Qualitative the success of a new intervention like demonetisation

Qualitative
research methods are gaining in popularity outside the traditional academic
social sciences, international development research, sociology, anthropological
studies and particularly in the field economics. Whereas quantitative research
methods once dominated these fields, researchers have now begun drawing from a
more diverse repertoire of methodologies as they tackle international economic
and development related problems. Qualitative methods have become
important tools within this broader approach to applied research, in large part
because they provide valuable insights into the local perspectives, perceptions
and thoughts of study populations. The great contribution of qualitative
research is that it provides diverse data of fragmented populations based on
different perceptions about same event. Such data are proving critical in the
design of comprehensive solutions to specific problems in developing countries,
as social scientists, economists and political leaders have come to recognize
that economic or financial solutions are only partial remedies. Rather, the
success of a new intervention like demonetisation or female reservation –
that is, whether it actually reaches the people it is intended to help – rests
also on how well it addresses socio-behavioural factors such as cultural norms,
ethnic identities, economic diversity, gender norms, stigma, and socioeconomic
status.

A
popular method of qualitative research is the case study (Stake,
1995)  or (Yin, 1989) which examines in depth “purposive
samples” to better understand a phenomenon hence, smaller but
focused samples are
more often used than large samples which may also be conducted by the same or
related researchers or research centres. To help navigate the heterogeneous
landscape of qualitative research, one can further think of qualitative inquiry
in terms of ‘means’ and ‘orientation’ (Pernecky, 2016).

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This chapter
presents the case studyi
as a type of qualitative research. Its aim is to give a detailed
description of a case study – its definition, some classifications, Evolution
and comparison of case study with its counterparts and Implications for
Practice in the form of several advantages
and disadvantages – in order to provide a better understanding of this widely
used type of qualitative approach.

Qualitative
methods
of research generally aim to understand the experiences and attitudes of
citizens, or the community. These methods aim to answer questions about the
‘what’, ‘how’ or ‘why’ of a phenomenon rather than ‘how many’ or ‘how much’,
which are answered by quantitative methods.

If
the aim is to understand how a community or individuals within it perceive a
particular issue, then qualitative methods are often appropriate. If one
wants to understand the perspectives of participants or explore the meaning they
give to the phenomena or observe a process in depth then qualitative research methodology
is appropriate. In this phenomenon called demonetisation this case study
through qualitative research approach is appropriate to know the psyche
of people or citizens of India before and after the phenomenon. In comparison
to other types of qualitative research case studies have been little
understood both from a methodological point of view, where disagreements
exist about whether case studies should be considered a research method
or a research type and from a content point of view, where there are
ambiguities regarding what should be considered a case or research subject. Many
researchers emphasise disadvantages of case studies, where they try to refute
some of the criticisms concerning case studies, particularly in
comparison to quantitative research approaches.

Before
delving further into this investigation, it is important to make a distinction
in how case studies are viewed; some authors see them as a qualitative research
type (Baxter and Jack 2008; Flyvbjerg 2006, 2011; Sagadin 2004; Simons 2009;
Stake 2005; Sturman 1997; Verschuren 2003), while others perceive them to be a
qualitative research method (George and Bennett 2005; Gerring 2004).

 

In
this chapter the author wants to demonstrate that case studies are more than
just a methodological choice therefore, it’s better to define case studies as a
qualitative research type. Although case studies have often been considered to
be part of qualitative research and methodology, they may also be quantitative
or contain a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches.
Qualitative research is characterized by an interpretative paradigm, which
emphasizes subjective experiences and the meanings they have for an individual.

Therefore,
the subjective views of a researcher on a particular situation play a vital
part in the study results. The most important characteristic of qualitative
research is its idiographic approach (Vogrinc 2008) which emphasizes an
individual’s perspective on the investigative situation, process, relations,
etc. Qualitative and quantitative results should complement each other to
create a meaningful whole according to the object and purpose of purpose of the
investigation (Sagadin 2004).

 

Qualitative
research is a type of scientific research which consists of an investigation
that seeks answers to a question, systematically uses a predefined set of
procedures to answer the various questions, it collects evidences and produce
findings that were not determined in advance and are applicable beyond the
immediate boundaries of the study.

 

Evolution and comparison of the technique
with its counterparts

A case
study is a report about a
person, group or situation that has been studied. Case
studies can be qualitative or quantitative.  It is quite likely, as
Stake (1994) points out, that researchers doing case study research are calling
it by another name.  Case studies, as a research design, are also being
conducted across disciplines and research traditions. It has been
considered a research strategy or design, an evaluation method, and a reporting
mode. Case studies can be produced by following a formal research method.

 Application of
the selected method in Different Disciplines of study:

The case study method has a prominent place in many
disciplines and professions, ranging from psychology, anthropology, sociology
and political science to education, clinical science, social work and
administrative science. A case may be simple or
complex. Researchers may study a single case or multiple cases.  In
multiple case studies, researchers study cases in depth individually
as well as look across cases for similarities and differences. For
instance, clinical science has produced both well-known case studies of
individuals and also case studies of clinical practices. However, when “case” is used
in an abstract sense, as in a claim, a proposition, or an argument, such a case
can be the subject of many research methods, not just case study research. The strength of qualitative research is its ability to
provide complex textual descriptions of how people experience a given research
issue. It provides information about the “human” side of an issue – that is the
often contradictory behaviours, beliefs, opinions, emotions, and relationships
of individuals.

 

Comparing
Quantitative and Qualitative Research: Quantitative
and qualitative research methods differ primarily in:

 

• Their
analytical objectives

• The
types of questions they pose

• The
types of data collection instruments they use

• The
forms of data they produce

• The
degree of flexibility built into study design

 

Comparison of
quantitative and qualitative research approaches

 

 

Quantitative

Qualitative

General framework

Seek to confirm hypotheses about phenomena

Seek to explore phenomena

 

 
Instruments use more rigid style of eliciting and categorizing
responses to questions
 

 
Instruments use more flexible, iterative style of eliciting and
categorizing responses to questions

 

Use highly structured methods such as questionnaires, surveys and
structured observation

Use semi-structured methods such as in-depth interviews, focus groups.
and participants observation
 

Analytical objectives

To quantify variation

To describe variation

 

 
To predict casual relationships

 
To describe and explain relationships

 

 
To describe characteristics of a population

 
To describe group norms

 
Question format

 
Closed-ended

 
Open-ended
 

Data format

Numerical (obtained by assigning numerical values to responses)

Textual (obtained from audiotapes videotapes, and field notes)
 

Flexibility in study design

Study design is stable from beginning to end

Some aspects of the study are flexible (for example, the addition,
exclusion, or wording of particular interview questions)
 

 

Participant responses do not influence or determine how and which
questions researchers ask next

Participant responses affect how and which questions researchers ask
next

 

 
Study design is subject to statistical assumptions and conditions

 
Study design is iterative, that is, data collection and research
questions are adjusted according to what is learned

i  A particular instance of something used
or analysed in order to illustrate a thesis or principle.

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