Qualitative Data Methods in Researching Organizational Commitment Essay
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This paper discusses methods that generate qualitative data which entails a place in researching organizational commitment. A thorough review of the qualitative data methods rooted in certain research philosophies are presented with an explanation of why these are so important in the research of organizational commitment. A research is defined as a human activity based on intellectual investigation and its objective has the aim to discover, interpret, and revise human knowledge on the different aspects of the world (Fox, 2000, p. 237).
A research philosophy is as an idea about the way data about an event should be able to be collected, evaluated and used.
In the Western tradition of science, there are two major research philosophies that are known. The major research philosophies are the positivist or the scientific approach and the interpretivist which is also known as the non-scientific approch (Straub, Gefen, & Boudreau, 2004). Positivism Positivism is defined as a philosophy that is able to state that the only authentic knowledge is the scientific knowledge.
Positivism is a research philosophy wherein its objectives which are based on a qualitative approach are aimed to depict and investigate an in depth phenomena as further discussed by Straub, Gefen, and Boudreau (2004). The positivist view is shared by naturalists who are skilled people believing in scientific progress. Thus, gaining knowledge can be acquired through observation and experimentation. Positivists are those who believed that reality is constant and established. Reality is also observed and can be explained from an objective point of view.
Positivists often argue that the phenomena being studied should be an isolated. Indeed, observations in the study of the phenomena should be repeatable. The repetition of the observations in the study of a phenomenon is often associated with the manipulation of reality. There are variations in the manipulation of reality and the variations only come from a single variable. According to Hirschheim (1985), the single variable is able to form relationships and this is also a way to recognize the regularities of the social world.
Predictions are derived basing from the realities that were already observed and clarified. Collingwood (1994) specified that historians of the positivism approach had been following and adopting the methods of science which is really a characteristic of the positivist approach. The positivist historians and philosophers are being able to observe things and simplify the laws by using the induction method. The inductive reasoning is used in science and scientific method. The historical positivists are upholding the thought that the mind is not necessarily different from nature.
Moreover, they have maintained that natural processes are just as the same with the processes of history. Like the idea of Hirschheim (1985), the positivist historians also believed that empathy and pure instinct were regarded as unscientific and were dismissed. Collingwood further explained that empirical ideas are those ideas which can easily generate with his own eyes, therefore, are regarded as facts that are right away given in just pure observation with no experimental basis (Collingwood, 1994).
Hence, qualitative data is basically of the positivist nature which is the kind of approach that is dominant in research on the topic. Interpretivism In epistemology, interpretivism is defined as the view that all knowledge is a matter of interpretation (Hirschheim, 1985). Reality is only understood in the context of interpretivism if it is based on a subjective interpretation and intervention. Natural environment is involved and is a major part of their study of a phenomenon. The interpretivists believe that there are many interpretations that exist in their studies of the phenomena.
Despite of the presence of the many interpretations, interpretivists are being able to maintain that many interpretations are part of their scientific knowledge which they continually pursue. However, interpretivism is generally regarded as linked with non-scientific approach. Therefore, the methods that generate qualitative data are not of the interpretivist nature. Research Strategy A research strategy is characterized as a plan of action that normally gives direction to the efforts done by a researcher (Trauth, 2001).
Research strategy is that which allow or facilitate the conduction of a research which will be systematically done and not haphazardly done. Qualitative research methods are obtaining recognition beyond the conventional social sciences and these have turned out to be essential means in a broader methodology to applied research since they present useful insights into the points of view of study population (Myers, 1997, p. 241). The eminent input of qualitative study is the culturally precise and contextually rich information it generates. Examples of qualitative researches will be further discussed in the subsequent statements.
As stated by Gummesson (2000), accomplishment considered on this basis has an influence, in line, on the cost-effectiveness, usefulness of involvements, major interests of project administrators and financial support groups. Qualitative research is a kind of systematic study. In most cases, scientific study is made up of an exploration that searches for answers to an inquiry, analytically makes use of a predefined series of processes in gathering facts, and constructs results that are appropriate beyond the direct limitations of the research.
Qualitative study shares these attributes. Moreover, it seeks to recognize a specified study predicament or subject matter from the outlook of the laypeople it comprises. Qualitative research is principally valuable in getting hold of certain data concerning the ethics, views, and activities of specific populace. The strong point of qualitative study is its capability to supply intricate textual imagery of how populations come across a particular research concern. The research strategies which are dominant in the study are the use of surveys and ethnography.
A researcher is being able to gather data about the practices, situations, and point of views of different people through these strategies. The researcher can use the questionnaires for gathering data. Interviews can also be used. Existing relationships present in the surveys done were generated with the use of quantitative and analytical techniques. Through these techniques, several inferences about the practices, situations or point of views of different people will be obtained.
The use of surveys by a researcher is typically related to the field and laboratory experiments but the data needed are gathered outside the laboratory or near the real life situation of the world (Krueger & Casey, 1994). One of the weaknesses of the use of surveys as a qualitative data method is that the researcher always find a difficult time in analyzing the results of the survey done. The reason why is that insights and ideas of people are difficult to measure. In this scenario, several biases are being committed by the researcher.
One of the biases is the self-selecting nature of the people being interviewed. Another source of bias is the time during when the survey is done. The researcher is also a source of bias since he will be the one to choose which survey design he is going to use. Another research strategy is the use of ethnography. Ethnography is classified as a type of research wherein the focus is on the context of sociology. This is done through a closer observation of the phenomenon of involved in sociology and culture. A researcher of ethnography or ethnographer is paying attention on the community.
The community is the place for him to focus and select informants. The informants should be able to know the different ideas regarding the activities done in the particular community. A chain sampling is used by the ethnographer to address the issues concerning the answers of the informants (Flyvbjerg, 2006). The use of the chain sampling is to saturate the informants in the observed areas of investigation. Clarifications of the issues given by previous informants are obtained by using the multiple interviews done by some informants.
The purpose of the multiple interviews is to obtain a deeper response from the informants regarding the investigation of issues done in the community. The process of multiple interviews also is able to give the ethnographer a revealed cultural understanding of the subject being investigated in the community. Thus, the collective data gathered in the community by the responses of the community is more important than the subjective data (Fetterman, 1998). The method involve in ethnography is initiated with the selection of a culture to be studied. Literature review of the selected culture is done.
Variables of interest which are perceived to be significant and important by the members of the community are being identified by the ethnographer. After the first step, the ethnographer is then ready to absorb the cultural activities of the community as well as the idea present in the culture. This is termed as the “cultural immersion” (Yin, 2003). The ethnographer is now being able to process the data for analysis and for the development of theory to happen.
Several theories may be gathered from observation in the cultural Researches regarding ethnography can last for months or for years. s stated earlier, the ethnographer is being able to use of the informants and as he progress on the cultural immersion, he had already chosen the informants which will he use to facilitate his data gathering. After data gathering, immersion of the ethnographer, however, he must be careful not to do theoretical prejudice. Instead, theory must be based on the gathered perspective that was generated from the answers of the informants (Gold, 1997). For validation purposes, the ethnographer could go back to the community and ask questions to his informants for other reactions of issues related to the subject of investigation and study.
To further realize the research techniques, it is important for the researcher to take into account the facts regarding qualitative and quantitative study approaches. Research techniques comprising quantitative information were founded and developed in the natural sciences. Techniques established in the quantitative study systems currently take in the utilization of experiments, both in laboratory and field work, and formal and numerical schemes. On the other hand, research processes relating to qualitative information were being instituted by the social sciences.
Examples from research that has been done are the following. Qualitative research methods are obtaining recognition beyond the conventional social sciences, predominantly in public health and worldwide advancement study. As discussed by Gersten (2001), such methods of obtaining information are vital in the plan of thorough solutions to communal health dilemma in emergent nations, as scientists, doctors, pharmaceutical businesses, and humanitarian organizations have arrived to identify that biomedical solutions are just limited treatments.
Additionally, a qualitative research on whether and how populations set out of deprivation may, for instance, integrate comprehensive accounts of the policies employed and problems stumbled upon by the underprivileged in their efforts to “move up” the economic hierarchy, conceivably by evaluating citizens who are deprived to distinctive levels or in various means in different locations. This investigation would therefore extend an integrated structure or outline to illustrate how the most relevant variables were correlated to one another (Mack et al. , 2005).
The purpose the whole time would be to keep a record of how past and framework-specific procedures affect both the societal configurations and personal or group performance in and through which poverty is came upon, repeated, opposed, and prevailed over. Examining poverty and other concerns are inclined to be in support of technical skill, which may or may not incorporate a positive reception of the context of a range of circumstances, as qualitative methods and open-ended answers incline the balance of control and proficiency away from the researcher toward respondents and the public (Dudwick et al. 2006).
The link between qualitative research methods and commitment is that organizations basically involve themselves in research in connection with their prospect goal which is development or to develop. The researcher’s drive and inspiration to conduct a qualitative research is generated from the fact that the only distinction of humans from the natural world is that humans are able to use the language to say and express what they wanted to tell. Qualitative researches are always being the researches opposed by the quantitative research.
Some scientists who opposed the use of qualitative research are those who do not understand that qualitative research is a way for other researchers to examine what people think and believe about the issues that concerns the community and the culture which is present in each of the communities. It was argued and debated by Kaplan and Maxwell (1994, p. 45) that study being done in the phenomenon of the social and cultural context of the people in the community where they live is being lost when textual data from researches are being able to be quantified for further analysis.
Conclusion In the above discussion on the different research philosophies, methods, approaches and strategies, a qualitative research is able to be done in a more systematic way. Choosing what method or strategy to be used in a research will solely depend on the perspective of the researcher. The researcher must be able to realize the subject of study before choosing which of the methods, philosophies and strategies of research to be used.
The methods that are now acceptable include ethnography, case studies and action researches. Data are considered qualitative when it was generated from observations from fieldwork as well as interviews and questionnaires. Data that were derived from texts and documents and from the researcher-observer reactions, feelings and ideas are also valid data to be used as qualitative data. Each of the research philosophies, strategies, methods and approaches has their limitations for use.
They are being able to use by a researcher because the researcher have understood all the advantages and limitations of that the research philosophy, strategy, approach and method that may bring success or failure to the research being done. There are qualities and characteristics that the researcher should be able to consider in order for him to choose the appropriate methods of research he is going to use. Moreover, the success of the research also depends in how the researcher is being able to weigh the appropriateness of a topic or the subject to be studied in relation to the methods that will be used.
The methods that generate qualitative data have indeed a place in researching organizational commitment since qualitative data methods are important in characterizing issues which are not taken into account by quantitative data methods. Organizational commitment involves the objectivity of studies being done which are needed to attain the organization’s goals. In particular cases, qualitative methods have certainly comparative advantage over quantitative methods, since descriptive analysis may be omitted in the quantitative approaches.
These qualitative methods are highly applicable in conducting studies pertaining to the aforementioned examples. Qualitative techniques both regard and integrate practical expertise into the study of progress achievements and failures. Such techniques are necessary for analyzing complicated matters of causality, course of action, and context. Open-ended inquiring and focus group deliberations are actually intended to give permission to respondents to recognize and communicate their main interests and concerns which are emancipated from researchers’ limitations and hypotheses.
In contrast, quantitative methods are, in the usual course of events, less useful in comprehending context and process. As has been perceived all through this paper, qualitative research enhances the consistency and authenticity of presented quantitative tools, while creating its own distinguishing empirical contributions to strategy and venture plan. Generally, the link between qualitative research methods and commitment is that organizations involve themselves in research in connection with their prospect goal which is development or to develop.