An exploration of the impact of technology and digitization on commercial qualitative research in Ghana

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Over the last few decades the world has witnessed an increase in the use of technology across industries and brought along with it digitization. The qualitative market research space has not been an exception. Ghana, which like many other African countries lacks bodies of knowledge on this branch of research which depends heavily on the interventions of human researchers and subjects has also witnessed increased technology use. This research paper therefore explored how technology and digitization has impacted the commercial qualitative market research industry in Ghana by answering the following research questions; 1. What forms of technology are available to qualitative market researchers in Ghana, and how have they been used? 2. In what ways has technology impacted the commercial qualitative research space in Ghana? 3. How can market research personnel in Ghana successfully moderate the impact of technology and digitization to better their work outcomes? A review of literature from different authors was done to build a conceptual framework for the study, with the final stage of the ICT4D value chain developed in 2009 being settled on. Three skilled qualitative researchers from three commercial market research firms in Ghana, were interviewed to get a sense of their perceptions of technology’s impact on their work, with one of the firms was observed closely as well. The data collected was then analyzed and themes identified as; access to respondents, duration of projects, roles of researchers and data management. By analyzing the unique experiences and perceptions of the researchers, lessons were drawn on how researchers could sustainably improve the qualitative research process in the presence of new technology and recommendations made for industry as well as for future research.
Undergraduate thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, May 2020
research industry, market research, qualitative research, technology, tools, technology acceptance model (TAM)