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09/01/2011

Sample Thesis Chapter 3 : Methodology


Chapter 3

METHODS AND PROCEDURES

  

This chapter shall discuss the research methods available for the study and what is applicable for it to use. Likewise the chapter shall present how the research will be implemented and how to come up with pertinent findings.

Method of Research to be Used

There are three kinds of research methods, correlational, experimental and descriptive. (Walliman and Baiche, 2001) The correlational kind of research method is used due to ethical problems with experiments. Moreover, it is also used due to practical problems with experiments. Moreover, inferring causality from correlation not actually impossible, but very difficult. This mode of study is widely applicable, cheap, and usually ethical. Nonetheless, there exist some "third variable" issues and measurement problems. The correlational research refers to studies in which the purpose is to discover relationships between variables through the use of correlational statistics (r). The square of a correlation coefficient yields the explained variance (r-squared). A correlational relationship between two variables is occasionally the result of an outside source, so we have to be careful and remember that correlation does not necessarily tell us about cause and effect. If a strong relationship is found between two variables, using an experimental approach can test causality. 

On the other hand, the experimental method is the only method that can be used to establish cause-and-effect relationships. (Creswell, 1994) That is, it is the only one that can be used to explain the bases of behavior and mental processes. In this method, the subjects are split into two (or more) groups. One group, called the experimental group gets the treatment that the researcher believes will cause something to happen (this treatment is formally called the independent variable). The experimental and control groups are compared on some variable that is presumed to reflect the effects of the treatment, or outcome. This is formally referred to as the dependent variable. 

And lastly, the descriptive research method uses observation and surveys. In this method, it is possible that the study would be cheap and quick. It could also suggest unanticipated hypotheses. Nonetheless, it would be very hard to rule out alternative explanations and especially infer causations. Thus, this approach was used for this study.  This descriptive type of research utilized questionnaires and observations in the study.  To illustrate the descriptive type of research, Creswell (1994) will guide the researcher when he stated: Descriptive method of research is to gather information about the present existing condition.  The purpose of employing this method is to describe the nature of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study and to explore the cause/s of particular phenomena. The researcher opted to use this kind of research considering the desire of the researcher to obtain first hand data from the respondents so as to formulate rational and sound conclusions and recommendations for the study. 

The research described in this document is based solely on qualitativeresearch methods. This permitted a flexible and iterative approach. During data gathering the choice and design of methods were constantly modified, based on ongoing analysis. This allowed investigation of important new issues and questions as they arise, and allowed the investigators to drop unproductive areas of research from the original research plan.

The study intended to investigate the benefits of Intranets within an organization, particularly in Mosscare Housing LTD. Specifically, the study sought to describe the characteristics of the employees in terms of age and departmental affiliation; identify the challenges and opportunities institution face as a result of Intranet technology; assess the behavior and attitudes of the employees regarding the use of Intranet within the organizations; recognize the adaptation method of MC to Intranets; and identify the factors affecting intranet usage. 

The primary source of data came from a researcher-made survey questionnaire, which will be given to the respondents. The respondents of this study were randomly selected employees at Mosscare. 

The secondary sources of data came from published articles from social science journals, theses and related studies on modern technologies, online applications, and network technologies. 

For this research design, the researcher gathered data, collate published studies from different local and foreign universities and articles from social science journals, distribute sampling questionnaires; arranged interviews; conducted surveys; and made a content analysis of the collected documentary and verbal material. Afterwards, the researcher summarized all the information, made a conclusion based on the null hypotheses posited and provided insightful recommendations on the issues dealing with the development of intranets. 

 

Respondents of the Study

The general population for this study was composed of Mosscare employees, numbering twenty-five (25) respondents. The respondents were randomly selected.

 

Instruments to be Used

To determine the impact of intranets in working institutions, the researcher will prepare a survey questionnaire, which will be given to the intended respondents. 

 

Part 1 of the survey asked for the characteristics of the employees in terms of gender and affiliated department.

 

Part 2 determined the behavior and attitudes of the employees with the use of the intranet technology.

 

Part 3 identified the challenges and opportunities of the technology of intranets as perceived by the respondents.

 

Validation of the Instrument

For validation purposes, the researcher initially submitted a survey questionnaire and after approval, the survey was given to three respondents. After the survey questionnaire has been answered, the researcher asked the respondents for any suggestions or any necessary corrections to ensure further improvement and validity of the instrument.  The researcher again examined the content of the survey questionnaire to find out the reliability of the instrument. The researchers excluded irrelevant questions and changed words that were deemed difficult by the respondents, to much simpler terms.

 

Administration of the Instrument

The revised instrument was consequently administered to the respondents of the study, which were chosen through random sampling. The researcher will exclude the three respondents who were be initially used for the validation of the instrument.  The researcher also tallied, scored and tabulated all the relevant data in the survey questionnaire.

 

Limitations Encountered

 

In the course of the collection of the data required by this study, the researcher bumped into several slight inconveniences. Initially, the administration of the research instrument took several ounces of sweat than expected because of the slightly stubborn personnel department, which was apparently too busy to accommodate the researcher. Nonetheless, they have provided the researcher with the approval to conduct the research, this is without assistance though. This means that the researcher has to interact personally to the respondents.

 

In addition, the researcher also realized that the population is slightly biased. Apparently, this is because they perceive that they would be sacked by the company if ever they say anything bad about their system. It was fortunate for the researcher that the greater majority of the population realized that they wouldn’t be affected by any breach of information since the researcher assured them that it would only be used for academic purposes. Besides, placing their names on the questionnaire was not among the option providing them their much-needed anonymity.

 

Another problem was the schedule changes that inevitably hounded the research process. This has been a slight inconvenience for the researcher considering that he has provided a considerable leeway for the research process. Moreover, the researcher as well encountered several hassles in collating the secondary data. The secondary data was hard to collate due to a notable number of important articles. Choosing the right literature and studies has consumed a bulk of the researcher’s schedule. Nonetheless, the study has evidently completed containing relevant information about the technology of intranets.

 

Statistical Treatment of Data

When all the survey questionnaire have been collected, the researcher used statistical methods to analyze all the data.

 

The researcher statistically treated the data on Part 1, characteristics of the employees in terms of gender and departmental affiliation.

 

The statistical formulae used in the second and third part of the survey questionnaire are the following:

1.     Percentage – to determine the magnitude of the responses to the questionnaire.

            n

% = -------- x 100        ;           n – number of responses

            N                                 N – total number of respondents

 

2.     Weighted Mean

 

            f1x1 + f2x2  + f3x3 + f4x4  + f5x5

x = ---------------------------------------------  ;

                        xt

 

where:            f – weight given to each response

                        x – number of responses

                                   xt – total number of responses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

 

Christensen, Robert. (1996) Intranet: Misspelling… or Megatrend? Atlanta Computer Currents, May.

 

Creswell, J.W. (1994) Research design. Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.

 

Gareiss, Robin. "Intranet, Without the Internet." Data Communications, 25, no. 5 (April 1996): 39-40.

 

Sauders, Mark, Philip Lewis, and Dr Adrian Thornhill. (1997) Research Methods for Business Students. Pitman Publishing

 

Sekaran, Uma. (2000) Research Methods For Business. John Wiley & Sons, Inc

 

Walliman, Nicholas and Bousmaha Baiche. (2001) Your research project. SAGE Publications

 

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