The basic Research Question is production planning and control with reference to performance measurement. To address all such questions the methodology used is Qualitative and I make use of Quantitative methods to analyse the statistical data, which to be collected during research work.
QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
In Qualitative approach of investigations, we use words to describe the outcomes of any research.
Qualitative research has its deep roots in social science and is more concerned with understanding why people behave as they do, knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, fears, etc.
Qualitative research allows the subjects studied to give much comfortable answers to questions put to them by the researcher, and may give valuable insights, which might missed by any other method. It also provide valuable information to certain research questions in its own right but there is a strong case for using it to complement quantitative research methods.
WHY QUALITATIVE METHOD OF RESEARCH
Because of the fact that
Ø The research question clearly identified
Ø The setting in which the research took place clearly described
Ø If sampling undertaken, the sampling methods described
Ø The research worker address the issues of subjectivity and data collected
Ø There are methods to test the validity of the results of the research used
Ø The results of the research can be kept separate from the conclusions drawn by the research workers
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHOD
The methods used in qualitative research are
4. Written materials
10. Category and concept formation
11. Theory generation
It explore the natural scene, the qualitative researcher should be as modest as possible. Therefore, neither observer presence nor methods upset the situation. That is why contributor observation is one of the preferred approaches in qualitative research methods.
Participant observation has very vital role as it blends in with natural activity.
By it observer can have right of entry to
Ø Same people
Ø Same places and
Ø Same events
Official papers relevant to the role including private reports and records also considered.
An observer can also make use of motorized aids like tape recorders and cameras. Therefore, observer can have first-hand experience of his role and understanding of it this will valuable contribution to the life of the organization.
The strengths of systematic observation can summarised as
Ø Relatively free of observer bias
Ø Reliability can be strong
Ø Generalise-ability once an observer devised his instrument, large samples can be covered
Ø No hanging around or Muddling through
Ø Provides a structure for the research topic
An immense amount of qualitative matter comes from talking with people. Either by Formal interviews or Casual conversations material can be collected. It is necessary for the researcher to
Ø Develop understanding with interviewees and win their confidence.
Ø Be inconspicuous in order not to impose own influence on the respondent.
Unstructured interview is the best technique for it.
Researchers use number of techniques in conversation to aid clarity, depth, and validity. Like
Ø Check on apparent contradictions
Ø Search for opinions
Ø Ask for clarification
Ø Ask for explanations, pose alternatives
Ø Seek comparisons
Ø Pursue the logic of an argument
Ø Ask for further information
Ø Aim for comprehensiveness
Ø Put things in a different way
Ø Express incredulity or astonishment
Ø Summarise occasionally and ask for corroboration
Ø Ask hypothetical questions
Ø Play devil's advocate
Researcher should be active listener, which shows the interviewee that close attention paid to what they say. He / She should keep the candidate focused on the subject as modestly as possible. Formal interviews or Casual interview might used in the same research work.
Sampling defined as the process of selecting units such as people, institutes from a population of interest so that when we study the sample we may justly simplify our results reverse to the population from which it selected. The important terminologies and methods in sampling summarised as
The population you would like to generalize called as theoretical population and the population, which will be accessible to you called as accessible population.
Sampling frame defined as recording of the accessible population from which you will describe your sample and sample is the group of people /industry / organization, which you select for your research.
Analyzing across the responses that we get form our whole sample termed as statistic. Measuring of entire population/industry/organization and calculating a value akin to a mean or average termed as parameter of the population/industry/organization. Sampling distribution defined as the “distribution of unlimited number of specimens of the same size as the specimen in your study”
Standard deviation of in sampling distribution tells us how different samples distributed and in statistics it is consigned as the standard error while in sampling perspective, the standard error termed as sampling error.
Representative or Naturalistic sampling is enviable where qualitative researcher is seeking to generalise about general issues. It includes
Ø Times and
Representative sampling cannot always be attained in qualitative research because of the fact that
a) Initially largely investigative nature of the research
b) Inconvenience of negotiating contact
c) All the work and problems of assembling and dispensing data carried out by only one individual.
Written Documents are a helpful source of data in qualitative research but treated with care.
The most commonly used are official, personal, and questionnaires like documents including
Ø Record registers
Ø Proceedings of meetings
Ø Scheduling papers
Ø Message plans
These also includes
Ø Confidential documents
Ø Newspapers and journals
Ø Office files and statistics
Ø Institutional notice boards
Ø Official inscription
Ø Text books
Ø Work cards
All these documents play a vital role during any qualitative research
In personal documents
Creative writing exercises
Personal letters and
Notes are included
These can provide background and point of views to researcher.
In research that I have been associated with I have found out a huge amount of such documents.
Diaries often used in qualitative research and they are natural as these contain personal since, understanding of issues and are demonstrate-able. While using these documents the observer should know the foundation and motivation, on which he / she compiled. These are strong sources of information's so these used in conjunction with other methods.
The questionnaires are not between the most important methods in qualitative research. As they commonly need people to respond to a motivation and so they not act naturally.
It is a sequence of questions raised to individual to get information about an issue of concern useful statistically. Like other research tools questionnaire is a tool consisting of a chain of questions and actions for gathering information from answerers. These formulated for analysis of the responses in statistical way.
Question types are a number of questions, and answerer has to answer in a set format and they may be open-ended and closed-ended question
Open-ended question asks the respondent formulate his / her own answer, while in
Closed-ended question respondent pick an answer from the given options.
Questions flow is logical and for the best response rates, my questions start from the less sensitive to most sensitive. More over factual, behavioral, general and specific questions addressed.
For questionnaire construction the basic rules adopted are
· Use of statements where persons that have different opinions or traits will give different answers
· You are interested in only one aspect of the construct per item
· Use positive statements and avoid negatives or double negatives
· About the respondent no assumptions made
· Comprehensible and clear wording used
· Correct language is used.
In accordance with the features of qualitative research it kept in mind that the questionnaires should contain
· The conditions in which answers are being given
· The need for making sure, equilibriums, additions and alterations
VALIDITY & RELIABILITY
The word validity means legitimacy and it depends on the methodological proficiencies used, compassion, and training of the observer. It involves
Ø Systematic and thorough observation
Ø Skilful interviewing and content analysis
Then production of useful and realistic qualitative assessment of data during
Ø Interviewing and
Ø Content analysis
It requires subject knowledge, training, practice, and hard work. In real life, some qualitative researchers do not focus about validity, as it commonly understood. They prefer to aim for understanding but whichever approach they adopt, validity in qualitative research commonly depends upon:
Ø If the researcher takes modest measures, less he / she disturbs the scene and result deeper dissemination of the research. The most demonstration of it might claim to be genuine.
Ø To some extant respondent Validation necessary but it is not always be suitable or desirable.
This type of research work aimed to test a theory and researcher works judgmentally to orient outcomes. On the other hand, related with the sense of the phenomenon.
The reliability principle for qualitative research centred on identifying and documenting characteristics as prototypes, ideas, world visions, and any other phenomena under study in related or different human backgrounds.
It revolves around the strains between covert and open research and between the right to know and right to privacy. Researcher often likened to spying or observer of scandalous events.
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH ASSESSED
Qualitative research is strong for
The concentration to detail
the ability to embrace both verbal and non-verbal behaviour
to penetrate fronts, discover meanings, and reveal the subtlety and complexity of cases or issues.
Portraying perspectives and conveying feelings and experiences.
Encompassing processes and natural environments.
Actions are contextualised within situations and time.
Theory is generated from the empirical data, and consequently there is 'closeness of fit' between theory and data.
Although this kind of research is sometimes criticised for not being generalisable, there are two ways in which it is, namely a) through the theory that is generated. Such theory then becomes available to others to test and apply - see the example above on differentiation-polarisation; and b) though it might be only a single case study, it might contribute to an archive of studies on a particular issue which then become reinterpreted. Hargreaves (1988), for example, working from a number of existing qualitative studies that had researched the social circumstances of teaching, developed a different explanation of teaching quality from 'official' ones which placed emphasis on the personal qualities of teachers. Ball (1987) similarly drew on a number of qualitative studies to generate a theory of school organisation.
Other strengths, emerging from the Nias reading, are:
a) the way her own self (experience, disposition, interests) related to the research and gave her opportunities to advance the work;
b) how the quality of her data 'challenged' her to search for interconnections, and how she found 'unexpected reefs' under her feet;
c) the benefits of time to think;
d) the nature of qualitative data as a seed-bed for ideas, and chaos as a prelude to creativity;
e) the recognition of weaknesses in the study, but
f) seeing the main strength as the insights the research generated and how they will be used by others.
As a matter of interest, the insights of Nias' (1989) research have been extensively used by others throughout the world.
In it, analysis frequently starts at the same time at data collection to give a sense to the data.
Analysis begins immediately with primary analysis and after more data, collection in contact with primary analysis. At second stage researcher makes category and concept and then at third stage called generate a theory.
In primary analysis, I recorded interview, made field notes of observation, and compiled them. By it, I assembled documents.
I continuously examined the data, highlighted certain points in the text, written comments in the margins. As I know that, the qualitative data begin as raw and provides descriptive information about projects and people in projects.
Visit the different projects to make first-hand observations of project activities by engaging personally in those activities as a participant observer and talks with other staff about their incidents and observations, and evidences.
The data obtained from interviews, observations and documents ordered as
Ø Major idea
Ø Category and
Ø Case example in the course of satisfied analysis
During analysis of data it involved the non-numerical organisation of data into determine
Ø Qualities found in field notes
Ø Open-ended questionnaires
Ø Case studies
In primary analysis interview texts are completed, subject area notes of observation gathered, documents collected together and researcher constantly inspects the information's, possibly underline assured points in the text. He / she may write comments in the margins of notes or documents.
Category and concept
Category and concept formation defined as the stage when he / she (researcher) arrive at a point where they have to arrange data in some kind of systematic way, ordered form for analytic purposes. Accepted method of doing this is in the course of recognizing main divisions in the data under which it included.
Then establishment of data using divisions and sub divisions and each them graphically explained (Observations, Notes, Recorded dialogue and Interaction).
We also need a complete view up to the bottom of issue/topic, if we require to form / create a theory from it.
The generation of theory
It is a analytical tool for
Making predictions about a given subject matter
Theories reveal your thoughts in ordinary expression, but always created in such a way that their wide-ranging form is identical to a as articulated in the conventional dialect.
Development of theory may show the way back into more data collection as one try something out which fills in areas that necessitate more knowledge.
After development of a theory, one should carry on comparative analysis. In order to check
Ø Test an idea
Ø Bring out the distinctive elements of a category
Ø Establish generalities within a group
We make use of comparisons all the time. After identification of important results categories and concepts are developed. These are essential components of theory building up.
During comparative analysis literature is also an important part of theory improvement and the major method of doing comparisons outside the study.
Time also considered as another important factor in it. In depth, involvement results in longer association and wider field of contacts and knowledge.
As part of my research, I considered particular characteristics (variables) and attempted a hard efforts to demonstrate interesting facts that how they dispersed within Production Planning and Control. These variables measured for the purpose of quantitative analysis. Using the data that I have collected, I make use of
In the research work variables are displayed graphically by tables, bar /pie charts. I need only this part of statistics to make deductions from my research data. As we know the fact that uni-variant (one variable) analysis are descriptive. Descriptive statistics usually used to explain a significant relationship between two variables (bi-variant data) or more variables (multi-variant).
Deducing significant generalise able relationships between variables. The tests employed designed to find,
Continuous data variant
Mean: It defined as average of a set of numbers, and it is a measure of the central location. Standard deviation: It defined as the square root of the variance,
Variance defined as a measure of distribution of a set of data calculated,
s= ∑ (x – mean)
Median is the middle or centre number of a data set
Quartiles defined as splitting and allocation of values into four equal parts and the three equivalent values of the variable represented by q1, q2 (equal to the median), and q3
Range explained as a measure of distribution equal to the difference between the largest and smallest value.
It can be defined as “if an experiment has n equally likely outcomes and q of them is the event E, then the probability of the event E, P (E)”,
P (E) =q/n
Methodological checklist for this qualitative research work is
Ø The research question clearly identified
Ø The setting in which the research took place clearly described
Ø The sampling methods described
Ø The research worker address the issues of subjectivity and data collection
Ø Methods to test the validity of the results of the research used
Any steps taken to increase the reliability of the information collected, for example, by repeating the information collection with another research worker.
The results of the research kept separate from the conclusions drawn by the research workers.
Quantitative methods are appropriate as a supplement to the qualitative methods, so they are also used.