Pilot study research dissertation

What kind of interpersonal dynamics exist? How do the students, co-operating teachers, faculty mem- bers, and pupils act? What activities occur in each setting? What topics are discussed, and what information, opinions, and beliefs are exchanged among the participants? Chapters 6 and 7 pro- vide examples of questionnaire construction as well as types of measurements. Please express your level of agreement. Agree strongly 2.

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Agree 3. Disagree 4. Disagree strongly 5. No opinion. Placement of the theory in qualitative research In qualitative research the use of theory is less clear than in quantitative design because there is no standard terminology or rules about placement. A theory may emerge during the data collection and analysis phase of the research or be used relatively late in the research process as a basis for comparison with other theories. The placement of theory in qualitative research tends to be towards the end of the study. Therefore, the end product of qualitative research will be throwing up hunches and hypotheses which can be tested more rigorously by further quantitative research.

Creswell identifies some principles to observe about using a theory in the qualitative approach, these are: a employ it in a manner consistent with the type of qualitative design, b use it inductively so that it does not become something to test, but rather to develop and be shaped through the process of research, c create a visual model of the theory as it emerges, and d if used at the end of the study, compare and contrast it with other theories. Comparing quantitative and qualitative research From the above discussion you might have noticed a number of contrasting features of quantitative and qualitative research.

The difference between quan- titative research and qualitative research is rather like the difference between counting the shape and types of design of a sample of green houses as against living in them and feeling the environment. The difference between each one may be somehow quantifiable but such measurements will not convey the importance and the special impact of some over others. Bryman provides a useful list of differences between the two research strategies. Table 4. Naturally, the focal point of any research is its outcome.

Although Table 4. Approaches to data collection The approach to be adopted for conducting the research, depends on the nature of the investigation and the type of data and information that are required and available. For the student reading this book, there are two approaches to data collection, namely, fieldwork primary data collection and desk study secondary data collection , both of which are described below. Here, fieldwork can be associated with three practical approaches: 1 The survey approach.

Note to students: Other approaches such as observational and experimental studies are also useful to know, but they are of very limited use to the level of students reading this book. The survey approach Surveys are used to gather data from a relatively large number of respondents within a limited time frame. It is thus concerned with a generalised result when data is abstracted from a particular sample or population see Sampling, page There are two types of surveys available: the descriptive survey and the analytical survey.

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What is happening? The counting can be later analysed to compare or illustrate reality and trends. In this sense, you may conclude that site managers are not aware of how important motivation can be to improve site productivity. This relationship is shown in Figure 4. In the example in Figure 4.

In other words, the attitude of respondents is dependent upon who the respondents are. For example, in analysing the results of accidents on site, you may find a drop, over a period of time, in the number of accidents that the contractors have recorded in their books.


  • Appropriateness of the Research Design;
  • What is a dissertation??
  • Any testing is better than no testing.
  • WRITING CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY [Quantitative Research].
  • This article is a part of the guide:.

The answers to these types of questions, although they can be assumed by the researcher and they are acceptable at the level of students reading this book, may not be totally adequate. As the nature of the case study focuses on one aspect of a problem, the conclusion drawn will not be generalised but, rather, related to one particular event.

This is not to say that the case study approach is of limited value. On the contrary, it provides an in-depth analysis of a specific problem. There are three types of case study designs: 1 The descriptive case study which is similar to the concept of the descrip- tive survey i. It explains causality and tries to show linkages among the objects of the study. It asks why things happen the way they do.

It also suggests that a single cause can have a specific effect.

1. Define: What is a dissertation?

In other words, the researcher col- lects facts and studies the relationship of one set of facts to another, with the hope of finding some causal relationship between them. Note to students: If the sample is large, then the relationship can be tested statistically. An example of an explanatory case study is when you have a hunch related to a hypothesis or a theory that the larger the project, the more difficult it becomes to control the construction operations and, subsequently, the project will overrun on time.

As mentioned earlier, analytical research means that you have identified an element that causes, affects or has an influence on another element. This is basic to the logic of a hypothesis Bouma and Atkinson, In Figure 4. However, time overrun is not determined solely by the size of the project.

Projects can also overrun on time due to the selection of an inappropriate pro- curement method, client variation orders, client inexperience, environmental factors such as weather, and industrial factors such as strikes. Each of these causes will have a greater or lesser effect depending on its strength.

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Therefore, you need to construct a theoretical or a conceptual framework. Sometimes a model is used instead of, or interchangeably with, a theoretical framework. Using the example above, the model in Figure 4. Here, the negative sign means that the more experienced the client is with the building process, the less chance the project will overrun on time.

Another possible model would be that shown in Figure 4. The variables in Figure 4. Here, procurement method is working as an intervening variable. An intervening variable is a process that helps to explain linkages between the dependent and independent variables and can cause the relationship between them to change.

Bouma and Atkinson , p. It is often a useful discipline to diagram more than you plan to study in order to show where the proposed research fits in the larger frame of reference. For example, how and why individuals within the organisation become leading managers can be studied by a survey together with a case study. The survey can examine the lead- ership pattern of organisations, showing that people with decisive characteristics are more likely to become leaders. In contrast, the case study might examine how particular leaders conduct their public relations to achieve their goal.

Problem-solving approach action research With the survey and the case study approach, the researcher tends not to affect or interfere with that which is being studied. This type of research is more attractive to practitioners, industrialists and stu- dents from the professional backgrounds who have identified a problem dur- ing the course of their work and wish to investigate and propose a change to improve the situation. Examples of problem-solving research include changing organisation policy towards promotion, designing a new information flow system, recommending a new system for measuring the quality management of the organisation and the like see Proposal 3 in Appendix 1, as an example.

It has to be stressed that whatever idea is to be recommended it must be original and practical. Moreover, the dissertation project must be structured and written as an academic piece of research and not as a project report. Secondary data can be stored either in a statistical or descriptive format.

Secondary infor- mation has some distinctive advantages over primary data collection effort. Stewart and Kamins , p. In general, it is much less expensive to use secondary data than it is to conduct a primary research investigation. This is true even when there are costs associated with obtaining the secondary data.

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When answers to questions are required quickly, the only practical alternative is to consult secondary sources. If stringent budget and time constraints are imposed on primary research, secondary research may provide higher-quality with a new research project. Secondary data also may provide a useful comparative tool. New data may be compared to exist- ing data for purpose of examining differences or trends.

These statistics are available in all public libraries and in most university libraries. The sources that publish this official information include institutions such as: 1 British Research Establishment. Generally speaking, the above institutions assemble the data in two ways, namely through registration or self-survey.

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