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Organizational Research [Pick the date] Methods

02/25/2013

[Type the document subtitle] | COGNUS

TABLE OF CONTENTS
ORGANIZATIONAL RESEARCH METHODS: AN INTRODUCTION ................................... 1 TASK 1: RESEARCH PHILOSOPHIES ....................................................................................... 1 Positivism.................................................................................................................................... 1 Interpretivism .............................................................................................................................. 3 Opted research philosophy for proposed project .................................................................... 4 TASK 2: DATA COLLECTION METHOD .................................................................................. 4 Primary Data ............................................................................................................................... 5 Selecting the best fit approach .................................................................................................... 5 Advantages of Mixed Research Approach ................................................................................. 7 TASK 3: ETHICAL ISSUES AND ORGANIZATIONAL RESEARCH ..................................... 8 TASK 4: FITZGERALD AND DOPSON SAMPLE SELECTION .............................................. 9 CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................................. 10 REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................. 11

TABLE OF FIGURES
Figure 1 Positivism and Interpretivism philosophies...................................................................... 3 Figure 2 Qualitative Research VS. Quantitative Research ............................................................. 6

ORGANIZATIONAL RESEARCH METHODS: AN INTRODUCTION


The current proposed study will provide a framework of various practices that will help researcher in conducting an effective and efficient research. This report will be divided into four parts. The first part will include some research philosophies, which aim to identify the general fundamental problem that is connected to the reality and values of the organization. The second part will motivate the researcher to opt for the best data collection technique that can be used to collect information and some advantages will be provided for the chosen method. In the third part, a general discussion will be made on the ethical issues that are faced by the researchers while doing research. Finally, with the help of Fitzgerald and Dopson design, stress will be made on the care required during selecting any sample to ensure a comprehensive picture of the research. The chosen research topic for the proposed study is Organizational Culture at Marks and Spencer.

TASK 1: RESEARCH PHILOSOPHIES


Research philosophy can be defined as the process of developing a general background, nature and knowledge required for the anticipated research. It provides an idea and outlines that information requires plus the methods needed for the related topic (Pittaway, 2005). The aim of the research in this context is to design pattern that answers all the questions and at the same time the research conducted must be hypothesis driven research. For research philosophy, there are two research tradition used. The two traditions are Positivism and Interpretivism. The adaptation of the methods depends on the aim of the research (Greenberg, 2001). Positivism Positivism philosophy assumes that the world and the organizations in it are objective. The positivist researchers generally seek to identify and generate facts and findings in terms of relationship between various variables. In order to test and verify hypothesis, they generally focus on the facts quantitative methods (Heshusis and Ballard, 2012). The main challenge here is to asses all the essential and relevant information to verify the relationship that is consistent in the organizations like, conditions. Based on careful sampling, efforts are made to establish venerability of findings. This research philosophy provides a validity and objectivity to the organizational research that is being conducted. The technique is based on the precise method and also supports the research with a statistical and objective data (Desrop, 2006). There is a lack 1

of in-depth understanding in this method. The positivist researchers look for the cause of various relationships and seek to discover the effects of this relationship and at the same time prefer to choose official statistics, interviews, and some questionnaires that are close ended (Brewerton and Millward, 2001).

Figure 1 Positivism and Interpretivism philosophies (Source: Jeffrey, 2012) Interpretivism The Interpretivism research seeks to understand the organizational members in regards to a particular situation. The researchers of Interpretivism seek to find out the knowledge and facts 3

related to individual interpretations. Thus, in this type of research, there is no need of objective knowledge as is entirely based on individuals interpretations. There are a number of Interpretivism perspectives, which mainly focus on the subjective meaning of how individual understands, apprehends and set meaning for the benefit of the organization. The Interpretivism research is a social phenomenon and seeks to understand the social aspects including subjective knowledge. The main of the research is to evaluate that how organizations have emerged, and constitute to the subjective meaning of the individual in a group and society. The Interpretivism researcher looks towards individual in the society (Carrigan, 2005). Opted research philosophy for proposed project Since, Marks and Spencer is one of the biggest retail store situated in UK, it is rationale to use a philosophy that seeks to provide relevant information verifying the relationship constants in the organization. For example, to identify the culture existing in the organization, there is a need of large sample size targeted to collect appropriate information, which could be collected through positivism philosophy. This method of collecting significant information puts prominence on true facts, creates a hypothesis and finally at the end makes relevant analysis through the collected information. Data here could be collected through interviews, and questionnaires (Neuhauser, 2007). Further, it will allow testing the hypothesis and therefore by proving the hypothesis as right and wrong, the result of the research will be very clear and there will be no ambiguity present.

TASK 2: DATA COLLECTION METHOD


Data collection methods are the tools that aim to identify the techniques used to collect data. It is a process that prepares a researcher to collect data. The main purpose here is to collect and obtain correct information related to topic. May it be any research, generally there are two issue related with the research. The two fractions are categorized as Quality assurance and Quality Control (Brinks and et. al, 2006). For the intention to collect significant data, many ways such as surveying, interviewing, and interviews, telephones, mail etc. Mainly there are two method used to accumulate information. These are Primary data and Secondary Data. Primary data are those data which are collected for the first time, whereas secondary data are those which already has been collected by

someone else and based on these earlier findings, conclusion to the research problem are drawn (Jarvis, 2010). Primary Data The information based on primary data is conducted for the actual location of the research. In organizations to collect information, this method aims to identify the performance appraisal of employees, ethical, growth, behavior of members and level of motivation in the organization. Primary data is usually collected for a specific intention and is very expensive as it is been collected for the first time. To collect primary data, there are many methods used (Metwally, 2012). Some of these are as follows: Observations: Observations aim to sort the behavior of individuals towards a specific situation or event that seek to identify the worth of that behavior. Experiment: Experiment involves accumulating the primary data and then manipulating that data with various independent variables such as, change in price and then manipulating this price with change in sales (Coughlan and Coghlan, 2002). Focus Group: Focus group method of data collection pays attention on a particular group and is mostly used when exploratory research is being conducted. Survey Method: This method is often used to collect and gather information in a structure or an unstructured format.(Brewerton, and Millward, 2001). To best identify the culture existing in the organization it is superior to use primary data collection method to collect information. This information could be collected using both qualitative and quantities approaches. All above mentioned sourced are best applicable methods to attain accurate and significant information about the culture that exists in the organization. Selecting the best fit approach Mainly there are three approaches that can be used to collect primary data. The approaches are qualitative research, quantitative research and mixed research method.

Figure 2 Qualitative Research VS. Quantitative Research (Source: Broussine, 2008) Qualitative Research Method: Qualitative Research method uses an exploratory approach to collect the data and is used in the case when one doesnt know they expect, in order to define the problem and develop the approach to the specific problem. Mostly, it is used to go much deeper in the issues of interest and at the same time explore nuances, which are related to the problem. (Davidrajuh and Deng, 2000). Quantitative Research Method: Quantitative Research is conducted for the purpose of obtaining data based on numbers. It tries to quantify the research problem and then seek to understand the gathered data is prevalent to the projected result. The data in it are collected by surveys, audits, and click streams. Generally the responses that are accumulated are structured and are objective in nature (Marcella and et. al, 2003). Mixed Research Method: Mixed method is that approach wherein for the purpose of collecting information both qualitative and quantitative methods are used and it targets the below mentioned points: It focuses on research questions for real-life contextual understandings, multilevel and cultural influences.

It employs meticulous quantitative research with various magnitudes of constructs and accurate qualitative research that explores the meaning of the research being projected. Multiple methods are utilized in it in order to investigate on the matter related. It aims to investigate with the boundaries of philosophical and theoretical aspects (Kothari, 2009). In this organizational culture study, the best technique that could be select for primary research is mixed method approach, as in this to evaluate accurate and real finding, the researcher is required to perform both survey and interview. The mixed method approach will assist the investigator to gather valuable and updated data through interview plus survey. The interview of respondents will facilitate collection of qualitative information, as in this view point of several individuals will be observed by the researcher. Further, survey will be supportable in gathering data in a numerical manner, as through this the investigator will be able to identify responses or perception of participants in percentage form. Hence, for the evaluation of qualitative data, thematic analysis will be used, whereas for measuring quantitative information statistical methods will be utilized by the researcher. In the entire process of collecting data, there are certain things that will guide the researcher in attaining valuable and relevant information. These are as follow: Determine the best time at which the information can be gathered. Identification of the best fit location used to conduct interviews and surveys in the organization. Behaving ethically while collecting data (Guidelines for Secondary Data Analysis, 2012). Advantages of Mixed Research Approach Following are some benefits of using mixed research approach: It provides better inferences It can answer the research questions, which the other methods cannot It provides the chances for presenting a superior diversity of different views The approach can also position study in a transformative structure This approach is easy to report and describe

TASK 3: ETHICAL ISSUES AND ORGANIZATIONAL RESEARCH


While conducting any research, it is the responsibility of all researchers to perform the research in such a manner that it shows a sense of dignity, safety and rights of participants. Investigation in the organizations has their own goals and aims to evaluate the overall performance of the organization. Within the organization ethics plays a vital role. When any researcher enters the organization, they are expected to set ethical standards of the organization. Ethical issues basically deal with what is right and what is wrong (Stat Trek, 2013). Focus on ethics is must in the overall process conducting research as well as collecting information from varied sources. Without considering ethical practices, it would be critical for the researcher to gain concern of varied participants. Moreover, respondents are willing to provide data only if they are sure that its confidentiality and anonymity will be maintain by the researcher. It is therefore vital to understand the ethical aspects that are being studied and understand how various researches are influencing the organizational practices. While conducting a research it is necessary to ensure that no harm is being done to the participants involved and also make sure that the participants who helped in concluding a research should have assisted in a correct manner. They must be provided with correct information as per the requirement. Further, the researcher should not waste time and money in collecting irrelevant data (Fisher, 2005). While conducting a research, no physical or emotional harm must be caused to the participants of the research. When reporting the final result, it must be presented accurately. Without putting the observation in an appropriated contest, the observation must not be discussed (Crossan and Guatto, 2012). At Marks and Spencer, at the time of research, for an ethical phase, it is vital for a researcher to explain the aim and purpose of conducting this research to all the respondents. It is the duty of the researcher to maintain privacy and secrecy of all respondents answering research questions. At the same time, a right must be provided to all respondents to withdraw themselves from being a part of the research and at any time they can deny from answering any question. The information gathered at the end must be analyzed without any biasness. Further, in the proposed researcher, the researcher is bound to follow all ethical norms that are followed in the organization. At the time of conducting interviews and surveys all the researchers must not ask any unethical questions that are against the organizational values and

the questions must not inculcate any negative feeling in the mind of the employees. It is a fact that is ethical values are followed; the whole research can prove to be a great failure.

TASK 4: FITZGERALD AND DOPSON SAMPLE SELECTION


Conducting a research using statistical analysis is first dependent on thoughtful selection and various designed sampling methods. Non-random samplings are easy and cost effective; however, they are not mush useful in case of inferential statistics (Fitgerald and Dopson, 2009). On the other hand, random sampling provides an accurate and efficient result for the research conducted. Under random sampling, the research is highly based on the statistical tools. There are many sampling techniques used for a specific situation in an organization and at the same time is critical to the effective research (Lyberg and Kasprzyk, n.d). For a researcher, it is not always possible to analyze and evaluate every single persons views in the organization. Randomly, the researcher has to choose some people with an object to conduct research and make a conclusion. However, this survey must be carried out with full accuracy and must be based on small population. While conducting a research it is vital for the research to calculate this sample size prior (Guidelines for Secondary Data Analysis, 2012). To an extent the random sampling depends on the method used to collect data. The final result obtained is accurate when it is used devoid of any self-centeredness and self-interest. Random sampling is one of the most effective tools to collect data and generalize the obtained data to reach to a solution. According to Fitzgerald and Dopson, for a comprehensive and representative picture of the organizational culture, random sampling method is the most appropriate method as in this method all the members being a part of research has an equal, independent, and sufficient change of being selected. This method is best suitable when a research wants to conduct research without any biasness. For example, if there are 1000 employees working at Marks and Spencer and the researcher wish to collect sample only through 50 employees, he would first number all the employees from 1 to 1000, from which randomly a list of 50 members will be randomly selected. The individuals selected randomly, will be the one assigned to be a part of research (Rod, 2009). In addition to the above methods, the research can also choose purposive sampling; under which samples can be selected form some specific group of member having required knowledge necessary to identify organizational culture at Marks and Spencer. 9

CONCLUSION
From the above proposed study, it can be concluded that research methodology plays a crucial role in conducting organizational research. The projected research on the organization is largely based on various research philosophies, methods of data collection. Further, conducting the research on the basis of ethical value is vital. The research conducted must not be based on the any of the ethical issue and in a very appropriate manner be able to make a difference between right and wrong. For the research, the sample must be chosen depending on the type of research and the population must be selected randomly without any biasness.

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REFERENCES
Books, Journals and Articles Brewerton, M. P. and Millward, J. L., 2001. Organizational Research Methods: A Guide for Students and Researchers. SAGE. Brinks and et. al., 2006. Fundamentals Of Research Methodology For Health-Care Professionals. 2nd ed. Juta and Company Ltd. Broussine, M. and Broussine. P. M., 2008. Creative Methods in Organizational Research. SAGE. Buchanan, D.A. and Bryman, A., 2009. The SAGE handbook of organizational research methods. SAGE publications. Carrigan, M., 2005. Ethics And International Marketing: Research Background And Challenges. Emerald Group Publishing. Collins, S. R. and Cordon,C., 1997. Survey methodology issues in manufacturing strategy and practice research. International Journal of Operations & Production Management. 17(7). pp.697 706. Coughlan, P. and Coghlan, V., 2002. Action research for operations management. International Journal of Operations & Production Management. 2(2). pp.220 24. Crossan, M. and Guatto, T., 2012. Organizational learning research profile. Journal of Organizational Change Management. 9(1). pp.107 112. Crotts, C. J. and et. al., 2008. A survey method for identifying key drivers of guest delight. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. 20(4). pp.462 470. Davidrajuh. R. and Deng, Z., 2000. An autonomous data collection system for virtual manufacturing system. International Journal of Agile Management Systems. 2(1). pp.7 15. Desrop, A., 2006. Vacation Decision Making. CABI. Greenberg, J., 2001. Studying organizational justice cross-culturally: fundamental challenges. International Journal of Conflict Management.12(4). pp.365 375. Heshusis, L. and Ballard, K., 2012. From Positivism to Interpretivism and Beyond: Tales of Transformation in Educational and Social. Teachers College Press. Jarvis, M., 2010. Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods. Reference Reviews. 24(1). pp.26 27. Jeffrey, C., 2012. Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Account. Emerald Group Publishing. 11

Kothari, R. C., 2009. Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques. 2nd ed. New Age International. Kumar, R., 2011. Research Methodology. APH Publishing. Marcella. R. and et. al., 2003. Data collection using electronically assisted interviews in a roadshow: A methodological evaluation. Journal of Documentation. 59(2). pp.143 167. Metwally, E., 2012. Survey Research Methods. Journal of Organizational Change Management. 25(1). pp.186 188. Neuhauser, L. K., 2007. Survey research in finance. International Journal of Managerial Finance. 3(1). pp.5 10. Pittaway, L., 2005. Philosophies in entrepreneurship: a focus on economic theories. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research. 11(3). pp.201 221. Rod, M., 2009. Marketing: philosophy of science and epistobabble warfare. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal. 12(2). pp.120 129. Sapsford, R. and Jupp, V., 2006. Data Collection and Analysis. SAGE. Stawarski, C. and Phillips, P. P., 2012. Data Collection: Planning for and Collecting All Types of Data. John Wiley & Sons. Online Fisher, E.K., 2005. Some Methods of Data Collection. [Online] Available through: <http://nnlm.gov/evaluation/workshops/measuring_your_impact/DataCollectionHandout. pdf>. [Accessed on 25 February 2013]. Fitgerald, L. and Dopson, S., 2009. Comparative Case Study Design: Their Utility and Development in Organizational research. SAGE. Guidelines for Secondary Data Analysis., 2012. [Online]. Available through: <http://www.msvu.ca/en/home/research/researchethics/policies/secondarydata.aspx>. [Accessed on 25th February 2013]. Lyberg. And Kasprzyk., n.d. Quantitative, Positivist Research Methodsin Information Systems. [Online] Available through: <http://dstraub.cis.gsu.edu/quant/4datacoll.asp>. [Accessed on 25 February 2013]. Organizational Research Methods., 2013. [Online] <http://orm.sagepub.com/>. [Accessed on 25 February 2013]. Stat Available through:

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