The Expanded Use of Research in the Workplace
Nowadays, we live in a society where innovation and information predominantly valued due to the continuous knowledge and skill based competition. There is an essential role of all professional and academic institutions and that is to promote research that support economic growth and development while protecting environment. Different types of research may vary according to the needs of the researcher until they draw a strong data that will provide findings and conclusions.
According to University Research Council of Nipissing University, Research is broadly defined as any original and systematic investigation undertaken in order to increase knowledge and understanding and to establish facts and principles. Research can also be defined also as the systematic investigation of a problem, issue or question which increases knowledge and understanding of one field of specialization. It encompasses the creation of ideas and generation of knowledge that lead to new and substantial improved insights and/or the development of new materials, devices, products and processes. Research should produce significant results and good analysis that creates theories, hypotheses and benefits every intellectual attempt to analyze facts and phenomena. This search for individual facts or data requires an open-ended question and data draws together through experiments, methodologies and surveys. Research should be able to clearly state the way a term, word or phrase used in the study. Tables and graphs are used to include clarity to the presentations of the results and tables are summarized to simplify in order to integrate it into the discussion. Although the goal is to secure the best data obtainable through the use of the most refined technique available, there is a need to point out frankly the limitations in sources and procedures in order for the data to be more reliable and accurate. Research can also include systematic identification, location, and analysis of documents containing information related to the research problems. These documents gathered provides findings and conclusions of the past investigations which may relate to the researcher’s findings and conclusions. The research methodology is very important because it presents the methods of the study, instruments to be used, procedures in the preparation and administration of the instruments and the treatment of data. The participation of respondents in the study serves as one of the most significant sources of data in research. The respondents and the different instruments to be used should be clearly explained and presented. Research presents findings and discussions, the presentation of data and analysis are integrated with the interpretation and discussion. Also, avoidance of opinions or any discussion that is out of the data content is greatly emphasized. In any research conducted there are highlights of the important findings presented meticulously. The researcher may also include some open thinking in the recommendation part as long as it shows relevance to the problems and findings.
There are three types of research such as quantitative, qualitative and mixed research. Quantitative research refers to an inquiry into an identified problem, based on testing a theory, measured with numbers, and analyzed using statistical techniques. The basic structure of quantitative research are Variables which is something that takes on different values or categories and the opposite of it are constants, something that cannot be different, such as a single value or category of a variable (Johnson 2007). The researcher who conducts quantitative research method remains distant and independent of what is being researched and the research should be value free which means the values of the researcher do not interfere with, or become part of, the research. The goal of quantitative research is to produce generalizations that allow the researcher to predict, explain, and understand some phenomenon
Qualitative research refers to the inquiry that has the goal of understanding a social or human problem from various perspectives. In qualitative methods of research, the researcher considers the process of investigation of individuals; the researcher interacts with those he studies and actively works to reduce the distance between the researcher and those being researched. Qualitative research method aims to discover patterns or theories that give explanation to a phenomenon of interest. The data collected for qualitative research method should come from field notes, one to one/focus group interviews and content/historical analysis, thus qualitative method well suited for studying social progress and phenomena. However qualitative method is weak since interview is widely used that makes the reliability low because study it appears to be subjective. Researcher immersed in a particular place or setting for the purpose of gathering detailed data. Qualitative method is less interested in variables, have extended accounts of feelings and details are acquired through experience of the respondents. Doesn’t matter how many talked about each themes as long as there are presentation of the set of ideas, patterns, practices which were conversed in interviews. Success of attaining good data and information in qualitative method highly depends on logical ordering of the interview guide which can be in conversational or chronological order. During interview the first set of questions should be easy and less sensitive, and then similar topics must be put together. Open-ended questions can also contribute in strengthening the study. Reliability and validity are conceptualized by qualitative researchers as trustworthiness; rigor and quality in qualitative paradigm, through this association the manner to achieve validity and reliability of a research get affected. For qualitative researchers to eliminate bias and increase truthfulness of the intention about some social phenomenon they usually use triangulation (Denzin 1978). Triangulation is a validity procedure where researchers investigate for gathering among multiple and different sources of information to form themes to better understand a topic by studying it simultaneously.
Quantitative research method allows the researcher to acquaint him/herself with the problem or concept to be studied, and possibly generate hypotheses to be tested (Golafshani 2003). Glesne & Peshkin authors of Becoming qualitative researches: An introduction said that the positivist or scientific theory, leads us to observe the world as made up of observable, measurable facts (cited in Golafshani 2003). All qualitative researchers search for clarification of social implication; however some use qualitative methods to complement or enhance interpretation of numerical data, thus the study would become a mixed research. Quantitative and qualitative inquiry represents two reasonable ways to examine leadership; Everet and Louis (1981) clarify the statement that “inquiry from the outside”, often implemented through quantitative studies and “inquiry from the inside” through qualitative studies (cited in Ospina 2004). Researchers perceive that qualitative research is an inductive approach to build up theories that must be experienced deductively by the help of quantitative models. Also Qualitative method is an approach to inquiry that stands on its own and best allows a researcher to attain ‘a glimpse of the world’ (Ospina 2004). Mixed research is a common type of research in which quantitative and qualitative research methods and techniques are mixed in one research study. The researcher may conducts quantitative experiment and after the experiment conduct an interview (qualitative) with the participants to see how they viewed the experiment and to see if they agreed with the results. The main goal for researcher who conducts mixed research is to follow the fundamental principle of mixed research. According to the principle of mixed research, the researcher should mix quantitative and qualitative research methods and procedures in a procedure that the resulting mixture or combination has complementary strengths and non-overlapping weaknesses (Johnson 2007). According to Cristian Mihai Adomnitei, Minister of Education, Research and Youth, Romania, Based on business perspective, many countries are competing to attract successful businesses and industries which emphasize the significance of research and innovation in economic and social development. Businesses realized that they can not rely solely on their own resources but they need to work in partnership and develop technologies. Research outcomes can provide additional knowledge, can maintain or change programs or services, means for addressing the needs for a particular program and services and most importantly contribute to continuous policy development. According to the University of New South Wales, institutions which provide services strongly emphasize evaluation and quality improvement. Evaluation refers to the process of judging the value of an intervention by systematically gathering information to make more informed decisions. Attention has been directed toward the decision-making process, this has been characterized in several ways, however basically the process entails the following steps (1) recognizing problem or opportunity (2) exploring alternative courses of action (3) evaluation of alternatives (4) choosing of a course of action and implementation (5) assessing of the results of the decision (Cox III 2007). Many decision makers believed that there should be no overly emphasis on the relevance, accuracy and economical information in decision making process. The process of decision making also involves making forecasts of future events due to the competition pressures. The importance of research in business lies importantly in evaluation and improvement of existing policies, structure for improving the quality and efficiency of the business. Research in terms of business decision making includes examination of business strategies, company policies, products and services offered to determine if there would be a need for change. Every decisions have an impact that may lead to substantial harm to numerous or large number of people. Research is very helpful since it gives a decision maker useful rules or guidelines in quality and utility assessment of evidence gathered. However, managers and administrators should not use invalid and unreliable evidences simply because it is easily available.
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