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Data Research Methodology

Research Approach, Design and Philosophy

Introduction to Research Methodology

Research can be defined as systematic process of collecting and examining the data in order to understand the subject and its related phenomenon. Research Methodology chapter of the dissertation writing attempts to provide a structure through which research can be conducted in proper manner. It aims to develop the right path for researcher so that he does not get distracted from the subject (Copper and Schindler, 2006). This section provides deep in-sight into the type of methods applied in the current research.

Additionally, it also justifies the logic behind using selecting that particular technique. To ensure that information gathered is rational and entire research is of high quality, researcher is required to pay adequate attention to issues such as applicability, suitability, validity, relevancy as well as limitations of the tools and methods adopted (Kasi, 2009). As the prime aim of research is to rationally and scientifically seek the solution for the research questions, so with a view to achieve this aim, researcher needs to follow series of steps and process. Therefore it is essential for the researcher to have sufficient knowledge about different tools, techniques and methods that aid in carrying out the research (Thorpe and, 2008).

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Research Aims and Objectives

Aim: The main aim of this research study is to investigate the affect of motivational factors on performance of employee.
Objectives: In order to accomplish this aim, following objectives have been formulated:

Research questions

With an intention to carry out the inclusive research and to seek suitable solution to the research problem related with the employee motivation, research questions have been developed which are as mentioned below:

Research Philosophy

Research philosophy is termed as area which provides valuable insight concerning the different ways in which required data should be collected, measured and utilized. With a view to conduct the research systematically and in orderly manner, it is imperative to first study the pattern of investigation by applying the well-suited research philosophy (Philosophy of research, 2008). It attempts to influence the belief, views and perspective of researcher about the reality and thus make him able to derive valid and accurate conclusions. Primarily, there are two types of research philosophies available with the researchers such as positivism and Interpretivism (Research Philosophies – Importance and Relevance, 2009). According to the positivism research philosophy, idea, views and values of researchers are not considered as valuable, while the quantitative data is deemed to be appropriate to test the hypothesis and thus to make conclusions. The basic assumption behind this philosophy is that everything can be proved by using evidences. Large sample size is required in this philosophy and the data gathered is also quantitative in nature (White and McBurney, 2009). The other philosophy is of Interpretivism which argues that it is not possible to completely understand the realities of the world and its associated intricacies in order to make the generalized laws and theories. Thus, this philosophy does not support established facts and theories. Its central purpose is to examine the reasons behind the particular actions and behavior of the individual and also to understand the realities of world from their view point. This type of philosophy is highly contextual and thus cannot be generalized (Saunders and, 2007).

Research Approach

A research can be carried by using either of two approaches i.e. deductive or inductive. Deductive approach moves from general to specific concept. Thus it is also referred as top-down approach. It follows a preset structure and is associated with positivism research philosophy and quantitative type (Ryan and, 2012). Under this approach, hypothesis or idea is developed first from the existing theory and then tested so as to examine the results and confirm the theory, after that if required, necessary modifications are done. On the other side of continuum lies the inductive approach, which is totally opposite of deductive. This research approach is related with qualitative research type and follows the Interpretivism philosophy. Under inductive approach, pertinent data is collected and then it is analyzed to draw the conclusions (Cavaye, 2008). Further on the basis of analysis, model or theory is developed. Unlike deductive, this research approach is flexible and allows researchers to make necessary changes or modifications during the process. Thus, inductive approach moves from specific to more generalized concept.

Research Design

Saunders and, (2007) has defined research design as conceptual structure on the basis of which research would be conducted. It is also referred as the general plan outlining how research questions will be answered i.e. will be used to collect, measure and analyze the data. (Saunders and, 2007). Thus, it can be said that research design encompasses four main aspects; Research questions, type of information required, methods for collecting the data and data analysis techniques. The prime purpose of this is to offset the chances of mis-interpretation of data and thus to direct entire research process on right track (Jolley and Mitchell, 2012). Hence research design assists in determining the relevancy and suitability of the facts gathered in order to test the hypothesis and to seek solution to the research problem. There are variety of research designs namely descriptive, exploratory, casual, case study, surveys and experiments (Flick, 2011).

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Research type

Research type can be qualitative, quantitative or both. Quantitative research type is applied when data collected is in form of numeric values or figures and involves scientific and orderly examination of phenomenon by using computational, statistical and mathematical techniques. The purpose of this research type is to develop and apply mathematical model, theories and hypothesis tests in order to draw inferences. It uses constricted and more specific questions to collect the information from respondents. It thus requires large sample size so as to seek more statistically correct outcomes (Clark, 2002). The other type of research is qualitative which first investigate the issue or subject matter, understand the related phenomenon and then finds the answer to the research questions. This type of research requires more detailed study about the human behavior and thus attempts to examine the reasons that govern such behavior. The type of information that is collected in qualitative research is in form of objects, images or words and the method of collecting this data is interviews, questionnaire, observation etc. It further allows developing new theories, laws and ideas (Bougie and Sekaran, 2010).

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Data Collection

In this dissertation, data has been gathered by using both primary and secondary sources. These both methods have been used so that aims and objectives of the research can be effectively accomplished. Many a times, adequate data is available and is also easily accessible, only related information is required t be extracted from it. While at certain times the research study demands current fact, figures and trends which arise the need to collate the information through primary sources (Saunders and,2007). However, both secondary and primary methods are not entirely accurate and reliable, moreover, these method have some associated benefits and weakness, hence using combination of both the sources is more appropriate.

Primary data: It implies to the data that is collected for the first time by the researcher, it can be gathered by both qualitative and quantitative methods. Surveys, interviews, questionnaire, schedules are the various primary sources. Primary sources provide flexibility and openness which does not necessarily exists in secondary sources. With the help of this source, researcher is able to gain deep understanding about the problem and issues by getting more detailed information from the respondents by asking range of questions. It also aids in recognizing the views, beliefs and perception of participants regarding the research problem and further helps in examining what are the reasons behind such perspective (Harrison and Reilly, 2011). The most commonly used technique to collect the primary data is the interview. Interviews are basically of three types; structured, semi-structured and lastly unstructured. Under structured interview, researcher prepares a set of pre-determined questions which are asked in specific order. No other question is asked beyond that set. In an unstructured interview, no questions are pre-decided, so the researcher asks the questions spontaneously in his own way. While under semi-structured interview, there is limited number of questions which further allows researcher to ask other related questions from the respondents during the interview (Scandura and Williams, 2000). Apart from interview method, questionnaire is also a useful tool to collect the primary data. The effectiveness of information collected through primary sources depends on the ability and competency of researcher to extract the useful information from participants. For this research purpose, semi-structured interview with the employees will be conducted. A sample size of 5 employees from different levels of organizations has been selected.

Secondary sources: Secondary sources refer to the data already collected by some or other researchers, individual, agency or organization. It is time & cost efficient technique to gather the pertinent information. It provides researcher a clear picture of current position of research and what else is required to be done for accumulating more information that certainly is not available in literary sources. However, exploring the vast literature may prove to be challenging and tedious, furthermore some time secondary data is not easily available and accessible. As well, views of different scholars may be contradicted which likely to cause confusion and hence affect the quality of research (Primary and secondary sources, 2012). For the current study, various secondary sources have been used which are as explained below;

Sampling Technique

Time and cost constraints obstruct the collection of data from the large population. Taking into account this limitation, a sample is selected from such vast population. This process of drawing sample is referred as sampling. Sampling makes it easy and convenient for the researcher to carry out the research in proper way and to find useful solution to the research questions (Bell and Bryman, 2003). Sampling techniques has been grouped under two categories; probabilistic and non-probabilistic. In probabilistic sampling technique, all items in the population have equivalent chances of being selected in the sample. The first step in probabilistic sampling is to determine the type of population from which researcher intends to derive the information (Glenn and Gordon, 2005). Once the population is identified, the second step is to select the sample by employing a suitable technique. The probabilistic sampling methods are of four types; simple random, cluster, stratified and systematic sampling technique.

Data Analysis

Once the information is collected by using various primary and secondary, internal and external sources, the data so collected is analyzed with a view to achieve the desired aims and objectives of the research. Data analysis is regarded as the most critical process in the research. It provides a well-structured method which further assists in evaluating the information collected from different sources. It also provides a conceptual basis through which suitable solution can be found to the research problem (Morris, 2007). The data can be analyzed by two methods; qualitative or quantitative method of analysis. Under qualitative, thematic analysis is widely-accepted method for analyzing the data in which various related themes are prepared on the basis of conclusions are drawn. Additionally, there is quantitative method also under which data is analyzed by using statistical and graphical representation. Apart from this two methods, quantitative analysis techniques also uses other techniques such as regression, correlation, MS excel and SPSS method. These method aims to provide mathematically correct analysis of data (Eriksson and Kovalainen, 2008).

Validity and Reliability

Authenticity is regarded as the utmost important concern that a researcher should maintain at every stage of research. At times, information is not easily accessible while at certain times required data is not available. In addition to it, researcher may also lack required knowledge and skills to carry out the research. These all factors tend to affect the authenticity of the research study which further may result in reduced credibility and reliability. Hence, it is essential for the researcher to use valid and reliable information as well as the methods to ensure the accuracy and credibility of the research (Onwuegbuzie and Johnson, 2004). In this research paper, due concern and care has been taken while collecting, evaluating and analyzing the information.

Ethical Considerations

While carrying out research study, it is required by the researcher to comply with various legal, ethical, political and social norms (Reason and Bradbury, 2001). In the present study also some ethical issues are also taken in considerations which are as follows;

Debriefing: All the respondents were informed about the nature, purpose and the use of this research study beforehand. All the participants were made conversant with each and every details of the study.

Permission: Approval from all the respondents as well as the organization was taken prior to conducting the research. Further permission is also required to be taken when researcher intends to use the personal information of participants.

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Limitations refer to the constraints, obstacles and barriers that hinder the researcher to carry out the study in proper manner (Temple and Young, 2004). While carrying out the present research, various barriers were encountered which are as mentioned below;

Small sample size: Though the sample which has been selected provided the valuable insight into the research subject and represented the entire population well, but probably it was not of enough size as desired by this research. Time was the major a constraint because of which interviews was conducted with the limited number of employees.

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