One of the disadvantages of qualitative research is that the method considers the social world as being in a dynamic state, indicating that the findings are limited to the specific group of study and not generalizable to a bigger population. Hence, results, in this case, do not reflect the wider population (Eyisi, 2016). The advantage of lack of generalization by qualitative design is that it can offer contextualized and diverse understanding of certain human experiences through intensive studies of specific cases, which can be lost through generalization (Smith, 2017).
On the other hand, quantitative data approach can generalize data to a larger population. Hence, it means that any interaction with respondents can be generalized to represent the population’s views. Hence, the results in one specific area in terms of, contents, patterns and samples, can reflect on the entire society (Eyisi, 2016). However, quantitative research has a disadvantage because it loses on contextualization and details of some phenomena in the process of generalizing observed patterns of an entire population.
Another disadvantage of qualitative research is that the process lacks randomization dominance and the ability to control variables, which is likely to increase the probability of errors during interpretation (Salvador, 2016). The advantage behind lack of control of variables makes a qualitative research ideal in conducting behavioral and social studies where human interactions are involved, considering that human studies can be complex and some manipulations can go against research ethics. Secondly, minimal control of variables in qualitative studies ensures that naturalism and context are maintained within the research (Dowd, 2018).
On the other hand, quantitative research has an advantage since it offers a chance for application of control and study groups. When using control groups, the investigator can divide respondents into groups under same conditions, but adjust the phenomenon of study to compare the results of the two groups at the end of the experiment (Eyisi, 2016). The disadvantage of this aspect is that, in instances where the research is conducted to measure some phenomena, including the behavior of humans under controlled situations, such as in the laboratory, it becomes a challenge, since survey instruments are susceptible to errors (Dowd, 2018). More so, it is hard to quantify some observations.