RAE-Revista de Administração de Empresas (Journal of Business Management), vol. 58, n. 5, September-October 2018


Translated version

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-759020180501




The recent paper of Cassel (2018) on the similarities between the skills required to conduct qualitative research and to perform management functions has rekindeled an old debate about the contrast between qualitative and quantitative research. The author believes that MBA students conducting qualitative research for the first time acquire managerial skills such as the ability to analyze complex environments, which is a fundamental skill for organizations today. The study presents empirical data sourced from students and managers about the skills acquired in the research process.


Despite several decades of intensive qualitative research in the area of administration, it is still necessary to emphasize the importance of qualitative research by students pursuing a professional master’s degree or a PhD, who would likely be interested in applied research and scientific research, respectively. Qualitative research is not for beginners. The methods involved have become impressively sophisticated over the decades (Alvesson & Skoldberg, 2009; Prasad, 2005; Symon & Cassell, 2012). When qualitative research is taught in stricto sensu programs, students should be exposed to various complementary perspectives that present the difficulties as well as potential benefits of such research, thus making the training more comprehensive.


The same can be said of quantitative research; its methods have also evolved (Hodis & Hancock, 2016). Data collection from a digital ecosystem facilitated by online businesses and mobile devices, along with software and hardware technological advancements, has permitted the expansion of analysis periods and led to greater success of natural and field experiments, enabling more complex quanitative analysis. However, researchers do not completely reep the benefits of such advancements, because of the need for urgent results or the high cost, time, and effort required to obtain skills to perform cutting-edge quantitative analysis.


These phenomena lead us to increasingly believe that research is beyond methods and is a fascinating exercise that we are fortunate enough to practice in the academic world. Researches of good quality can be qualitative or quantitative, critical or functional. A good result is often represented by an obvious yet previously unnoticed finding.


This edition presents articles based on qualitative and quantitative research that would hopefully enrich the reader’s experience. The section Perspective presents reflections of Roberto Patrus on “Social inequality and graduate studies in business Administration in Brazil: The role of evaluations,” and of Edson Guarido on “Social inequality, responsibility and responsiveness of research”. This issue concludes with a book review by Dennys Eduardo Rossetto and Felipe Mendes Borini on Jugaad innovation: Think frugal, be flexible, generate breakthrough growth, written by Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu and Simone Ahuja; a book review by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh on La alianza: Cómo gestionar el talento en la era de internet, written by María Carmen Sánchez-Sellero and Pedro Sánchez-Sellero; and the book recommendations “Cultural perspectives on the financial control of the economy and of the organizations” by Silvio Eduardo Alvarez Candido and “Epistemology of Management science” by Pedro Jaime. 


Have a good read!


Maria José Tonelli1 | ORCID: 0000-0002-6585-1493

Felipe Zambaldi1 | ORCID: 0000-0002-5378-6444


1Fundação Getulio Vargas Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil







Alvesson, M., & Skoldberg, K. (2009). Reflexive methodology: New vistas for qualitative research. London, UK: Sage.


Cassell, C. (2018). “Pushed beyond my comfort zone”: MBA student experiences of conducting qualitative research. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 17(2), 119-136. doi:10.5465/amle.2015.0016


Hodis, F. A., & Hancock, G. R. (2016). Introduction to the special issue: Advances in quantitative methods to further research in education and educational psychology. Educational Psychology, 51(3-4), 301-304. doi:10.1080/00461520.2016.1208750


Prasad, P. (2005). Crafting qualitative research: Working in the postpositivist traditions. New York, USA: Sharper Inc.


Symon, G., & Cassell, C. (Eds.) (2012). Qualitative organizational research: Core methods and key challenges. London, UK: Sage.



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