Concept of measurement in Quantitative research

 What is a concept?

Concepts are the building blocks of theory and represent the points around which business research is conducted.

Each represents a label that we give to elements of the social world that seem to have common features and that strike us as significant.

If a concept is to be employed in quantitative research, it will have to be measured. Once they are measured, concepts can be in the form of independent or dependent variables.

Why measure?

There are three main reasons for the preoccupation with measurement in quantitative research.

1. Measurement allows us to delineate fine differences between people in terms of the characteristic in

2. Measurement gives us a consistent device or yardstick for making such distinctions. 

3. Measurement provides the basis for more precise estimates of the degree of relationship between concepts (for example, through correlation analysis)


In order to provide a measure of a concept (often referred to as an operational definition, a term deriving from the idea of operationalization), it is necessary to have an indicator or indicators that will stand for the concept.

Quantitative researchers generally have four main preoccupations: they want their research to be measurable, to focus on causation, to be generalisable, and to be replicable.


There is a very strong concern in most quantitative research with explanation. Quantitative researchers are
rarely concerned merely to describe how things are, but are keen to say why things are the way they are. This emphasis is also often taken to be a feature of the ways in which the natural sciences proceed.


In quantitative research the researcher is usually concerned to be able to say that his or her findings can be generalized beyond the confi nes of the particular context in which the research was conducted. Thus, if a study of motivation to work is carried out by a questionnaire with a number of people who answer the questions, we often want to say that the results can apply to individuals other than those who responded in the study.


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