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Data collection methods

Management research relies upon a variety of different data collection methods, such as survey,
interview and observation. Different methods produce different types of data, each requiring different
analytical approaches. Look to your text for explanations of the various methods you can use in your
research and the types of analyses that can be used to make sense of the data you collect.

In a 850 word response, post your answers to the following questions:

�How does the adoption of a particular methodology affect the researcher�s choice of methods for

data collection and analysis?

�Which methods might you choose, bearing in mind your chosen methodology and epistemological



Data collection methods

There is a wide variety of methods that researchers can use to collect relevant data for
use in answering their research questions. These methods range from observation to
structured and unstructured interviews to focus groups to questionnaire surveys to
observation to content analysis (Williams 2011). The data collected with the use of each of
these methods necessitate the use of different data analysis techniques. This paper provides a
detailed description of how adopting a certain research methodology will affect the
investigator’s choice of data collection and analysis methods. The paper also specifies the
data collection method that would be used by the researcher – that is me.
The use of a particular research methodology in general affects the investigator’s
selection of data gathering and data analysis methods since specific methodologies go with
certain methods for collecting and analyzing data. In other words, a particular methodology
may fit with a particular method of data collection and data analysis but it may not fit with a
different method of collecting data and analysing data (O’Gorman & MacIntosh 2015). For
example, the positivist approach/methodology fits well with gathering data from the
participants through the use of unstructured open-ended interviews where the participants can
give detailed, in-depth, comprehensive and thorough answers to the interview questions. In
essence, the positivism methodology offers the basis from a phenomenon and data mining
view which encourages the use of open-ended interview questions in data collection and fits
with the qualitative data analysis techniques (Burrell & Morgan 2011).
However, the positivist methodology is not appropriate for use with gathering data
using structured interview questions or questionnaire that allow the respondents to give
answers from a given option; that is, limit the answers of the respondents to Yes or No

answers (Toksoz 2012). The social constructivism methodology provides understanding from
an expertise, knowledge or interest interaction stance between dissimilar parties. As such, this
methodology does not really go with the open-ended interview questions and analyzing data
through the use of qualitative data analysis techniques. In essence, the social constructivism
methodology fits with observation data collection method or questionnaire surveys and
analysis of data with the use of quantitative data analysis techniques.
Chosen method: Interviews

Bearing in mind the selected methodology and epistemological stance – that is, the
positivist methodology – the method that would be used for data collection will be
interviews. Interviews could be carried out over the telephone or in person. Interviews could
be semi-structured, unstructured or structured (Williams 2011). Qualitative interviews would
be carried out by the researcher so as to ascertain a broad representation of the study from
every stakeholder who is involved in the gas/oil sector in the Gulf Cooperation Council
(GCC) member states (Sang, & Seong-Min 2013).
During the interviews, the researcher will ask questions that are clear, focused, and
open-ended and therefore the researcher will encourage open-ended responses from the
interviewees. The researcher will use unstructured interviews with open ended questions as
this would allow the participants to provide more detailed information that will help answer
the research questions. Structured closed-ended questions would not be used in the interviews
given that such questions generally ask a standard set of questions which do not allow the
interviewer to given in-depth responses (O’Gorman & MacIntosh 2015). Interviews could
either be carried out over the telephone or face-to-face. Telephone interviews are by and large
less costly and less time consuming, and the investigator has ready access to the study
participants who have a telephone or mobile phone. Even so, the shortcomings of telephone

interviews include the fact that the response rates may not be as high as the response obtained
with face-to-face interviews, although it is significantly higher in comparison to the mailed
questionnaire surveys.
On the other hand, face-to-face interviews have a unique advantage of allowing the
researchers to build rapport with the potential study subjects and thus gain their cooperation.
Face-to-face interviews, as Williams (2011) pointed out, generate the highest rates of
response in survey research. In addition, face-to-face interviews enable researchers to
elucidate unclear answers and whenever appropriate, seek follow-up information from the
participants. Even so, shortcomings of this interview technique include the fact that it is not
practical whenever large samples are involved in the study. It may also be expensive and
time-consuming to carry out. All in all, the researcher in the proposed study will conduct in-
depth interviews considering that this would be a qualitative research study and the fact that
this study would assume the positivist methodology in determining the effect or consequence
of oil price drop on Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

In conclusion, the usage of any given research methodology affects the investigator’s
selection of data collection as well as data analysis methods since particular methodologies fit
with certain data gathering and data analysis methods but do not fit with others. Put simpy, a
particular methodology may fit with a particular method of data collection and data analysis
but it may not fit with another method of collecting data and analysing data. Bearing in mind
the selected methodology and epistemological stance, the method that would be used for data
collection will be interviews.



Burrell, G., & Morgan, G 2011, Sociological paradigms and organisational analysis:
Elements of the sociology of corporate life. Heinemann: London
Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. & Jackson, P 2012, Management research, 4th ed. London:
SAGE Publications
O’Gorman, K. D., & MacIntosh, R 2015, Research Methods for Business and Management,
2nd Edition, Goodfellow Publishers Ltd: Oxford.
Sang, K, & Seong-Min, Y 2013, ‘Return and Volatility Transmission Between Oil Prices and
Emerging Asian Markets’, Seoul Journal Of Business, 19, 2, pp. 73-93, Business
Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 7 June 2016.
Toksoz, M 2012, ‘The Gulf Cooperation Council and the global recession’, Journal Of Balkan
& Near Eastern Studies, 12, 2, pp. 195-206, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost,
viewed 7 June 2016.
Williams, C 2011, Research Methods. Boston, MA: The Clute Institute.

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