The qualitative research design is the strategy and method used in qualitative research to collect and analyze data. These are the types of qualitative designs and their uses, as well as some examples of each.
- A phenomenological research approach is one that aims to better understand how individuals experience a specific phenomenon. This involves in-depth interviewing participants to learn about their perspectives and subjective experiences. The term phenomenology is often used to describe a research question that aims at understanding the way individuals perceive and experience a certain phenomenon.
- The ethnographic research method involves a detailed study of a particular culture or group. Spending a considerable amount of time on the field, watching and talking to participants is required. When the question of the study is to understand the culture and context of one group or community, ethnography can be used.
- A grounded theory research design uses data to form a hypothesis or concept. This involves constant data comparison to create a concept or theory that can explain the phenomenon under study. When the question of research focuses on developing an explanation for a specific phenomenon, grounded theory can be used.
- This research type involves the in-depth study of an individual case, or several cases. The data is collected and analysed from a variety of sources including interviews, documents and observations. The case study method is employed when a research question seeks to understand a specific situation or problem in detail.
- The purpose of this type is to better understand people’s stories. This involves gathering and analyzing information in the form personal narratives. The research question is framed in a narrative format when it focuses on the way individuals make sense and construct personal experiences.
- The purpose of action research is to effect change. This involves the collaboration with participants in order to define a specific problem, create a plan for action and then implement it. The research question is based on the goal of bringing change to a certain setting or circumstance.
Qualitative designs of research are essential because they enable researchers to examine complex social phenomena from the point-of-view of participants. Quantitative research can be difficult for researchers to grasp the subjective perspectives and experiences of people and groups. Qualitative designs allow flexibility in the data collection, analysis and interpretation. This can provide new insights.