comparison of data (Seglin 2003, p. 8).

However, the method is believed to be weak because it is too subjective. This means that the results neither could be evaluated nor could be implemented since they are the views of the researcher. Furthermore, the method is too expensive since the researcher would have to stay with the researched in order to study their behaviour.

This study cannot employ the case study method because of the ethical issues. Since this is an academic research, reliability, sensitivity and issues related to biasness are to be considered seriously before proceeding to collect data (Kothari 2004, p. 71).


Interviewing is considered one of the effective ways of collecting data in any research design. However, a number of issues restrict the use of the method. Interview guides enables sampling because the researcher can control it easily. The researcher would easily choose who to interview based on a certain criteria.

Moreover, the method is effective since it permits face-to-face interaction. Face-to-face interaction allows the researcher to extract important information from the researched that could otherwise not be extracted from them.

Through interviewing, the researcher would be in a position to collect critical information that would not otherwise be captured by a questionnaire. In this proposal, interview method would be employed together with the surveying method. Additionally, the researcher might choose to use visual instruments in case interviewing would be employed.

This would give valid results as compared to using survey method alone. Since the researcher would be available, he or she would ask additional questions hence acquiring additional information that would not have been captured using the questionnaire. In fact, the researcher may engage the researched in an in-depth discussion hence collecting information that is more important.

This would be achieved through probing or seeking clarifications in case the researcher would not understand the answers clearly. No question would be left unanswered since the researcher would ensure that the respondent answers all questions. In other words, the researcher would create enough time for the respondent to address all questions (Blumberg & Schindler 2008, p. 71).

In research, there is no method lacking some weaknesses. Just like all other methods, interviewing has a number of weaknesses. The method is believed to be very expensive in terms of time and resources. The researcher would be required to travel to various places in search of respondents.

The method is consumes more time as compared to survey method since much time is taken to interview one respondent. Moreover, geographical features affect the method because it is impossible to reach people in some provinces, especially during rainy seasons. Finally, the method is accused of biasness because the interviewer would ask a question in a way that suggests a particular answer (Hakim 2000, p. 28).

Survey Method

This method would be employed in this study because it is an effective way to access a large population. In this regard, a questionnaire would be sent to various employees in various companies. Employees would be requested to give their views as regards to the position of the Chinese small firms. The technique saves time.

The Proposal

This proposal would take a deductive approach, which would call for the researcher to work from a known hypothesis that convergence or divergence of Chinese small companies would affect positively the economy of the country in terms of performance in the global financial system. Thus, the study would take a top down approach as compared to the inductive approach that would take an up down strategy.

To realize the use of deductive approach, quantitative tools of data collection and analysis such as questionnaires and interviews would be used. Quantitative tools would be preferred as opposed to qualitative tools because they would enable the researcher to come up with facts, such as a hypothesis that convergence or divergence of Chinese small companies would affect the economy positively in terms of performance globally.

This would enable the researcher to test and confirm the hypothesis (Taylor 2007, p. 19). This would not be like qualitative tools that first come up with an abstract idea that is followed by creation of theories and concepts about the idea. Lastly, data in quantitative research is believed to be hard and reliable as opposed to qualitative research where data would just be rich and deep.

Due to this, the study would take a positivism kind of philosophy. A positivism approach would make the researcher understand more the impact of convergence or divergence of Chinese small companies on the performance of the economy of China globally (Crotty 2003, p. 9).

Quantitative Research

This research is occasionally referred to as factual knowledge and would employ conventional arithmetical and statistical representations to compute categorical results. Physical scientists usually exploit it, though social studies, education and finance have been identified to utilize this variety of study.

Quantitative researches would make use of an average design, with a little insignificant inter-subject distinction of engendering a premise to be confirmed or refuted. This hypothesis should be verifiable by mathematical and arithmetical techniques and would be the foundation around which the entire research would be calculated.

The design would permit randomization of any targeted clusters as well as to organize groups to be incorporated in the research if possible. A well-designed quantitative design would influence only one variable at ago, or else statistical examination turns out to be burdensome and open to queries. In an ideal world, quantitative study would be built in a way that permits others to replicate the research and get comparable outcomes.

Quantitative design is believed to be an exceptional approach to confirm results and establish or invalidate a hypothesis. The design would be selected in this research since its configuration has not changed for many years, which means it is normal across numerous technical disciplines and subjects (Parsimonious).

Subsequent to statistical investigation of the outcomes, an all-inclusive response would be arrived at and the outcome would be legally conferred and published. Quantitative research furthermore would sieve peripheral aspects if suitably planned and the outcomes achieved would be perceived to be authentic and equitable. Quantitative researches are useful for testing the results obtained by a series of qualitative tests, leading to an ultimate response

Ethical Implications

Ethics is considered an important aspect of any research. Ethics would mean proper or professional research, which would be conducted in the best traditions of the discipline. The research would need to observe researcher-respondent relations, which deals with the welfare of the respondent. Honesty, sincerity, justice and responsibility should guide researcher-researcher relationships meaning there should be no criticism. It should not be based on polemic, personal biases or collective interests.

Professional ethics means accuracy in data collection, data processing and application of relevant research methods. In this study, issues related to ethics would be addressed by giving relevant notice to the researched. The study population should also be amicably informed in order to get prepared for the study.

To brief respondents is usually important because it could perhaps enhance reliability of the study. It would also be ethical to inform people before proceeding to reseacrh on them. The findings should always be made public to the researched, as one way of ensuring morality in the study. Furthermore, the researcher should always observe research ethics by keeping away from criticism (Creswell 2003, p 40).

Research Design

There would be two key methods used to gather information in this proposal. The first one would be through a questionaire, which would be administered online to employees in various companies within the Chinese financial system. The questionaire would seek to capture various attutudes of employees regarding convergence or divergence of Chinese small companies. The questionnaire would have four Parts.

The first part would seek to capture the biodata information of respondents. The second part would deal with the demography and gender of the respondents. This would be to ascertain the prevalence of views in varoius categories in order to ensure that if any differences would come about, then they would be captured in their demographic space. The third part would deal with academic credentials and work experience of employees.

The motivation for this section would come from the understanding that different sections of population would respond differently to change, based on age and academic credentials. The fourth part would delve on the specific issues relating to the convergence or divergence of Chinese small companies, starting from the understanding of the concept to the possible effects it would have on the economy.

The questionaire would also employ a mix of open ended and closed ended questions to capture different aspects of issues studied. Open ended questions would be used because they give respondents more time to figure out their opinions, which would make them volunteer more information related to feelings, outlooks and comprehension of the subject.

This would allow the researcher to understand the position of respondents as regards to their feelings towards convergence or divergence of Chinese small companies (Wittner 2003, p. 12). Open ended questions would minimize some errors that could have been created in the course of research. Respondents would rarely forget answers if given an opportunity to respond freely. Furthermore, respondents could not ignore some questions because they must go through all of them.

Open ended questions would generate data that could be used in data analysis by other researchers. In other words, they would allow secondary data analysis. On the other hand, closed-ended questions would be analyzed easily. That is why they would be used in this study. Each response could be coded for statistical interpretation. Nonetheless, closed-ended questions would be compatible with computer analysis package.

The technique would be more specific meaning that its answers would be consistent in all conditions. This aspect would be impossible with open-ended questions because each respondent would be allowed to use his or her own words. Finally, closed-ended questions would take less time to administer unlike open-ended questions, which would be detailed hence time consuming (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill 2009, p. 11).


The questionnaire would be sent to respondents through the internet that is, the researcher would mail the questions to respective respondents. The researcher arrived at this decision after considering time and reseources. The method is costless and less time consuming.

Furthmore, the method would allow respondents to reflect on the questions and answer them accurately. Employing research assistants would be problematic because of the complexity of the study. Many people would be reluctant to give their views freely. The method is ineffective because answers would not be independent. The respondent could not have filled the questions personally. Moreover, the method would be affected by the respondent’s level of literacy.

One big disadvantage of the technique is that there would be no interaction between the researcher and the researched. This would mean that respondent’s reactions would not be captured. Reactions are important because they give more information regarding the feelings of respondents.

Therefore, it was justifiable for the researcher to employ interviews to reinforce the survey method. Generally, the survey technique is considered more applicable where the researcher is interested in numbers, not deep feelings of the respondent. In this study, the researcher would be interested in identifying the number of employees who feel convergence or divergence of Chinese small companies would be the suitable method of acquiring global economic advantage (Xenos & Moy 2007, p 34).

List of References

Blumberg, C & Schindler, D 2008, Business Research Methods, New York, McGraw-Hill.

Creswell, J 2003, Research design: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches, Sage, Thousand Oaks.

Crotty, M 2003, The Foundations of Social Research: meaning and perspective in the research process, Sage, London.

Hakim, C 2000, Research Design: Sucessful Designs for Social and Economic Research, Routledge, New York.

Kothari, R 2004, Research methodology: methods and techniques, New Age International, New Delhi.

Saunders, M, Lewis, P & Thornhill, A 2009, Research Methods for Business Students, Prentice Hall, Harlow.

Seglin, J. 2003, The Right Thing: Conscious, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today’s Business, Spiro Press, New York.

Taylor, S 2007, Business Statistics, Palgrave Basingstoke.

Wittner, P 2003, The European Generics Outlook: A Country-by-Country Analysis of Developing Market Opportunities and Revenue Defense Strategies, Datamonitor, London.

Xenos, M & Moy, P 2007, Direct and differential effects of the internet on political and civic engagement, Journal of communication, Vol. 57, no. 1, p 34.

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