Building on Organizational Insights: The Power of Formal Research

Building on Organizational Insights: The Power of Formal Research

Building on Organizational Insights: The Power of Formal Research

For More Expert Insights

Anu Dsouza

Anu Dsouza

Director, Bricoleur Consulting


As an HR professional, you’re well aware that organizational success hinges on understanding your team and organisational culture. In this comprehensive article, we explore how using formal research through professional research companies, can help you build an evidence-led strategy to build your workplace culture and grow your company. You will also learn the difference between qualitative and quantitative research and how connecting data from various sources can provide real, actionable insight and a solid foundation. Let’s dive in!

The Power of Formal Research


  1. Evidence-Based Decision-Making

Formal research provides the bedrock for informed decisions. Evidence-based decisions for enhancing employee engagement, optimizing recruitment practices, or shaping organizational culture are much for likely to succeed than subjective decisions. Trained researchers deploy tested methods to collect and analyse data, ensuring validity and reliability. The concept of validity refers to whether data is representative of the group of people the data is about.


  1. Cultural Alignment

Organizational culture defines your company’s DNA. Trained researchers delve into cultural nuances—those unwritten rules and shared values. Qualitative methods reveal cultural norms, communication patterns, what’s valued and admired and employee experiences. These methods include ethnographic, immersive and semiotic techniques also and can be deployed as interviews, focus groups, observations, etc. Quantitative assessments gauge cultural alignment against strategic goals.


  1. Recruitment Insights

Recruitment isn’t just about posting job listings. It’s about attracting the right talent. Formal research helps you identify effective recruitment channels, craft compelling messages, and understand applicant preferences. Traffic to website career pages, employee review sites, and social media comments are all a part of formal research for clues on how to build a stronger employer brand.

Quantitative surveys reveal trends, while qualitative interviews uncover motivations and concerns. 

The Role of a Research Agency


  1. Expertise 

Trained researchers bring expertise. They design studies, select appropriate methodologies, and interpret findings. Their objectivity ensures unbiased analysis. Whether in-house or third-party, their role is pivotal.

  1. Objectivity

Hiring external researchers offers fresh perspectives. They bring objectivity, independence, and specialized knowledge. Employees are also likely to be freer with their responses during qualitative research interviews or discussions when it is conducted by an external party. 

  1. Outsourcing Benefits

Outsourcing also allows your HR team to focus on developing and implementing the strategy while building on a solid evidence base.

Qualitative vs. Quantitative: When to Choose


  1. Qualitative Insights

  • Contextual Understanding: Qualitative methods explore context. Interviews, focus groups, and content analysis reveal hidden dynamics, dominant themes and often underlying feelings.
  • Employee Voice: Uncover employee experiences, perceptions, and emotions.
  • Emergent Themes: Be open to unexpected findings—these often lead to actionable insights and the way forward.


  1. Quantitative Metrics

  • Large-Scale Trends: Surveys and metrics provide broad trends.
  • Statistical Significance: Quantitative data must allow for statistical testing and being representative.
  • Predictive Analytics: Understand patterns and make data-driven predictions.



Challenges and Ethical Considerations


  • Subjectivity: Qualitative research involves interpretation.
  • Sample Size: Qualitative studies are often smaller.
  • Time-Intensive: Qualitative data collection requires patience.
  • Numbers Don’t Tell the Whole Story: Numbers can illustrate how prevalent a finding is but often mask the why behind the numbers

Striking the Balance


  • Mixed Methods: Combine qualitative and quantitative approaches. Use surveys alongside in-depth interviews. Numbers alone can never tell the full story when dealing with people related aspects.
  • Thick Descriptions: Capture richness through detailed narratives.
  • Triangulation: Validate findings by comparing different data sources.
  • Hybrid Insights: Connect the findings from different data sources- social, qualitative, quantitative, and secondary for a more comprehensive understanding



In the dynamic HR landscape, hiring a formal agency to conduct and interpret findings enables an organisation to develop an evidence-led approach to team development and resource planning. Remember, investing in research is an investment in your business as an evidence-led approach rather than a subjective approach is much more likely to succeed and help the business grow.



Written by: Anu D’Souza
CEO, Bricoleur Consulting

Bricoleur Consulting provides insight-led HR services spanning talent acquisition and retention. Singapore headquartered, the Bricoleur team comprises digital media, technology and insight professionals while working across borders through its online platform. The company’s AI driven platform also enables the hiring of strategic, digital talent for leadership and specialist roles. Bricoleur has maintained a 90%-plus retention rate since inception and has experience placing senior regional and country leaders. Organisations across borders can also use to book Leadership Stay Interviews, Strategic Exit Interviews and Customised Research.

#WeGoDeeper #Insight-drivenHR #HireADigitalLeader #LeadershipStayInterview


  1. Potočnik, K., Anderson, N. R., Born, M., Kleinmann, M., & Nikolaou, I. (2021). Paving the way for research in recruitment and selection: recent developments, challenges, and future opportunities. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 30(2), 159–174. Read more
  2. Burrell, G., & Morgan, G. (1979). Sociological paradigms and organizational analysis. Heinemann Educational Books. Read more
  3. OER Collective. (n.d.). Qualitative Research: A Practical Guide. Chapter 29: Recruitment and sampling. Read more
  4. Salganik, M. J. (2019). Research in Organizational Behavior. People analytics: New ways to measure behaviour and study people at work. Read more

Baruch, Y., & Altman, Y. (2021). The why, what and how of career research: a review and recommendations. Career Development International, 26(1), 2–18. [Read more](

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