Data Collection Methods and Sampling Designs Strategies in Research

Data collection methods

There are two methods of carrying out research qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative research methods usually require the researcher to have a general thought of how he will conduct his research in a qualitative manner. These methods normally provide a good description of all the major purposes of the qualitative research, the researcher’s role, the different stages that will be involved in the research, and lastly the data analysis method. The main focus will be on the phenomenological method of qualitative research (Baker & Stern, 1992).

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The qualitative methods of research usually give results that are well detailed and very rich in content that provides new concepts and ideas that will work to inform your program. The qualitative research methods will provide the researcher with information on how people and also on what people think about the bar and their service but it will fail to provide the information on how many people feel and think in that particular way. If one researcher wants to carry out research using the qualitative method, the following guidelines have to be used; the researcher will have to select a particular group of people who have similar characteristics in common, and thereafter the researcher will have to convene a discussion by the use of either focus groups, interviews or observation of the behavior of an individual through such interviews such as the so-called in-home interviews. The researcher should make sure that the discussion he will start will not have a specific structure so that all the participating people will be free to pick the discussion from any angle and that no specific response will be required for specific questions. He should also have in mind that an interview guide can be used to ensure that the right questions are directed to the right people during the progression of the interview (Creswell, 1998). These questions being talked about here should be asked according to the response of the participant and care should be taken not to ask the questions in a predetermined manner or rather order.

The results from qualitative research should be presented as percentages; they should also not be subjected to an analysis of statistics or even be projected to the wider population. This is merely because those people participating in this kind of research usually do not make a sample that has been randomly selected and the given samples are usually relatively small and not all the participants are normally asked the same questions. And no matter how much qualitative research one or rather a researcher will conduct, he will still not be sure of how exactly the participants feel or if they are experiencing similar things and at this point is where a researcher will have the preference of using quantitative research.

There are those tools that are normally in common use in qualitative market research and these tools are the focus groups and those interviews carried out on an individual basis and are called the in-depth interviews. Some of the examples of these include; pairs of friendships from which people who claim to be best friends are picked to have a discussion on the subjects that are more sensitive and the other example is observations made on behaviors and how people interact in the natural environment of the targeted participants (Dick, 2005).

This research method has got its own pros and cons which will be mentioned hereafter. The pros of the qualitative research method include; this method usually explores various topics in a more detailed manner and depth compared to the counterpart method which is the quantitative research method. Also, this method has been proven by many to be more affordable that is it is cheaper than the quantitative method because not so many participants will be recruited, and also it is not as extensive as the quantitative one. Lastly, this method provides room for flexibility as far as timing and location are concerned. The cons of this method include; this many can never quantify the exact answer of your and participants and also it can not be able to generalize the researcher’s findings to his broader target group or generally the public.

The interviews that will be used in the design will be carried out in a sample of the market. The interviews will serve to give out information concerning their experiences about productivity while in their day-to-day operations. Some studies will be conducted using single-stage designs and others like this one will be conducted using the two-stage design. When using the two-stage design, the contextualization that will be given in the first stage will be very much helpful (Jasper, 1994).

The survey will provide a specific frame from which sampling will be done for the semi-structured interviews that will be done on the customers and employees.

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The given questionnaires will have the contacts so that the used sample of the sample employees and some selected customers can be contacted in case more information will be needed. The quantitative data that will be gotten from the phase of the questionnaire survey will now be used to get through to the qualitative sample. The questionnaire surveys have always been made with the above additional purpose in mind.

In the cases where one researcher will have to make attachments of qualitative sub samples to samples that will be statistically derived will lead to another mixed method of designs in qualitative research methods (George, 2000). Such mixed methods of designs will most of the time benefit the qualitative researchers in that they give them the chance to have a selection of the specific cases from which they will be able to draw upon information that will be contextual that will also enable them to put their hypothesis under test on large samples that will be statistically be represented.

Sampling designs strategies in qualitative research.

There are many different qualitative sampling designs that will be used at the different stages of the research or still they will be used for the different purposes of the research. There are those questions that the researchers should constantly be asking themselves which will serve to give relevant information on the sampling strategy design that the researcher would have chosen to use. Usually, these questions are the same both in qualitative research and in quantitative research. Some of these questions are as follows:

  • What will be the objectives of this particular research?
  • What population will be targeted by the research?
  • Who should not be included in the chosen sample?
  • And who will be included in the sample chosen?
  • What will be the budget?
  • What will be the time period for reporting?
  • How many researchers who are qualified will be involved in the project?
  • What techniques of sampling will be employed?
  • What methods of data collection will be used in the research?
  • How will the analysis of data take place?
  • What will be the sampling criteria?
  • What will be the length of the interview?
  • And what will be the sample size?
  • Which sampling frame will be used?
  • And how will the recruitment of participants be done?

All the above questions are interdependent however most of the questions will need a discussion that will be very detailed and this will be with regard to the environment of the qualitative research.

It will be very crucial for the researcher to give a clear definition of the objectives of the research. The time that will be spent making clarification with the client will be a time that will be well spent (Kendy, 19976). Most of the time, in qualitative research, the objectives of the project might be refined as the research will keep on progressing.

Sometimes the available resources will try to undermine the progress of a researcher’s project. This should be prevented to happen by considering the available human resources to the project at hand and also the nature of the method of data collection.

The technique of sampling employed will be the most crucial element of the sampling strategy. Qualitative research on how to improve productivity for the bar and maintain customers will use the non-probability technique of sampling that will not involve the drawing of statistical inference. The purpose technique can also be used in this particular research project. With this technique, the criteria used in the sampling of employees and the customers will be more important than the number of people to be interviewed. The basis for selection that might be used when using this technique will be the different characteristics of individuals (Klein, 2003). This will be chosen mainly to show the breadth of the population sample.

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The length of the interview that is the qualitative interview will have a great impact on the qualitative sampling design strategy and the final decision of the given sample size. For instance, longer interviews will provide detailed data than shorter interviews. With this in mind, a decision may be taken on whether to carry out longer or shorter interviews.

The sampling size should also be put in mind. This will basically depend on the homogeneous or the heterogeneous nature of the population to be sampled and the requirements of the methods of the data collection that will be employed in this research.

Sampling frame

The sampling frame is a list of elements from which the sample is actually drawn. In our case, it is a correct and precise list of population members only. It enables us to know what the target population as per our study is. We are able to initially define from where our respondents will come from in terms of geography we have a definite direction for our target is the United Kingdom only.

This becomes more difficult when we try to identify our parameters of interest. Who forms the criteria of female employees in the banking, insurance, and IT sector? Does the targeted population include interns, temporary sales and promotional, personnel, cleaning, and support services? We need to define the population in order to fit our objectives.

The challenge of including senior managers in the sample will be assessed and the possibility of having a more complex sampling frame to include this unique group may be given relevance by the use of multiple sampling frame.

An online questionnaire while being cost effective has a tendency to lock out some important respondents. The use of email addresses and mailing lists has to be looked into carefully for there has yet to be a sufficient sampling frame that contains email addresses.

A well designed sampling frame will also prevent the bias of concentrating research and cities where most banks insurance companies and IT companies are located as opposed to small towns in rural areas that may provide a different result to the survey.

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Why use of triangulation

Triangulation enables the combination of several qualitative methods combined qualitative and quantitative methods in our survey. By combining the two methods, we gain a stronger research design that will have more valid and reliable findings.

Each of the methods has inadequacies as well as advantages. We intend to start with an exploratory study that will be qualitative. This will enable us to get a clear idea of the problem that we may meet during the study.

An experience survey where a person experienced in the area of study is interviewed in – depth is an example of the value of qualitative exploratory research. The results of this interview along with collected secondary data will lead us to create a definite hypothesis and provide an insight into how we will design quantitative research instruments.

While qualitative research is conducted among large samples and is able to provide an overview of an area patterns and inconsistencies that come about from this research will be revealed and can be investigated in more details with qualitative research methods.

Quantitative research strives to control bias by attempting precise measurements of behavior, knowledge, opinions and attitudes that answer questions such as how many, when and who. In order for this facts, instances and phenomena to be understood by the researcher in an objective way.

Qualitative approach strives to understand the perspective of a participant on a situation. It is based on the research immersing him/her on the phenomenon and gathering detailed data that describes situation and events as it seeks to develop understanding. This is a balance between logic and stories with emphasis on exploration and understanding that will be a strong base for a wider and more generalized quantitative survey.

Qualitative methods do not enjoy endorsement from upper managers because they regard it as too subjective and susceptible to human error and bias when collecting and analyzing. Quantitative research props up qualitative research by providing answers that enable expensive and crucial decisions to be made. While qualitative techniques provides the insight that will guide the making of these decisions.

How we gained access to respondents for our online questionnaire.

Having considered the possibility of setting of questionnaire without receiving relevant responses. We presented a formal letter to the institutions in question giving details on our survey goals. Included in the letter was our website address which gave a more detailed explanation as along with information on the researcher’s portfolio.

A mailing list of our respondents is available in each bank. Insurance company or IT company and this was used to relay our individual email letter to each of the respondent. Additionally we were able to identify a social networking site for bankers and promote the goals of our survey.

What sources of response rate is expected

Data collection strategies

Qualitative strategies of data collection are very important and useful at the same time. These strategies can at times be independent and at other times they can be combined with the quantitative methods (Richardson, 1999). Some of the qualitative strategies will include the following:

Semi-structured interviews

These kinds of interviews usually have some kind of questions that are in a way very specific about issues of the project being researched on. For instance the semi-structured interview will have its own set of questions concerning the type of meals they will like to have in the bar.. These interviews though allow the interviewee to give very detailed answers to the questions.

Focus groups

These groups will be seeking to have a full understanding of the attitudes. This will be achieved by carrying out a series of group discussions that will be guided by one researcher leading the discussion and the other one taking the notes. Five or even six questions can selected to act as the guideline for an open ended discussion. The main goal of the discussion will be to achieve a consensus as a group (Robson, 2000). At the end of the discussion the facilitator and the person who was doing the recording will do a summary in written form of the major points that would have been discussed in response to every question that was given

Observations

Observation will be made on the activities of the project and this will be guided by the semi-structured and the structured protocols that have been specifically designed to monitor if the key items that will be discussed in the interviews will be verified. That is if the measures that will be proposed in the interview will be implemented on the owner of the bar.

Secondary Research

Secondary research consists of documents and sources that contain data and results from the primary research conducted. It involves the making of reports, and exists in the form of books, and journals. Secondary research may include the publications of the primary research results.

The methods used for conducting the research and survey of this paper were mostly through the internet. Online libraries, online books, and articles were consulted for gathering the required and essential information. These days everything is done via internet, from the transactions of businesses to the imparting of education. The internet is the most commonly sought and easiest method of accessing latest possible information these days. Gone are the days when people went around looking for good libraries in city centres, and searching for the books of their interests for carrying out researches. This is the 21st century, and digital media is the latest technology being used for researching.

The greatest advantage of using the internet to access information is that it possesses ample amount of information al at once, and there is no physical hassle involved in searching matter. Rather, everything is easily accessible all at the same place, and there is no fatigue after writing papers. All the material required by an individual, regarding any subject whatsoever, can be obtained from the internet. And all of it is authentic. There are also some trash websites which do not contain authentic information, but if one knows of such cites to avoid, then a problem does not arise. This is why the only source picked for this paper was also the internet, and its various offerings and sources of information.

Online Libraries

There are thousands of libraries online, which one can access through the internet and world wide web. There are various websites which offer material from libraries related to the required subjects of one’s interest. These libraries would provide with written material which one can consult and rewrite in one’s own words, for ease (“Online Libraries”, 2008).

Online Books

Online books are an authentic source of information also, as they provide all latest and necessary information required subject-wise. Once again the “search engines” of the internet are consulted, once the names of the books required are typed, one can access the material from them to be written in the papers they are producing. You can seek out electronic texts by typing in the subject of your concern (“Online Books”, 2008).

The significance of online books lies in the fact that a person does not have to go to visit libraries physically anymore, and the availability of such written matter help save time and energy of individuals. The books that are accessed online may not be present as a whole, rather, their abstracts may only be given at times. Sometimes you need to subscribe to various sites for access to the complete books. But mostly, a substantial amount of information can be gathered from the reviews or abstracts given. The previews given are at times only of a few selected pages from the book, and some of the pages are missing from in between. It is just like reading the book on a screen, with inclusion of even the contents and the index and glossary, etc. page numbers are also given included as in the case of traditional text books.

The information collected for this paper was also from these online books, which are also called e books. They are basically not in the hard copy form, but are present on the monitor for access of reading.

Articles

The internet contains trillions of articles and there are various directories that provide with the sources one needs. The articles are easily accessed through the search engines one has chosen for research.

Reference

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Charles, K. (1990). Methods used in Research. Social Science, 29(10), 1160-1178.

Creswell, J. (1998). Guidelines to choosing the best research design. Phenomenology, 34, 234-245.

Dick, H. (2005). Tips to Writing good research projects. Methods of data collection, 23, 246-258.

Hopwood, K. (2004). Methods of data collection. Geography Journal, 38(2), 247-253.

Jasper, A. (1994). Phenomenological issues for project researchers. Phenomenological research method, 4 , 409-414.

George, H. (2000). Qualitative research design illustrated. Journal of Qualitative Methods, 34, 246-257.

Joan, Y. (2004). Procedures in data analysis. Journal of Social Sciences, 18, 265-273.

Johnson, K. (2000). Commonly used research methods. Boston: St. Martin’s

Kendy, B. (1996). Best research methodology. Research Journal, 20, 456-460.

Klein, A. (2003). What is phenomenology? New York: SUoNY Press.

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Richard, S. (2002). Methods used in social research. Oxford: OUP.

Richardson, K. (1999). Qualitative research methods. Educational Research review, 70, 50-78.

Robson, C. (2000). The Handbook of Research Methodology. Oxford: Blackwell.

Roselyn, P. (2000). Best approaches to research. The art of research, 18, 123-134.

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