Tag: analysis

Qualitative Research Implications

During this week’s lectures, we took a closer look at the implications of qualitative research. Gathering data for market research is usually done through two different methods: qualitative and quantitative research. Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus describes qualitative research as research that is relating to how good something is, or relating to the quality of something. There are many types of qualitative research that can be done in order to gather information about a topic or field of study. Example include: ethnography, interview, focus groups, marketing research online communities, and so on.

Depending on the type of qualitative research, there are different implications of qualitative research. Why using ethnography as a qualitative research tool, we try to get a deeper understanding of the consumer and consumer behavior. Ethnography is particularly effective when studying trends, personal habits, lifestyle factors, and the effect of social/cultural context on behavior. Therefore, we use ethnography in product categories that are visibly consumed over time and in space and are rich in socio-cultural meaning. The one-on-one interview is another example discussed during the lectures. This type of qualitative research is great to understand consumers’ decision making, details on how products are used or to take a closer look at the emotional and private aspects of consumers’ lives (Mcquarrie, 2015).

journal-of-ibIn a research article form the Journal of International Business Studies, Yves Doz examines qualitative research for international businesses. The article shows a couple different implications of qualitative research in the field of international business. First, Doz (2011), recognizes that by providing rich, thick descriptions of real phenomena and action instances simulate deeper thoughts that provide a safeguard against the “seeing what you are already believing” risk of semi-structured empirical research and allow richer and stronger conceptualization.

Yves Doz.jpgAnother implication is that it allows someone to bring a variety of theoretical lenses to bear on the phenomenon being investigated and to compare systematically the nature and extent of the insights provided by these various theories. By using theory testing, it is possible to compare the prediction a theory would make about a phenomenon to the observed instance and to extend and/or challenge the validity of the theory. In relation to theory testing, another use of qualitative research could also help to communicate it by showing its applicability. By using conceptual coherence and hold in its logical structure, qualitative illustration could make communication easier.

Next, Doz (2011) points out that qualitative research may also be essential for surfacing contextual dimensions in international business. In this case, qualitative research in a new context is a way to learn about that context up close, rather than risk assuming away contextual differences. Creating theories that recognize context and qualitative case-based research can contribute to the contextualization of general theories.

Finally, qualitative research may also enable your research to discover the importance of a previously neglected phenomenon or the relevance of a particular theoretical perspective to that phenomenon. It could result into strong inspiration for new ideas and research topics. In a field like international business, qualitative exploratory research may help identify and understand new phenomena as they come forward and help decide if it is interesting researching these.

Doz (2011) concludes his section on implications of qualitative research in international business by stating that although there is no right answer to the question if qualitative research is worth the risk and the effort, it contributes to the development of a field of management research in multiple ways and definitely could contribute more to international business that it has done in the past.

More information about qualitative research for international business can be found in Doz’ article on jstor.org.


Big Data, bigger than you would ever expect



During this week’s class period, we took a closer look at Big Data through a documentary by PBS called “Big Data Revolution”. A good definition of big data was given inforbes an article on Forbes.com. The article defines big data as “an all-encompassing term for any collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand data management tools or traditional data processing applications”, which is in my opinion a pretty good all-covering definition.

I had heard about the term big data before I watched the documentary, but the documentary gave me a much deeper insight about the concept than I would have ever thought possible. The information that experts in today’s society are able to gather through algorithms literally blew my mind. Almost every move we make and everything we do is somehow registered somewhere. For example, by simply watching the documentary from PBS, analysts don’t only know that I’m watching it, but are also able to find out where I’m watching it from. Thanks to today’s technology, which allows us to turn almost every bit of information into something that is measurable or quantifiable, we are able to store huge masses of data.

Big data analysis goes above and beyond. It is not only by manually adding data into databases that we are adding to big data. As stated above and in the example given, big data analysis is present in everything we do, just like analysts say in the PBS documentary: “We are adding to big data just by searching the Internet ourselves.” The example given in the documentary shows that doing a search for the symptoms of the flu doesn’t only result in what you want to find out. For analysts, internet searches for the flu could indicate a possible outbreak, when a lot of these searches are centralized around a specific area.
sasNow, this might all seem scary when you actually think about it a little more and yes there is a dark side to it where it is practically impossible to stay anonymous in today’s society (especially with platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. around). But SAS, a company founded in 1976 that provides software support to help customers in all sorts of industries, made a very solid point about big data. They said the following: “It’s not the amount of data that’s important. It’s what organizations do with the data that matters.” Thanks to big data and the algorithms created to record information we are now able to find out about upcoming diseases even before the first symptoms show up. By analyzing human behavior and record daily tasks through big data, we are able to predict when someone might end up having a depression in the near future.
On top of that, societies who were once never noticed by more than a hundred people are now in contact with millions of people through big data. They are now able to teach themselves and others around them. Those who would have never been noticed before now have the ability to show the world their talent and knowledge, they now have the opportunity to become known and leave their footprint on earth.
I definitely think the documentary from PBS is worth your time if you would like to find out more about big data. It has taught me a lot about both sides related to big data. First of all, I think it safe to say that big data will only become more and more apparent in our society as we move forward. I also think that it will benefit my academic and professional career as it will be easier to find data about topics that are being researched now and weren’t research in the past because of the lack of knowledge about big data and the algorithms related to it.
On the other side, becoming more knowledgeable about this topic and the effects of it on my daily life without even realizing it, has definitely made me more cautious about the things that I want to share with the world through social network platforms and things that I want to keep to myself.