Qualitative research if not just novelistic, entertaining and/or descriptive.
In the introduction to Grounded Theory, Christina Goulding (2002) points out that consumer research shifted away from positivism and measurement to appreciation of insights derived from the experiences and meaning of consumers. On p. 9 she indicates that three shifts took place during the last decade:
- Emphasis on methodology rather than method
- An emphasis on qualitative data
- Research seen as a social process rather than an investigation.
Reading Goulding I realised that mixed methods is about a combination of measurements of hunches/hypotheses and/or literature findings, as well as insights derived from the experiences and meanings of participants.
However, in qualitative research one cannot escape the reality that the researcher is an instrument that filters data through own paradigms. The researcher will always be subjective and the research intuitive and value laden. It is important that there is a fit between the research design and the researcher, with regard to (p. 36):
- Paradigm—what is the basic belief system or world view of the researcher that defines the nature of her/his world, the individual's place within it and the range of p[possible relationships?
- Ontology—what is the form and nature of reality and what is there to be known?
- Epistemology—what is the relationship between the researcher and the would be 'knower' and what can be 'known' about it?
- Methodological—how can the researcher go about finding out what s/he believes can be known?
Goulding, C. 2002. Grounded Theory—a practical guide for management, business and marketing researchers. London: SAGE.