In order to complete the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree at Northcentral University (NCU), there is a requirement for the successful completion of a dissertation acceptable to the university. A prerequisite to the dissertation is the concept paper that provides the framework for the structure and content of the dissertation proposal (Northcentral University, 2013). NCU publishes milestone document templates that are pre-formatted to conform to NCU’s requirements (Northcentral University, 2013). NCU expects its graduate students to be familiar and use the templates published in order to conform to NCU’s dissertation requirements.
An important aspect of research design is to determine the research methodology the researcher proposes to use to complete the study. The researcher may choose either quantitative or qualitative method design. Diversity in research methods is a major strength in research (Venkatesh, Brown, & Bala, 2013). Researchers have previously used various research designs, including both quantitative and qualitative designs (Venkatesh, Brown, & Bala, 2013). In the NCU publication, ‘Ph. D. Concept Paper Template’ (CPT), the use of quantitative and qualitative design approaches is throughout the CPT (Northcentral University, 2013).
The section below will examine qualitative and quantitative research. An exercise will commence to compare and contrast the expectation of each of these methods as they appear in the CPT. A summary of the best practice suggestions for quantitative research pertaining to the hypotheses statement will follow. The paper will conclude with a summary of the important points.
Qualitative and Quantitative Research
According to Kisely and Kendall (2011), qualitative research relies on data collected from interviews, focus groups, observations, or documents and other written material. The qualitative researcher acknowledges that there are multiple realities, and the truth is in the informants perspective, not that of the assessors (Kisely & Kendall, 2011). Alternatively, the goal of quantitative research is to use objective measures such as test, structured interviews, or questionnaires to reduce bias (Kisely & Kendall, 2011). Creswell (2014) defines quantitative research as an approach for testing objective theories by testing the relationship between variables. The researchers give numerical measurements to the variables so that numbered data are analyzed further using statistical procedures.
There are, however, several similarities between quantitative and qualitative approaches. Quantitative concepts such as reliability, validity, statistical power, bias, and generalizability have qualitative equivalents (Kisely & Kendall, 2011). The equivalents are triangulation, trustworthiness, saturation, reflexivity, and applicability (Kisely & Kendall, 2011).
In the paragraphs below, a discussion commences on qualitative and quantitative designs that compares and contrasts...