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Undergraduate Dissertation Preparation – Research Strategy.

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Presentation on theme: "Undergraduate Dissertation Preparation – Research Strategy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Undergraduate Dissertation Preparation – Research Strategy

2 Ethics of Research Must bear the rights and interests of others in mind Consider explicitly any risks to these Do not breach legislation (e.g Data Protection Act) Informed consent required for subjects Fairness and confidentiality observed

3 Research strategy and methods Research strategy is the overall approach adopted to the research and is should depend on the nature of the subject under investigation Research methods are the methods adopted to collect and analyse data they are dependent upon the research strategy

4 Research strategy – deductive or inductive Research strategy can be Deductive Inductive Quantitative Qualitative Pluralist – a combination of the above approaches

5 Deduction or induction Deductive Deduce theory / hypothesis Express hypothesis – variables and measurement Testing hypothesis – experiment or enquiry Examining outcome of enquiry Modifying / confirming theory Need for replication & reliability Generalisation Normally Quantitative Inductive Theory follows data Observation to understand and categorise phenomena Interpretation of complex social world Concerned with context in which events take place Normally Qualitative

6 Choosing the research strategy Nature of the topic or phenomena Deductive if: wealth of literature variables and relationships easily identified and quantified Inductive if complex, social, qualitative Time available – deductive often quicker Risk – deductive lower risk

7 Research strategy How to investigate the researchable topic / question? Based on nature of the topic Specifies objectives Justifies approach and recognises limitations Will determine methods used

8 Research Method Describe what you DID Justify the approach through reference to literature Identify limitations of your method Inherent to method (see literature) Specific to your research (bias) Suggest how these limitations could be managed

9 Survey Widely used in business and management research Associated with deductive approach Often based on questionnaire Requires sampling techniques Interviews and observation can also be used

10 Case study The development of detailed knowledge about a single or small number of cases Good for why, what and how questions Data collection through: Interviews Observation Questionnaires Documentary analysis Useful for examining and challenging existing theory or for formulating new hypotheses

11 Class Exercise You will be given a Dissertation Proposal with the method deleted In Pairs consider the following : Is this likely to be inductive or deductive? Use quantitative or qualitative techniques? Could you suggest an appropriate data source? Are there likely to be access or ethical issues?

12 Credibility of research findings Reliability – can same results be obtained again? Threats to reliability: Subject error e.g. variations because of timing of study (students before exams) Subject bias – people may say what they think the researcher wants to hear Observer error Observer bias Validity – is there a true causal relationship between variables? Are findings true? Threats to validity include: History Ambiguity about causal direction Mortality and maturation

13 Generalisability External validity – are results applicable in other situations? It is OK if you do not claim that your results will apply elsewhere Otherwise must test before claiming Can always propose these tests as ideas for future research

14 Avoiding drawing wrong conclusions Have you correctly identified the population? Are your data collection methods appropriate? Have you interpreted the data correctly? Have you drawn the correct conclusions?

15 Choosing methodology, strategy and methods What is the nature of your subject? Is your approach best as deductive (theory tested) or inductive (collecting data to formulate theory)? Which research strategy will be best? Which research methods are appropriate? Critique / limitations of approach

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