Qualitative research is associated with the interpretative doctrine ( Denzin and Lincoln, 2005 ) . This is because research workers need to pull meaningful decisions from the subjective and socially constructed information that has been collected about the phenomenon under survey. This type of research is sometimes referred to as realistic since research workers normally operate in natural scenes and would hence necessitate to set up trust, promote engagement every bit good as get significance and in-depth apprehension ( Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2012 P 163 ) . Similar to quantitative research, qualitative research may besides be used within the realist and matter-of-fact doctrines.

The nature of the qualitative information collected has deductions for its analysis. Several qualitative research Begin with an inductive attack where a realistic and emergent research design is used to develop a richer theoretical point of view already existing in the literature. It is deserving observing nevertheless, that some qualitative research designs, commence with a deductive attack which use qualitative processs to prove already bing theoretical positions ( Yin, 2009 ) . The inductive attack may besides affect some elements of a deductive attack as the research worker seeks to develop a theoretical place so prove its pertinence through subsequent informations aggregation and analysis. In pattern nevertheless, most qualitative research are abductive in attack, uniting elements of both the inductive and deductive attack ( Suddaby, 2006 )

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In order to develop a conceptual model, qualitative research workers study participants ‘ significances and the relationships bing between them. They make usage of a assortment of informations aggregation techniques every bit good as analytical processs. Non- chance trying techniques are normally used and informations aggregation is non-standardized since inquiries and processs are likely to be altered while others may emerge during both realistic and synergistic research processes ( Reichertz, 2007 ) .

Assortment of qualitative research schemes portion ontological and epistemic roots and common features. Each scheme has a specific range, accent and a peculiar set of processs. Some of the major schemes are action research, instance survey research, narrative research etc ( Ketokivi and Mantere, 2010 )

Harmonizing to Taylor & A ; Gibbs ( 2010 ) , qualitative informations come in several signifiers. They could be structured texts ( Hagiographas, narratives, study remarks, intelligence articles, books etc ) , unstructured text such as written text, interviews, focal point groups and conversation.

In the paragraphs that follow, five types of analytic processs for analysing qualitative informations such as content analysis, templet matching, analytic initiation, pattern matching and thematic analysis are critically discussed with a focal point on their suitableness, advantages and disadvantages.

2.0 BODY


Contented analysis is a method for analysing written and unwritten textual stuffs which is used meagerly by organisational research workers ( Insch, Moore and Murphy 1997 ) . Krippendorf ( 1980 ) defines it as ‘an attack to the full scope of communicative and symbolic media, including verbal duologues, movies, advertizements, sketchs, theaters and political addresss. From these, research workers seek to do illations about other phenomena that are of involvement.

Contented analysis is ‘an experimental research method that is used to consistently measure the symbolic content of all signifiers of recorded communicating ‘ ( Kolbe & A ; Burnett, 1991 p.243 ) . In this type of analysis, a set of classs are established. The Numberss of cases or frequences that fall into each class are so counted ( Silverman, 2006 ) . A cardinal demand in this type of analysis is that classs need to be sufficiently precise to enable different programmers arrive at the same decision when the same set of informations are analyzed ( Krippendorff, 1980 ) in order to set up dependability and cogency. Some illustrations of stuff that can be content analyzed are political addresss, subjects in popular vocals, tendencies in newspapers, ideological tone of columns, replies to open ended study inquiries, subjects in advertised messages etc.

Conceptual and relational analyses are the two types of content analysis ( Krippendorf, 1980 ) . Whereas conceptual analysis involves taking a construct, examining and adding up its frequence of happening, relational analysis on the other manus commences with the designation of constructs in one or several texts. However, this type of content analysis goes a measure farther to place any meaningful relationship between these constructs ( Palmquist, Carley and Dale 1997 ) .

The theoretical footing of content analysis is ill-defined and its decisions can frequently be banal ( Silverman, 2006 ) . Furthermore, it can be overly clip consuming, capable to increased mistake, hard to automatize or computerise and frequently disregards the context that produced the text every bit good as conditions predominating at the clip the text was produced ( Insch, Moore and Murphy 1997 ; Atkinson, 1992:459 ) .

However content analysis produces valuable historical and cultural penetrations gained from the analysis of texts, allows for intimacy to texts which can be alternated between specific classs and relationships and once more statistically analyzes the coded signifier of the text ( Zhang and Kuo, 2001 ) . Equally of import is the fact that content analysis allows for both quantitative and qualitative operations, it looks specifically at communicating via texts or transcripts and hence gets at the cardinal facet of societal interaction ( Kulatunga, Amaratunga and Haigh, 2006b ) .

2.2 Template Analysis

This is another method of qualitative informations analysis that combines both the deductive and the inductive attack. This is because it starts with a list of subjects in progress based on relevant theory or research grounds from the oncoming of the research. This preset list of subjects is so amended as information is collected and analyzed. This provides construction to the procedure of informations analysis every bit good as aid the research worker to section the text meaningfully and manageably ( Reynolds, 2003 ) .

The templet attack permits the ordination of codifications and classs in a hierarchal mode. For illustration, the procedure of analysing interview books or observation notes will take to alteration of some subjects or codifications taking to alterations made to their topographic point in the hierarchal order. New codifications or subjects can besides be included when a relevant issue has been identified for which there is no bing codification, an old codification has been deleted or the order of a codification has been altered or reclassified to a different codification ( King, 2004 ) .These actions would nevertheless, have to be verified every bit good as its actions explored in relation to old cryptography activity ( Lewins & A ; Silver, 2006 ) .

Template analysis makes it possible to pull illations from common experiences within samples every bit good as determine the frequence of happening of the awaited subjects in respondents histories ( Reynolds, 2003 ) .Next, it besides helps the research worker to choose cardinal subjects to research every bit good as identify emergent issues that arise through the informations aggregation and analysis procedure which were otherwise non included at the beginning of the research undertaking ( King, 2004 ) . Besides, findings can be easy related to bing theory ( Reynolds, 2003 ) .

Inspite of the above, Reynolds ( 2003 ) posits that templet analysis focuses on content instead than on the construction of the narrative. Furthermore, the selected templets may supply wide instead than fine- grained classs.

Andriotis ( 2010 ) , Au, ( 2007 ) and Brooks and King ( 2012 ) are some illustrations of research that have made usage of templet analysis.


Pattern matching is a deductive method of qualitative informations analysis which involves the anticipation of a form of results based on theoretical propositions ( Yin, 1994 ) . This anticipation or proving consists of fiting an ‘observed form ‘ ( a form of mensural values ) with an ‘expected form ‘ ( a hypothesis ) , you so prosecute in the procedure of informations aggregation and analysis comparing them in order to find whether they match or do non ( Hak & A ; Dul, 2009 ) .

The research worker utilizing this attack would necessitate to develop a conceptual or analytical model, use bing theory and later proving the adequateness of the model as a agency to explicating one ‘s findings. If the form predicted through the model lucifers that which is in the information ( actual reproduction ) , the research worker would hold found an account if possible menaces to the cogency of one ‘s decisions are discounted. It is besides possible nevertheless, to acquire contrastive consequences but besides for predictable grounds besides known as theoretical reproduction ( Amaratunga, Baldry, Sashar and Newton, 2002 ; Yin 2003 )

Another fluctuation consequences where the variables are independent of each other. The research worker would necessitate to place several alternate accounts to explicate the form of expected results. Out of these expected results, merely one may be valid hence the remainder may be discarded. A lucifer between any of these predicted accounts is grounds to propose that so this is an account of your findings. Related form of results in other similar instances is farther grounds that the account is right ( Yin, 2003 ) .

Another pattern-matching process which involves the effort to construct account while in the procedure of roll uping informations and analysing them as opposed to proving predicted accounts is the Explanation edifice method ( Yin, 2009 ) . This method is similar to analytic initiation nevertheless, it is designed to prove a theoretical place although in an iterative mode. Yin postulates that while his attack is similar or related to explanatory instance surveies, Glaser and Strauss ‘s ( 1967 ) hypothesis-generating attack favours explorative surveies. The account -building process involves inventing a theoretically based place ( which would be tested subsequently ) , the aggregation of informations which is so analyzed and compared with the already devised theoretically based place.

However, amendments can be made to the theoretically based place with respects to the initial instance survey. More informations is so collected once more and compared to the findings of the revised theoretical place. Further amendments are made until a satisfactory account is derived.

In every bit much as pattern matching is the nucleus process in every theory-testing survey, it lacks preciseness and has the hazard of some interpretative discretion on the portion of the research worker every bit good as being labour intensifier. ( Yin, 1994 ) .

Hyde ( 2000 ) is an illustration of research that has made usage of form matching.


The method of analytic initiation was formulated in 1934 by Florian Znaniecki in order to place cosmopolitan propositions and causal defects. Johnson ( 2009:165 ) defines it as ‘the intensive scrutiny of a strategically selected figure of instances so as to through empirical observation set up the causes of a specific phenomenon ‘ . This means that the procedure of roll uping and analysing informations to derive insight into a research subject or phenomenon of involvement consists of perennial stairss to get at a valid account and/or decision.

Rather than get downing the hunt for account by utilizing already bing theories or classs determined in progress, this method of analysis carefully but intensely examines the phenomenon of involvement. This method may be juxtaposed with template analysis and is an inductive version of the account -building process.

To explicate the phenomenon of involvement, informations collected from initial instance surveies and observations ( i.e through explorative interviews and observation ) are analyzed. Classs are so analyzed and the relationship between them recognized to enable the development of an initial definition of a proposition ( Saunders, Lewin and Thornhill, 2012 )

A purposive instance survey is so conducted to prove this initial proposition which besides involves farther exploratory interviews or observation which might ensue in a redefinition or narrowing of the range of the phenomenon standby. At this phase, if an account of the phenomenon has still non been reached, farther instance surveies may be conducted until a valid account is found ( Ryan and Bernard, 2000: 787 ) .

Practically, in order to develop a true account of the phenomenon of involvement, several redefinitions are necessary. This leads to the development of in-depth well grounded accounts since there is uninterrupted aggregation and analysis of rich and thorough information ( Ryan and Bernard, 2000 ) .

On one manus, there have been claims that the thorough and strict usage of analytic initiation might take to impregnable accounts ensuing in all negative instances being either accounted for by the concluding revised account or excluded by the redefinition of the phenomenon being studied. On another manus, analytic initiation has nevertheless been criticized because of issues associating to its limited representativeness and generalizability ( Blacker, 2009 ) . This consequences because the concluding account of the phenomenon of involvement will be grounded wholly in the instances from which information was collected. Thus the ability to foretell under similar conditions or features may be lost ( Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2012 ) . It may hence be feasible to later prove these accounts in similar but different scenes.


Thematic analysis is another qualitative informations analytic method which most research workers consider really utile in capturing the elaboratenesss of intending within a information set ( Guest 2012 ) . It is used for ‘identifying, analysing and describing forms ( subjects ) within informations. It minimally organizes and depict your informations set in ( rich ) item. However, often it goes farther than this, and interprets assorted facets of the research subject. ‘ ( Braun & A ; Clark 2006 p.79 ) . Subjects are patterns across informations sets that are necessary for explicating a peculiar phenomenon and are associated to a specific research inquiry ( Daly, Kellehear and Gliksman, 1997. These subjects hence become the classs of analysis ( Fereday and Muir-Cochrane, 2006 ) . Thematic analysis involves familiarisation with informations, the coevals of initial codifications, hunt for subjects among codifications, reappraisal of subjects and the definition and naming of subjects before the production of the concluding study ( Braun & A ; Clark 2006 ) .

Thematic analysis is suited for the reading of informations and is preferred when samples are predetermined and defined before the survey or research commences ( Alhojailan, 2012 ) . It besides offers flexibleness to get down analysis at anytime during the undertaking even when no association has been found between the collected informations and the consequence of the process ( Frith & A ; Gleeson, 2004 ) .

Above all, it is flexible in that, one can near research inductively or deductively. ( Hollardson, 2009 ; Hayes, 2000 ) .

Thematic analysis differs from other analytic methods that seek to depict forms across qualitative informations and does non necessitate the elaborate theoretical and technological cognition of attacks such as ‘thematic DA, grounded theory, interpretative phenomenological analysis and thematic decomposition analysis ( Braun & A ; Clarke, 2006 ) . .

Thematic analysis is flexible. Through its theoretical freedom, it can supply a rich and elaborate yet complex history of informations ( Braun & A ; Clarke, 2006 ) . Thematic analysis can be a realist or essentialist method which reports experiences, significances and the world of participants, or it can be a constructionist method, which examines the ways in which events, worlds, significances, experiences and so on are the effects of a scope of discourses runing within society ( Braun & A ; Clark, 2006 ) .

Thematic analysis can be a method that works both to reflect world and to unravel or unknot the surface of ‘reality ‘ , that is, ‘contextualist ‘ ( sitting between the two poles of essentialism, constructionism and characterized by theories such as critical pragmatism ( Willig, 1999 ) .

However, thematic analysis has been criticized as being excessively flexible, descriptive, labour intensifier, capable to researcher prejudice. Besides, it has limited generalizability, and airss trouble when used to set up dependability and cogency. It is worthy to observe nevertheless that many of the above disadvantages are dependent on hapless analyses and or inappropriate research inquiries and non the method itself ( Hollardson, 2009 ; Hayes, 2000 ) .


This essay has critically assessed several methods of qualitative informations analysis by looking at their suitableness, advantages and disadvantages. These methods were content analysis, templet analysis, form matching, analytic initiation and thematic analysis. These methods are all similar in that, they can be used to analyse qualitative informations every bit good as acquire in-depth significance from participants ‘ sentiments or even written and unwritten texts. Whereas pattern matching is based on the deductive attack, the other four are based on the inductive attack.

For illustration, content analysis and pattern matching can be used to analyse secondary informations such as an organisation ‘s one-year study, texts etc. Thematic analysis and analytic initiation can besides be used in action research to analyse primary informations collected utilizing semi-structured, in-depth and group interviews. Template analysis though similar to content analysis makes usage of preset classs which are so modified throughout the research procedure.

These methods nevertheless have a general defect. They normally lack generalizability due to the little sample normally involved and are labour intensive since geting significance is the cardinal issue in qualitative research, information is collected continuously until a plausible account is reached.

Thematic analysis for case can be used to try the positions of spiritual leaders towards suicide since they play a cardinal function in the suicide bar procedure. Purposively sampled clergy ( e.g 10 old ages work experience, above 35 old ages etc ) can be interviewed utilizing a semi-structured questionnaire. The usage of this type of questionnaire would enable the research worker investigation further on cardinal issues should the demand arise during the interview. Datas obtained can be thematically analyzed based on happening subjects to acquire a valid account of the attitudes of spiritual leaders towards suicide.

Finally, it is necessary that one ‘s pick of a method of informations analysis needs to be guided by the methodological analysis to be employed in that piece of research every bit good as its implicit in epistemic premises. It is worthy to observe that some analytical methods are linked straight to certain methodological analysiss while others are linked to several. More exactly, how they are used will differ from one to another.

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