Results and Discussion in Qualitative Research: Examples
Qualitative research is a research method used to explore and understand people's beliefs, experiences, and behaviors. It aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the topic under investigation. Unlike quantitative research, qualitative research focuses on subjective data and does not rely on numerical measurements or statistical analysis. In this article, we will discuss the process of reporting results and conducting discussions in qualitative research, using examples to illustrate the key concepts.
Results in Qualitative Research
The results section in qualitative research is where the researcher presents the findings from the data analysis. This section should be organized around the themes or categories that have emerged from the data. It is crucial to provide enough detail and citation of examples to ensure the credibility of the study.
Example 1: Understanding the Motivations of Volunteerism
In a study exploring the motivations of individuals who volunteer for charitable organizations, the researcher conducted interviews with 20 volunteers. After transcribing and coding the interviews, several themes emerged. The researcher organized the results section according to these themes: Altruism, Personal Growth, Social Connections, and External Factors.
Under the theme of Altruism, the researcher presented quotes from participants describing their desire to help others and make a positive impact on society. For example, one participant stated, "I have always felt a strong urge to give back to my community and contribute to a greater cause."
In the theme of Personal Growth, the researcher highlighted participants' accounts of how volunteering enriched their personal development. Quotes such as, "Volunteering has helped me become more compassionate and understanding" were included to support the findings.
The theme of Social Connections focused on the relationships formed through volunteering. Participants shared stories of making new friends and feeling a sense of belonging within the organization. For instance, one participant mentioned, "Volunteering has allowed me to meet incredible like-minded people who have become my closest friends."
Lastly, the External Factors theme included participants' experiences related to external influences on their volunteerism. This theme captured the impact of family, friends, and societal values. Quotes such as, "My parents always encouraged me to give back, and it has now become a part of who I am" were used to support this theme.
Discussion in Qualitative Research
The discussion section in qualitative research is where the researcher interprets and analyzes the findings presented in the results section. The researcher should explore the implications of the results, compare them with existing literature, and provide possible explanations or theories.
Example 2: Impacts of Remote Work on Employee Productivity
In a qualitative study examining the impacts of remote work on employee productivity, the researcher interviewed employees from various industries who transitioned to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. After analyzing the data, several themes emerged: Flexibility, Work-Life Balance, Communication Challenges, and Motivation.
The researcher's discussion focused on the implications of these themes. For example, in the Flexibility theme, the researcher discussed how remote work allowed employees to have more control over their schedules, leading to increased productivity for some. However, the researcher also identified challenges related to work boundaries, as employees reported difficulties in separating work and personal life.
Regarding Work-Life Balance, the researcher discussed the positive impact of remote work on employees' ability to manage their personal and professional responsibilities. However, the discussion also highlighted the potential repercussions of blurring boundaries and the need for individuals to set clear boundaries to maintain work-life balance.
The theme of Communication Challenges addressed the difficulties employees faced in collaborating and communicating effectively with their colleagues while working remotely. The researcher provided suggestions for organizations to implement strategies such as regular video meetings and use of communication tools to mitigate these challenges.
Lastly, the researcher explored the theme of Motivation, discussing how remote work influenced employee motivation differently. Some employees reported increased motivation due to reduced commuting time, while others struggled with isolation and lack of social interaction.
Results and discussions in qualitative research play a crucial role in presenting and analyzing the findings. In the results section, researchers should organize their findings around emerging themes, providing sufficient detail and examples. The discussion section allows for interpreting the results, comparing them with existing literature, and exploring possible explanations. Through the examples provided, we can see how qualitative research findings can be effectively presented and discussed, contributing to a better understanding of the research topic.