Research Methods Critical Analysis

Subject: Sciences
Pages: 3
Words: 926
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: Bachelor


Research is an important part of the development of science in the modern world. The quality of any study is largely determined by the methods that are used in it. Both suitable methods can be selected, which can help to reveal the research question, and unsuitable ones, which limit it. Therefore, the choice of methodology is a key aspect of a study, and many existing and proven methods represent a variation for choice.

First Critical Analysis

When working with research, different methods of processing and obtaining information are used. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and is suitable for research depending on its objectives (Basias and Pollalis, 2018). The study by Hodder and Houghton contains a minimal amount of exploratory research and is mostly directed towards conclusive research. The two methods used by the authors in the article Union use of social media: A study of the university and college union on Twitter are quantitative and qualitative analysis. The three questions posed by the authors are during the deductive study were:

  1. “Is the content of the message in line with mobilisation theory?
  2. ‘What is being said by trade unions on social media?
  3. “Who are the audience?” (Hodder and Houghton, 2015, p.8).

A mixed-methods study allowed to get all the benefits of each. The qualitative method is based on various non-digital information, such as the results of other studies, data, impressions, opinions, and views of different people. In this case, qualitative research was carried out initially to create an information base and structure the information. Quantitative data used further was initially presented in the form of numbers and was processed to obtain specific indicators using statistical methods. After that, the resulting indicators were analyzed and presented for the implementation of conclusions.

For the first question, the qualitative research method was most suitable, which was used by the authors. Using this approach, information was collected, which allowed confirming the hypothesis of “linguistic framing” in the messages on Twitter (Hodder and Houghton, 2015). The second and third questions were answered using quantitative research, which is the correct approach to them. Since the authors chose a quantitative method, they had to select a population and a sample, and display general statistics for messages on the social network Twitter. After that, the basic statistics were displayed with the calculation of the percentage of the total and examples.

The research by Hodder and Houghton cannot be generalized due to its limitations and sampling method. The study was limited to a sample of certain nationalities and representatives of the press, as well as the fact that some of the accounts could not be categorized (Hodder and Houghton, 2015). Quantitative analysis was completely objective based on percentages and examples. Qualitative research could be biased, since it was mainly aimed at confirming the original hypotheses of the authors and literature with an alternative opinion was little considered.

Second Critical Analysis

For various studies, there is a specificity of a suitable research method. For this, a full-fledged elaboration of the methodology is required after defining the questions for study. If the wrong approach is used it is possible to get an incorrect, non-extensive, or irrelevant result. Research questions of the Burgers for tourists who give a damn! Driving disruptive social change upstream and downstream in the tourist food supply chain article were:

  1. “Which dimensions of social capital observed within small tourist food businesses represent responsible practices?
  2. “To what extent do different dimensions of capital contribute towards responsible tourism development and promoting the local identity and sustainability of a tourist destination?
  3. “What challenges do small tourist food businesses face in their everyday responsible business practices?” (Carrigan et al., 2017, p.1564).

In regards to the first and third research questions, the qualitative approach is optimal. The second question could be a mix of methods, where quantitative would be descriptive analysis to find patterns. The authors of the article decided to use only a qualitative method throughout the entire deductive research article based on the interviews (Carrigan et al., 2017). The use of open-ended questions influenced the further possibility of analyzing the trend of similar and different answers.

Research was limited to a specific community, time, and one direction of business. Therefore, the results can be used in the context of this direction and the community, but not in other business. At the same time, the authors were not biased towards information and all conclusions were made based on the words of the participants. The questions do not direct the participants in a certain direction of the answer, but leave them free to choose.

Limitations of the Research Design

The limitations of a quantitative study include the inability to control all the circumstances and context that do not affect the quality of respondents’ answers, and the inability to obtain information about the situational context of the research question under study. At the same time, the disadvantages of qualitative studies include the fact that when they are carried out, the possibilities of generalization are limited (Queiros, Faria, and Almeida, 2017). That is, it can be confidently reliable only in relation to people of a certain category.


In conclusion, qualitative and quantitative research is aimed at solving different problems, but when combined, can give the most effective result. Each method has its limitations and disadvantages, so the definition of the relevant method depends on the research questions. The authors of the articles reviewed in the analysis used mostly correct methods to achieve their goal, however, some aspects could be improved through a mix-methods approach.

Reference List

Basias, N. and Pollalis, Y. (2018) ‘Quantitative and qualitative research in business & technology: Justifying a suitable research methodology’, Review of Integrative Business and Economics Research, 7, pp.91-105. Web.

Carrigan, M., Lazell, J., Bosangit, C. and Magrizos, S. (2017) ‘Burgers for tourists who give a damn! Driving disruptive social change upstream and downstream in the tourist food supply chain’, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 25(11), pp.1563-1582. Web.

Hodder, A. and Houghton, D. (2015) ’Union use of social media: A study of the university and college union on Twitter’, New Technology, Work and Employment, 30(3), pp.173-189. Web.

Queiros, A., Faria, D. and Almeida, F. (2017) ’Strengths and limitations of qualitative and quantitative research methods’, European Journal of Education Studies, 3(9), pp.369-387. Web.