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Quantitative, Qualitative, or Mixed Methods - Research Paper Example

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Succeeding sections of this paper example contain an elaborative analysis of a research method used in conducting the report documented within the article under evaluation. The research report under analysis examines the depth and breadth of reverse logistical practices…
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Quantitative, Qualitative, or Mixed Methods research
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 0 RESEARCH METHODS Introduction In practice, there are primarily three types of research methods used in collection of data and gathering of information pertaining to a study question under analysis. These three methods are qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods. In essence, quantitative research is suitable in the collection and interpretation of variables with quantized numerical relationships. Contrarily, qualitative research method proves instrumental in sourcing information and understanding relationships influence by intangible or non-quantized variables. Mixed research is a combination of both the quantitative and qualitative research methods. Each of these methods possesses definite benefits and setbacks. Therefore, certain research exercises combine qualitative and quantitative methods in neutralizing the setbacks of each method, while enhancing their benefits (Smith, 2010). Succeeding sections of this paper contains an elaborative analysis of a research method used in conducting the report documented within the article under evaluation.
Analysis of the Article’s Research Method
The research report under analysis examines the depth and breadth of reverse logistical practices in Ghana’s pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. Apparently, the research used a mixed methods approach. In essence, the research exercise involved a proportional application of both the quantitative methods and qualitative methods. The first evidence of mixed methods approach is observable within the data collection context of the research. With respect to the data and methodology section of the article, it emerges that data and information were gathered through the use of questionnaires, specifically both open ended and closed ended questionnaires. Questions contained within the questionnaires were either open or close ended in nature (Debrah, Hilda, Kwame, & Nana, 2014). In this case, use of closed ended questions is an iconic characteristic of quantitative research methodology. On the other hand, the use of open ended questions is synonymous to qualitative research methodology. In addition, administration of personal interviews to managers and professionals within the pharmaceutical industry qualifies as an incident of qualitative research approach. Based on the nature of questions used during the questionnaire data collection exercise, it is admissible that a mixed research methodology was employed.
Besides the proportional blend of qualitative and quantitative approaches in obtaining data and information, mixed methods approach is also evidenced by techniques used in the description and analysis of data and information collected from both the primary and secondary sources. Within the data and discussion section of the article, results from the closed ended questions are reported in percentage forms. For example, 73.077% of respondents admitted that burning is the chief method used by the pharmaceutical industry for disposing expired drugs (Debrah et al, 2014). In this context, use of percentages in reporting results is a concise evidence of a quantitative research method. Contrarily, certain relationships between variables under consideration were described from a qualitative perspective as opposed to the use of statistical figures. At page 21 of the article, it emerged that limited use of incineration in disposal of expired products is attributed to the high financial costs associated with the disposal method. In this context, the use of non-numerical ideas in understanding and describing relationship between the variable of disposal method and previously obtained numerical values is a solid evidence of a qualitative methodological approach (Durkheim & Terre, 2006). Therefore, use of both the quantitative and the qualitative research methods in describing and reporting results amounts to a case of mixed methods approach.
In conclusion, it is admissible that a mixed methods approach was used in conducting the research on reverse logistics practices in Ghana’s pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. Apparently, the mixed methods approach was necessary in deducing variables’ relationships that were either quantitative or qualitative in nature. In this case, the convincible nature of the article’s findings can be attributed to the concurrent triangulation effect of the mixed methods research technique.
Debrah, B., Hilda, P., Kwame, O. K., & Nana, R. O. (2014). Reverse logistics practices in pharmaceutical manufacturing industry: Experiences from Ghana. Global Journal of Business Research, 8(5), 17-26.
Durkheim, P. & Terre, M. (2006). Research in practice: Applied methods for natural and social sciences. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Smith, L. U. (2010). Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. International Journal of Education & Educational Research, 7(4), 176-182. Read More
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