Business research is often seen in terms of numbers, figures and statistical data. However, not all business questions are best answered quantitatively. Qualitative research methods provide a way of investigating those important business questions that are not easily or best expressed numerically. But how is it done? On February 5, Odum Institute Assistant Director for Education and Qualitative Methods Paul Mihas introduced our Kenan Scholars to qualitative research methods and described resources available to them at the Odum Institute,
Mr. Mihas outlined the four stages of the research life cycle and how the Odum Institute can help at each stage:
Qualitative data analysis includes many techniques, including coding data, memo writing and theorizing the relationship among codes, to name but a few. To demonstrate, Mr. Mihas walked everyone through a specific software program focused on qualitative data collection, organization and analysis. He showed how you can use this software to map out interview quotations, diagram information, code data, and develop a typology, allowing you to systematically analyze your data and diagram more holistically the bigger story.
Mr. Mihas explained that qualitative research consulting services at the Odum Institute include helping students design their study around their research questions and narrowing down appropriate methods for surveys, interviews, focus groups, etc. He explained that typical research design issues include specifying the conceptual framework, comparison aspects, and determining required sample size.
In conclusion, Mr Mihas explained how the archivists at Odum can help students manage, archive, and preserve their data to extend the life of their work. In the future, other researchers might want to access your work so archiving it allows for future development. The Business Research workshop was a great introduction to the many research resources available at the Odum Institute and helped our Kenan Scholars understand how they can leverage those resources for their own projects.