Qualitative methods meant that the method that does not involves any measurements and statistics. The qualitative methods are in a wide range but in reality, the qualitative methods are some how basically restricted by the view of a researcher. Few of the most common qualitative methods are;

Case Study

The case study is the older qualitative method; this study involves the specific persons and specific perspective. For example, Sigmund Freud wants to study the behaviors of individuals and very much involves in the psychological problems. Case study is not evaluated through its own; it uses other methods like direct observation and unstructured interviews. The case study should be written in a form that one can easily understand the problem stated in it. A good case study includes variety of data that is more than the description. Case study is the composition of three steps that are research, analysis and actual writing. Sometimes when the writing step starts, the researcher often go back to research so that to collect some more information.  

Participant Observation

Participant observation is actually the naturalistic based examination conducted by the sociologist and psychologists. Those are very much involved in examining the subcultures and life styles of different people considering their interests. In some of the cases it is obvious that the researcher becomes the part of participants to observe the actual factors. In order to establish knowledge about the culture it takes months or years for the researchers to become the part of such culture, so that assurance is made on the observations to be of natural phenomenon.

Direct Observation

Their exist number of dissimilarities between direct observations and participant observations. The most common difference is that in case of direct observation the researcher would not become the part of participant. The researcher directly observes the problem or issue because not to give the biased results. The researcher is only observing the context so it involves more data in different perspectives. Technology plays an important role in direct observation. In this method, the researcher is very much focused on the context rather than putting efforts in merging. Very authentic data is collected through this method because the researcher is only observing the desired samples and the situations. The period of direct observation is short as compared to the participant observation.

Unstructured Interviews

Unstructured interviews means that there is a direct interaction between the researcher and the respondent or interviewee. Unstructured interviews are based on sudden questions; no formal structured instrument is used in this method. The researcher can changes his question and may move the conversation in any direction as according to its desires and research topic. Unstructured interviews are characteristically different form structured interviews because structured interviews as by name explains the formal sought of behavior. Unstructured interviews are conducted when there is a need to know the topic in explanatory and detailed form. It is very difficult to compile all the information and data that is collected through unstructured interviews that is in explanatory form, especially in formulation of data of different respondents.


www.socialresearchmethod.com, accessed on April 9, 2012.

• Boeree, G. (2005) Qualitative Methods.

• Benbasat, I., Goldstein, D.K. and Mead, M. "The Case Research Strategy in Studies of Information Systems," MIS Quarterly (11:3) 1987, pp. 369-386.