Principles and Practice of Marketing

A paradigm can have various meanings. It refers to “your basic beliefs” and your approach to the world which affects the way you define your research and how you collect and analyze data (Collis &amp. Hussey, 2003, p. 47). There are two basic types of research, namely, qualitative and quantitative research, i.e. phenomenological paradigm and positivistic paradigm. Hussey and Hussey (1997) consider these two methodologies to be at the two extremes of the research continuum.
“Phenomenological” is based on the word “phenomenon” which means a fact that happened or an event that was witnessed. With the phenomenological approach, the focus is on “understanding the human behavior from the participant’s own frame of reference” (Collis &amp. Hussey, 2003, p. 53). As this approach is related to an event within a context of time and place, the aim is to investigate an event by carrying out your own research to “construct new theory to explain the phenomenon” (Collis &amp. Hussey, 2003, pp. 56-57) or use existing theory. The aim and focus of this approach are “on the quality and depth of data” (Collis &amp. Hussey, 2003, pp. 56-57). In simpler terms, qualitative research takes into account an in-depth view of the behavior patterns of people. It aims at finding the reasons behind each aspect of behavior or trend that is displayed. It becomes an answer to the how and what for the decision making unlike quantitative method being results of questions related to the what, when and where aspects (Jobber, 2004). Qualitative or phenomenological methods tend to produce rich intensive data relating to small numbers of people and moreover, they tend to provide more contextual data – which adds value to other data – while acknowledges the fundamental complexity of certain social phenomena.