Paper Example on Use of Qualitative Designs

Published: 2024-01-11
Paper Example on Use of Qualitative Designs
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Research Analysis
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1358 words
12 min read


The research design is comprehensive strategy employed by a researcher to incorporate the diverse components of a study coherently and logically, to ensuring that they effectively address the research problem. Thus, with the aim of the research being to establish the truth about a phenomenon, research designs aim to minimize the threat to the research's validity. The threats include bias, confounding, and chance. Bias refers to the systemic deviation from the truth that is likely to distort the results of the research. The common biases include the selection bias, which happens when the participants differ systematically from the population with a similar condition. For example, the participants using the internet bank may not represent all the internet bankers meaning this could affect the ability to generalize the results outside the study sample. Another bias is the follow-up bias, where the participants who remain in a study may differ from those lost in terms of personal characteristics and the outcome status (Clancy, 2002).

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Confounding is another threat and refers to a situation in which the impacts of the two processes cannot be separated. The apparent impact is not the real effect, and the researcher's interpretation of the outcome is likely to be defective (Clancy, 2002). The last threat is the chance to create a different group, even when the study sample has been randomized. When selecting a research design, it is critical for a researcher to be careful as to choose the method that minimizes these threats. Therefore, this review will critique five qualitative research designs, present, compare, and offer the most relevant research design around online banking.

Narrative Research Design

The narrative approach takes written or spoken words of numerous individuals' stories as the raw data for examination. This method often concentrates on the human organization of knowledge, knowledge management, and shares the notion of transferring unquantifiable knowledge elements (Elkatawneh, 2016). For example, research on internet banking can use a narrative of diverse customers, or the banking staff, regarding their experiences, compared to other forms of banking, making them develop a meaning of their banking lives' opacity and intricacy after the internet banking. One of the reasons to use the narrative method is its flexibility, meaning the researcher can customize the study's content. Thus, they can use the same evaluation method for the different levels of participants, i.e., the management, staff, and customers. Again, the method does not create a notion of objectivity as it is what it appears to be (McAlpine, 2016). However, the method may present biases as it depends on a person's ability to remember experiences over time, making it susceptible to exaggeration. Secondly, the method relies on the narrator's skills. This presents difficulties as it is difficult to narrate/write a clear, concise description of online banking's various services.

Phenomenology Research Design

The approach uses a logical path to examine a particular practice, based on the idea that everything individuals observe is also practiced. The technique falls into two categories, including hermeneutic and transcendental phenomenology (Elkatawneh, 2016). It requires a researcher to explain texts to reconnoiter an experience to determine individual experiences with a certain phenomenon. The transcendental approach focuses on an individual's sense of an existing practice of a notion of a phenomenon (Elkatawneh, 2016). Thus, the phenomenology approach is appropriate to answer research questions that explore an analysis of the experience of a particular aspect, such as how do the customers'/staff engage with internet banking. The approach has strengths, including being the best suited for developing new theories and gathering data that is deemed more natural rather than artificial. However, the method might be exposed to subjectivity, researcher induced bias, making it acquire low credibility among the policymakers.


In the approach, the researcher focuses on the target populations' environment to understand their goals, culture, motivation, and emergent themes and challenges. The method has its roots in cultural anthropology, where a researcher immerses themselves to particular environment for an extended period instead of reliance on interviews and surveys. As such, they get the experience first hand as participant observers. Ethnography has strengths, including the researcher getting a more realistic picture of the study question; it uncovers precious insights and can streamline an aspect resulting in accurate predictions (van Dooremalen, 2017). However, ethnography is time-consuming; it is strenuous to recruit participants and geographical limitations. However, with the research being online-based (online banking), the shortcoming can be easily eliminated due to the online data/lifelogging, online database, etc. (Nixon & Odoyo, 2020).

Case Study

A case study involves a deep analysis and understanding of diverse data sources, including interviews, observations, documents, artifacts, among others. A case study is categorized into three types: single instrumental study, which focuses on an issue and then selects a bounded case to explain an issue; multiple case study concentrates on a subject and then highlights several fixed cases to demonstrate a point. An intrinsic case study requires a researcher to study a topic without focusing on an issue first. The case study has been associated with making practical improvements, being client-focused, and having an effective way of portraying an aspect. However, it lacks essential insights; it is unrealistic as a definitive blueprint and often encourages imitation instead of inspiration.

Grounded Theory

The grounded theory focuses on explaining the idea behind an event through interviews and existing documents to develop an approach based on the data. The research goes through a series of open and axial coding techniques to identify the theme and create a theory. The theory can help inform the design decisions by a better understanding of how a community of users' currently use a particular product. Thea approach is associated with strengths such as identifying the situated nature of knowledge, and the contingent nature of experience, producing extensive description that acknowledges area of contradiction and conflict, and being better at determining what happens. However, it has shortcomings, such as building a large amount of data that may be unmanageable, requires special skills, and lacks standard rules for identifying categories.

A comparison for the five methods indicates that while ethnography is focused on context and culture, that narrative focuses on individual experience and sequence. Phenomenological focuses on individuals who experience a particular phenomenon, while the grounded theory focuses on developing an idea founded in field data. Lastly, the case study focuses on an organization, individual, entity, or a particular event. Simultaneously, all the approaches are susceptible to various threats; their sample size, together with the method of data collection, that increases or reduces these threats. For example, in ethnography, the researcher is the participant observer, meaning that they might exclude other participants altogether. This means that it might be exposed to the researcher bias or take so long as to reduce the data's credibility. The narrative approach requires stories from individual experiences but might be limited due to its overreliance on the participant/researcher skills and relationship. A case study may have the shortcomings of being imitative and unrealistic, meaning it may produce unreliable data.


Thus, the two most accurate internet banking approaches are grounded theory and phenomenological, primarily because they rely on the actual experiences of a particular aspect. However, the grounded theory is more appropriate for internet banking as it bases theory on a more concrete understanding of a phenomenon's experience. Unlike a phenomenological approach that only depends on interviewing and getting the customer experience, the grounded theory uses the interviews followed by open and axial coding.


Clancy, M. J. (2002). Overview of research designs. Emergency Medicine Journal, 19(6), 546–549.

Elkatawneh, H. H. (2016). The Five Qualitative Approaches: Problem, Purpose, and Questions/The Role of Theory in the Five Qualitative Approaches/Comparative Case Study. SSRN Electronic Journal.‌

McAlpine, L. (2016). Why might you use a narrative methodology? A narrative story. Eesti Haridusteaduste Ajakiri. Estonian Journal of Education, 4(1), 32–57.

Nixon, A., & Odoyo, C. O. (2020). Ethnography, Its Strengths, Weaknesses, and Its Application in Information Technology and Communication as a Research Design. Computer Science and Information Technology, 8(2), 50–56.

Van Dooremalen, T. (2017). The pros and cons of researching events ethnographically. Ethnography, 18(3), 415–424.‌.‌

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