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Chapter 3: Starting out: research plans and proposals.

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1 Chapter 3: Starting out: research plans and proposals

2 STAGES IN PLANNING RESEARCH PROJECTS STAGES IN PLANNING RESEARCH PROJECTS (Fig. 3.1) 5. List information needs 6. Decide research strategy 7. Obtain ethics clearance (if applicable) 8. Conduct Research 10. Store data 3. Devise conceptual framework 1. Select topic 2. Review literature 4. Decide research question(s) NB. Stages 1-4 may occur in any order and will probably involve iteration 9. Report findings A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

3 1. Choosing a topic: sources of ideas 1. Choosing a topic: sources of ideas (Fig. 3.2) a.Personal interest b.The literature c.Policy/management problems/issues d.Social concerns e.Popular/media-based issues f.Published research agendas g.Brainstorming re. topics arising from a – f h.Opportunism A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

4 1. Topic selection - from the literature (Fig. 3.3) Reason for doing research Theories/propositions/observations from the literature: Geographical.. may have been tested only in one country or region Social… may have been established on the basis of the experience of one social group only Temporal… may be out of date Contextual… may have been established in fields other than sport Methodological… may have been tested using only one methodology A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

5 1. Topic selection: Purpose of research (Fig. 3.4) Purpose/motiveFeatures Pursue knowledge for its own sakeAcademic/scientific criteria – may combine with others below Ideologically driven: - Conservative - Reformist - eg. social-democratic - eg. environmental - Radical/critical - eg. neo-liberal - eg. neo-Marxist - eg. radical-feminist - eg. anti-globalist - Defence of/acceptance of the status quo - a more egalitarian society - sustainability - defence/extension of the market - demonstration of class conflict/exploitation - demonstration of patriarchy/women's oppression - demonstrate undesirable features of global market trends Policy/management: - Critical - Instrumental - Critiques current policy/management - may reflect one or more radical/critical stances above - Accepts broad philosophy of organisational milieu being studied A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

6 2. Review literature: roles of the literature 2. Review literature: roles of the literature (Fig. 3.5) Can be the entire basis of the research Source of ideas on topics for research Source of information on research already done by others Source of methodological or theoretical ideas Basis of comparison Source of information that is an integral/ supportive part of the research + See Chapter 6 A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

7 3. Devise conceptual framework A conceptual framework explains the main things to be studied can be either graphical or in narrative form,– uses the key factors, constructs or variables – and the presumed relationships among them. can be rudimentary or elaborate, theory-driven or commonsensical, descriptive or causal. (Miles and Huberman, 1994: 18) A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

8 Development of a conceptual framework (Fig. 3.6) 1.Explore/explain relationships between concepts 3. Define concepts 4. Operationalise concepts 2. Identify/list concepts A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

9 Explore relationships between concepts – narrative eg. Statements/hypotheses (concepts in red) (Fig. 3.7) A. Participation in a sporting activity arises as a result of an individual (or household/ family) decision-making process. B.Whether or not a person participates could depend on a variety of events and circumstances. For example: - the availability of and access to facilities may by good or bad; - advertising and promotion may vary in quantity and influence; - the cost of participation my be high or low; - a chance event, such as meeting up with a group of friends, may trigger participation. C.Whether or not individuals participate will also depend on their characteristics, such as: - age - income - personality and - past experience in participating in that or similar experiences. A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

10 Concept map example (Fig. 3.8) Individual Participant Non-participant A Influencing event or circumstances: Availability/access Advertising Price Chance event B Individual characteristics: Age Income Personality Experience C A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

11 Defining and operationalising concepts (Fig. 3.9) Participant – Definition: Person who engages in sport or exercise activity during leisure time. – Operationalisation: Participation in sport or exercise activity at le – ast once in a week. A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

12 Defining and operationalising concepts (Fig. 3.9) contd Chance event: – Definition: Unplanned occurrence which affects decision to participate. – Operationalisation: Events which an individual claims affected recent decisions to participate: eg. past experience, advice from friend/relative, item read or seen in the media. A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

13 Defining & operationalising concepts (Fig. 3.9) contd Individual characteristics – Definiton: Individual attributes (which influence leisure/ tourism decisions), for example: a. Age b. Income c. Personality d. Past leisure/tourism experience – Operationalisation: – a. Age last birthday – b. Annual household income before tax – c. Results of Myer-Briggs test – d. Leisure: activities undertaken in last six months (from checklist); Tourism: trips taken in last 5 years. A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

14 Operationalisation of concepts: further example: racial groups and urban park use (USA) (West, 1989) (Fig. 3.10) ConceptDefinitionOperationalisation City parkPark within the city All parks within Detroit city boundaries Regional park Park outside the city All parks located in three counties surrounding Detroit city A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

15 Urban parks, West (Fig. 3.10) contd ConceptDefinitionOperationalisation RaceEthnic/racial identitySubjects' response to self-identification question with the following categories: black, Hispanic, white, other MarginalityLimitations on participation due to a.limited income or b.b. access to transportation Objective indicators: a. annual income and b. automobile ownership Subjective indicators: subjects' reported perception of barriers to park use: a. 'expense', b. transportation A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

16 Urban parks, West (Fig. 3.10) contd ConceptDefinitionOperationalisation Subcultural preference Unconstrained preference for use or non-use of parks Coded responses to open-ended question on non-use of parks or reasons for not using parks more often, such as 'no interest' or 'prefer to do other things' Inter-racial constraints Actual or subjective feelings of racial discrimination resulting in feelings of being 'uncomfortable' or 'unwelcome' in parks Coded responses to open-ended questions on reasons for use/non- use of parks and specific questions on experience of 'negative reactions of other people' in parks. A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

17 Conceptual framework as quantifiable model (Fig. 3.11) Conceptual framework/theoryThe frequency of holiday-taking of a particular group is positively related to the group's average level of income Concepts/variablesH = average number of holiday trips per year N = annual income in £'000s Relationship/equationH = a + bN Example of calibrated equation (value of a and b found from survey-based research) H = N Use of the equation for prediction (assume N = £30k) H = x 30 = = 1.6 trips a year A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

18 Conceptual framework for holiday/leisure choice (Fig. 3.12) HD/LF = Holiday destination/ Leisure facility Based on Witt & Wright (1992) Satisfaction with holidays/leisure experience Needs Attractiveness of HD/LF attributes Choice of holiday/ activity Relative preference for difference holidays/activities Knowledge of HD/LF characteristics Instrumentality of holiday/activity for providing attributes Limiting factors, eg. cost, others’ preferences, disability access Expectation of being able to take the holiday/use the facility being considered Actual characteristics of HD/LF A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

19 Concept map: performance monitoring (Fig. 3.13) KPI 2 KPI 3b KPI 1 Objectives Measure 2 Measure 3b Measure 1 KPI 3a Objective 2 Objective 3 Objective 1 Measure 3a Key performance indicators (Concepts Measures (operationalisaton) Compare/assess A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

20 Conceptual framework: Market research study (Fig. 3.14) Demand for new attraction: -quantitative -qualitative -present -future Demand: -% visiting - frequency -$ spent Market profile: - age -socio-economic group Quality assessment Regional population (daytrippers) Tourists Local population Total demand for this type of attraction in local market area a.current b.b. future Existing attractions Specify local market area Local demand estimates Inventory National surveys etc. Local census/ tourist surveys etc. + forecasts/trends Surveys/focus groups Specify type of attraction A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

21 4. Decide research question(s) Questions or hypotheses? A question requires an answer A problem requires a solution A hypothesis is expressed as a statement which must be proved: – ‘true’ (consistent with data), or – ‘false’ (not consistent with data) A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

22 Research questions vs hypotheses (Fig. 3.16) Research questionHypothesis A. Simple version 1. Pose research question: Why have visitor levels declined in the last two years at site X? 1. State hypothesis: Visitor levels declined in the last two years at site X because of the attraction of newer, better value sites. 2. Conduct research.2. Conduct research 3. Answer: Because of the attraction of newer, better value sites. 3. Result: Consistent with the evidence A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

23 Research questions vs hypotheses (Fig. 3.16) Research questionHypothesis A. Simple version 1. Pose research question: Why have visitor levels declined in the last two years at site X? 1. State hypothesis: Visitor levels declined in the last two years at site X because of the attraction of newer, better value sites. 2. Conduct research.2. Conduct research 3. Answer: Because of the attraction of newer, better value sites. 3. Result: Consistent with the evidence A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

24 5. List information needs See Fig (based on Fig. 3.14) A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

25 Demand for new attraction: -quantitative -qualitative -present -future Demand: -% visiting - frequency -$ spent Market profile: - age -socio-economic group Quality assessment Regional population (daytrippers) Tourists Local population Total demand for this type of attraction in local market area a.current b.b. future Existing attractions Specify local market area Local demand estimates Inventory National surveys etc. Local census/ tourist surveys etc. + forecasts/trends Surveys/focus groups Specify type of attraction -Local/regional population levels and characteristics -Tourist numbers and characteristics -Demand levels (%) -Frequency of visit - $ spent per head - Socio-economic characteristics -Age-structure -User assessment of quality of existing attractions

26 6. Decide research strategy a.Identify project elements/stages b.Decide information gathering techniques to be used c.Decide data analysis techniques to be used d.Decide budget e.Draw up timetable A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

27 Research programme diagram example (Fig. 3.19) Collect inventory data Design quest’re Resident survey Survey analysis Steering Committee meeting Draft report Steering C’ttee meeting Finalise report Review existing research/data Define concepts etc. Review brief Focus groups Week 3 4/5 6/8 1/2 A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

28 Research project timetable, example (Fig. 3.20) Week: Review literature Secondary data analysis Conduct survey Analyse survey Focus groups Meetings with clients ✪✪✪✪ Write-up report A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

29 8. Conduct the research See the rest of the book/course. A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

30 9. Communicate findings See chapter 18 A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

31 10. Store data Numerous issues arise in relation to: – Security of data – The length of time for which it should be stored – Storage format – Protection of privacy of subjects – Access for secondary analysis This is discussed particularly in Chapter 4. A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

32 The research process in the real world Research does not always follow the smooth path suggested in the formal flow-charts See Fig for some problems which can arise. A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

33 5. List information needs 6. Research strategy 7. Ethics clearance 8. Conduct Research 10. Store data 3. Conceptual framework 1. Select topic 2. Literature 4. Research question(s) 9. Report findings New literature causes modification to lit. review, etc. Writing up process leads to re-wording of research questions Consideration of info. needs causes refining of concept definitions Some re-design required Pilot survey results cause re-thinking of research questions Disagreements with stakeholders Cost/time factors cause modification to research questions A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

34 Case-studies of the research design process See Case Studies: – 3.3: Facility use – 3.4: Evaluation public recreation services A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

35 RESEARCH PROPOSALS Self-generated: – Academics seeking funding – Student projects/theses Responsive – Consultants responding to research briefs prepared by potential clients (govt, commercial, non-profit) A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

36 Self-generated research proposals content (Fig. 3.30) ItemFig. 3.1Chapt 1Background and justification for selection of topic. 13 2(Preliminary) review of the literature.23 3Conceptual/theoretical framework/theoretical discussion.33 4Statement of research questions or hypotheses.43 5Outline of data/information requirements and research strategy 5, 63 6Details of information collection methods: structured by the research strategy, but including: -Literature -Secondary data -Empirical work - Sampling - Sample size - Quality measures A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

37 Self-generated research proposals content: contd ItemFig. 3.1Chapt 7Ethical implications. 74 8Data analysis methods. (Chapters 6-9, 11-12) 69, 11,12, Timetable or work/tasks. (Section 6e above) 6d3 10Budget..costing of each element/stage/task 63 11Report/thesis chapter outline ; No. & type of publications Other resources, researcher skills/experience/'track record' (necessary when seeking funds) 6d3 A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

38 Responsive proposals: content ItemFig. 3.1Chapt 1. Summary of key aspects of the proposal, including :- - unique approach - particular skills/experience of the consultants. 2. Re ‑ statement of the key aspects of the brief + interpretation/definition of key concepts. 3.Conceptual framework/theoretical discussion.33 4.Research strategy - methods/tasks.63 5.Details of information collection methods – structured by the research strategy, but including: - Literature - Secondary data - Fieldwork – quant or qual. - Sample sizes and justification - Quality assurance 5, A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge

39 Responsive proposals: content contd ItemFig. 3.1Chapt 6. Timetable of tasks, including interim reporting/ meetings with clients/draft and final report submission 63 7.Budget: Costing of each element/stage/task63 8. Chapter outline of report + other reporting formats – eg. interim reports, working papers, articles Resources available, staff, track record3 A. J. Veal & S. Darcy (2014) Research Methods for Sport Studies and Sport Management: A practical guide. London: Routledge


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