The Methodological Considerations Qualitative Research Business Essay

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The methodological considerations for this study have foundations in the qualitative research. This chapter summarizes and explains the research methodology utilized in this study and the research questions the data collection pursued. The research was conducted in the form of a case study and employed three main methods to gather evidence: in depth interview, observation and document review.

3.1 Research Design and Method

Research design and method is in a straight line for connecting the problem of statement and objective of the research. The methodology research is learning about the research regulations. (Usman dan Akbar, 2003:42)

There are two major research approaches well known which are: Qualitative research and Quantitative research. Qualitative research is one of the methods that used for do a research in social sciences. The qualitative research is connecting human behaviour to have an in depth understanding and the reasons that rules the human behaviour. Different from the quantitative research, qualitative research are depends on the reasons behind a variety aspects of behaviour. The simple way in explaining the qualitative research was the qualitative research used to find out the reason why and how to make a decision, will be compared to what, where and when of the qualitative research. Therefore, the used of qualitative research usually is on the smaller but focused samples rather than large random samples. That is why qualitative research categorizes its data into a few parts such as the main base for organizing and reporting results. (Moleong, 2002:3)

The researcher in this research will use the Qualitative method for this research which is according to Denzin and Licoln (1994: 104) stated as "Qualitative research is multi method in focus, involving and interpretive, naturalistic approach to its subject matter. This means that qualitative research is study things in the natural setting, attempting to make sense of or interpret phenomena in terms of the use and collection of a variety of empirical materials - case study, personal experience, introspective, life story, interview, observational, historical, interactional and visual texts - that describe routine and problematic moments and meanings in individuals' lives. Accordingly, qualitative researchers deploy a wide range of interconnected methods, hoping always to get a better fix on the subject matter." (Denzin and Licoln, 1994: 104 "Handbook of Qualitative Research, 2nd Edition")

The reason for the researcher to use the qualitative research is because of its capability would be able to let the researcher closely involved with the research participants. According to Daymon and Holloway (2002:23) it will be able to help the researcher to have a better understood about the motivations of human beings, the social processes and the part in which people are situated at.

According to Cresswell (1994:145), a qualitative research is descriptive in that the researcher is interested in process, meaning and understanding gained through the words or pictures. He divides the qualitative research into five major of Qualitative Research Types and identifies the type challenges of each mode of investigation which are the Biography, Phenomenology, Grounded Theory, Ethnography and Case Study.

A case study is an intensive examination, using multiple sources of evidence of a single entity which is bounded by time and place. Usually it is associated with a location. The "case" may be an organization, a set of people such as a social or work group, a community, an event, a process, and issue or campaign.

The researcher used Case Study Research as the type and identifies key challenges. The purpose of case study research is to increase knowledge about real, contemporary communication events in their context. In effect, the researcher is aiming to bring to life the nuances of managed communication by describing a chunk of "reality".

At a simplistic level, qualitative method is more towards on relating to the words as the part of analysis, whereas quantitative method tends to be linked with numbers. Unlike quantitative research where a research plan and objective are strictly defined from outset, qualitative research usually evolves during the research process (Daymon and Holloway, 2002:5-6):


Qualitative research focuses on words rather than numbers, although occasionally numbers are used to indicate the frequency that a theme is found in transcripts or the extent to which is a form of action occurs.

Researcher involvement

The main research "instrument" in qualitative research is the researcher her or himself who closely engages with the people being studied.

Participant viewpoints

The need to investigate and show the different subjective perspectives of participants is associated with qualitative research. Its privileging of subjectivity is also seen in the way that the interpretation of the data is influenced by the researcher's own biography together with their involvement with people in study.

Small scale studies

Qualitative researchers are interested in deep exploration in order to provide rich, detailed, holistic description as well as explanation. Therefore, a mall samples are norm.

Holistic focus

Rather than directing their attention to one or two isolated variables, qualitative researchers tend to be oriented to a wide range of interconnected activities, experiences, beliefs and value of people in terms of the context in which they are situated.


Although researchers have a topic and an agenda which fuel their research progress, they are usually too committed to exploring new and often surprising avenues that emerge as informants reveal their understandings and interests. Research procedures may be unstructured, adaptable and sometimes spontaneous.


Qualitative research rarely provides statistic portraits of phenomena. Instead it aims to capture processes that take place over time. The often prolonged engagement of researchers with their research settings means that qualitative research is able to be attuned to change, sequences of events and behaviours and the transformation of cultures.

Natural settings

On the hole qualitative investigations are carried out in people's natural environment such as their offices or where they shop. This enables researchers to observe how they go about their routine activities and interactions. However, this is not always the case as many focus groups involve groups of strangers meeting together in an unfamiliar setting such as conference room. Even here, however the researchers attempt to engage with participants about their natural setting.

Inductive and deductive

Qualitative research tends to start out with inductive reasoning and then trough a sequential process, employs deductive reasoning. This means that you first get ideas out by relating them to the literature and to your further data collection and analysis (deduction). Theory, therefore, emerges primarily out of data collection rather than being generated from the literature and tested through fieldwork. The literature review at the start of study acts to guide the study only.

The researcher would like to use qualitative research method. The reason is because the qualitative research method ability would help the researcher to be closely involved with the research participants. According to Daymon and Holloway (2002:606), this will help the researcher to have the better understood about the social processes, the motivations of human beings and contexts in which they are situated.

Table 3.1 the advantage and disadvantage of using Qualitative Research Method.



Ways Forward


complex reality need more perfect expression

Investigation that can include all the things that it is so difficult to focus

Continually hypothesis revisions to focus the investigation

Recognition of multiple realities

A more balanced representation in a various of stakeholders

It may have a difficult to reunite the differences and measuring in how representative they are

Cautious in targeting

Heuristic, interpretative and inductive

To be more understanding about the process

Reinvestigate again to all the things that it is difficult to focus with

By using a systematic of computer analysis can do the continual refinement of hypotheses skilled and focused searching

Requires in-depth-face-to-face field work

A healthier relationships with the respondents to have a better communication in each other to get a more accurate information

A skilled investigation is a required

A close supervision and training of field assistants

Central importance of outside researcher

By having an external understanding, it can have a more balanced understanding than the insiders

Investigations that maybe too influenced by the researcher subjectively views

reflecting on own biases and prejudices detailed recording by constantly

Focus on information from individuals as well as groups

Better understanding of differences and the ability to obtain the particular information

It may be difficult to resolve the differences and measure how representative they are close relationships that can give a greater scale for manipulation and false applications by informant to raise an ethical issues of confidential

developing a good levels of relationship loyalty to an ethical policy by triangulation the detailed of recording

Record what is happening rather than influencing events

Information of the investigation may be more reliable if it is not influenced by expectations or fear of consequences

The extractive of assessment process may not make any contribution to program or policy development

Concentration to the dissemination methods

(Source: Daymon and Halloway, 2002)

Unit of Analysis

In the qualitative research approaches that analysis of the data does not take any place in a single stage after the researcher have collected all the data. It has to be a continuous, systematic process which was at the same time runs with the data collection. When the researcher has finished collecting all the data, the researcher may feel overwhelmed by the huge amount of evidence that the researcher has accumulated from even a small scale study. Through a short period of time, it looks like the researcher will have acquired a collection of field notes, company reports and records, e-mails, research diaries or transcripts of interviews. The process of bringing order, structure and meaning to this mass of unstructured data are data analysis. (Daymon and Holloway, 2002:231)

Qualitative research can help the researcher to answer the research questions because the research is would like to explore present the various subjective perspectives of participants which may lead to findings for the researcher answer the questions. The data variables are generated from interview with the informants.


Questions which the researcher should ask themselves at the outset and which will inform the design of the sampling strategy are the similar for both quantitative and qualitative research. The samples of questions are:

What is the key product of PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk?

What is the historical demand for PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk products on the existing and future demand vs. supply for cocoa products globally and in the region?

What is the affect for PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk when the Crisis is happened?

What PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk estimated market share in its principal markets?

How is PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk pricing power against the other competitors?

What are the key commercial terms for each of PT.Davomas Abadi, Tbk customers and suppliers?

Does PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk have any website which can be browse from the Internet as we know that this Company is a go public company?

How about the regulatory, how was it affected to the Company business operations?

How is PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk inventory management policies?

How is PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk quality control system?

What are PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk sales and marketing strategy for its major products, markets and customers?

What is PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbkb latest production capacity expansion plan?

What is PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk business growth strategy, including new products, customers and markets?

Why does PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk prefer to sell their product to trader/ distributors other than end customers?

What is the strategy for PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk to achieve its projected revenue and net income for the next five years?

What is PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk most significant challenges over the next three years? What is being done to overcome them?

All of the above are interdependent; however some of the questions require a more detailed discussion with regard to their application in a qualitative research environment.

Time, budgetary and other resource constraints may impact on the qualitative sample design but should not be allowed to undermine it. The nature of the data collection method (e.g. cognitive, in-depth or group interview), the human resources available to the project and their skills base are also important considerations.

Based on my theses research, the criteria of PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk internal informants are the right person in the top management division who can explain about the Company operations, distribution and marketing process which are suitable for the theses research topic.

The internal informants or respondents in PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk as interviewee are:

Head of marketing division

Is the person who responsible in marketing the product.

Head of selling and distribution division

Is the person who focuses on sale activities and distributing the product

Data Generation Procedure

The researcher has gathered two kinds of data which are the primary data through in-depth interview and observation. For the secondary data was through books, websites, mass media and internal documentary sources from PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk.

The procedure to get those data was the researcher got the permission from PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk to access data that needed for the research. The researcher was allowed by PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk to choose the representative informants to be interviewed and supported documentary sources to support the research.

Data Generation Instrument

In this research, a combination of more than one perspective is often used to corroborate the data because, traditionally, it is claimed that this strategy provides a more complete picture.

In-Depth Interview

According to Bingham and Moore (1959:59) in Daymon and Holloway (2002: 166) in the term of using "conversation with a purpose" for the qualitative research interview is to let the researcher and informant become "conversational partners."

According to Lindlof (1995) in Daymon and Holloway (2002), interviewing is more than just conversation. There is always a purpose and usually some form of structure. The purpose and the degree of structure are conceived by one person, the researcher, who organizes the interview talks in such a way as to cover the topics of interest to him or her and who moves the discussion in a desired direction by asking most of the questions.

The value of interviews is that they are very flexible because the answers given by interviewers inform the evolving conversation. Another benefit of interviewers is that the data collected by the researcher are situated within their own social context (Daymon and Holloway, 2002:166). Qualitative researchers generally employ the unstructured or semi-structured interview because structured interviews tend to stifle the flexibility that is so valued in qualitative research. (Daymon and Holloway, 2002:169)

In unstructured, non standardized interviews there are no predetermined questions except at the very beginning when the researchers starts with a general questions in the broad area of study. An agenda or a list of topics helps the researcher focus through the course of the interview. The outcome of unstructured interviews differs for each informant. Informants are free to answer at length, so that great depth and detail can be obtained.

Semi structured or focused interviews are often used in qualitative research. The questions are contained in an interview guide with a focus on the issues or topics areas to be covered and the lines of inquiry to be followed. The interview guide allows researcher to develop questions prior to interviewing and then decide which issues to pursue. (Daymon and Holloway, 2002:170)

West and Turner (2007:81) had named interview method with depth interview. Depth interviews are a method that allows interviewers to questions respondents in the hopes of obtaining information about a phenomenon of interest. West and Turner mentioned that depth interview are, at most semi structured by the interviewer. There are seen by researchers as collaboration between interviewer and participant wants to discuss is at least as important as what the interviewer had expected to discuss. Researchers employing depth interviews are interested in the directions in which respondents wish to take the interview. They are not as concerned with testing hypotheses as they are in finding out about the experiences of the respondents.

In interviewing, a number of techniques and practical points must be considered so that the data are recorded and stored appropriately. These include:

Tape-recording the interview

Transcribing the interview

Note taking during the interview

Note taking after the interview

Research Observation

Observation is a familiar process to most of us, and as Adler and Adler (1994: 118) in Daymon and Holloway (2002: 203) suggest, it is the fundamental base of all research methods, or as the primary research techniques in a study, it provides an important means of accessing and understanding the ways in which people act and communicatively interact.

Observation requires a systematic noting and recording of events, artefacts and behaviours of informants as they occur in specific situations rather than as they are later remembered, recounted and generalized by participants themselves.

Gold (1958: 67) proposed four "master roles" for the researcher, which is:

Complete participation

The researcher will be participating in deviant or illegal activities and the researcher is trying to influence and change the group direction.

Participant as observer

The researcher is participating in deviant or illegal activities but the researcher will not trying to influence the group direction.

Observer as participant

The researcher is participating only in a onetime deviant or illegal activity but then the researcher takes in a back seat for the other further activities.

Complete observation

The researcher become one of the group parts but the researcher would not participate in any deviant or illegal activities.

Secondary Data

Secondary data analysis refers to the process of searching for and interpreting existing information relevant to the research objectives. Secondary data are those that have been collected for some other purpose which include information found in books, journals, magazines, reports, bulletins, newsletters, Internet, and so on. An analysis of secondary data is often the core of exploratory research (Stewart, 1984). This is because there are many benefits to examining secondary data as highlighted in the following list:

Secondary data can be obtained quickly, in contrast to collecting primary data, which may take several months from beginning to end. Researchers can easily go to the Internet and quickly find a great deal of secondary data at no expense.

Secondary data are inexpensive in comparison to primary data. Though there may be some cost for collecting secondary data, the cost is often just a fraction of the cost for collecting primary data.

Secondary data are usually available. No matter what the problem area may be, someone, somewhere has probably dealt with it, and some information is available that will help the researcher in his or her task. Availability is one reason that many predict secondary data will grow in importance in marketing research applications. Not only is the amount of data growing but the ability to search billions of records to find the right data is improving with computer technology.

Secondary data enhance primary data. A secondary data search can familiarize the researcher with the industry, including its sales and profit trends, major competitors, and the significant issues facing the industry.

Although the advantages of secondary data almost always justify a search of information, there are of course limitations with secondary data. Most of the problems exist simply because secondary data have not been collected specifically to address the problem at hand or that the data may be out of date. Thus it is crucial for researchers to evaluate the secondary data to determine the reliability of secondary information gathered. (Miller, 1991: 204)

Analysis Data Method

The kind of analysis data method which will be used in this research is descriptive one. It describes and explains the situations or the occurrence as it is. Data Analysis which is done in the field by conducting interview with the key informant and the information obtained is analyzed qualitatively. The steps of data analysis are:


Read the transcribe


Doing the Summary

Write the Conclusion

Give the Recommendation

3.7 Time and Location of Research

The researcher took research in PT. Davomas Abadi, Tbk Head Office at Jln. Pangeran Jayakarta 117, Jakarta Pusat and it will be start on May 2010 until August 2010.