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The impact of oil price drop on GCC countries

Research Methodology: The impact of oil price drop on GCC countries, governments,

companies and individuals

In this paper, three peer-reviewed journal articles that address the research problems
like the research problem I selected are identified. The research methodology utilized to carry
out the study as described in these three research articles are evaluated. In essence, the
existing methodologies are evaluated and the methodology that I will use for my dissertation
is explored.
How the problem has been studied previously

  1. Content analysis methodology

In his study, Hvidt (2013) employs a comparative and empirical approach to analyse
the future trends and previous record of economic diversification in the 6 member states of
the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The author applied content analysis methodology and
studied potential future diversification trends from existing national visions and development
plans published by the governments of the GCC states. According to Hvidt (2013),
diversification is a vital means of securing both the sustainability and stability of income
levels in the future. Diversification involves reinvigorating the private sector and therefore it
calls for the execution of wider reforms. Content analysis methodology as employed in the
study by Hvidt (2013) is essentially a research methodology that is utilized in making valid
and replicable inferences through interpreting textual material and coding it. Through
evaluating texts such as graphics, oral communication and documents in a systematic manner,
qualitative data could be transformed into quantitative data (Williams 2011).

  1. Statistical analysis methodology
    In another study, Ahmed (2015) investigated if the United Arab Emirate’s
    diversification strategies are sufficient enough to manage the country’s economic
    development. Ahmed (2015) used statistical analysis procedure as the methodology for
    examining the contribution of diversified sectors basing upon the Gross Domestic Product of
    the United Arab Emirates particularly during and following the 2008-2012 global financial
    crisis. Statistical analysis methodology is an essential method for getting approximate
    solutions whenever the actual process is unknown or very intricate in its true form. Statistical
    analysis, as Williams (2011) pointed out, is a part of data analytics. The researcher collects
    and scrutinizes each data sample in a set of items from which samples could be obtained

from. It is notable that a sample refers to a representative selection which is drawn from a
total population. The findings of the study by Ahmed (2015) revealed that investing in
various sectors instead of oil would have improved the performance of UAE’s economy

  1. Case study methodology
    In his study, Edwak (2012) used a case study methodology to examine Libya’s oil
    dependency and how this North African oil-producing country can diversify its economy so
    that it does not rely solely on oil exports as the only revenue source. According to Edwak
    (2012), the economy of Libya is heavily dependent on growing revenues from oil, which
    could actually deteriorate in the event of a drop in oil prices in the future. The economy of
    Libya could be affected adversely considering that in the global market, oil prices typically
    fluctuate widely. Even though in the coming years Libya could increase its oil production and
    revenues considerably thanks to its sizeable oil reserves, Libya’s dependence of public
    finance on just one sector implies that shocks threaten the financial balance and stability of
    the economy of Libya.
    To avoid over-reliance on the oil sector which could really hurt the economy when
    prices drop and when demand declines due to proliferation of alternative sources of fuel, the
    Libyan government should foster and encourage growth of the non-oil sectors and stimulate
    economic diversification. Through the use of case study research methodology, Edwak
    (2012) carried out a detailed study of a specific situation – in this case how Libya is highly
    dependent on oil and how Libya can diversify so that its economy is not adversely affected by
    drop in oil prices or decline in demand – instead of an extensive statistical survey. Case study
    methodology is generally a detailed investigation of a single community, event or group. It is
    notable that case studies are an ideal methodology when an in-depth, holistic investigation is

required (Williams 2011). For the study by Edwak (2012), case study entailed a detailed
investigation of a single country – Libya.
Most useful methodology in addressing the research question/problem
I would not use the research methodology similar to those reviewed; I would use a
different methodology. In addressing the research problem of the proposed research, the most
useful methodology that would be used is the positivist approach and gathering data through
the use of open-ended interviews. The study will take on the positivist approach in
establishing the impact of oil price decline on GCC member states, governments, business
organizations, as well as individuals (Sang, & Seong-Min 2013). In particular, this research
study would assume the onion research approach which depicts the layers that are involved in
the research study. The fundamentals of the positivist viewpoint in the proposed research
study determine the independence of the study and its influence that is value free. Positivism
sees the element of knowledge as a facet which decreases the phenomena into simple facets
which clearly depicted the general policies of the study (Toksoz 2012). The response of this
study revolves around the views of the stakeholders including governments, nationals,
residents and states within the GCC member states. Given that there are various stakeholders,
the aspect of critical realism would be initiated to answer the research questions of the study
and take an analysis of the situations. Qualitative interviews would be carried out for the
purpose of ascertaining a holistic representation of the study from all the stakeholders
involved in the oil/gas industry.



Ahmed, ZE 2015, The role of diversification strategies in the economic development for oil-
depended countries: The case of the UAE. International Journal of Business and
Economic Development, 3(1): 1-11
Edwik, AA 2012, Oil dependency, economic diversification and development: A case study
of Libya. Middle East Journal, 31 (4): 85–102.
Hvidt, M 2013, Economic diversification in GCC countries: Past record and future trends.
London: London School of Economics.
Sang Hoon, 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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