How would Qualitative Research get anything concrete on the table?

It is quite common, often heard the over simplification of qualitative research as approach and the amount and quality of contribution that the researcher makes to it. The belief is such on the fundamental of the below stated three factors:

  1. In qualitative research, the flow of knowledge has been largely oral/ Researchers pick up by observing and practicing what they see on the job.
  2. The research industry does not have too many entry barriers. With background in any of the social sciences or management disciplines there is entry into research and sometimes even handling an entire research project.
  3. It is an open discipline it has a lot of flexibility in its approach and draws from a whole lot of related fields and disciplines. To add to it, it is an ever evolving industry. Since it has that eclectic approach, it becomes difficult to bring down  on paper the tenets and boundaries that are defined in the discipline.

A good quality researcher, over a period of time may be able to add a scientific element to qualitative research. It is important to have an intense understanding og two worlds, one being of that   a client and the other of being a consumer. It is imperative to have the fluency and control of both these domains. They key is to be able to hold these both positions with aplomb and maintain the delicate balance that is there between both of them. The researcher is often seen shifting between both these perspectives. From the stage of designing of research to ensuring the use of the best tools for gathering the information needed by the client and also to not forget the kind of consumer who is being targeted. At the stage of information gathering the researcher is expected to gather the customers together, make them comfortable with himself and each other so as to be able to ensure that the responses given are the most genuine ones. They should be able to disagree and differ with the comfort level.

Researchers are often put at task asking to switch over immediately as per the response comfort level of the respondents. From a native speaker with minimal understanding of the topic to a more seasoned respondent with sophisticated understanding, the researcher is expected to handle both the ends of the continuum  with ease and comfort and then only can there be justice done to qualitative research.

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