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Qualitative research is a method of inquiry used to gain an in-depth understanding of people’s behaviors, beliefs, feelings and attitudes. It collects data from interviews and focus groups as well as observational methods such as field notes. Qualitative research provides rich data that can be interpreted to uncover meanings, patterns and relationships between variables.
Quantitative research employs structured methodology that relies on numerical measurements to analyze collected data. Data collected through this approach are usually gathered using surveys or questionnaires which then can be analyzed statistically to identify correlations between variables.
To develop a data collection plan for action research in organizations there should be both qualitative and quantitative components included. Qualitative methods will help the researcher acquire an understanding of what group dynamics exist within the organization, how people feel about the organization’s policies and processes, etc., while quantitative methods will provide concrete measures about employee engagement or work performance (such as productivity level or customer satisfaction). The researcher should also consider utilizing mixed-methods approaches when collecting data from organizational stakeholders so that both perspectives are taken into account when analyzing results. Additionally, depending on the goals of the study it may be beneficial for the researcher to use triangulation techniques where multiple sources of evidence are employed to investigate a certain phenomenon or behavior.