The researcher adopts a qualitative method for the study as the most suitable approach to collecting and representing data. Ian selected the method based on the idea that it would be easier for managers and team leaders to interpret the data is presented in a narrative. Although the reason provided is valid, the researcher needs to appreciate that even the quantitative method breaks down raw data into a form that can be easily understood by users. However, the observation does not mean that the method selected is inappropriate.
One area the researcher needs to be wary of is that the method has an inherent weakness on the part of the researcher when interpreting data. If, for example, the researcher describes the behaviors of people in the sample as conservative in their approach to using technological tools in acquiring or disseminating data, it is essential to note that such description is based on the point of view of the researcher. That is, the politics of the researcher can easily find room in the way results are interpreted and subsequently the conclusions. The personal nature of observations and measurements as captured using this method means that the researcher could come up with results that may not be replicated by another researcher (Rubin and Babbie, 2009, p230). Since people naturally, in one way or another, tend to show subjectivity depending on preconceived attitudes, the quality of the research outcome is likely to be compromised hence the need to address this weakness. Seeking the help of colleagues/fellow scholars in the field can help Ian address this potential area of weakness.
Ruthann selects qualitative method as the approach to the study. The student makes a case for the selection based on research done on the appropriateness of the method on obtaining the data about behaviors and attitudes of people regarding a given phenomenon. The student bases the rationale on the power of observation and ability to understand the events and process as through qualitative method. The choice is well-grounded because it has been sufficiently backed by literature about the appropriateness of the method as seen in the citations of Personal Communication, Capella University, and others. However, the previous researcher, they need to recognize the method is not an end to itself.
One of the areas that the research needs to observe caution is the risk of failing to form a well-generalized position from the results obtained from a qualitative study. Even though Ruthann makes a compelling case in the ability of the method to enable the researcher to gain a comprehensive understanding of the issues under investigation as it involves obtaining data as interpreted by those experiencing the problems being investigated , it is not immune to weakness. Quality research must enable the researcher to generalize a given phenomenon based on the findings from sampled populations. In the case of choosing the qualitative approach, Ian runs the risk of failing in producing outcomes that can be generalized as any research outcome is expected to do. Therefore, in choosing the qualitative method, Ian needs to understand that , although the approach can generate comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon being explored, this fact often makes it less generalizable compared to results that are anchored on rigorous sampling and standardized measurements as in the case of quantitative research (Rubin and Babbie, 2009). When a less generalizable research result is obtained, it means that the quality of research is undermined. For this reason, Ruthann needs to be aware of this weakness. Therefore, there is a need to devise ways of addressing this vulnerability in the method selected.
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