Quantitative methodology is essentially a nomothetic methodology drawn ‘upon systematic protocol and technique’ (Burrell & Morgan, 1979). In contrast, qualitative methodology is an ideographic methodology, which ‘stresses the importance of letting one’s subject unfold its nature and characteristics during the process of investigation’. As such, it is more fluid in process (Tsoukas, 1989). Some authors appear to favour one methodology over the other. For example, Denzin (1989) suggests that studies based on a nomothetic methodology ‘seek abstract generalisation about phenomenon [sic] and offer nonhistorical explanations’, while ideographic studies assume ‘that each individual is unique’ and ‘that every interactional text is…shaped by the individuals who create it’.References
Burrell, G. & Morgan, G. (1979). Sociological Paradigms and Organisational Analysis: Elements of the Sociology of Corporate Life. An H.E.B. paperback. [Online]. Pearson Education. Available from: https://books.google.co.in/books/about/Sociological_Paradigms_and_Organisationa.html?id=Q_62AAAAIAAJ&redir_esc=y.
Denzin, N.K. (1989). The research act: a theoretical introduction to sociological methods. 3rd Ed. [Online]. Prentice Hall. Available from: https://books.google.co.in/books/about/The_research_act.html?id=V-rtAAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y.
Tsoukas, H. (1989). The validity of ideographic research explanations. Academy of Management Review. [Online]. 14 (4). pp. 451–561. Available from: https://www.htsoukas.com/pubs/1989-the-validity-of-idiographic-research-explanations/.