Definition Essay on Qualitative Research

3 pages
671 words
George Washington University
Type of paper: 
Research paper
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NCR Corporation, known as a world leader in ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) retail checkout scanners, and check-in kiosks at airports, announced in June 2009 that it would move its world headquarters from Dayton (OH) to Duluth (GA), a suburb of Atlanta, after more than 125 years. An employer of 1,200 mostly high-salaried, professional workers in Dayton, NCR was enticed to move by Georgia's offer of more than $56.9 million in tax credits, it's fast-growing educated 25- to 34-year-old population cohort; international offices for 10 European state governments and the busiest international airport (Atlanta) in the world. What qualitative research might NCR have done to reach this decision? NCR will use its move to Georgia to downsize its world headquarters workforce. What qualitative research could help NCR determine which of its 1,200 employees will be offered positions in Duluth?

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What is Qualitative Research?

Qualitative research is the type of research people use to gain insight into a problem, issue, or theory. Qualitative research is an in-depth exploration of what people think, feel, or do and, crucially, why. If you want to know to identify human behavior and what barriers there may be to their changing that behavior, you would use qualitative research to explore those issues. Qualitative research does not give statistically robust findings. In the case of NCR and their decision to move, focus groups I think would have been utilized to form this decision. This method would have reduced the risk of researchers bias. A focus group is basically research that organizations do to gather information about persons perspectives and opinions about new ideas. Focus group participants are asked questions in an interactive setting and are encouraged to discuss thoughts freely with other participants.

Methods of Qualitative Research

The open and free discussions typically generate ideas and can provide a wealth of information for the business or organization. Questions asked of group participants should be based on the objectives of the project. For the decision of which employees to take in the movie, one on one interviews would be a useful qualitative research method. When qualitative research takes the form of an interview, the interviewer asks open-ended questions and simply records what the participant says.

The more intimate environment allows participants to talk openly and is particularly appropriate where participants are competitors who would not agree to come together in a focus group. The individual interview is a valuable method of gaining insight into people's perceptions, understandings, and experiences of a given phenomenon and can contribute to in-depth data collection. However, the interview is more than a conversational interaction between two people and requires considerable knowledge and skill on behalf of the interviewer. (Ryan, Coughlan, Cronin,2009)

Pepsi Qualitative Research

Pepsi launched a new global branding campaign based on the concept of life at the moment called Live For Now. It did extensive research prior to the launch of the campaign. What research should be done to determine if the campaign is resonating with worldwide audiences? Qualitative research would be the method that would be used. Qualitative research follows a semi-structured discussion guide to ensure that all topics under consideration are covered and that the discussion stays relevant. However, the questioning is open and participants are encouraged to explore the reasons for their responses. The discussion process can reveal underlying views and motivations, behavioral triggers, and barriers. It can explore reactions to messages, printed material, design features, and new products, test understanding of terminology, help generate new concepts, and much more.


Qualitative research is usually audio-recorded and transcribed. The transcriptions form the data which is then analyzed by the moderator. Groups can also be video-recorded and can also be observed in real-time at venues specially designed for that purpose. You can expect a report or a presentation of the findings supported by verbatim quotes from the participants.


Cooper, D. R., & Schindler, P. S. (2014). Business Research Methods. (12th

ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin. Frances, R., Coughlin, M., & Cronin, P. (2009). Interviewing in qualitative research: The one-to-one interview. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 16(6), 309-309.

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