Exploring IT applications for qualitative data analysis in marketing research
Bezborodova, Elena D
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The dissertation is aimed to investigate qualitative research techniques used in research projects and to evaluate software usage in qualitative data analysis. The study contains a review of academic literature on fundamental issues of qualitative methodology, problems of methodological divergence and integration, theoretical grounds for qualitative data analysis and computer usage in qualitative research. Primary research, designed in three phases used both qualitative and quantitative approaches in order to enhance credibility and richness of the final results. Both methodological and data source triangulation employed in the study helped to maximise the validity of the research findings and to eliminate any data source bias. The findings provided for the profiling of qualitative research projects in terms of their typology, subject areas, data analysis and data collection techniques. Comparative analysis undertaken in the study revealed a greater degree of methodological convergence and data source triangulation in the projects undertaken with the aid of a computer. It was found that software for qualitative data analysis did not save time, but made the research process more systematic and transparent. Qualitative research and software experience were found to be of a high importance for successful usage of qualitative software. Revealed patterns in the projects undertaken by qualitative software were summarised in five models, showing three major areas of software application. It was noted that complexity and timing issues at the data transformation stage were the main barriers in the projects’ computerisation. The study revealed barriers to software utilisation, conflicts preventing the researcher from using software for qualitative data analysis and the main reasons for reluctance to use qualitative software. Some of them are on-going paradigm war and immersed nature of qualitative research; the lack of information and poor marketing of qualitative software (particularly for the commercial research niche); the nature of the commercial environment and the long/steep software learning curve. Recommendations outlined in the study referred to three main groups: software producers and sellers, research methodologists and trainers, and qualitative marketing researchers.
- Theses - Business LYIT 
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