The focus should not only be on the development of a research problem; it should include the approach needed for solving or studying the problem. There are two research methods that this paper will explore: qualitative and quantitative methods. Each method has different approaches and requirements that are unique to them. Many factors should be considered when choosing between each method.
In order to have a better understanding of each research method, it is necessary to define them. Additionally, this paper will discuss each method’s strengths, weaknesses, and applicability of each research method as it pertains to my tentative research purpose. According to Leeds and Ramrod (201 3), quantitative and qualitative research some similarities in their processes. Although, there are similarities that exist, each process method is done differently. The researchers who use the quantitative method may begin with one hypothesis, and then choose the variables to study.
Upon choosing the variables, the researcher would collect data and then conduct a statistical procedure to analyze the data. This process is very different from the qualitative research method. The researcher that uses the qualitative research method would possibly Start with a research question instead of a hypothesis. The data collection process could involve the accumulation of verbal data, nonverbal data, or both. This data would be organized in a manner that would give the researcher some type of description to portray the area or situation studied (Leeds & Ramrod, 2013).
Qualitative According to Crewel (2009) qualitative research, is defined as a process that consists of emerging questions and procedures. Data is collected in the participant’s setting, and the analysis is built from the particulars to general themes. This method focuses on the exploration and the understanding of the meaning that individuals or groups ascribe to a social or human problem. Using this method, the meaning of the study emerges from its participants through first hand experiences, truthful reporting and true conversations (Crewel, 2009).
The qualitative research method also has two approaches: examining phenomena in a natural setting and examining the phenomena in its entirety and complexity (Leeds & Ramrod (2013). The development if a problem statement will guide the researcher in making the decision of what research method to use. For example, if the problem statement addressed the lack of representation of minorities in Senior Executive Service (SEES) positions in the Department of Defense (DoD), the researcher could start by using a qualitative research approach to explore this phenomenon.
Of course within the qualitative design there are different approaches that the researcher could use on this topic. One such approach is the case study. Conducting a case study using the qualitative design, the researcher usually nipping their focus on one event or one individual (Leeds & Ramrod, 2013). For the topic, lack of representation of minorities in Senior Executive Service (SEES) positions in the Department of Defense (DoD), the focus would be concentrated on a small group of minorities.
The aim would be to get a better understanding of the personal experiences as close as possible through the participants’ own description and the researcher’s observations. The information could be collected in a couple of manners, interviews and surveys. Interviewing the subjects on their personal experience and observing heir interrelationships in the Department of Defense. The interviewing process is useful when participants cannot be directly observed.
This data would then be analyzed, and it should have the ability to contribute to the knowledge aspect of SEES minorities in DoD. The collecting of data within a qualitative study includes the observation, which offers the advantage of first- hand experience with the participants. Quantitative Quantitative research is defined as a process for testing objective theories by examining the relationship among variables. This is a formal, systemic recess in which numerical data are used to obtain information about the world (Crewel, 2009).
According to Trochaic & Donnelly (2008), quantitative methods are used to determine cause and effect interactions between variables, to examine relationships among variables, and to describe variables. Using quantitative methods, variables can be measured so that data is analyzed through the use of statistical procedures. Leeds and Ramrod (2013) described quantitative research as descriptive research with a pre- specified focus. Crewel (2009) contended that researchers who use the initiative approach seek control for alternative explanations and attempt to generalize and replicate their findings.
This is in complete contrast of the qualitative method of research. Conducting research using the quantitative method is more fact-based and often deals with numbers and statistics. Leeds and Ramrod (2010) described several different styles of quantitative research. Two styles suitable for this study are surveys and correlation studies. A correlation study is a quantitative method of research that is used to determine how two variables relate to one another. In this study, the woo variables would be race and employment within the DoD at the SEES level.
It could be hypothesized that ethnic/minority identification plays a factor in the selection for SEES positions within the DoD. Personnel who identify as Caucasian (non-minority) will have higher employment selection rates when compared to minority-identified (non-Caucasian) personnel. Due to the fact that the groups being studied consist Of two subtypes of demographic (race and gender), this approach is considered correlation. Gathering the information would be easy to acquire using the Office of Personnel Management’s (MOM) database on demographic information contained in personnel files.
The data also could be obtained without the participants’ knowledge, as demographic information is not protected under the privacy laws. Additionally, this information will not contain any personally identifiable information. Another quantitative approach would be in the form off survey. The goal of the researcher is to develop a valid and reliable survey that will accurately measure what it proposes to measure. In this study, the survey would examine various types of demographic information such as ethnicity ND gender (Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and gender).
The survey would measure the differences between ethnicity and gender as a factor of employment within the DoD The aim of the surrey would be to support the research hypothesis in that minorities to include women have a lower rate of employment selection and representation within the DoD as compared to Caucasian males within the DoD Advantages and disadvantages There will always be advantages and disadvantages with research, and these approaches are not without regard. When formal research is inducted, the researcher must be aware of the different approaches that can be used in the collection of relevant data.
This understanding Will allow the researcher to make a good decision on which method is most appropriate. Quantitative approaches can be expensive. This is evident if surveys are done manually. There are printing costs associated with surveys along with time to collect the results. This type Of method will require the researcher to feel comfortable with numbers, statistical data, and organizing the results of that data. On the other hand, qualitative approaches usually sake more time, and the researcher must ensure that the participants are protected, and their personal rights are not violated while collecting data.
Advantages and disadvantages also emerge from the different type of approaches within each method. For example, when comparing case study, correlation study, and the use of surveys advantages and disadvantages can be seen. A case study is a comprehensive, in-depth study that can reflect the feelings and emotions of those participating in the study. When taking into consideration the time it takes to ensure the security and anonymity of those articulating, this approach may not be the best if the researcher has a short deadline.
Leeds and Ramrod (2013) asserted that the correlation study could cause faulty logic. The researcher should ensure not to infer a cause- and-effect relationship on correlation alone. For this study, the correlation approach will use the available resources of MOM. The gathering of data for this approach will allow the researcher to gather data and complete the study in a short period. The easiest research approach seems to be the survey. However, when the researcher must ensure surveys are valid and reliable long with asking the appropriate questions of each group, time might become a factor.
When using surveys the researcher incurs the challenge of distributing the survey to a large enough sample population. It appears that time is a strong disadvantage to the survey approach. There are several ways of studying a particular topic or phenomenon. Whether using qualitative or quantitative research approaches, it is necessary for the researcher to understand the importance of each method and its appropriate application to the research. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each research teeth assists the researcher in collecting analyzing, and presenting research data.