The aim of the study is three-fold: investigate the economic structure of UAE, analyse UAE government policies towards the non-oil exporting sector, and evaluate the impact of UAE government policies on the performance of the exporting sector. The methodological framework in collecting and analysing data to fulfil the three-fold aim is the research onion model (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill 2003) shown in Figure 1 below. This model covers general to specific considerations in developing the appropriate methodology for the study.
Research Philosophy Objectivity or objectivism is the research philosophy guiding the investigation. Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2003) defined objectivism as the recognition of facts existing in a reality outside of the mind. This implies the research perspective of considering facts from different perspectives using multiple sources to understand reality. Moreover, this philosophy recognizes the inevitability of researcher bias but considering multiple points of view could minimize the impact of individual bias on the results of the study.
This applies to the study on the UAE government policies and performance of the non-oil exporting sector because the research process obtained information from various sources and capture the perspective of the government and the exporting sector. Research Approach Induction is the approach to the research process. Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2003) explained induction as the process of considering and integrating various specific data to support generalisations.
This is the appropriate approach of the investigation on UAE government export policies and export sector performance because the research processes commences with the collection of data on UAE government policies for the export sector based on official reports and commentaries and on the performance trends of the non-oil exporting sector. Integrating and analysing information would support generalisations. Research Strategy The combination of case study and survey is the research strategy.
Combining strategies supports the collection of information from multiple sources to substantiate the objectivism. According to Yin (1994), the case study strategy involves an empirical investigation of a phenomenon within the real-world context “when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evidence; and in which multiple sources of evidence are used” (p. 23). This fits the aims of the study because of a number of research implications.
One, the focus of the investigation is a phenomenon in its real life context, which is government policies and export sector performance in the UAE. Another is the clarification of the phenomenon, specifically the establishment of the link between UAE export policies and export sector performance and the determination of the nature, extent and implications of the relationship. Last is the requirement of utilising various sources of information, particularly various secondary sources such as government reports on policies and primary data from survey of the export sector.
This strategy supports the derivation of rich data to support the satisfactory fulfilment of the three-fold research aim. Creswell (2003) explained the survey strategy as the derivation of information on various perspectives of the phenomenon subject to investigation from various sources. This applies to the study through the collection of data from managers of export companies to determine different perspectives on the impact of UAE government export policies on export company performance.
This strategy also supports the collection of insightful data. Research Method Mixed method, by combining qualitative and quantitative research, comprises the research method. While the qualitative and quantitative research pertain to different research purposes, data needed, and data collection and analysis methods, these are not contradictory and there are also overlaps in functionality or utility.
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