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Qualitative research is the process of acquiring data by studying subjects

6 Different Types Of Qualitative Research Methods

Qualitative Research is a human centric approach of collecting insights by collating views, perspectives, and preferences of people. In this article we discuss 6 different types of qualitative research methods

Business research is a critical aspect of decision making in the real world. The type and

method of the research may vary based on the needs of the business and the hypothesis being


This article covered some types of Qualitative Research Methodologies used in business


Qualitative Research: The Definition

Qualitative research is the process of gathering information from individuals while they are in

their natural environment. It is defined as a scientific research technique for amassing non-

numerical data focusing on comprehending the why and how of human behavior in

particular conditions. Qualitative research helps us answer the questions of – “How” and

“Why” – answer which cannot be derived by Quantitative research.

Qualitative research is inherently subjective:

  •  Methods are aimed to get a better understanding of participants’ views
  • The process is kept on a level playing field, with no judgments on individual replies.
  • Cultures, society, and people are the focus areas.
Qualitative Research Methodologies

These are some of the most prevalent kinds of qualitative research in several domains:

1. Ethnography

Ethnography, one of the most prominent qualitative research approaches, entails the

researcher immersing themselves in the subject’s or subjects’ everyday lives and routines. The

researcher experiences their rituals, traditions, mannerisms, responses to circumstances, and

other aspects of their culture firsthand, often for years. Geographical limits may be a barrier

to the researcher’s success.

Example: Companies may use this on-the-ground technique to analyze how customers utilize

certain goods or services and then design new items or remodel old ones as a result.

2. Narrative

In the narrative approach of qualitative research, the researcher collects data or facts from one

more people via interviews, documents, and other means. Inferences from each source are

triangulated together to for usable insights and recommendations.

Example: A business may utilize this method to understand better their target audience’s

concerns, which may subsequently be used to enhance product development and production.

3. Phenomenology

The Phenomenology qualitative research approach is used to investigate an event or activity

from many perspectives as it occurs. Interviews, films, on-site visits, and other methods may

supplement current data with viewpoints and insights from the participants on the activity or

event. It is essentially a research approach based on personal experience or perspective.

Example: Businesses may need to map internal or competitor processes to identify gaps and

improve processes leading to better output. This is done through qualitative interviews of

people involved in the processes

4. Grounded Theory

Grounded theory is initiated by a question or a collection of facts. Repetitive thoughts or

components are coded, and codes are grouped or classified using systematic data gathering

and analysis. These classifications may be used to generate new hypotheses.

Example: A product-based firm may use this strategy to learn how consumers utilize their

goods or specific elements of their product or products.

5. Case study

The case study approach collects in-depth and extensive information on a topic, which may

be anything from an individual to an organization to an event to something more extensive

like a country. This qualitative research method might be either explanatory or exploratory.

Case studies are an excellent tool for establishing plans, analyzing influences, designing new

approaches, etc.

Example: Human resources department of companies may use qualitative research to find

patterns of decline in employee satisfaction and identify root causes of the same. These

insights can then be used to structure plans to boost employee satisfaction.

6. Historical Model

The historical approach of qualitative research examines past trends and previous occurrences

to understand current trends better and predict future outlooks. This methodology employs

resources to answer questions based on a hypothetical notion before testing any possible

deviations. Businesses may utilize historical data from previous ad campaigns and the

targeted demographic to try new ads and decide which is the most successful.

The Final Word

Qualitative Research Techniques employ open-ended questions to uncover insights not

apparent from looking at data. This is a human-centric approach and, while highly subjective,

allows to identify convergence/divergence of opinions, views, and preferences; enabling

decision-makers a 360-degree view to make informed decisions.

Research Middle East can provide you a well-structured qualitative research to test your hypothesis. Our experienced consultants will be your partners through the journey.
Contact us at

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