Importance of Methodology in Research

Introduction

A research methodology is an important part of establishing how a research can be conducted. A research methodology is a plan as to how a study should be conducted. There is various research methodologies like qualitative and quantitative which are in use. In this section it would be discussed and disadvantages of using the before mentioned research methodologies and finally will justify the research methodology chosen for the proposed paper.

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Quantitative Research Methodology

A quantitative research method may be defined as the process of collecting numeric data and using that data to show what those, observations reflect (Babbie, 1992). One of the important factors of quantitative research methodology is data collection which is done through various processes such as interviews, questionnaire surveys, tests/measures, and observations (Easterby-Smith et al, 1991).

Advantages and Disadvantage

Quantitative method is widely used for its objectiveness. Quantitative methods are systematic and are based on positive perspective. Further, quantitative research is replicable as it is possible to collect the same data in another situation or place and get some other outcome which can be compared. But quantitative research methodology has been criticised for its positivism (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 1998). Further, there is a question of internal and external validity which was thought to be not present in the quantitative method by some psychologists. Additionally, quantitative method has been criticised for being limited to hypothesis testing. Further it is also called a simplistic process wherein data related to the research question are gathered which are then analysed with little concern for the historical background of the situation (Grbich, 1999). Further as quantitative analysis are related to “cause, effect and objectivity” they fail to be an appropriate method of research for events which are dynamic (Grbich, 1999). This shows that the quantitative method is not a full proof method for acceptance.

Qualitative Research

Qualitative research is described as alphanumeric examination of the observations with the aim to discover the hidden meaning beneath it and a pattern of relationship, if any (Burns & Grove, 2005).

Advantages and Disadvantage

Qualitative study is said to be more dynamic and suitable for studies which are occurring and are still in the process of change. They are useful in order to understand the reason for the development of the theory from the present understanding or studying prior historical data. But the advantages of the method are that they fail to be objective and are difficult to be replicated. So generalization is difficult in a qualitative research method. Qualitative researches are also known as constructivist approach refuse positivism (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004). Further these researches are value bounded and it is very difficult to differentiate between cause and effect. Thus there exists extensive literature on the difference between quantitative and quantitative research methods.

Questionnaire as a Data-Gathering Instrument

A questionnaire is a way of bringing out the thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, experiences, or viewpoints of some section of individuals. As a data gathering tool, it could be either structured or unstructured. A questionnaire is most commonly an extremely brief, predetermined assortment of questions created to procure detailed information to correspond to a specific requirement for the research information concerning a relevant subject. The research information is procured from the respondents usually from an associated and correlated interest sphere. There are a number of advantages as well as disadvantages to the use of questionnaires as a data collection tool. Some of them are listed below.

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Advantages

  • The costs and time associated with providing training to interviewers and sending them to an interview site is done away with by the use questionnaires.
  • All responders are provided with the same set of questions written in precisely the same way. Thus, questionnaires are capable of producing more comparable data as compared to the information procured by means of an interview.
  • If the queries are structured properly and the circumstances under which they are responded to be controlled, then the questionnaire can be standardized.

Disadvantages

  • Respondent’s impetus is hard to evaluate, thus impacting the validity of the responses received.
  • Except for a random sampling of returns being obtained, the completed and returned questionnaires may signify predisposed samples.

Proposed Methodology

Given the extensive discussion on the two different kinds of methods of conducting research, it is important to understand which method will be useful for the proposed research. The research methodology that is proposed to use is a mixed research methodology or both would be used in accordance to the need. In the following section, it would be enumerated the reasons behind this choice of methodology wherein there would be a use a case study approach to determine the problem.

In the domain of mandatory fulfilment of CPD requirements research methodology has been dominated by mixed strategy wherein case study approach has been extensively used (Benbasat et al, 1987). Qualitative research methods have been used extensively used in studying the study of adoption of the issue where mostly the scholars have provided their analysis of the situation as they have seen through their experience or through interviews or secondary research. Very little research has been done on the area of the issue of mandatory fulfilment of CPD requirements which will help in analyzing the situation objectively.

Thus, it is logical to do a mix of qualitative and quantitative research. In the qualitative research section, it would follow the historic data of the issue and try to determine the areas where the result has been adopted and the existing results exist. In this part, there would be an extensive secondary research on the issue and try to ascertain the benefits and then do constructive interviews to ascertain the complete picture. The interviews will be based on organizations there would the focus of quantitative study.

From the qualitative research, there would be adequate information regarding the organization’s present adoption status of internet and the barriers to it. The quantitative research section will follow a questionnaire survey in the designated organization or sector. The survey will be directed to understand the profile of the respondents and the relation to the research question. The next section of the questionnaire will discuss the benefits that the sector has gained from the issue. The perceived benefits of the issue have to be captured through the questionnaire. Then the questionnaire will discuss the barriers which the sector faced in issue in the context of real life purposes.

The survey result will be evaluated through factor analysis of the data collected. Here it must be kept in mind that mandatory fulfilment of CPD requirements can be enhanced not only due to organizational factors but also due to individual factors. This has to be kept in mind while working on the questionnaire. The questionnaire will also evaluate the adopter’s decision and the criteria for choosing the issue as an innovation.

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Further in order to determine the performance growth with the issue has to be correlated to the degree of usage of issue to the operational, financial, and performance success of the sector. This can be done through the data on the issue and the perceived level of adoption to the financial performance over the years of adoption, number of patients treated, cost aspects, etc. can be correlated which will provide the level of acceptance of the issue and the success of using it. This can be validated through the study of the perceived benefits of the issue of the respondents with that of the financial and operational data. This process is important to be done in order to understand the performance benefit of the issue.

Conclusion

Why both the qualitative and quantitative research methods are proposed to be used in the research process? The reason is due to the use of qualitative tool in the current issue based research in the literature is rich and has been validated as one of the most accepted tool (Benbasat et al, 1987). Further, quantitative research is a well accepted methodology for measuring the benefits and barriers of the issue. This is so because it provides the objectivity and positivism that the research method presents. The combination of the two methodologies will be used to identify the factors which are the benefits, barriers, and usage of the issue and quantitative method will validate the factors that we draw from the qualitative research. This research method is apt for the proposed study, as it will provide a case of the study with a micro-view on the particular study question while the quantitative analysis will provide the objective view of the benefit of using the issue wherein they are put to. This will validate the findings of the qualitative research.

Bibliography

Babbie, E.. (1992) The practice of social research 6th ed. Belmont: CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.

Benbasat, I., Goldstein, D.K. & Mead, M. (1987) The Case Research Strategy in Studies of Information Systems. MIS Quarterly vol. 9. no. 3, pp 369-387.

Burns, N. & Grove, S.K.. (2005) The practice of nursing research. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. & Lowe, A.. (1991) Management Research: An Introduction. London: Sage Publications.

Grbich, C. (1999) Qualitative Research in Health. London: SAGE.

Johnson, R.B. & Onwuegbuzie, A.J. (2004) Mixed Methods Research: A Research Paradigm Whose Time Has Come. Educational Researcher Vol. 33 No. 7 , p. 14–26.

Tashakkori, A. & Teddlie, C. (1998) Mixed Methodology. London: SAGE.

Importance of Methodology in Research
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