Overview of Qualitative Research Study

Researchers who employ qualitative research method intend to gain a deeper understanding of human behaviour and also understand the justification for such behaviour. The results obtained from this research method are descriptive rather than predictive. This research method answers the how and why of decision making. It goes further than the quantitative research method which only answers the where what, and when? This paper aims at dissecting qualitative research to gain an understanding of the characteristics of the research design and to know when and where it is appropriate for use.
Sample size refers to a subset of a population that gets selected for a given study. The sample size is a vital aspect of any research study. It provides for a basis from which inferences about a population can be determined. It refers to the number of observation used to calculate or determine the characteristics of a given population (Barbour, 2013). When undertaking sample size determination for qualitative studies, it is vital to know that there are no fixed or fast rules. However, it is important to give at least two considerations when coming up with the sample size. The first consideration should be how large does the sample need to be to enable the identification of consistent patterns. The sample size should be large enough to leave the researcher with nothing left to learn or no emergent trend. The second consideration should be how large the sample should be to provide a reflection of the target population. The sample size must be large enough to help assess an appropriate amount of diversity represented across the target population.
Under qualitative studies, the researcher may estimate the sample size base on his or her data collection methods or the approach of their study. For example, when undertaking a case study approach in a qualitative study, the researcher selects one case or one person. Another example can be when using focus group discussions as a data collection method.