What is qualitative research?

In research, we normally hear the word “qualitative research” and this term is very common in social sciences. At first, it is important to understand what qualitative research is.

Qualitative research is a process of obtaining data by understanding the “how” and “why” of human behavior in different situations. It is also defined as a scientific method of research to get non-numerical data.

One of the important principles of conducting qualitative research is to understand the people in their natural settings in terms of how they live, operate, experience, and imagine.

Here’re six different types of qualitative research.

different types of qualitative research

Different types of qualitative research

Qualitative research is a broad research design having different kinds of ways and techniques that help you to carry out. There are six different kinds of qualitative research and each of them are explained below:

  1. Ethnography

This model is very common and popular in qualitative research. It helps you to assess the people in their naturally happening environment. This model aims to understand the motivations, settings, and cultural challenges that happen.

This model helps you to engage with the people of a particular culture that is unfamiliar to you. This model aims to describe and learn the characteristics of a culture similarly as anthropologists observe the cultural motivations and challenges to make a group.

Moreover, this method involves you working for a longer period and normally companies use it to evaluate the needs of customers in a business model and take months and years to accomplish it.


As mentioned earlier, the companies use this approach to assess the customers’ needs by observing their regular activities and observing the way customers interact with the product.

  1. Phenomenological method

When you want to explain an activity, event, or phenomenon then the phenomenological study is an effective qualitative method. In this method, you use different techniques like interviews, document reviews, observations, and surveys. In this method, you rely on your perspectives to give insights about a particular phenomenon.

This technique considers how the respondents feel about activities and events and you have to form themes to validate the findings.


Most of companies use this method to help sales personnel to close their monthly or yearly sales. Moreover, companies also identify the reasons why their sales have been increased or dropped from last year.

  1. Ground Theory Method

A grounded theory approach offers an explanation, theory, and reasons behind an event. This aims to form new theories by gathering and examining data about a particular phenomenon. In this method, you can make use of different techniques of data collection. These techniques include observation, literature review, interview, and related document analysis.

In this approach, you can use coding techniques to identify themes and form a theory.


The companies use this method to conduct user satisfaction surveys. This method is helpful to identify the reasons why a customer uses a particular product and service and is an important attribute to assess customer satisfaction.

  1. Narrative Method

The narrative method is used at the time of the compilation of data. It takes a series of events to create a cohesive story. It is just the same as a story narrative in which you take a subject from an initial point and assess various situations of life.

In this method, you read different documents and conduct in-depth interviews and the outcomes are presented in the form of a short story along with themes.

This method includes the tensions, conflicts, and challenges that create a great opportunity for innovation.


The narrative method is appropriate for making a persona. The persona is a type of story building that includes different methods like segmentation analysis from surveys and interviews with people.

  1. Case Study method

The case study method is used over extended periods to gather information. This method provides an in-depth understanding of a person, event, place, or business.

In this method, you can collect data from different sources like historical documentation, in-depth interviews, and direct observation.

The case study method includes a deep understanding of different kinds of sources of data. The case study can be exploratory or explanatory.


The companies use case studies to demonstrate their business solutions. They also use this method to assess how they can solve a specific issue.

  1. Historical Method

The historical method is used to explain past events to understand current scenarios and also forecast future events. You can use this method to evaluate the research questions through the hypothetical idea and after that, you can use different resources to test the notion for any sort of challenges.


The companies use past and historical sales data to evaluate the present sales and forecast future sales. This method gives ease to companies to make their sales strategy.

To sum up, there are six different types of qualitative research that are normally used by researchers in qualitative studies. It depends on the researcher to use either a single approach or two approaches together in a particular study.

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *