Methodology Area of interest in Western journals

Chapter Two: Methodology

2.1  Introduction

According to Kumar (2008), systematic way to solve the problems of the research and accomplishment of research objectives is known as research methodology and each research work is different requiring different research methods (Kothari, 2008). The scope and purpose of the research itself, determines the methods to be used in the particular research (Kumar, 2008). This chapter will illustrate (a) research strategy, (b) research design, (c) research approach, (d) data type, (e) difficulties encountered, (f) limitations to research methodology, and possible solutions (g) data collection methods, (h) data analysis methods, and (i) conclusion.  Moreover, justification to the chosen research methodology is simultaneously accompanied with the each chosen method of research methodology. 

2.2  Research Strategy

Research strategy could be defined as the generalized approach to investigate the research for finding out the answers to the research question. There are generally different types of research strategies available that include survey, action research, literature analysis, experiment, case study, ethnography, and longitude analysis (Saunders, 2003).

(1)   Experiment        

Experiment is considered as a classical approach for the investigation in the field of natural science (Saunders, 2003).                                    

(2)   Survey

The survey strategy could give more control to the overall process of the research. Using this type of approach, a researcher could easily be able to collect a huge amount of data (Saunders, 2003).

(3)   Action Research

The purpose of action research strategy is to gain clear understanding for undertaking the change by the researcher and then subsequently implying that knowledge to other areas (Saunders, 2003). 

(4)   Literature Analysis

An analysis of the literature refers to the procedure of making examination of the research topic carefully in the light of the previous studies (Saunders, 2003). This helps in viewing the broad perspective of the research topics.

(5)   Case Study

Case study strategy has an ability to gain a rich understanding of the main area of the research by investigating a particular case. This effectively helps in gaining answer to the research question (Saunders, 2003). 

(6)   Ethnography

The purpose behind this time consuming method, is to make interpretation of the social world to the research subject (Saunders, 2003).  

(7)    Longitude Analysis

The process of the change and development is studied by adopting the longitude research strategy. The same could be referred as studying the events and people over a period (Saunders, 2003). 

The research strategy chosen for the purpose of this research is the analysis of literature and longitude analysis. This is so because 200 western journals over past 20 years will be analyzed and summarized in order to gain understanding of the key areas of interest in Chinese project management (Saunders, 2003). The reason behind choosing these strategies is that it will give better and in-depth analysis of the research topic for achieving research objectives. Get highest quality  dissertation writing service 

2.3  Research Purpose

According to Zikmund (2000), there are different forms of research based on the research activities. Thus, Yin (1994) stated that research design could be divided into three categories based on research aims, objectives and activities. Three types of research purpose are as follows: exploratory, descriptive, and explanatory.

(1)   Exploratory Research

According to Zikmund (2000), the fundamental research that is carried out during the early process of research assists in identifying the research issues. The exploratory research is undertaken when no significant information is easily available regarding research problem. 

(2)   Descriptive Research

According to Vanderstoep and Johnston (2009), descriptive research is used to show the accurate profile of the person, incidence, and situations. Thus, descriptive research is used to demonstrate the mindset as well as behavioural approaches observed during research.

(3)   Explanatory Research 

According to Zikmund (2000), explanatory research is carried out through categorizing the causal relationship among the variables by creating association between variables to be illustrated.   

The research purpose of this study is explanatory research because research is to carry out according to the classification of relationships among variables. However, there are no hypotheses and variables in the study but identifying the key areas of interest in western journals in the project management of China can be carried out using explanatory research purpose. Through using explanatory purpose of research, the variables of the study could be defined as the characteristics of project management in China and western journals.

2.4  Research Approach

Four types of research approaches include quantitative research approach, qualitative research approach, pragmatic research approach, and participatory research approach.

(1)   Quantitative Research Approach

Quantitative research approach refers to the collection and conversion of information into numeric data to represent the available information in the statistical form. This type of approach is helpful in gaining accurate results and findings of the sample (Ary et al., 2009).

(2)   Qualitative Research Approach

The researchers use qualitative research approach in their study requiring an in-depth discovery of the purpose and significance of the opposed beliefs, attitudes and behaviours of a specific population. The benefits of this approach are that the results so obtained from the sample could easily be generalized to the whole population (Ary et al., 2009).

(3)   Pragmatic Research Approach

The integration and collaboration of both the above discussed research approaches i.e. quantitative and qualitative approach is referred as to pragmatic or mixed approach. The significant benefit gained by the researcher in adopting pragmatic approach is that the results and findings are more certain and consistent as the same is led and complemented by both approaches (Ary et al., 2009).

(4)   Participatory Research Approach

Participatory approach is usually used by those researchers who wish to promote a political agenda through their study. The main benefit of this approach is that it helps the susceptible people having no power in the society (Ary et al., 2009).

The research approach chosen for this study is qualitative research approach, as it requires an in-depth analysis and understanding of the key interest areas of the Chinese project management by western journals. The reason behind the selected approach is that it will help in gaining a deep understanding of the different opinions, views and approaches adopted by the Chinese and western authors in highlighting characteristics of Chinese project management in western journals. 

2.5  Types of Data

Data that is used in research can broadly be classified into two types: quantitative and qualitative data.

(1)   Qualitative Data

Qualitative data can be defined as data that contains characters rather than numeric values. Thus, qualitative data is used to collect data that are related to illustrating meaning, rather than drawing the statistical inferences such as case studies and interviews (Punch& Punch, 2005).

(2)   Quantitative Data

Quantitative data is type of data that focuses on numbers and numerical values and frequencies rather than meaning and experiences such as experiments, questionnaires, and psychometrics test (Creswell, 2009).   

For this study, the selected type of data is qualitative data because this research is based on review of literature and content analysis out of which the result will be gathered to analyze.

2.6  Difficulties Encountered

Various difficulties were encountered during the phases of selection, and implementation of an appropriate methodology for this research work. It was observed that most of the western journals do not have confidence on the electronic means that their material would be misused. Hence, the same resulted in much efforts and time consumption for gathering data from 200 western journals due to lack of availability of published data. On the other hand, problem in conceptualizing the framework for the methodology was also quite a significant research problem. Similarly, data analysis was also quite difficult activity, as it requires an in-depth analysis of the significant characteristics and attributes of Chinese project management with the western perspectives. 

2.7  Limitations of Research Methodology and Possible Solution

As content analysis and longitude analysis has been identified as research strategy of the paper, it is significant to consider issues of reliability and validity in relation to imposing limitations to research study.  The reliability of the content analysis and longitude analysis refer to stability or consistency in the data over the period (Babbie, 2004). Since, content and longitude analysis reaches to uncertain conclusions; it creates lack of reliability (Krippendorff, 2004) while lack of reliability and consistency in the result content and longitude analysis places the limitation to find the concurrent result. In this paper, the content of 200 western journals is to be analyzed for over 20 years, to extract the concurrent and valid result. To overcome the identified limitation to the research methodology, each study will be evaluated and analyzed using systematic and structured procedures. In this regard, chronological list will be effective, as it will show each journal in the table along with their author names, publishing year, title, and key points of the journals. The chronological list will be classified into characteristics of project management practice in China, thus, journals will appear in the specified list of characteristics. This classification of chronological list will further help to have an overview of different key areas in the western journals in the project management practice in China. 

2.8  Data Collection Method

Data collection methods refer to the procedures that engage preparation and collection of information for conducting the study. There are generally two types of data collection methods that include primary data and secondary data.

(1)   Primary Data Collection

The collection of data through the questionnaire and interviews is known as primary data collection method. On the other hand, the questionnaires are also classified as the open ended questionnaire and close ended questionnaire. Both the primary data collection methods are of great significance to the researcher (Stead, 2001).

For this study, the secondary data will be used as primary data that are 200 western journals to identify the key areas of interest in the project management practice in China. Moreover, the content gathered in the form of key points of the studies will be analyzed to reach the conclusion of the paper.

(2)   Secondary Data Collection

Secondary data refers to already existing data while secondary data collection method includes collection of information from different websites, authorized books, online journals, documents, archival records and electronic books (Stead, 2001).

In this research, 200 western journals will be gathered using the online database sources like JSTOR, EBSCOHOST and Google books.  The key words like“Chinese project management’,‘Foreign investors’ and‘characteristics of Chinese project management’ will be used to search the relevant articles from the journal.

2.9  Data Analysis Method

According to Adèr (2008), data analysis methods are broadly classified into three namely statistical analysis, descriptive analysis and narrative analysis.

(1)   Statistical Analysis

Statistical analysis is used when numerical data is to be analyzed to find the result (Lewis-Beck, 1995).

(2)   Descriptive Analysis

Descriptive analysis is appropriate when qualitative data is available to analyze the data such as content analysis, event analysis and comparison of the studies or case studies (Ramsay& Silverman, 2002).

(3)   Narrative Analysis

Narrative analysis is appropriate when there is many qualitative data to be analyzed.

(4)    Integrant Data Analysis

Integrant analysis refers to the analysis of data in such a manner that it reflects the link or connection among all the variables that are required to be discussed.  

For this study, a combination of descriptive analysis and integrant analysis is the most appropriate analysis method because the qualitative data is to be gathered and its content will be analyzed. Content analysis refers to the methodology in the social science that studies the content of communication such as books, journals, websites, conference materials and other government records (Weber, 1990) . In this paper, the content of 200 western journals or books as content of communication will analyzed and compared to identify the key areas of interest in western journals in project management practice of China.  Moreover, in order to calculate the frequency of occurrence of each characteristics of Chinese project management in the western journals during the specific intervals of 5 years in approximately 30 years, all the data will be sorted out accordingly in the form of a table highlighting the publishing period and frequency of characteristics. Afterwards, the same arranged data will be plotted in one single graph comprised of eight curves each for one specific characteristic, illustrating the fluctuations in the occurrence of articles focusing that characteristic in it during specific time intervals starting from 1980-1985.   

2.10          Conclusion

The chapter presented the selection of the methodology for this research. The analysis of literature and longitude analysis have been found as the most appropriate research strategy, as it will help in gaining a broad investigation of the relevant articles in the western journals. The explanatory research has been found as the most appropriate purpose of the research, as it will assist in explaining the casual relationship among the different characteristics of Chinese project management and key interest areas of foreign investors. The research approach so selected is qualitative research approach that will be supportive in analyzing the different views, opinions and beliefs of Chinese and western authors regarding Chinese project management. In addition, secondary data will be used as primary data, as 200 journals will be analyzed to extract the result and findings of the study. The data collection methods would help in understanding the different perspectives of different author in various western journals. The nature and type of data used for this study will be qualitative because the purpose of the research is to highlight the qualitative characteristics of Chinese project management. 

The next chapter is literature review, main content and critical analysis of 200 western journals. The chapter contains chronological list of the sources used for the literature review and content analysis, and followed by the evaluation and comparison of each journals.

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