Limitations and weakness of quantitative research methods
According to Saunders et al. (2009), research methodology serves as the backbone of a research study. Quantitative research’s main purpose is the quantification of the data. It allows generalisations of the results by measuring the views and responses of the sample population. Every research methodology consists of two broad phases namely planning and execution (Younus 2014). Therefore, it is evident that within these two phases, there are likely to have limitations which are beyond our control (Simon 2011).
Improper representation of the target population
As mentioned in the article, improper representation of the target population might hinder the researcher from achieving its desired aims and objectives. Despite applying an appropriate sampling plan representation of the subjects is dependent on the probability distribution of observed data. This may lead to a miscalculation of probability distribution and lead to falsity in the proposition.
Lack of resources for data collection
Quantitative research methodology usually requires a large sample size. However, due to the lack of resources, this large-scale research becomes impossible. In many developing countries, interested parties (e.g., government or non-government organisations, public service providers, educational institutions, etc.) may lack knowledge and especially the resources needed to conduct thorough quantitative research (Science 2001).
Inability to control the environment
Sometimes researchers face problems to control the environment where the respondents provide answers to the questions in the survey (Baxter 2008). Responses often depend on a particular time which again is dependent on the conditions occurring during that particular time frame.
Limited outcomes in a quantitative research
The quantitative research method involves a structured questionnaire with close-ended questions. It leads to limited outcomes outlined in the research proposal. So the results cannot always represent the actual occurrence, in a generalised form. Also, the respondents have limited options for responses, based on the selection made by the researcher.
Expensive and time-consuming
Quantitative research is difficult, expensive and requires a lot of time to perform the analysis. This type of research is planned carefully in order to ensure complete randomization and correct designation of control groups (Morgan 1980). A large proportion of respondents is appropriate for the representation of the target population. So, to achieve in-depth responses on an issue, data collection in quantitative research methodology is often too expensive than the qualitative approach.
Difficulty in data analysis
The quantitative study requires extensive statistical analysis, which can be difficult to perform for researchers from non-statistical backgrounds. Statistical analysis is based on scientific discipline and hence is difficult for non-mathematicians to perform.
Quantitative research is a lot more complex for social sciences, education, anthropology and psychology. The effective response should depend on the research problem rather than just a simple yes or no response.
Requirement of extra resources to analyse the results
The requirements for the successful statistical confirmation of the result are very tough in quantitative research. A hypothesis is proven with few experiments due to which there is ambiguity in the results. Results are retested and refined several times for an unambiguous conclusion (Ong 2003). So it requires extra time, investment and resources to refine the results.
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