Research Methodology Determination in Conducting Study

Introduction

The choice of a research topic determines the type of methodologies to be employed when conducting a particular study. The researcher has to design the appropriate methodology to fit the case under study. The research methodology entails considering various aspects, which include identifying the research study undertaken, the process of formulating a research problem, the types of data to be collected, the efficiency of the method, and the elements of a chosen method. In this paper, three peer-reviewed journal articles will be explored to identify the types of research methodologies used. After the analysis, the best methodology will be identified to examine its applicability and validity to the research study. This paper aims at showing that various research problems require different methodologies. The research methodologies discussed include qualitative, quantitative, descriptive, experimental, historical, comparative, correlation, and ethnographic.

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Analysis of peer-reviewed journal articles

According to Scotland (2012), the methodology is a plan of action that is dictated by the study of choice and the selected methods. This aspect implies that methodology pertains to answering the questions on why, what, when, and how data is gathered and evaluated. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches are discussed and the author identifies that all paradigms can employ either of the two approaches. Qualitative approaches are effective since they involve direct and close engagement with the subjects, hence achieving a highly detailed study. In his article “Exploring the Philosophical Underpinnings of Research: Relating Ontology and Epistemology to the Methodology and Methods of the Scientific, Interpretive, and Critical Research Paradigms”, Scotland (2012) conducts a study to reveal various underpinning assumptions of education research. The second article is “In the flesh or online? Exploring Qualitative Research Methodologies” by Seymour (2001). The article explores the use of computer-mediated research techniques in a study to establish how people with disabilities apply computer technologies (Seymour, 2011). This research used face-to-face interviews to collect data. The interaction created during the engagement of the researcher and the respondent reduces the gap between the two resulting in openness, which is a desirable practice leading to credible research outcomes (Hitchcock, Nastasi & Summerville, 2010). At times, face-to-face interviews may encounter participation problems due to the people’s availability and their willingness to give real data. The third article, “Research Methods – a Case Example of Participant Observation” by Lacono, Brown, and Holtham (2009) conducts a study to examine the role of the researcher as a participant-observer and reflective practitioner. The authors offer guidelines on how to handle the emerging problems from this model. Observation is a reliable way because it identifies issues from the people without distortion. It is limited to the researcher’s point of view so it might be biased.

Analysis of research methodologies

This analysis is done to evaluate the research methodology that is suitable for researching the topic of women in leadership. This topic dictates the kind of methodology to use as well as the questions to guide the study. The main questions formulated include what competencies might facilitate or derail their accession into key leadership positions or the kind of leadership aspects that might influence their retention in office. In a bid to identify the best model, various methodologies will be evaluated including qualitative research methodology, which is conducted when researchers seek to understand meanings coupled with examining and understanding circumstances, values, and ideas. For instance, a study seeking to understand students’ approaches to study can utilize qualitative study since ideas are described and understood subjectively. This methodology employs interviews that entail face-to-face engagement with chosen respondents. The basic strength of the qualitative methodology is a holistic approach that involves the creation of new knowledge. It is effective because the researcher is in a position to engage directly in the experience, thus gathering detailed data. The qualitative approach grounds its premise on inductive reasoning and the observer is in a position to relate to the data easily. Secondly, quantitative research methodology is used to measure variables, verify developed theories, or even question them. The production of data is guided by the kind of research questions, meaning that it is subjective, but not as it is with qualitative research data. It utilizes correlation methods to examine the statistical measure of association between two elements.

The third is the descriptive methodology that relies on observation as a way of gathering data. Through this model, a researcher tries to evaluate situations to determine what is expected or what can be predicted to reoccur under the same conditions (Scotland, 2012). Observations are written or recorded to be analyzed appropriately. The result might be biased since the method depends on human observations and feedback. The data is vulnerable to distortions since it might involve selective observation of situations. Fourth is the historical methodology, which entails the examination and processing of evidence to identify facts and make conclusions, concerning past events. It is a reliable model since it emphasizes facts answering the questions, where, when, which, what, and how. For example, places where the events occur. One limitation is that it is time-consuming and selective since it only tackles the events happening in the past. Fifth is the comparative methodology, which is often used to compare people’s perceptions of different societies, past events, or simultaneous events. It is not applicable in social research where the research influences the causal factors, but comparisons can provide researchers with a natural experiment in which unwanted aspects of an element can be eliminated by comparing various aspects of the phenomenon.

Lastly, in ethnographic methodology, researchers aim at describing subjects of research regarding how they theorize about themselves, but not introducing a theory from outside. It is a difficult kind of research since it entails culture that is in many cases hidden and it has to investigate so many issues such as language and the surrounding in which the subjects live. It is also impossible to repeat the process to verify the research because it involves naturalistic settings. Building rapport and trust among the target population is challenging and time-consuming.

Selecting the best methodology

This article has identified qualitative research methodology as the best approach when researching women’s leadership. This study offers an understanding of women as leaders. Through qualitative research, executives, policymakers are provided with valuable data to understand how women can emerge and rise to leadership positions (Cooper & Schindler, 2011). The reason behind this choice is that qualitative research methodology entails the discovery that occurs in a natural setting that enhances the interaction between the researcher and the participant. In addition, it provides valuable data for use when solving a certain problem and behavior patterns. Women leadership is a social phenomenon being evaluated from the participants’ perspective. Understanding the women’s role in leadership requires thorough interaction and the participants’ observation to capture the dynamics and context of women’s leadership. Through engaging the respondents, the researcher is in a position to formulate and develop new theories. This aspect implies that this method bases its premises on inductive reasoning meaning it is less likely to be biased.

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Qualitative research has several reliable designs that enhance the credibility of the collected data. The designs include a case study, which is highly reliable when evaluating the current topic because the researcher can explore in-depth activity, a process, or an individual. Women leadership involves individuals who can be evaluated through examining records, surveys, or interviews to provide solutions to the research problem. The researcher must spend time in the field engaging the people to acquire adequate data including lessons learned and possible solutions to link with the theories. Qualitative methodology is time-consuming and it cannot capture a large scope of participants. The limited representative sample may not be adequate to offer the needed statistical power.

Potential publishers for the research

Elsevier is a potential publisher for journal articles on business research because it deals with a wide area of business research activities including management and leadership studies. Secondly, the Journal of International Business, which offers authors the opportunity to publish their articles that contribute to the theoretical basis of business, leadership, and management studies. The two publishers are highly eligible since they cover a wide scope and have enhanced editorial policies that expose the study to serious scrutiny before they are published. A little charge is imposed for article processing if an article undergoes peer review.

Conclusion

Different research methodologies investigate and evaluate various claims to knowledge with each designed to answer a particular research question. Qualitative research allows the researcher to analyze and understand the complexity or simplicity of a phenomenon. This paper examined several methodologies and identified two potential publishers that can publish a wide variety of business research topics.

References

Cooper, R., & Schindler, S. (2011). Business research methods. Boston, MA: Irwin/McGraw-Hill.

Hitchcock, H., Nastasi, K., & Summerville, M. (2010). Single-case designs and qualitative methods: Applying a mixed methods research perspective. Mid-Western Educational Researcher, 23(2), 49-58.

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Lacono, J., Brown, A., & Holtham, C. (2009). Research Methods – a Case Example of Participant Observation. Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods, 7(1), 39 – 46.

Scotland, J. (2012). Exploring the Philosophical Underpinnings of Research: Relating Ontology and Epistemology to the Methodology and Methods of the Scientific, Interpretive, and Critical Research Paradigms. English Language Teaching, 5(9), 9-15.

Seymour, W. (2001). In the flesh or online? Exploring Qualitative Research Methodologies. Qualitative Research, 1(2), 147-168.

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