Research Methodology and Methods
Please follow these instructions as they are very important for this chapter:
1.You should begin the Research Methodology chapter by stating, again, the research objectives of
the project. This will enable the reader to make an assessment as to the validity of your chosen
2.This chapter is that part of the dissertation where you have the opportunity to justify to the reader
the process by which the research questions, which were derived by an analysis of the relevant
literature, were answered.
3.It is not sufficient to say, for example, �suitable respondents were sampled using a quota sampling
technique and then surveyed using a postal questionnaire� and then leave it at that.
The objectives of this research include exploring the role of training and development
on the performance of organizations in Qatar; and identifying the strategic measures that
organizations can pursue in training and development. In achieving research objectives, the
research methodology plays a vital role in promoting research reliability and authenticity.
This insinuates that the methodology chosen for research must promise to effectively meet
the research objectives by answering the research questions adequately. This chapter provides
an elaborate description of how the research was conducted, including the research design,
sampling procedures sample size, data collection methods, data analysis methods and legal
and ethical considerations.
This study utilizes the qualitative research design approach to explore the human
resource strategies that influence employee engagement within organizations in Qatar.
Qualitative research is considered an effective approach in business studies research, given
that it seeks to understand phenomena based on lived experiences and views of individuals
who have interacted directly with the phenomena (Chesnay, 2014). The use of qualitative
research helps the researcher in understanding underlying perceptions, opinions, reasons,
comprehension and motivations among respondents, based on their interaction or experience
Research Methodology and Methods 3
with the subject of study (Leew, Hox & Dillman, 2012). In this case, the research works with
employees, who provide responses based on their experiences on training and development
programs in their organizations. Qualitative research is selected over quantitative research
approach for this research due to the nature of the research, which mostly consists of
descriptive data (Anney, 2014). Unlike quantitative research which involves the analysis of
statistical data and structured data sets, qualitative research is used in exploratory studies
whose data may vary significantly in structure, such as the data collected from interviews
Data collection and research methods
The data for use in this research was collected using both primary and secondary data.
Primary data is highly important in research because it provides first-hand information from
research. Given that the researcher employs data collection and analysis procedures that are
carefully selected with the aim of obtaining the most appropriate results for the research,
primary data is considered more reliable (Rose, Spinks & Canhoto, 2014). Secondary data’s
importance cannot be underestimated, given that it provides valuable information to guide
research based on previous researches (Rose, Spinks & Canhoto, 2014). Secondary data
consisted of peer-reviewed journal articles, books, case studies and other sources of
information regarding training and development in organizations. Secondary data was mostly
used in literature review and discussion of findings from primary data.
To collect primary data for the completion of this research, the researcher utilizes two
qualitative inquiry methods, namely: semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. These
were effective in understanding how employee engagement is influenced by human resource
strategy. Using these methods, the research employs an exploratory approach in obtaining
Research Methodology and Methods 4
information, by collecting diverse information from the interviews and open-ended
The semi-structured interview approach works by integration pre-determined
questions with open questions that elicit a conversation, such that the researcher can explore
various themes further (Cohen Manion & Morrison, 2011). Semi-structured interviews were
used based on their ability to collect diverse information from respondents regarding the
research subject, which ensured that the research questions are adequately answered. Since
the researcher was not restricted to a particular interview script like in structured interviews
where the researcher must follow the pre-determined questions, semi-structured interviews
ensured that the researcher could collect information on areas of interest depending on the
recipient (Leew, Hox & Dillman, 2012). On the contrary, semi-structured interviews may be
time consuming and failure to guide the interviewee may divert the interview from important
matters or lead to the collection of a lot of unnecessary information, which makes analysis
more difficult (Leew, Hox & Dillman, 2012). To counter this, the researcher allocated
specific timings for questions to ensure that respondents did not dwell too much on some at
the expense of others. The researcher also remained in control of the interviews, by guiding
the respondents when they seemed to be diverting from the main agenda.
Questionnaires were considered effective in the collection of data due to their ability
to collect data from a large population within a short period of time. Questionnaires also save
costs besides saving time, compared to interviews, where the researcher had to spend
considerable time and money for travelling and conducting interviews (Holt & Pamment,
2011). They were also easier to administer because the respondents can fill them at their own
convenience and without having to reveal their identity, which improves confidentiality
(Christopher, 2013). Uniformity of data would also achieved due to the pre-determined
Research Methodology and Methods 5
questions, which makes analysis easier. However, data from questionnaires may be less
accurate because the researcher has no way of controlling how the respondent answers the
questions and whether canvasing is involved. Despite this shortcoming, questionnaires were
considered more effective due to the high number of respondents involved in the research.
Furthermore, combining this approach with semi-structured interviews ensured that the
researcher obtained more reliable results.
Research Population and sample size
The target population for this research was the Qatar workforce. Given that Qatar is a
region with a vibrant business environment and diverse human resource practices, the
population would provide adequate information for strategies that influence employee
engagement. A sample of 100 employees was utilized for the research. Employees were
selected from 10 companies operating in Qatar, such that 10 respondents were selected from
each company. The selection process was done in collaboration with the human resource
managers from the respective organizations.
This research targets 100 employees from Qatar to get useful data for analysis and
conclusions. To achieve this, a combination of simple random sampling and purposive
sampling were employed.
Simple random sampling refers to a method of sample selection where the every
member of the population has an opportunity to be included in the research (Nahorniak, et al.,
2015) According to Christopher (2013), this eliminates bias and ensures that the information
collected to a great extent represents the entire population. Simple random sampling was
considered more effective than other probability sampling methods such as stratified
Research Methodology and Methods 6
sampling and cluster sampling. Stratified sampling requires the researcher to perform random
sampling within subgroups of the population, which ensures that smaller groups within the
population are equally represented (Nahorniak, et al., 2015) This is considered highly
effective in ensuring equal representation but this research did not require this form of
stratification. Cluster sampling is applicable where there are numerous micros clusters within
the population, such that a random sample of each cluster is considered. This method would
not be applicable in this research because the researcher‘s selection criteria was not aimed at
dividing the population into clusters.
Purposive sampling is where the researcher selects the sample based on which
respondents can provide the kind of information being sought, often informed by their
knowledge and experience in the subject under inquiry (Monette, Sullivan & DeJong, 2013).
This increases the probability of obtaining more accurate information and consequently
enhancing the accuracy and reliability of the study results. Purposive sampling is widely used
among researchers in situations where specific respondent knowledge and expertise is
needed. The downside of purposive sampling is that it may be biased, given that the
researcher influences the respondents to be included in the research (Patton, 2015). In
essence, it is the opposite of random sampling which aims at ensuring equal representation of
the population. To address this, the researcher aimed at avoiding bias by ensuring that the
respondents were only selected based on their qualifications and experience.
Simple random sampling was used in selecting the companies to be included in the
research. Employees were selected from 10 companies identified using simple random
sampling. In selecting a sample for the research, purposive sampling was used in selecting
respondents who would offer appropriate data on how human resource strategies influence
employee engagement in Qatar. The researcher collected a list of 150 companies in Qatar and
Research Methodology and Methods 7
then used a random number selection application to identify 10 companies whose employees
were to be involved in the research. Once the companies were identified, the researcher
approached the human resource manager in the companies to assist in selection of
respondents through purposive sampling. This was considered an appropriate measure
because the human resource manager was in a better position to identify individuals within
the organization who meet the selection criteria. As provided in purposive sampling, a
random sample may not always be effective in selecting a sample due to the possibility of
selecting respondents who may not offer adequate information to answer the research
In order for an employee to qualify as a potential respondent, he or she must have
worked in Qatar for at least 10 years and worked in their current organization for at least
three years. This would ensure that the respondents could provide adequate information in the
Qatar context as well as the company context. One employee from each company had to be
the human resource manager while two employees from each company had to be department
managers. The other seven employees were sourced from different departments within the
organization, ensuring that as many departments as possible were represented. The researcher
interviewed 30 employees out of this sample, who basically included the human resources
and department managers. The interviews were aimed at establishing what managers thought
about the impact of training and development on their employees’ performance.
Questionnaires were issued to the other 70 employees to determine employees’ reaction to
training and development on their performance.
Data Analysis approach
Following the collection of relevant data, the researcher used Microsoft Excel in
analyzing the data by employing the various statistical data analysis tools available on the
Research Methodology and Methods 8
software. This included a combination of excel tabulations, pie charts and tables for visual
presentation of the data collected from the research and perform inferential statistical tests.
Coding was used in analyzing data from the interviews.
Microsoft Excel is considered one of the most utilized tool for data analysis globally
due to the numerous functions including calculation and computation tools, presentation tools
and statistical analysis functions. Jackson (2012) notes that Ms Excel makes analysis easier
by providing formulas for analyzing data for comparison purposes. It is also effective in
presenting information from data collected, thus enhancing data analysis and dissemination.
Coding is known for its ability to analyze qualitative data, hence its selection for the
analysis of interview data collected in the research. Coding involves the classification of
research findings into different categories and assigning them codes, based on themes
identified (Klenke, 2016). This allows for narrative data to be effectively analyzed and thus
promote result accuracy. Ms Excel provided an excellent platform for data entry, coding and
analysis and will thus be effective in this process.
Validity & Reliability
In order for research results to be effectively utilized to inform strategy, policy and
development of other researches among other uses, validity and reliability are considered
essential prerequisites. This research makes deliberate attempts at enhancing validity and
reliability through well implemented research procedures and eliminating possible errors. To
enhance validity, the researcher went through training on interview performing skills to
ensure that the process was flawlessly executed and that the right procedures were used to
reduce chances of researcher bias (Powell, Hughes-Scholes & Sharman, 2012). To ensure
that the research is reliable, the researcher utilizes purposive sampling which ensures that the
Research Methodology and Methods 9
sample selected is of the highest quality and that it provides high level data on the research.
To minimize bias, the researcher uses random sampling to select the sample companies to be
used for research (Yin, 2013). Ethical sampling and respondent communication also played
an important aspect in promoting validity and reliability. The researcher ensured that the
sampling process was as transparent as possible and that the respondents were given an
opportunity for informed consent (Quimby, 2012). The use of reliable and efficient data
analysis techniques also played a significant role in promoting the reliability of the research
Researchers are expected to maintain high ethical standards in order for research validity and
authenticity to be achieved. In this regard, the research will be conducted within the legal
frameworks and uphold highest standards of ethics during the collection and utilization of
information. To achieve this, the researcher will seek approval from the ethics committee
before commencing the study. Secondly, the researcher will ensure that all respondents
selected for the study participate out of their own consent and that no one is coerced into
being part of the study. Thirdly, the researcher will observe the following ethical issues with
regards to research.
Permission to conduct study
Ethical standards require that when conducting a research in an institutional setting, it
is important to seek permission from authorities in order to ensure that they are aware of the
researcher’s intentions and activities (Hammersley & Traianou, 2012).This research was done
in private organizations in Qatar and selection of respondents was done in conjunction with
Research Methodology and Methods 10
the human resource manager. This means that the first step in conducting the research was to
seek permission from the organization.
Privacy and confidentiality
An important ethical factor in research is ensuring that the privacy and confidentiality
of respondents is maintained. This means that their views should only be used for research
purposes and should not be shared with third parties or used to incriminate them (Quimby,
2012). In this research, privacy and confidentiality was assured in the entire process through
various actions. Firstly, the researcher assured participants that their responses would only
use used in informing the research and not for any other purpose. Secondly, their views and
information collected from them would not be shared with third parties including their
managers or marketing companies. Thirdly, respondents given the questionnaire would not be
required to indicate their names, thus boosting their assurance on confidentiality (Chesnay,
2014). Those who participated in interviews were assured that their personal credentials and
responses would be treated with utmost confidentiality.
Research ethics require that participants must not be coerced into participating in any
study and that they must do so upon their own volition. To ensure that this is achieved the
researcher is expected to ensure informed consent, which involves providing adequate
information to respondents regarding the research, to help them make an informed decision
on whether to participate or not (Resnik, 2016). To address this issue, the researcher sent
information to the respondents indicating the purpose of the research, data collection methods
and expected usefulness of the research.
Research Methodology and Methods 11
This chapter comprehensively explains the methodology that this research applied in
exploring the role of training and development in enhancing organizational strategy. The
chapter establishes that this research utilizes the qualitative method, with interviews and
questionnaires being used in the collection of data. The data analysis method to be used to
scrutinize findings as well as the how validity and reliability of research will be ensured are
discussed. The chapter also defines the population, sample and sampling methods used in
determining the sample for research; and defines the ethical issues considered during the
The next chapter consists of the findings from the research, which comprises of the
data collected from the interviews and questionnaires. The results will form a basis for
analysis and consequently the research findings.
Research Methodology and Methods 12
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Research Methodology and Methods 13
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