Qualitative Research Methods

In a study , there are generally 2 types of methods that are often used, namely qualitative research methods and quantitative research methods. On this occasion we will discuss further about qualitative research methods.

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Understanding Qualitative Research Methods

Qualitative research itself is defined by several experts, such as:

  • Sugiyono (2005)

“Qualitative research is research used that aims to examine the condition of natural objects, where researchers are key instruments (Sugiyono, 2005).”

  • Moleong (2005)

“Qualitative research is research aimed at understanding phenomena about what is experienced by research subjects such as behavior, perception, motivation, actions, etc. holistically, as well as by means of descriptions in the form of words and language, in a specific context that is natural by utilizing various natural methods. “

  • According to Sugiyono (2011)

” Qualitative research methods are research methods based on the philosophy of post positivism, used to examine natural conditions of objects, (as opposed to experiments) where researchers become key instruments, data source sampling is done purposively and snowballly, collecting techniques with tri-anggulation (combined), data analysis is inductive or qualitative, and qualitative research results emphasize more on meaning than generalization. “

Based on some of the definitions above, it can be concluded that the qualitative research method is a research method used to examine natural objects where the researcher is a key instrument, using natural methods and analyzing data descriptions and results that prioritize meaning.

The Purpose of Qualitative Research

There are several objectives of qualitative research including:

  • Explain

The main purpose of qualitative research is to explain a situation or phenomenon in greater depth by collecting data and analyzing the data and theories under investigation. Explaining can also be interpreted as analyzing data and facts that have been dug previously in the form of in-depth and detailed analysis which is related to the research topic.

  • Verifying Theory

Besides explaining, qualitative research generally aims to verify the theory. The theory that is explained and becomes the basis of research will be tested for its truth which can later be known based on the results. In contrast to quantitative research, this qualitative research theory has been prepared from the beginning so it is also possible in this study to bring up new theories.

Characteristics of Qualitative Research

Qualitative research is certainly different from other research methods. Therefore, there are several characteristics of qualitative research that must be known, including:

  1. Use inductive thinking patterns

In qualitative research methods, theories that emerge are not from theories and data from hypotheses as is done in quantitative methods. However, this qualitative method uses inductive thinking patterns that are generating theory so the resulting theory is a substantive theory.

  1. The emic / participant perspective is preferred.

The next characteristic of qualitative research is the emic perspective or participants in research are highly valued and of high value. Because most of the results of this study will include what was expressed or done by the participants. From the data or viewpoints of these participants the researcher can find phenomenological facts.

  1. The purpose of qualitative research is deeper.

The purpose of this qualitative research is to better understand, look for the meaning behind the data, to find the truth, both sensual empirical truth, logical empirical, and logical empirical. This is different when compared to quantitative research methods where the results can be interpreted using data in the form of numbers or graphs.

  1. Subjects studied changed

In qualitative research the subject being researched, the data collected, data sources and data collection tools can change at any time according to the needs in the study.

  1. Based on the phenomenological principle

Collecting data in qualitative research is done by understanding deeply the phenomena that are encountered in the time of research or the so-called phenomenological principle.

  1. Analysis of data and results

In qualitative research data analysis can be done while doing research or not need to wait for all data collected. While the results of this research are in the form of descriptions and interpretations in a context of time and situation.

Types of Qualitative Research

Generally there are 5 types of qualitative research namely phenomenology, ethnography, case study research, grounded theory, and historical research. Following are the details and explanations of the 5 types of qualitative research.

  • Phenomenology

Based on its name, research on the type of phenomenology can be started by observing and analyzing the phenomena that occur in research. This research also looks at various subjective aspects of object behavior. Researchers will explore data in the form of how object meaning is interpreting related phenomena.

Data mining can be done through in-depth interviews with informants in the study. In addition, data mining can also be observed directly on the object of the study interpreting his experience to others.

  • Ethnography

This type of research is research that aims to examine the forms and functions of available languages. The study will then be used as a communication tool by the individuals within it.

Usually this qualitative research method is used to interpret social groups, the applicable system and the role that is carried out, as well as social interactions that occur in a community such as certain ritual activities, culture or people’s lifestyle in an area.

  • Case study

This type of research is a method of examining a particular case that occurs in the community carried out in depth that aims to study the background, circumstances, and interactions that occur. This research is carried out in a unified system, for example a certain activity, event or program that occurs under certain conditions.

Research using this case study does not generally or generally conclude the phenomenon. But inferring to the phenomenon of a population or a special event under study only.

  • Historical Method

Historical method research is research that focuses on events that have occurred or in the past by reconstructing past data sourced from historical witnesses that still existed at the time of the study.

The source of the data can be obtained from various historical records, living witnesses, artifacts or verbal reports that can be justified. Therefore, the characteristics of this study are the time that has passed and see its development based on time.

Another feature is that the study of this research depends more on the observations of other people’s research beforehand and not just the observation data of the researchers themselves. Data sources must also be accurate, systematic, objective and accurate. Therefore, researchers need to understand more about the sequence of events based on clear and clear time.

  • Grounded Theory Method

This type of research is research conducted with the aim of finding an existing theory or examining more deeply the basic principles and rules that exist then making basic conclusions from a theory.

In basic theoretical methods, researchers must classify phenomena into core phenomena and non-core phenomena which then form a theory. Data collection can be done by conducting field studies, observations, phenomena, comparisons between categories and situations based on assessments such as deductive, inductive studies and verification of saturated data.

Qualitative Research Procedure

In conducting qualitative research, the procedure is flexible or can adjust research needs and based on conditions in the field.

  1. Formulate the problem as the focus of research.
  2. Collecting data in the field.
  3. Analyze data.
  4. Formulate study results.
  5. Make recommendations for decision making.
Strengths and Weaknesses of Qualitative Research

Advantages of Qualitative Research

In qualitative research methods allow for the emergence of new theories. In addition, qualitative research can uncover problems of subjective reality such as problems related to value systems, religion or cultural problems. But indeed not all can be ascertained to be revealed using this type of qualitative research.

lack of Qualitative Research

In a study has weaknesses including this type of qualitative research that is among them requires more time when compared with other methods such as quantitative methods, difficult to generalize, the quality of research is subjective or depends on the researcher. In addition, changes in informant behavior can also affect the quality of research results and the limitations of researchers in conducting research analysis.


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