Chapter 3 thesis sampling design for research
As it is indicated in the title, this chapter includes the research methodology of the dissertation. In more details, in this part the author outlines the research strategy, the research method. I am doing a survey research study and I am interested in selecting a sample using purposive sampling (non-probability). Is this fine or I should only stick to one of the probability sampling. Introduction to Sociological Research. In an unfortunate comment following the Boston Marathon bombing in April , the then Prime Minister Stephen Harper said . The first step of the scientific method is to ask a question, describe a problem, and identify the specific area of interest. The topic should be narrow enough to study within the context of a particular test but also broad enough to have a more general practical or theoretical merit. pomononslici.cf is a legal online writing service established in the year by a group of Master and Ph.D. students who were then studying in UK.
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- Chapter 2. Sociological Research
- Introduction to Sociological Research
- WRITING CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY [Qualitative Research]
- Chapter 3 Methodology
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In chapter 3, "Methodology", you discuss in great detail how you conducted the study, the research design, how you selected the sample and the data collection techniques. In Chapter 3 of your Thesis, you discuss details about the methodology you employed in collecting data for your study.
You should write the methodology of your study as though it were a 'recipe' which can be followed closely by individuals who read what you have written. In short, Chapter 1 describes why the research question is being asked and Chapter 3 describes how the research question is answered. Note that there are several ways of writing Chapter 3 and the following is a suggestion on the sub-sections to include.
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Here, Chapter 3 for qualitative research has been divided into 8 sub-sections. Please check with the requirements specified by your respective institution.
The 'Preamble' sub-section would normally consist of TWO parts. In the first part , you restate the 'problem statement', the 'purpose of the study' the 'research questions' unless your study is based on the grounded theory method and the theoretical framework.
Again you may ask, why should I keep on 'retelling' about the purpose, problem statement, research questions and theoretical framework of the study! You would assume that the reader should know what the study is all about.
Hence, it would be appreciated by future readers if you told them briefly the problem statement, purpose, research questions and the underlying theory of your study so that they understand this chapter.
In the second part of the 'Preamble', you tell the reader the sub-sections in Chapter 3 and how you will address each sub-section. Think of this part as the 'warm up' for the full discussion of your data collection strategy. Excerpt of the 'Preamble' sub-section :. The main objective of this study was to assess the impact of performance-related pay on motivation of employees.
Pay increases or the lack of for employees can have an effect on employee's and the productivity of their work. If the employee feels they are not compensated for their work, they may tend to decrease in being productive in their work Specifically the study sought to answer how might leaders's decision-making styles effect employee performance and how leader's decision-making styles are informed by emotions or feelings This chapter is divided into several section addressing the choice of research design, selection of informants, data collection procedures, pilot-testing, instrumentation and data analysis".
Generally, 'methods' used in qualitative research are more flexible compared to the 'designs' or 'methods' used in quantitative research.
Some argue that in qualitative research, the 'Research Design' sub-section is not essential. However, having this sub-section enables you to tell the reader from the on-set whether your study used an ethnographic, case study, phenomenological, narrative analysis, historical inquiry, grounded theory or the generic qualitative method that does not subscribe to any specific qualitative philosophy.
The strength of the case study method is because it allows for the examination of the phenomenon in depth using various kinds of evidence obtained from interviews with those involved, direct observation of events and analysis of documents and artifacts Yin, Also, the case study was used because the focus of the study is more to describe and explain rather than prediction, and the variable variable studied is note easily unidentifiable or embedded in the phenomenon to be extracted for study Merriam, In addition, the case study allows for empirical inquiry of phenomenon within its real-life context, especially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident Yin, Chapter 3 Methodology.
Irrespective of which qualitative research design you adopted for your study, the three most common data collection techniques are the:. You may have used one or more of these data collection techniques in your study. Excerpt of the 'Data Collection Techniques' sub-section:.
Secondary data sources included documents provided by participants that pertain to the study Interviews were conducted based on questions listed in Interview Guide see Appendix C. However, participants were allowed the freedom to talk about their experiences in a way in which they were comfortable In this sub-section, you give details about how you got your subjects or informants for your study. The issue of sampling can be quite confusing in qualitative research.
Chapter 2. Sociological Research
Students often ask "how many subjects or informants" do I need for my study. Oftentimes, it is a difficult question to answer. Students should avoid applying the sampling principles of quantitative research. The key consideration in sampling in qualitative research is "saturation" and not representativeness and the size of the sample is not statistically determined Neuman, The researcher worked in conjunction with the Head of Department, in choosing participants, based on their level of experience in caring for patients that suffer from dementia as well as their qualifications.
There were 12 potential participants, of whom seven participated in the study. Some of the nurses were not available as they were off duty, off sick, on holiday, while others did not want to participate in the study In-person interviews were conducted and recorded in a quiet, neutral location where the participants were not in danger and there was no intimidation or coercion Langen Chapter 3 Research Design and Methodology.
Some experts suggest that pilot-tests are not important for qualitative research while others suggest it would be useful for novice researchers to do pilot-test. For example, if you are using interviews for the first time, it would advisable for you to conduct interview as a pre-exercise to get used to the type of data collection.
The pilot test will assist the researcher in determining if there are flaws, limitations, or other weaknesses within the interview design and enable the researcher to make necessary revisions prior to the implementation of the study.
However, the informants or participants involved in the pilot-test should similar to the informants involved in the final study.
It has also been suggested that the pilot test can the researcher with the refinement of research questions. A pilot-study was conducted with 3 senior managers and were interviewed at their workplace. The interview was audio-recorded to ensure correct use of the device.
During the exercise, attention was given to body language and non-verbal responses and the manner of asking questions. As the researcher was the main data collection instrument, the pilot-study provided an insight into phenomenon studied, increased experience in interviewing as well as enhanced interpersonal skills. Also errors in interviewing skills were rectified and not repeated in the main study.
You should include the following in this sub-section:.
Introduction to Sociological Research
Throughout the research process, you have interacted with your informants or participants or subjects and there is always the likelihood that you may impact the methodology or findings of the study. Especially in qualitative research, it is difficult for you to distant yourself from the subjects you interact with.
Hence, it is necessary that you state your 'position' which is described as 'reflexivity'. In short, it is a process of continuous self-analysis in which you reflect more deeply on the experiences you encountered when doing the research. For example, if you study involves issues of race, ethnicity or religion, you would be concerned how your race, ethnicity or religion being different from your subjects influence interactions with them.
The nature of qualitative research puts you in the position of having to be close with your subjects and it is reasonable to expect your beliefs, political stance, gender, socioeconomic status, educational background and so forth to influence the research process.
It is critical that you be mindful of your own biases when you interview or observe your subjects. Under the section 'Researcher's Positionality', you state:. Brian Bourke Positionality: Reflecting on the Research Process. The Qualitative Report. How to Article 18, ]. This chapter discussed in detail the research philosophy, strategy and methodology As mentioned earlier, in Chapter 3, you write about the research design, data collection methods, selection of the sample, the pilot test, instrumentation and others.
Academic Phrasebank by Dr. John Morley, The University of Manchester. Excerpt of the 'Preamble' sub-section : "The study examined decision-making styles and its effects on employee performance in the workplace.
For example, why did you choose the case study method or the grounded theory method or the narrative inquiry method. Show how the method you had chosen helped accomplish the goals of the study. Focus only on what you employed and implemented in your study. Discuss in detail the steps you took when using a particular design.
WRITING CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY [Qualitative Research]
For example, if you study used the ethnographic design or method, write as though it were like an 'operators's manual' that you might share with others so they can be assured that someone can replicated your design. Description of your research design needs to have enough detail to eliminate assumptions of the need to ask questions by someone who want to adopt or adapt your research design.
Cite from textbooks and articles on qualitative methods by the greats such as Guba, Lincoln, Creswell, Merriam, Patton, Charmaz and others. However, do not take chunks from these authors but focus on what you need in telling readers about the particular design or method you used or had adapted accordingly.
Excerpt of the Research Design or Method Sub-Section: "The case study method was used in this study because it is well-suited in answering the research questions appropriately and adequately. Discuss where the Interview with your subjects or informants took place. How did you arrange the setting to ensure the level of quiet, intimacy and privacy.
Chapter 3 Methodology
Excerpt of the 'Data Collection Techniques' sub-section: "On-site interviews and observations was the main data collection techniques for the study Tell the reader how you chose the informants for your study - Usually, 'purposive sampling' is used because the informants are available, convenient and most importantly represent characteristics you want to study Silverman, Outline the procedures you adopted for selecting the sample of 10 Managers including justification for the sampling method or sampling procedure; i.
PILOT-TEST Some experts suggest that pilot-tests are not important for qualitative research while others suggest it would be useful for novice researchers to do pilot-test. Example: A pilot-study was conducted with 3 senior managers and were interviewed at their workplace.
Source: Dissertation Guides Workbook - Chapter Capella University, Doing interviews. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
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You should include the following in this sub-section: Explain how you analysed the data collection. Give a step by step narrative description how you conducted the entire analysis of your data. You might start by making a bulleted list in another document, and then narrate that list here in this section It is important for your reader to know what you did with the collected data and that it fits well with your research philosophy, research design and research questions.
There should be enough detail to reduce the likelihood of a reader making assumptions and forcing him or her to ask questions seeking clarification which may cast doubts on the findings. Too much details may also put off the reader from reading this sub-section. Letters of invitation to participate with attached consent forms.