Practitioner research, also called practitioner action research, is a type of research where the researcher who is conducting the study is also a practitioner in the field. In other words, the researcher works in the area the research carried out. For instance, they can be teachers, social workers, and medical workers whose job requires occasional research. Jean McNiff, together with Jack Whitehead, defines the practitioner research in his book “Action Research: Principles and Practice” (2002, second edition) as follows:
Research is a process of collecting data and analyzing it to reach a conclusion on a specific subject. The research methods and practices are in constant development and change with the subject matter. In order to evaluate and improve the research methods and the process as a whole, researchers use meta-science, also called meta-research. It is a study of science itself, “research on research.” It seeks the reasons why specific research projects fail and offers solutions to overcome those obstacles.
Research design is a plan of how to conduct research. It includes defining research subject, questions, theories, methods, techniques, data collection methods, data analysis, report and distribution channels for the report. Designing research allows researchers to act according to the plans and finish the project in time. It guides the researchers through the entire research process and tells them what you need to give attention to and what is unnecessary for the research.
Grounded theory is a research methodology used mostly in qualitative research. Researchers using some other research methods build a theory about the research topic and then study the phenomenon and test the theory, whereas, in this method, a theory is developed directly from the data. According to the originators of the grounded theory, Glaser and Strauss (1967):
The aim of grounded theory is ‘’to generate or discover a theory.’’
Consumers of all goods and services take a variety of factors into account when using them. Convenience in using a product is one of the deciding factors for customers. The user experience is the overall experience of a person using a product, especially to what extent it is comfortable or pleasant to use. That experience defines a person's needs, opinions, and motivations towards buying the product. Companies carry out UX research to find and analyze those same needs, beliefs, and motivations behind the user preferences.
Referencing sources is part of the paper writing process when researching. It improves the validity of the research and shows that other researchers agree with what you believe about a particular issue. In a way, referencing gives supporting evidence to your ideas. Not indicating a source might be considered theft because you use others' information without crediting. It is called plagiarism and may even result in a lawsuit against the person. This ethical rule should be followed not just in academic circles but in all types of writing.
Qualitative research deals with non-numeric information - the kind of information that can’t be measured by numbers. Compared with qualitative data, quantitative data is easier to analyze. Qualitative data contains opinions, attitudes, behavior towards certain phenomena and requires finding trends in responses to open-ended questions or interpreting reviews, interviews, social media posts, etc. How is it possible to identify recurring themes in a possible “wall of text” that is qualitative data? By coding it.
Although people use these two terms interchangeably, they have distinctive characteristics. Knowing critical differences between those two may help companies develop more effective strategies regarding the product and services. Both types of research use qualitative and quantitative methods to gather and analyze data to find solutions to a particular problem. But is it really easy to differentiate between the two?