Example 3: What are the special challenges that students who are born in Germany and have an immigrant background face?
Generally, this question can serve as basis for a qualitative study but it needs some further clarification. In Germany, we have immigrants from lots of different backgrounds: people from Turkey, Russia and the successor states of the former Soviet Union, Poland, successor states of the former Yugoslavia, Italy, Greece, etc. Some are Muslims, some are Catholics and others are atheists. And they came for different reasons: work, war, breakdown of communism or having German ancestors. Hence, it is to expect that each group faces different challenges. It is thinkable to design a study where all groups are included, but this would be very large and extensive qualitative research project. The advice here is to narrow the question to one particular group of immigrants.
Qualitative research is a broad field of inquiry that uses unstructured data collection methods, such as observations, interviews, surveys and documents, to find themes and meanings to inform our understanding of the world.  Qualitative research tends to try to uncover the reasons for behaviors, attitudes and motivations, instead of just the details of what, where and when. Qualitative research can be done across many disciplines, such as social science, healthcare and business, and is a common feature of nearly every single workplace and educational environment.
The downsides of qualitative research are that its scope is fairly limited so its findings are not always widely generalizable. Researchers also have to use caution with these methods to ensure that they themselves do not influence the data in ways that significantly change it and that they do not bring undue personal bias to their interpretation of the findings. Fortunately, qualitative researchers receive rigorous training designed to eliminate or reduce these types of research bias.
Examples of a positivist approach to qualitative research include Yin's (2002) and Benbasat et al's (1987) work on case study research. See also the ISWorld Section on Quantitative, Positivist Research edited by Straub, Gefen and Boudreau (2004).
The business environment has become more global and multi-cultural, and you might be looking to expand into markets and cultures you don’t always intuitively understand.