QUALITATIVE RESEARCH 3
time to plan and execute semi-structured questionnaires. Additionally, the data is hard to
record and analyze.
The unstructured method is commonly used in the disciplines of sociology to
understand people’s cultural patterns. It is an informal method characterized by long
interviews that are non-standardised. Without using predetermined questions and answers, it
relies on social interaction to understand complex behavior and values that are significant in
uncovering the research questions (Zhang & Wildemuth 2006). The researcher engages in a
conversation with the interviewee and generates questionnaire depending on the reply given.
As a result, each unstructured question can generate different patterns and structures. This
method is used to understand social reality of the population based on the interviewee’s
The principal tools for data collection are individual interviews, observations, action
research and focus groups. Case studies provide an in-depth description of a particular
institution. It is effective in answering the question of what and why. The researcher uses this
tool to look into the underlying problem and meaning of trends. Interviews can be the group
or individual interviews. The data can be gathered using various techniques like audio
recording, written notes, and stenography. Researchers assume that the purpose of the
interview is to generate the views of the interviews about the problem being investigated.
Observations, on the other hand, can be direct or indirect, continuous or non-continuous
depending on the research project. Descriptive observations involve writing down e
observations, while inferential observations include writing observations that are inferred by
the language of the subject’s body. Evaluation observation on the other requires the
researcher to make inferences and judgment from the subject’s behavior.