Beyond old and new

Date of publication: September 1, 1988

Author: Olwen H. Wolfe


As more qualitative approaches become available, through imports and innovation, and as persuasive qualitative agencies tend to brilliantly argue for their specific methods, there seems to be a need for some clarification. The view that a given method may be universally superior is too simplistic. Based on our international experience and discussions with users as well as practitioners, we offer a typology of qualitative methodologies with the aspiration to prove that each one of them has the right to live within its area of expertise. We show how each of the methods, "cognitive", "motivation- al", "cultural/holistic", and "interactive/creative" is culturally determined. Only after describing these methods comparatively do we examine the multiple dimensions of marketing research objectives, referring them all along to the typology. This investigation of research objectives is a way of breaking from set patterns and adopting a fresher outlook. As a contribution to intercultural communications, we end this presentation with a list of English and French terms used in qualitative research.

Olwen H. Wolfe


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