2 The Process of Research Design Research choicesResearch strategiesTime horizons
3 Research Design and Tactics The research onionSaunders et al, (2009)Figure 5.1 The research ‘onion’
4 The research design needs Clear objectives derived from the research questionTo specify sources of data collectionTo consider constraints and ethical issuesValid reasons for your choice of design
5 Classification of the research purpose Exploratory research is a valuable means of finding out ‘what is happening to seek new insights; to ask questions and to assess phenomena in a new light’. It is particularly useful if you wish to clarify your understanding of a problem, such as if you are unsure of precise nature of the problem . It may well be that time is well spent on exploratory research, as it may show that the research is not worth pursuing!
6 ExplanatoryThere are three principal ways of conducting explanatory research:A search of the literature;Interviewing ‘experts’ in the subject;Conducting focus group interviews.
7 Descriptive studiesThe object of descriptive research is ‘ to ‘portray an accurate profile of persons, events or situations’. This may be an extension of, or a forerunner to a piece of exploratory research or, more often, a piece of explanatory research. It is necessary to have a clear picture of the phenomena on which you wish to collect data prior to collection of data.
8 Explanatory researchStudies that establish causal relationships between variables may be termed explanatory research. The emphasis her is on studying a situation or a problem in order to explain the relationship between variables. For example, that a cursory analysis of quantitative data on manufacturing scrap rates shows a relationship between scrap rates and the age of machine being operated
9 Experiment Action research Research StrategiesExperiment Action researchGrounded theory SurveyEthnography Case studyArchival research
10 An experiment will involve Research StrategiesAn experiment will involveDefinition of a theoretical hypothesisSelection of samples from know populationsRandom allocation of samplesIntroduction of planned interventionMeasurement on a small number of dependent variablesControl of all other variables
11 Research Strategies Survey: key features Popular in business research Perceived as authoritativeAllows collection of quantitative dataData can be analysed quantitativelySamples need to be representativeGives the researcher independenceStructured observation and interviews can be used
12 Case Study: key features Research StrategiesCase Study: key featuresProvides a rich understanding of a real life contextUses and triangulates multiple sources of dataA case study can be categorised in four waysand based on two dimensions:single case v. multiple caseholistic case v. embedded caseYin (2003)
13 Action research: key features Research StrategiesAction research: key featuresResearch IN action - not ON actionInvolves practitioners in the researchThe researcher becomes part of the organisationPromotes change within the organisationCan have two distinct foci (Schein, 1999) –the aim of the research and the needs of the sponsor
14 Grounded theory: key features Research StrategiesGrounded theory: key featuresTheory is built through induction and deductionHelps to predict and explain behaviourDevelops theory from data generated byobservationsIs an interpretative process, not a logico-deductive oneBased on Suddaby (2006)
15 Ethnography: key features Research StrategiesEthnography: key featuresAims to describe and explain the social world inhabited by the researcherTakes place over an extended time periodIs naturalisticInvolves extended participant observation
16 Archival research: key features Research StrategiesArchival research: key featuresUses administrative records and documents as the principal sources of dataAllows research questions focused on the pastIs constrained by the nature of the records and documents
17 The role of the practitioner-researcher Research StrategiesThe role of the practitioner-researcherKey featuresResearch access is more easily availableThe researcher knows the organisationHas the disadvantage of familiarityThe researcher is likely to their own assumptionsand preconceptionsThe dual role requires careful negotiation
18 Multiple research methods Research choicesSaunders et al, (2009)Figure 5.4 Research choices
19 Multiple research methods Reasons for using mixed method designs:(Table 5.1 )TriangulationFacilitationComplementarityGeneralityAid interpretationStudy different aspectsSolving a puzzleSource: developed from Bryman (2006)
20 Select the appropriate time horizon Time HorizonsSelect the appropriate time horizonCross-sectional studiesLongitudinal studies
21 Credibility of research findings Important considerationsReliabilityValidityGeneralisabilityLogic leaps and false assumptions
22 Research design ethics Remember‘The research design should not subject the research population to embarrassment, harm or other material disadvantage’Adapted from Saunders et al, (2009)
23 Research projects can be categorised as Research projects may be Summary: Chapter 5Research design turns a research question and objectives into a project that considersStrategies Choices Time horizonsResearch projects can be categorised asExploratory Descriptive ExplanatoryResearch projects may beCross-sectional Longitudinal
24 Important considerations Summary: Chapter 5Important considerationsThe main research strategies may combined in the same projectThe opportunities provided by using multiple methodsThe validity and reliability of resultsAccess and ethical considerations