When conducting research, it is very important for the researcher to have a research design or structure before starting the process of data collection and analysis. A research design is important in a research study because it helps the researcher answer the research questions and to meet the objectives set out at the beginning of the research (Kothari, 2006). For this particular study, the research design is expected to answer the question, what is the role played by information users in information security management?
This particular study will involve the use of qualitative data to attempt to answer the research questions. The study will therefore use a descriptive study design. This research design is deemed appropriate for this study because the main aim of the study will be to establish the relationship between information users and information security management. The main reason why descriptive research is carried out is to evaluate and report the current state of affairs as they are without any attempt to influence them in any way (Babbie, 2010). Descriptive research is intended to offer information about the various aspects of the study that may be of interest to policy makers.
The target population of the study will be employees working in corporate organisations. A common goal of researchers carrying out descriptive research is to collect data that is representative of the whole target population. An appropriate sample of 100 employees will be selected using purposive sampling method to participate in this study. Purposive sampling will be used because it will be easy to identify respondents who will be able to give credible information that can be relied upon to make conclusions in the study. This sample is considered appropriate by the researcher considering the limitations of the study in terms of available time and available financial resources to carry out the study (Babbie, 2010).
This research study will use both primary and secondary data sources. Primary data can be defined as data that will be collected for the first time to be used in this particular research (Flick, Kardorff & Steinke, 2004). For this study, the researcher will use questionnaires to help in the collection of primary data. The questionnaires will be structured based on the objectives of the study in order to help the researcher in answering the research questions. The research questionnaire will contain both close ended, open ended and likert scale type questions which will be intended to get the most comprehensive answers from the respondents. Questionnaires will be administered and filled by the researcher as a way of ensuring that data collected is accurate and usable for this particular study and therefore no time will be allocated for the collection of filled questionnaires at a later date.
For this particular study, the researcher will design the research questionnaire in such a way that it reflects the general trend in literature on information security management as presented in the review including the prior findings of other researchers in the same field of study. In designing the survey questionnaire, the researcher will ensure that it is short and precise in order to ensure that only a short time is taken on each respondent during the process of data collection. Reliability and validity of the data collected will be guaranteed by ensuring high precision and minimal errors in data entry as this will done by the researcher himself. The researcher will then make sure that the questionnaires are tested for reliability using Cronbach reliability analysis method. This will be done to ensure that the data collected will be appropriate for use in this study and will help the researcher to answer the research questions and draw valid conclusions (Kothari, 2006).
Secondary data is referred to data that has been collected and used for another purpose other than this particular study (Flick et al, 2004). This is data that was intended for another purpose but the researcher finds its importance in this study. For the purposes of this research study, secondary data will be collected from websites of the various corporations where the respondents will be drawn. Data will also be collected from various publications of the information security industry and internal documents of various corporations and regulatory authorities. Secondary data is advantageous to use because it removes the task of collecting it from the field and therefore will make work easier for the researcher.
After the collection of data from available sources, it is important for the researcher to manipulate and present this data in am manner that enables him to make the required conclusions. It is also important to present this data in the most appropriate way to ensure easy access and understanding by the users (Flick et al., 2004). Data will be collected using questionnaires and then entered into the Statistical Package for social sciences (SPSS) and MS Spreadsheets for analysis using descriptive statistics. This method will be used because it is generally used if a determination of the effect of an independent variable on a dependent variable is required. The researcher will then adopt clear and appropriate ways of presenting the analysed information to the users. Tables, pie charts and graphs will be used for the presentation of data. Data from secondary sources will be analysed qualitatively and the results presented in the form of a discussion.
The research design adopted in this study will help answer the research questions in a satisfactory manner and provide conclusions that can be relied upon by the users of information presented. It will also help further the knowledge available on information security management.
Babbie, E. R. (2010). The practice of Social Research. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Flick, U., Kardorff, E. & Steinke, I. (2004). A Companion to Qualitative Research. London, United Kingdom: Sage Publications.
Kothari, C. R. (2006). Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques. New Delhi: New Age International Publishers.