Learning Series & Update / Blog / A Method to A Better Explanation of Your Research Questions; Qualitative Method Workshop

A Method to A Better Explanation of Your Research Questions; Qualitative Method Workshop

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“Quantitative research is a research with systematic methods and qualitative research often misunderstood as research that doesn’t have a method.” -Dr.-Phil. Hora Tjitra

November, 26th 2019, Tjitra & associates collaborated with Bina Nusantara University School of Information System held a qualitative workshop. The speaker was Dr.-Phil. Hora Tjitra, Founder and Managing partner of Tjitra & associates, a professor in cross-cultural psychology who expert in qualitative research. Attended by lecturers from Bina Nusantara School of Information System department, this workshop gave them a deeper understanding of qualitative research which is divided into four sessions.

In the first session, Dr. Tjitra told us about the differences between quantitative and qualitative research. Basically, both quantitative and qualitative researchers should read many theories references, but the purpose is different, in quantitative is to build a solid hypothesis but in qualitative is to make a new theory. The four pillars of qualitative thinking are 1) strong focus on description — the researchers should be able to differentiate if the information that the interviewer gives is fact or opinion; 2) strong focus on interpretation — researchers should be aware of their knowledge/background that can influence his perspective about his research; 3) Subject first — define the subject is the critical thing that researchers should be able to do; 4) the result should be understood as a process of generalisation — it’s about how good the researchers give arguments to be able to generalise their single case to the population.

In the second session, the participants discussed the criteria of good data in doing research. The participants active giving their opinions and the conclusion is that good data are a minimum sample size of the interviewee, the background of participants — are they represented or not, how to make the interviewee honest and opens when doing an interview, how researchers collect the data and how researchers documented all the process of research. If the data is good, you’ll find the pattern model after 6 – 7 times interview and the rest data process is saturation dan make the data richer. In qualitative research, researchers use the open-ended question to dig out the data from the interviewee. Researchers can’t lead the interviewee to say what researchers need. Participants also discussed what they usually do to get the idea for research themes, they said that mostly they get from the news, literature, their own interesting phenomena, trending issues, suggested/assigned issues — the issue has already given from the third part that gives fund.

In the third session, Dr. Tjitra gave a study case to be discussed by the participants. Based on the discussion, the important things in qualitative research is building research questions — we should use many points of view to enrich the research questions. Another important detail in when we define the subject participant — when collecting data by interview, the researcher should know what kind of participant he needs, is it representative enough or not based on the context of the research theme. Dr. Tjitra also shared some qualitative projects that he already did in China and German. He said that research questions and theoretical sensitivity are important to make a good model in qualitative research. Having theoretical sensitivity is important for the qualitative researcher, theoretical sensitivity is the skills where the researcher understands the theory he used and he could summarise that by some strong keywords.

Qualitative research sometimes is reputed not scientific because there’s no justification in numbers form, so some researchers combine qualitative and quantitative research vice versa in one theme, the purpose is to get deeper data. They make the model by qualitative method then make sure the model in numbers by quantitative methods. Actually, when collecting the data, the qualitative researchers do justification by giving the resume of the interview back to the interviewee so the interviewee can confirm is the data valid or not or by inviting a group of participants and researchers to share the result of the research (communicative validation). Qualitative research justification is based on the quality of data the researcher get, so having a good intuition to differentiate the information is fact or opinion is important.

The last session, Dr. Tjitra said 6 quality factors of qualitative research, they are 1) process documentation, 2) argumentative interpretation assurance, 3) Following rules, 4) Closeness to the research object, 5) Communicative Validation, 6) Triangulation — integration between interpreter, theories, data resources, and methods. The last activity is the participants shared their own research. They explained their research topic, methodology and the result. Other participants gave the presenter feedback and also Dr. Tjitra. All the participants were excited to share their ideas to enrich the presenter’s research.


Article created by Aflaha Hadini – Analyst of Tjitra & associates