留学生作(zuo)(zuo)业(ye)(ye)中大(da)家(jia)经常(chang)会碰到quantitative research和qualitative research，其(qi)实(shi)这就是我们(men)通(tong)常(chang)听到的(de)定性、定量分(fen)析，也(ye)是同学们(men)在(zai)写作(zuo)(zuo)英文作(zuo)(zuo)业(ye)(ye)论文时(shi)经常(chang)要使用到的(de)重要研(yan)究(jiu)方法。我们(men)在(zai)国内非港澳台(tai)地区(qu)把“qualitative research”通(tong)常(chang)称之为(wei)定性分(fen)析，而在(zai)港澳台(tai)地区(qu)则是被称为(wei)质的(de)研(yan)究(jiu)，翻(fan)译方式上(shang)有所不(bu)同，但(dan)所指都是一样的(de)。
两(liang)者区(qu)别(bie)是(shi)(shi)(shi)：定(ding)(ding)量(liang)(liang)的(de)(de)(de)研(yan)究(jiu)(jiu)方法(fa)quantitative research，通俗理(li)解(jie)来(lai)说，即主要整理(li)收集并(bing)(bing)研(yan)究(jiu)(jiu)可(ke)做量(liang)(liang)化(hua)的(de)(de)(de)信息数(shu)据（直接(jie)或间(jian)接(jie)的(de)(de)(de)方式来(lai)获取(qu)，如(ru)面向留(liu)学(xue)(xue)生的(de)(de)(de)问卷调查(cha)、企业(ye)财报(bao)、历(li)年(nian)期货数(shu)据等(deng)等(deng)），最(zui)终(zhong)形(xing)成也具(ju)量(liang)(liang)化(hua)的(de)(de)(de)理(li)论(lun)结果。与此相反，定(ding)(ding)性(xing)研(yan)究(jiu)(jiu)qualitative research的(de)(de)(de)是(shi)(shi)(shi)基于非(fei)量(liang)(liang)化(hua)、多(duo)是(shi)(shi)(shi)口头性(xing)质(zhi)的(de)(de)(de)信息（如(ru)多(duo)用(yong)实际interview的(de)(de)(de)方法(fa)来(lai)进行，优点是(shi)(shi)(shi)方便记录当下数(shu)据、得到被访者及时(shi)响应、并(bing)(bing)获取(qu)更多(duo)样性(xing)的(de)(de)(de)信息资料），其具(ju)体分析过程(cheng)则是(shi)(shi)(shi)从主观(guan)出(chu)发的(de)(de)(de)阐(chan)述(shu)论(lun)述(shu)、主观(guan)判断甚至(zhi)是(shi)(shi)(shi)合理(li)的(de)(de)(de)延伸假(jia)想，最(zui)终(zhong)形(xing)成一篇理(li)论(lun)严谨的(de)(de)(de)定(ding)(ding)性(xing)研(yan)究(jiu)(jiu)作(zuo)业(ye)。在(zai)商务领(ling)域(yu)，定(ding)(ding)量(liang)(liang)的(de)(de)(de)分析方法(fa)是(shi)(shi)(shi)经(jing)常被用(yong)到的(de)(de)(de)，如(ru)果单单凭(ping)借以往经(jing)验来(lai)判断决策是(shi)(shi)(shi)不(bu)行的(de)(de)(de)，其核心当然就是(shi)(shi)(shi)“数(shu)据”了，所以特别(bie)是(shi)(shi)(shi)学(xue)(xue)习MBA的(de)(de)(de)留(liu)学(xue)(xue)生要善于利用(yong)定(ding)(ding)量(liang)(liang)分析去完成各类作(zuo)业(ye)。
Qualitative vs Quantitative Research
Here’s a more detailed point-by-point comparison between the two types of research:
1. Goal or Aim of the Research
The primary aim of a Qualitative Research is to provide a complete, detailed description of the research topic. It is usually more exploratory in nature.
Quantitative Research on the other hand focuses more in counting and classifying features and constructing statistical models and figures to explain what is observed.
Read also: Aims of Research
Hypothesis Broad Narrow
Description Whole picture Focused
Type of Research Exploratory Conclusive
Qualitative Research is ideal for earlier phases of research projects while for the latter part of the research project, Quantitative Research is highly recommended. Quantitative Research provides the researcher a clearer picture of what to expect in his research compared to Qualitative Research.
Phase Early Late
3. Data Gathering Instrument
The researcher serves as the primary data gathering instrument in Qualitative Research. Here, the researcher employs various data-gathering strategies, depending upon the thrust or approach of his research. Examples of data-gathering strategies used in Qualitative Research are individual in-depth interviews, structured and non-structured interviews, focus groups, narratives, content or documentary analysis, participant observation and archival research.
On the other hand, Quantitative Research makes use of tools such as questionnaires, surveys, measurements and other equipment to collect numerical or measurable data.
4. Type of Data
The presentation of data in a Qualitative Research is in the form of words (from interviews) and images (videos) or objects (such as artifacts). If you are conducting a Qualitative Research what will most likely appear in your discussion are figures in the form of graphs. However, if you are conducting a Quantitative Research, what will most likely appear in your discussion are tables containing data in the form of numbers and statistics.
Qualitative Research is primarily subjective in approach as it seeks to understand human behavior and reasons that govern such behavior. Researchers have the tendency to become subjectively immersed in the subject matter in this type of research method.
In Quantitative Research, researchers tend to remain objectively separated from the subject matter. This is because Quantitative Research is objective in approach in the sense that it only seeks precise measurements and analysis of target concepts to answer his inquiry.
Read also: Qualitative research, Quantitative research
Determining Which Method Should Be Used
Debates have been ongoing, tackling which method is better than the other. The reason why this remains unresolved until now is that, each has its own strengths and weaknesses which actually vary depending upon the topic the researcher wants to discuss. This then leads us to the question “Which method should be used?"
If your study aims to find out the answer to an inquiry through numerical evidence, then you should make use of the Quantitative Research. However, if in your study you wish to explain further why this particular event happened, or why this particular phenomenon is the case, then you should make use of Qualitative Research.
Some studies make use of both Quantitative and Qualitative Research, letting the two complemen