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Lecture 01 & 02 (Research Basics).ppt

  2. What is Research? • Can be diverse • General definition is “finding answers to questions in an organized and logical and systematic fashion”
  3. How to Search for Truth/Answer? • 1) tradition or custom • 2) authority • 3) personal experience • 4) deductive reasoning • 5) scientific inquiry (research)
  4. Nature of Research • Systematic – ordered structure of inquiry • Logical – process to evaluate conclusions drawn • Empirical - collection of data (facts, experience, etc.) on which to base decisions • Reductive – individual events (data) are used to establish general relationships • Replicable – process is recorded so findings and procedures can be tested again
  5. Induction and Deduction
  6. • Induction is a process of establishing a general proposition (hypothesis) based on observed fact. • To induce is to draw conclusion from one (or more) particular fact. The conclusion explains the facts.
  7. HOWEVER, please remember the conclusion is only a hypothesis. It might be true, it might be not. Cooper & Schindler (2001) put a clear explanation on this. According to Cooper & Schindler (2001) “The inductive conclusion is an inferential jump beyond the evidence presented”. (p.35) To confirm the conclusion, we have to test the hypothesis – Deduction process
  8. Deduction is a process of arriving conclusion by logical generalization of a known fact (Sekaran, 2006). Example: Our past experiences and the previous studies have shown that, there is a strong relationship between sales and promotion. Meaning that, a well execute promotion will increase sales (this is the ‘known fact’ or hypothesis) It involves hypothesis testing!!!
  9. Basic Scientific Method • Identify the problem – central to beginning the method of actually solving the problem • Formulate the hypothesis – outcome statement to test • Develop the plan of research – what do you need to do to test this hypothesis? (Methodology, participants, data gathering, analysis) • Collecting and analyzing the data • Interpreting the results and forming conclusions-does the evidence support the hypothesis
  10. Basic Research Plan
  11. Basic Principles of Research Design Four main features of research design, which are distinct, but closely related Ontology: • How you, the researcher, view the world and the assumptions that you make about the nature of the world and of reality Epistemology: • The assumptions that you make about the best way of investigating the world and about reality Methodology: • The way that you group together your research techniques to make a coherent picture Methods and techniques: • What you actually do in order to collect your data and carry out your investigations
  12. Four main schools of ontology (how we construct reality) Ontology Realism Internal Realism Relativism Nominalism Summary The world is ‘real’, and science proceeds by examining and observing it The world is real, but it is almost impossible to examine it directly Scientific laws are basically created by people to fit their view of reality Reality is entirely created by people, and there is no external ‘truth’ Truth There is a single truth Truth exists, but is obscure/vague There are many truths There is no truth Facts Facts exist, and can be revealed through experiments Facts are concrete, but cannot always be revealed Facts depend on the viewpoint of the observer Facts are all human creations However, none of these positions are absolutes. They are on a continuum, with overlaps between them.
  13. Epistemology i.e. the way in which you choose to investigate the world Two main schools are positivism and social constructionism: • Positivists believe that the best way to investigate the world is through objective methods, such as observations. Positivism fits within a realist ontology. • Social constructionists believe that reality does not exist by itself. Instead, it is constructed and given meaning by people. Their focus is therefore on feelings, beliefs and thoughts, and how people communicate these. • Social constructionism fits better with a relativist ontology. Anything objective sticks to the facts, but anything subjective has feelings. Objective: It is raining. Subjective: I love the rain!
  14. Methodology • Epistemology and ontology will have implications for your methodology Realists tend to have positivist approach  tend to gather quantitative sources of data Relativists tend to have a social constructionist approach  tend to gather qualitative sources of data • Remember these are not absolutes! People tend to work on a continuum  role for mixed methods and approaches • Also consider the role of the researcher*: internal/external; involved or detached? * See also Adams, Anne; FitzGerald, Elizabeth and Priestnall, Gary (2013). Of catwalk technologies and boundary creatures. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 20(3), article no. 15.
  15. Choosing your approach • Your approach may be influenced by your colleagues’ views, your organization's approach, your supervisor’s beliefs, and your own experience • There is no right or wrong answer to choosing your research methods • Whatever approach you choose for your research, you need to consider five questions: • What is the unit of analysis? For example, country, company or individual. • Are you relying on universal theory or local knowledge? i.e. will your results be generalizable, and produce universally applicable results, or are there local factors that will affect your results? • Will theory or data come first? Should you read the literature first, and then develop your theory, or will you gather your data and develop your theory from that? • Will your study be cross-sectional or longitudinal? Are you looking at one point in time, or changes over time? • Will you verify or falsify a theory? You cannot conclusively prove any theory; the best that you can do is find nothing that disproves it. It is therefore easier to formulate a theory that you can try to disprove, because you only need one ‘wrong’ answer to do so.
  16. You are now ready to identify THE PROBLEM
  17. SELECTING A PROBLEM The central element in any educational research is the problem. Once the problem has been identified and adequately defined, the systematic and scientific process of making observation and collecting data can be more easily carried out. However, the large part of the solution to the problem lies in knowing precisely what the problem is. How can you solve a problem if you don’t know what the problem is?
  18. HOW DO YOU SELECT A PROBLEM? Problem situations can be generated from a number of sources, among them are: PERSONAL PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE CRITICAL STUDY OF THE LITERATURE INTERACTION WITH OTHERS
  19. CRITERIA FOR SELECTING A PROBLEM 1. Interest: If you are going to be commit yourself to an educational research, then its is important that you should be interested to the topic that you are researching. 2. Size: Exercise some professional wisdom! Manageable research problem.
  20. 3. Economy: Researchers are often confronted with practical constraints - time and money. 4. Researcher’s Capabilities and Limitations: Must recognize his/her own capabilities and limitations. Inexperienced in research, seek guidance - close to your supervisor, advise from others who are interested or specialized in your field of study. 5. Uniqueness: Do not spend a lot of time and energy researching a problem if the answer to the problem already existed.
  21. PROBLEM AREAS TO AVOID 1. Moral, Ethical Questions 2. Philosophical Questions 3. Theological Questions
  22. ANALYSING A RESEARCH PROBLEM Problem Situation Preliminary list of possible contributing factors and explanations Eliminating of irrelevant facts List of probable relevant facts and explanations Basic assumptions Research Problem
  23. There are certain rules to follow in writing SOP. 1. CLARITY. - write as clearly as possible, avoiding unnecessary words but include all words that are required to make the problem clear - key words! - thus, you should know the relevant variables and the relationship you would like to investigate. 2. AVOID VALUE STATEMENTS. - avoid at all times ‘value-laden’ words which indicate cultural or personal bias, such as: best way / bad / should / ought / better than / best / poor etc.
  24. Example of a not well-stated SOP: Should Automotive Engineering students be involved in an industrial attachments scheme? It could be rewritten like: What effect does an industrial attachment scheme have on the performance of students in an Automotive Engineering course? Or How do Mechanical Engineering lecturers perceive the introduction of an industrial attachment scheme in an Automotive Engineering course? Thus, the SOP will dictate the type of study that will eventually be developed.
  25. 3. AVOID DICHOTOMOUS QUESTIONS. Dichotomous questions are those can be answered in two ways: Yes or No, Right or Wrong, Agree or Disagree etc. Problems should not be written as questions requiring a ‘yes or ‘no’ answer. Example: Do automotive engineering students need an industrial attachment period included in their training course?
  26. EVALUATING THE PROBLEM Having developed a well-constructed SOP, it is important to consider: • The research problem is FEASIBLE, and • The research problem is WORTHWHILE
  27. IS THE PROBLEM FEASIBLE ? (IS THE PROBLEM RESEARCHABLE?) The primary evaluative source is yourself. 1. Has the problem been specified? 2. Is the problem amenable to research? 3. Is the problem too large? 4. How available are the data? 5. Am I capable of solving the problem?
  28. IS THE PROBLEM WORTHWHILE? (WILL THE RESULT BE SIGNIFICANT?) 1. Will the results advance knowledge? 2. Will the research have some value? 3. Will the results be of interest to others?
  30. Example PROBLEM STATEMENT: What are the impacts of linkages existing between institute A and the industries? RESEARCH QUESTIONS: RQ1. What are the impacts on employment of the graduates of institute A from the linkages with local industries? RQ2. What are the impacts on curriculum content of the programmes in institute A from the linkages with local industries? RQ3. What are the impacts on skill performances of the students in institute A from the linkages with local industries? RQ4. What are the impacts on the facilities found institute A from the linkages with local industries?
  33. THE NEED FOR A THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK • A theoretical frame-work is a conceptual model of how one theorizes or makes logical sense of the relationships among the several factors that have been identified as important to the problem. • This theory flows logically from the documentation of previous research in the problem area. Integrating one‘s logical beliefs with published research, taking into consideration the boundaries and constraints governing the situation, is pivotal in developing a scientific basis for investigating the research problem.
  34. Difference b/w Theoretical and Conceptual Framework • Theoretical framework in a study is based on an existing theory or theories (e.g., a theory of motivation). • The conceptual framework, on the other hand, is something you can develop yourself based on this theory. • You inevitably would use some --if not all-- concept that this particular theory operates with. In addition, in your conceptual framework you can add your own concept / constructs / variables that you think are relevant and then proceed to explore or test the relationship between them.
  35. • From the theoretical framework, then, testable hypotheses can be developed to examine whether the theory formulated is valid or not. • The hypothesized relationships can thereafter be tested through appropriate statistical analyses. • By being able to test and replicate the findings, we will also have stronger conviction in the rigor of our research. • Thus, the entire research rests on the basis of the theoretical framework. • Even if testable hypotheses are not necessarily generated (as in some applied research projects), developing a good theoretical framework is central to examining the problem under investigation.
  36. •Since the theoretical framework offers the conceptual foundation to proceed with the research, and •since a theoretical framework is none other than identifying the network of relationships among the variables considered important to the study of any given problem situation, •it is essential to understand what a variable means and what the different types of variables are.
  37. VARIABLES •A variable is anything that can take on differing or varying values. The values can differ at various times for the same object or person, or at the same time for different objects or persons. Examples of variables are production units, absenteeism, and motivation.
  38. Types of Variables Four main types of variables will be discussed here: 1. The dependent variable (also known as the criterion variable). 2. The independent variable (also known as the predictor variable). 3. The moderating variable. 4. The intervening variable. Variables can be discrete (e.g., male/female) or continuous (e.g., the age of an individual).
  39. Dependent Variable • The dependent variable is the variable of primary interest to the researcher. The researcher‘s goal is to understand and describe the dependent variable, or to explain its variability, or predict it. In other words, it is the main variable that lends itself for investigation as a viable factor. • Through the analysis of the dependent variable (i.e., finding what variables influence it), it is possible to find answers or solutions to the problem. For this purpose, the researcher will be interested in quantifying and measuring the dependent variable, as well as the other variables that influence this variable.
  40. Independent Variable • An independent variable is one that influences the dependent variable in either a positive or negative way. • That is, when the independent variable is present, the dependent variable is also present, and with each unit of increase in the independent variable, there is an increase or decrease in the dependent variable also. • In other words, the variance in the dependent variable is accounted for by the independent variable.
  41. Moderating Variable • The moderating variable is one that has a strong contingent effect on the IV–DV Relationship. • That is, the presence of a third variable (the moderating variable) modifies the original relationship between the independent and the dependent variables. This becomes clear through the following example • A prevalent theory is that the diversity of the workforce (comprising people of different ethnic origins, races, and nationalities) contributes more to organizational effectiveness because each group brings its own special expertise and skills to the workplace. This synergy can be exploited, however, only if managers know how to harness the special talents of the diverse work group; otherwise they will remain untapped.
  42. Independent Variable Managerial expertise (MV) dependent Variable • In the above scenario, organizational effectiveness is the dependent variable, which is positively influenced by workforce diversity—the independent variable. • However, to harness the potential, managers must know how to encourage and coordinate the talents of the various groups to make things work. If not, the synergy will not be tapped. • In other words, the effective utilization of different talents, perspectives, and eclectic problem-solving capabilities for enhanced organizational effectiveness is contingent on the skill of the managers in acting as catalysts. This managerial expertise then becomes the moderating variable. Work force Diversity Organizational Effectiveness
  43. Intervening Variable • An intervening variable is one that surfaces between the time the independent variables start operating to influence the dependent variable and the time their impact is felt on it. • There is thus a temporal quality or time dimension to the intervening variable. • The intervening variable surfaces as a function of the independent variable(s) operating in any situation, and helps to conceptualize and explain the influence of the independent variable(s) on the dependent variable. • The following example illustrates this point.
  44. • In the above example where the independent variable workforce diversity influences the dependent variable organizational effectiveness, the intervening variable that surfaces as a function of the diversity in the workforce is creative synergy. • This creative synergy results from a multiethnic, multiracial, and multi- national (i.e., diverse) workforce interacting and bringing together their multi- faceted expertise in problem solving. • Note that creative synergy, the intervening variable, surfaces at time t2, as a function of workforce diversity, which was in place at time t1, to bring about organizational effectiveness in time t3. The intervening variable of creative synergy helps us to conceptualize and understand how workforce diversity brings about organizational effectiveness. Time: t1 t2 t3 Independent variable Intervening variable Dependent variable Work force Diversity Organizational Effectiveness creative synergy
  45. •Having examined the different kinds of variables that could operate in a situation and how the relationships among these can be established, it is now possible to see how we can develop the conceptual model or the theoretical framework for our research.
  46. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK • The theoretical framework is the foundation on which the entire research project is based. • It is a logically developed, described, and elaborated network of associations among the variables deemed relevant to the problem situation and identified through such processes as interviews, observations, and literature survey. Experience and intuition also guide in developing the theoretical framework. • It becomes evident at this stage that to arrive at good solutions to the problem, one should correctly identify the problem first, and then the variables that contribute to it. • After identifying the appropriate variables, the next step is to elaborate the network of associations among the variables, so that relevant hypotheses can be developed and subsequently tested
  47. • The relationship between the literature survey and the theoretical frame- work is that the former provides a solid foundation for developing the latter. • That is, the literature survey identifies the variables that might be important, as determined by previous research findings. • This, in addition to other logical connections that can be conceptualized, forms the basis for the theoretical model. • The theoretical framework elaborates the relationships among the variables, explains the theory underlying these relations, and describes the nature and direction of the relationships. • Just as the literature survey sets the stage for a good theoretical framework, this in turn provides the logical base for developing testable hypotheses.
  48. • The elaboration of the variables in the theoretical framework thus addresses the issues of • why or how we expect certain relationships to exist, and • the nature and direction of the relationships among the variables of interest. • A schematic diagram of the conceptual model described in the theoretical framework will also help the reader to visualize the theorized relationships. • It may be noted that we have used the terms theoretical framework and model interchangeably. There are differences of opinion as to what a model actually represents. • Some describe models as simulations; • others view a model as a representation of relationships between and among concepts. • We use the term model here in the latter sense as a conceptual scheme connecting concepts.
  49. The Components of the Theoretical Framework There are five basic features that should be incorporated in any theoretical framework. 1. The variables considered relevant to the study should be clearly identified and labeled in the discussions. 2. The discussions should state how two or more variables are related to one another. This should be done for the important relationships that are theorized to exist among the variables. 3. If the nature and direction of the relationships can be theorized on the basis of the findings of previous research, then there should be an indication in the discussions as to whether the relationships would be positive or negative. 4. There should be a clear explanation of why we would expect these relationships to exist. The arguments could be drawn from the previous research findings. 5. A schematic diagram of the theoretical framework should be given so that the reader can see and easily comprehend the theorized relationships.
  50. HYPOTHESES DEVELOPMENT • Once we have identified the important variables in a situation and established the relationships among them through logical reasoning in the theoretical frame- work, we are in a position to test whether the relationships that have been theorized do in fact hold true. • Testing these relationships scientifically through appropriate statistical analyses, we will be able to obtain reliable information on what kinds of relationships exist among the variables operating in the problem situation. • The results of these tests offer us some clues as to what could be changed in the situation to solve the problem. • Formulating such testable statements is called hypotheses development.
  51. Definition of Hypothesis  A hypothesis can be defined as a logically assumed relationship between two or more variables expressed in the form of a testable statement.  Relationships are assumed on the basis of the network of associations established in the theoretical framework formulated for the research study.  By testing the hypotheses and confirming the assumed relationships, it is expected that solutions can be found to correct the problem encountered. In a qualitative research we develop “Propositions” instead of “Hypothesis” WHY!!!!!
  52. Null and Alternate Hypotheses • The null hypothesis is a proposition that states a definitive, exact relationship between two variables. • That is, it states that the population correlation between two variables is equal to zero or that the difference in the means of two groups in the population is equal to zero (or some definite number). • In general, the null statement is expressed as no (significant) relationship between two variables or no (significant) difference between two groups. • The alternate hypothesis, which is the opposite of the null, is a statement expressing a relationship between two variables or indicating differences between groups. • H0 represents the null hypothesis • HA represents the alternate hypothesis • H 0: There is no relationship between stress experienced on the job and the job satisfaction of employees.
  53. Statement of Hypotheses: Formats • If–Then Statements • A hypothesis can also test whether there are differences between two groups (or among several groups) with respect to any variable or variables. To examine whether or not the conjectured relationships or differences exist, these hypotheses can be set either as propositions or in the form of if–then statements. The two formats can be seen in the following two examples. Employees who are more healthy will take sick leave less frequently. If employees are more healthy, then they will take sick leave less frequently.
  54. Directional and Non-directional Hypotheses Directional Hypotheses • If, in stating the relationship between two variables or comparing two groups, terms such as positive, negative, more than, less than, and the like are used, then these hypotheses are directional because the direction of the relationship between the variables (positive/negative) is indicated, as in example 1 below, • or the nature of the difference between two groups on a variable (more than/less than) is postulated, as in 2nd example. • Example 1. The greater the stress experienced in the job, the lower the job satisfaction of employees. • Example 2. Women are more motivated than men.
  55. Non-directional Hypotheses • Non-directional hypotheses are those that do postulate a relationship or difference, but offer no indication of the direction of these relationships or differences. • In other words, though it may be conjectured that there would be a significant relationship between two variables, we may not be able to say whether the relationship would be positive or negative, • Likewise, even if we can conjecture that there will be differences between two groups on a particular variable, we will not be able to say which group will be more and which less on that variable  There is a relationship between age and job satisfaction.  There is a difference between the work ethic values of American and Asian employees. Non-directional hypotheses are formulated either because the relationships or differences have never been previously explored and hence there is no basis for indicating the direction, or because there have been conflicting findings in previous research studies on the variables.
  56. Type I and Type II errors Type I (false positive – i.e. rejecting null hypothesis incorrectly) or Type II errors (false negative – i.e. rejecting alternate hypothesis incorrectly)

Notes de l'éditeur

  1. Conjectured: Estimated/Guessed
  2. conjecture : Guess/Estimate
  3. Have I made any Type I (false positive – i.e. rejecting null hypothesis incorrectly) or Type II errors (false negative – i.e. rejecting alternate hypothesis incorrectly)?