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Qualitative and Quantitative Data Collection

Sample question:
Compare and contrast the benefits of using qualitative and quantitative data collection methods as they apply to organizational development (OD), and describe the advantages and disadvantages of the various methods of data collection.

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When trying to understand qualitative and quantitative data collection I think it is important to understand that it generally occurs on two levels. To begin with you can distinguish different types of evidence or data. The numbers collected through surveys or other techniques would be quantitative. Just think quantitative equals numbers. Words on the other had are the qualitative data. This would be the data collected by interviews, observation, focus groups or other methods. So Qualitative Data equals words. The other level of difference between the two would be that they are two entirely distinct research paradigms (Yauch & Steudel, 2003).

When deciding which research method to use you have to ask some questions that will help you determine which method or combination of methods would be the best fit. One of the biggest differences between the two would be that quantitative research is deductive and rests on the hypothesis you have identified before beginning your research. On the other hand the qualitative research does not have to have an identified hypothesis to begin and is more inductive.

Note the strengths and weaknesses of each method.
Strength: Your theory already exists and you are merely testing and validating how and why the phenomenon occurs.
Weakness: ...

Solution Summary

This response contrasts and compares the benefits of these methods in organizational development as well as the advantages and disadvantages of various data collection methods.