Mixed methodologies in the analysis Essay
Mixed methodologies in the analysis
This essay is a comprehensive analysis focused on qualitative, quantitative, and a mixed methodology of qualitative and quantitative tools for analysis. The objectives of the study are to assess the background of the study, take a look of the Ethical nature of the paper and to determine the type and nature of the study that was taken into consideration. Additional objectives of the study is to determine the quality of the framing and context of the study, the methods used, the corresponding findings, conclusions and recommendations drawn from the study.
In assessing the background of the study, the problem being addressed by the paper is identified and is examined for justification. The second part of the study is determining the ethical nature of the study. In determining the ethical nature of the study, this paper examines whether or not the paper was undertaken in an ethical manner. Secondly, the paper also examines if the research utilized non-ethical means of acquiring information such as coercion. This study also assesses the quality of the framing of the study and how is the study located in terms of a research methodology.
Another part of the study is also determining whether the study is also justified or not is also tackled, and is the language throughout the article consistent with the methodology. In the following paragraphs, more explanation is given for each objective of the study. As was mentioned above, the study also focuses on the quality of the framing of the study. In this section, the three articles are examined whether or not the key terms are defined, are the research located within a body of literature and are the importance of the research question explained sufficiently.
The content of the study is also tackled as well. Focus is given to the context of the study as it tries to determine whether or not the study is able to take into consideration the impact of the study and their applicability in other settings. In assessing the method of the study, the methodology used to generate and collect data is analyzed and determined if it was done effectively. The constraints and measures in ensuring the quality of the data is also considered and identified. After giving careful consideration to the methodology and manner of its implementation, the findings of the papers presented as well.
In analyzing the findings of each paper, the study determines whether the report provides confidence to the hypothesis and are they appropriately justified. In addition, the manner of how the data is presented is also taken into consideration. For the quantitative portion of the study, focus is given on whether or not appropriate tests are applied for the results. Lastly, following the results of each portion, focus is given to the conclusion and recommendations posted by each study. For the first analysis, the study first tackles the qualitative research acquired.
The first study to be analyzed is the qualitative research on software practice entitled “Ethnographically-informed empirical studies of software practice. ” Ethnographically-Informed Empirical Studies of Software Practice – A Qualitative Analysis Over the past decade researchers have performed a sustained series of qualitative studies of software development practice, focusing on social factors. Using an ethnographically-informed approach, the researchers have addressed four areas of software practice: software quality management systems, the emergence of object technology, professional end user development and agile development.
Several issues have arisen from this experience, including the nature of research questions that such studies can address the advantages and challenges associated with being a member of the community under study, and how to maintain rigor in data collection. In this paper, we will draw on our studies to illustrate our approach and to discuss these and other issues. Throughout the years of research and development in the field of software engineering, background studies have suggested that qualitative studies of software practice appear to be unusual in empirical software engineering research.
A recent taxonomy of the papers published in the journal Empirical Software Engineering over the period 1997–2003 in order to support the asserted background study indicated that research in this field is dominated by quantitative studies that test hypotheses by means of laboratory experiments, using experimental and control groups and statistical analysis of the results. It has been asserted that the case for qualitative studies as being necessary complements to quantitative ones, in that qualitative knowledge is an essential prerequisite for the generation and testing of hypotheses and for interpreting the results of such tests.
Whilst we acknowledge that quantitative studies are clearly important in advancing the field, the fact remains that there are circumstances when it is inappropriate to factor out the complexity that surrounds software practice. This part of the paper summarizes the study’s outline and framework. The qualitative study focuses on four areas covered by this qualitative research. For each area, the study was able to highlight the research question, address the research methods that was used, a summary of the findings, and the implications of those findings.
The first part of the study focused on the adoption and evolution of software quality management systems. The second part of the study focused on the emergence of object technology particularly focused on how object technology emerged to be a dominant paradigm as opposed to post-hoc accounts produced once object technology had become dominant the particular problems of professional end-user developers, by ‘professional end-user developers’, we mean professional people working in highly technical domains, such as financial mathematics or research scientists, who develop their own software in order to further their own professional tasks.
Lastly the study was also able to focus on agile software development. Agile software development as presented by extant studies is a relatively new approach which represents a reaction to what are seen as the failings of the more traditional plan-driven approach to software development. In our studies we have focused mostly on eXtreme Programming (XP), which is one of the more popular agile methods in the UK. There are many issues that need to be considered when setting up and running a qualitative study, many of which are covered in textbooks or others’ reflections.
For example, conducting Weld studies results in substantial collections of rich data, and this can be a disadvantage as well as an advantage as it is easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of data to be analyzed. Here we discuss two issues which have been particularly significant for the people: the relationship between the researcher and the researcher, and keeping rigor in qualitative studies. We have not seen the former discussed in detail elsewhere, and addressing the latter is an essential prerequisite to the acceptance of qualitative studies by the academic community.
The qualitative product of our research is analyzed as part of the study’s objectives. Being rigorous and avoiding bias is important, yet it is all too easy to introduce it in both qualitative and quantitative studies. A common view is that there is a bias inherent in qualitative work which isn’t present in quantitative, but we refute this view, and agree with the following quote from one of the famous researchers: ‘The objectivity of empirical research comes from a review process that assures that the analysis relies on all the relevant evidence and takes into account all the rival interpretations.
This can be done (or not done) in both a quantitative and a qualitative analysis. ’ One major driver for empirical studies in software engineering is the aspiration to improve practice. In reflecting on our experience of conducting qualitative studies, we have found it useful to refer to another Weld of research with the same driver: education. Specifically, it was found in the discussion of the use of qualitative research in education to be particularly thought provoking.
He describes the Wndings of qualitative researchers thus: ‘they [qualitative researchers] have stressed the diverse orientations of people involved in social activities; the way in which people actively make sense of their surroundings, and how this shapes what they do; the unintended and often unforeseen consequences of actions; and the resulting contingency of most courses of events. ’ We have found similar themes emerging from our data, and have used them to uncover and elucidate problems and thereby delineate their solution spaces; challenge received views; and provide rich narrative accounts of practice.
Because we ask open-ended questions, the kind of answers we obtain are not knowable in advance. Instead, the research question acts as a focus for our investigations. There is no expectation that our answers provide direct solutions to specific problems. Knowing the actuality of software development practice, rather than the received view, is an essential prerequisite to the design of a tool, technique, or methodology to support that practice. Our qualitative studies have been very good at providing rich accounts of practice.
Hammersley comments that ‘Much of the knowledge on the basis of which practitioners work is tacit. In addition, he highlights the importance of these accounts in making what is implicit, explicit, and hence in making the nature of practice transparent and available for inspection, reflection, comment and critique. Such accounts thus provide practitioners with a mirror of their practice which might support their activities as ‘reflective practitioners’, and provide researchers with rich accounts of the actuality of practice.
The last part of the study is we discuss the impact our research has had in terms of the responses we have received from two different audiences: our direct collaborators and fellow academic researchers. The next part of the study focuses on the responses from various sources. Responses from collaborators have been varied, but generally positive. For example, feedback sessions in our agile studies have been greeted with warmth and satisfaction. Often our findings resonate with individuals’ own experiences, and these sessions lead to further discussions about a topic.
This both enhances our understanding and promotes debate within the collaborator team. Judging from the much higher percentage of published papers in software engineering which report quantitative, hypothesis testing, studies than those which report qualitative studies, it seems that software engineering academics feel more comfortable with the former than the latter. Quotes such as the following, indicating the perceived supremacy of the former type of study, are not difficult to find in the literature.
The last portion of the study is analyzing the conclusion and recommendations produced from the study. As the study was able to describe our ethnographically-informed studies of various aspects of software development practice, and discussed several of the issues that have arisen from this experience. There are, of course, other qualitative approaches that are appropriate to different contexts and different research questions. Further information about these other approaches is easily available. The next part of the study tackles the quantitative portion of the study.
Brain Drain: Inclination to Stay Abroad after Studies – A Quantitative Approach ‘Brain drain’ is a phenomenon in which people of a high level of skills, qualifications, and competence, leave their countries and emigrate. One major case of the brain drain happens when students from developing countries researching in the developed countries decide not to return home after their studies. We examined the reasons for international students’ inclination to stay in their host countries in a sample of 949 management students who came to research in the United Kingdom and the United States.
The results support a three-fold model of factors that influenced this inclination. Students’ perceptions of ethnic differences and labor markets, their adjustment process to the host country, and their family ties in host and home countries all affect their intention to stay. The succeeding paragraphs focus on the research’s main objectives. The first hypothesis focuses on the pronouncement of foreign students, whether to stay in the host country or return to the home country, will be associated with the level of their adjustment in the host country, ceteris paribus.
Specifically, they will return to their home country if the level of their adjustment in host country is low and will stay in the host country if the level of their adjustment in the host country is high. The adjustment process of foreign students to the local environment is expected to be highly influenced by the social support that the students receive. The duty of social support is an important decision such as whether to stay abroad or return home, and can hardly be overemphasized.
The second hypothesis focuses on the greater the level of support foreign students receive from their teachers, university, and fellow students in the host country, the greater will be their intention to stay in the host country. In addition for further analysis, the second hypothesis is further delineated into three theories. The first theory under the second hypothesis presents greater the level of support foreign students receive from their associates in the home country, the greater will be their intention to return to the home country.
The third theory presented under the second hypothesis focuses on the strength of social ties of foreign students to their family members in the home country will be negatively associated with their intention to stay in the host country after their studies. The third and last theory that is presented under the second hypothesis presents the strength of social ties of foreign students to the family members in the host country will be positively associated with their intention to stay in the host country after their studies.
The fourth hypothesis focuses on the weak labor market and home country. The hypothesis stresses that the weak labor market in the home country and a strong labor market in the host country will be positively associated with a foreign student’s decision to stay in the host country after their studies. The fifth hypothesis presented by the research presents a high level of Protean Career approach will be associated with higher tendency to stay in the host country.
The sixth hypothesis is divided into two sub theories: Foreign students from strong emerging economies are less likely to stay in the host country after their studies compared to foreign students from less important emerging economies and foreign students from more culturally distant cultures or countries will be less likely to stay in the host country than foreign students from less culturally distant cultures or countries. The next part of this research focuses on the methodology that was used for the research.
For the methodology of the research, a questionnaire survey was administered during 2003 to the Master’s students enrolled in business management programs in five educational institutions—three in the United Kingdom and two in the United States. The Master’s students were chosen because they are the ones who are nearing the completion of their education and may be looking forward to starting their career. The research adopted both established and widely-used measures and also developed some new ones.
To summarize, the most influential factors in a foreign student’s decision to return or remain were the perception of the labor market in the host country, student’s adjustment process, and family ties of the student in both host and home countries. These factors cannot be easily tackled by the home country, thus leaving decision-makers in countries around the globe vulnerable to the brain drain phenomenon. On the other hand, it should be kept in mind that the present research examines only one direction of brain drain (i. e. , from less affluent countries to leading economies).
Brain drain can pose a two-way problem, on the other hand. The findings of this research would be useful at both institutional and national levels, albeit the analysis here was focused at the individual within the institution—the university. They are informative for higher education institutions in developed countries, especially in the United Kingdom and United States, providing them with an understanding of how foreign students adjust to them and how to deal with their intentions of either staying in the host country or returning to their home countries.
The analysis has good news for the teachers of the educational institutions in developed countries as they are found to be providing useful support and environment to facilitate the stay of foreign students, at least within our sample of management education system. The research relies on self-reports and perceptual measures, which are typical in management studies. On the other hand, bearing in mind the issue and the type of questions asked, we believe that the reliability and validity of our findings are not subject to common method bias.
Another limitation is that our investigation focused on a specific population of business management students only. While they represent the largest share of any single research area, future studies may examine students who research a variety of subjects. Considering the large number of foreign students coming to the UK and USA, our sample size is relatively small and there is a need for caution while analyzing the results and discussing their generalization. On the other hand, the actual numbers are substantial and enable a fair generalization of the statistically significant findings.
Lastly, in future it would be useful to run a longitudinal test to examine how many of the students actually returned to their home country compared with those who stay. Another issue to be examined in the future is the origin of the students: coming from cities or from rural areas may be an important factor, as the living conditions in the urban versus rural areas could affect the students’ inclination to return or not. Nevertheless, considering the scarcity of research in the field and growing severity of the research issue, we have made a useful start and have highlighted some of the core aspects of brain drain.
Now that the research is able to present an analysis on the qualitative and quantitative researches, focus is now given to a research using mixed methodology for its research. An Investigation of the Relationship between Behavioral Processes, Motivation, Investments in the Service Business and Service Revenue – Mixed qualitative and quantitative Analysis The third and last study to be analyzed focuses on the relationship between behavioral processes, motivation, investments in the service business and service revenue.
Despite the established benefits of services in manufacturing companies, very few managers are motivated to invest resources in extending the service business. On the basis of a combination of qualitative and quantitative research approaches, we illustrate that managers cannot be easily motivated. Managerial motivation to extend the service business in manufacturing companies is more like a process that must grow organically. To do so, managers have to overcome some of the typical behavioral processes of manufacturing companies.
In greater detail, the study and the researchers must explore how the disbelief in the financial opportunities of services risk aversion in exploiting strategic opportunities, setting overambitious objectives and an overemphasis on obvious causalities limit managerial motivation to extend the service business. If manufacturing companies can overcome these behavioral processes, the managerial motivation will increase, leading to more investments in the service business and thus enhancing service revenue and overall profitability.
The theoretical framework for extending the service business, we start off by looking at behavioral patterns. Existing literature has largely neglected the effect of behavioral patterns on the extension of service business. Changes in behavior patterns are either positioned at the implementation level or discussed as part of a necessary change in corporate culture. Extant studies assert that manufacturing companies will benefit from extending the service business if they succeed in expanding their traditional industrial or product culture to include a service culture.
At the implementation level it was pointed out that if managers are not highly committed to customer services, the operational changes required for effective implementation will not be rolled out through the whole organization. The next part of the study presents the various hypotheses that was tested during the study. The first hypothesis that was presented in the study is the behavioral processes having a negative impact on the level of managerial motivation in order to extend the service of the business used.
The second hypothesis that was examined in the study is the level of managerial motivation has a positive impact on the investment of resources in the service business. The third hypothesis that was analyzed in the study is investing resources in the service business has a positive effect on the share of revenue attributable to services. The fourth and last hypothesis of the study is the share of total revenue attributable to services has a positive effect on overall profitability. The study was able to structure our qualitative and quantitative research processes to maximize internal and external validity.
External validity, in the context of qualitative studies, refers to the extent to which the results of a study are transferable. Internal validity is the approximate truth about cause–effect or causal relationships. The qualitative research process includes five focus groups with 32 companies and ten in-depth case studies. Focus groups are used as an exploratory qualitative research method. We expected the interaction between the research team and managers from manufacturing companies to lead to rich data and valuable insights.
Different management functions from each company participated in the focus group: management board, service, product and sales management. In a similar manner it was stressed that the high internal face validity of focus groups and argue that in these settings, people open up and share insights that they may not reveal in individual interviews or questionnaires. In total, we had five focus groups with 32 participating companies. Each focus group conducted 6 workshops. Each workshop lasted one day.
Based on the workshop transcripts, we wrote case studies describing the relationship between behavioral processes, motivation, investments in the service business and service revenue. The resulting discussion coming from the results is presented below. The discussion of the study of its qualitative findings on the relationship between behavioral processes, motivation, investments in the service business and service revenue is substantiated by qualitative data from both our five focus groups and ten in-depth bipolar case studies.
The results of the study are divided into four sections: disbelief in the financial opportunities of services, risk aversion in respect of the strategic opportunities of services, setting overambitious objectives for the service business and overemphasis on obvious causalities. The part to be presented is the disbelief in the financial opportunities of services. According to the study’s initial theoretical framework, the first behavioral process relates to the disbelief in the financial opportunities of an extended service business.
We observed that despite the broad range of literature on the financial opportunities of services, managers may fail to recognize them. The financial opportunities of services refer to the higher margins associated with services, the essential service revenue and the costs of exploiting the opportunities. The second part of the study is focused on risk aversion with respect of the strategic opportunities of services. As in the case of the financial opportunities, managers also have difficulty in placing a high valence on exploiting the strategic opportunities.
These difficulties stem from the second behavioral process—managers assessing the risks of extending the service business. Managers seem to be highly averse to the risks associated with extending the service business. Risk aversion is closely linked to prospect theory. It is a basic characteristic of human decision making. Managers prefer less risky outcomes from investing mainly in the product business to the more uncertain outcome of investing resources in increasing service revenue. The third part of the results is focused on setting overambitious objectives for the service business.
The third behavioral process limiting managerial motivation to invest resources in services relates to setting overambitious objectives. Setting overambitious objectives does not limit the valence. It has a negative effect on managerial expectations that investing resources in the service business will lead to the intended results. In making judgments about the probability that investing resources will lead to the intended results, managers compare the observed results with their expectations.
Managerial perception of extending the service business is more positive if progress is high in relation to aspiration, and expectations are more negative when progress is disappointing. Expectations are influenced by the objectives for the service business set by the managers themselves. It was highlighted that the fact that manufacturing firms have not historically included service-related goals. Due to a lack of experience in setting service-related goals, most manufacturing companies find it difficult to set appropriate goals.
Along the lines of finding, our field data suggest that managers commonly underestimate the scope and difficulty of formulating a service strategy and setting up a separate service organization. Even when the absolute goal for a service strategy is set appropriately (e. g. 50% revenue share from services), the time provided for reaching the goal is often far too short. Thus, managers tend to set overambitious objectives. For example, as one manager recalled: ‘‘We first announced our vision to increase the service revenue share from 5 to 30% within 5 years.
During the first year we reached just 7%. This was far below our expectations and we became worried about the credibility of our goal. We really felt our effort would not lead to the expected performance. Consequently, we reduced our effort to achieve high service revenues. ’’ When objectives are set too high, expectations outstrip the observed increase in service revenue, creating lower expectations that management effort will result in increasing service revenue. The fourth and last discussion of the study focuses on the overemphasis on obvious causalities.
In this course, the study was able to observe that managers not only underestimate the probability that their effort will result in increasing service revenue; they also underestimate the fact that various managerial actions can lead to a successful extension of the service business. The reasons stem from the fourth behavioral process limiting managerial motivation to extend the service business. Managers in a traditional manufacturing setting have been shown to overemphasize obvious causalities.
Obvious causalities refer to causal relationships with a high temporal order, covariation and continuity in time and space. For example, one manager argued that ‘‘putting working effort into the product business immediately results in the production of an item or additional product revenue. ’’ Problems in the manufacturing process are also easy to observe. Process problems can be quite close in time and space to the detection of the defects they create. Correcting efforts to overcome problems in the manufacturing process immediately lead to results.
As a summary, the study has some significant implications for researchers. For service management theorists, our findings suggest that increasing service revenue in manufacturing companies depends on an interaction between behavioral processes, managerial motivation and investment in the service business. Consequently, a complete theory of service management in manufacturing companies requires an interdisciplinary theory which integrates service management and motivation and behavioral theory.
We have established that behavioral processes and managerial motivation play a critical role in achieving high service revenue. References: 1. Gebauer, H. and Fleisch E. 2005, An Investigation of the Relationship between behavioral processes, motivation, investments in the Service Business and Service Revenue, Industrial Marketing Management New York. 2. Robinson H. , Segal J. , and Sharp Helen. Ethnographically – 2006 informed empirical studies of software practice. Information and software techonology. 3. Baruch, Y. , Budhwar, P. and Khatri N. 2006. Brain drain: Inclination to stay abroad after studies. JWB.