Research Methodology Assignment Paper

Research Methodology
        Research Methodology

Research Methodology

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Research Methodology.

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 research methodology.

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.

4.It might well be the case that, given the problem(s) to be investigated, such a choice of research methods is entirely appropriate. However, if you have not taken the opportunity to justify your research choices to a reader they could be correct in assuming that you have, by chance, merely guessed at what would work and, more by luck than judgement, arrived at the ‘correct’ solution to the problem.

5.The term ‘methodology’, particularly when employed in the social sciences, does not just mean method, but also the governing philosophy behind the methods employed

6.The chapter on research methodology must, painstakingly argue for, and justify each, decision that is taken when arriving at the way in which the research is to be organized.

7.Every time that you, the researcher, have to make a choice from a number of options, you must state what each of these are, why you made the choice you did, and why you rejected those not used.

8.The conclusion of this chapter should provide a summary of the main points that have been covered. The conclusion should also direct the reader as to how the contents of this chapter link in with the contents of the next chapter, your findings.

9.All References must be in Harvard Style.

10.The survey data for The internal and external factors that affect the performance of employees in oil and gas companies within developing states such as Qatar following oil price drops in 2015!


Chapter 3



Table of Contents

  1. Chapter 3: Methodology. 3

3.1.      Research Philosophy. 3

3.2.      Questionnaire. 5

3.2.1.     Advantages of Questionnaire. 5

3.2.2.     Scale Design. 6

3.3.      Questionnaire Design. 8

3.4.      Sampling, Data Collection & Analysis. 9

3.5.      Ethical Considerations. 12

3. Chapter 3: Methodology

3.1.Research Philosophy

Research philosophies have been applied in most of the studies as guides to achieving the research objectives. According to Lewis and Thornhill (2009), there are two main research philosophies commonly applied by mainstream researchers. These two main philosophies include the positivist and interpretivist philosophy (Lewis and Thornhill, 2009). Idyllically, the popular research philosophies have been attributed to the noble work of Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009). Throughout the tenacity of research studies, researchers have constantly applied the two philosophies. According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009), the two main (positivism and Interpretivism philosophies) have remained applicable in most of the research studies in most of the studies subject to their significance in guiding the research studies. However, there are varied opinions on the relevance of specific philosophies in various studies. To determine the applicability and the validity of a philosophy, the researchers must ascertain the relevance of the philosophy being applied. As such, research philosophy has remained a commonplace for guided research studies.

The nobility of a study demands on the philosophy adopted by researchers. Nevertheless, researchers maintain that the best choice of philosophy must often conform to the objectives of the study. For instance, the philosophy must be a guide towards achieving the aims of the study. Therefore, researchers must understand the outlook of the research before they can choose the type of philosophy to be applied. The outlook of the research determines the objectives that the study seeks to find. According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) the research outlook is the general design of the research study that determines how the study is conducted and concluded. The research outlook is however blended by the philosophical approaches. As such, Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) maintain that every research study must be based on a particular research philosophy.

The research philosophies are known to have very distinctive variations that make them applicable in specific studies. Every research study has a distinctive outlook. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the researchers to determine the applicability of the philosophies to a given study. For example, Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) acknowledge that while applying the interpretivist philosophy, researchers often ignore the normalities as well as the rules of the research environment arguing that the changes that are experienced in such environment are often unforeseeable and, therefore, force individuals to ignore the norms and the rules of the business environment. On the other side, Wang (2000) reiterate that individuals with their distinct views are able to propose relevant ideas and arguments.

On the contrary, Hill (2003) reiterates that the positivist philosophy recognises, follows and upholds the rules and norms of the business environment. This means that every researcher applying the positivist approach must rely on the background environments of the businesses. In this philosophy, the researchers must, therefore, be able to apply the scientific methods that help in the determining the nature of the business environments. As such, it is arguable that the philosophy states the standards as well as the rules that future researchers will rely on in their future studies. Interpretivism has blended the research studies in very many instances. Taylor (2005) argues that this philosophy has unveiled uncountable advantages to researchers.

Scientific studies are often complex in nature and require extensive comparison. In this sense, researchers normally employ interpretivist approach. In this research study, interpretivist philosophy has been applied with the view of determining both the external and internal factors affecting the performance of employees in the Qatari state O+G company. Ideally, it sets the rules upon which the researchers lay out their studies. In this research study, the researchers has, therefore, chosen the interpretivist research philosophy over the positivist philosophy. Since the study sought to consider the rules, guidelines as well as the standards that control the business environments in most of the common organisations, this approach has helped in determining how the various internal and external factors affect the employee affect the productivity of employees in oil and gas companies in state of Qatar after the 2015 oil drop (Tsai & Wang, 2013).

It is significant for the researchers to study how factors such as the compensation structure, job security and workforce autonomy affect employees’ productivity across Qatar states. On the other hand, this study will apply the available statistical analysis tools to find the results of the entire study. As such, the study’s primary data collection will be the principal method of obtaining data in this study. In addition to this, the participants in this study will be expected to provide information on the impacts of employee jobs security, workforce autonomy and compensation structures on the productivity of employees working in the a state in Qatar. While taking note on the interpretivist approach in this study, the study will also be built through the review of existing literature studies. This means that the researcher will obtain the relevant information related to the study and use the information to help in answering the study questions. The literature review and the findings from the existing literature will help in the testing of the study variables. The study analysis will then be done based on other methods for statistical analysis such as Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) as well as the Microsoft Excel.


3.2.1.      Advantages of Questionnaire

In this study, the questionnaire has been used as a primary source of data. To obtain data from the participants in this study, the questionnaire had been considered as the most appropriate data collection tool. One of the significance of using the questionnaire is because it will ensure collection of data independently. As such, the data collected by questionnaire will be specific to various participants. According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009), questionnaires are very critical tools that can be used in collecting systematic data from a larger sample of many participants. In many instances, the data from questionnaires can be used in determining the actual responses of the participants without the interference of the other external individuals. Although the questionnaires also have certain limitations, Appleton, Song and Xia (2014) acknowledge the application of the questionnaires in most of the research studies initiate effective and accurate collection of data. In such cases, the participants are protected and are able to answer the questionnaire questions without fear or interference.

In this manner, Punch (2013) appraises the application of questionnaires stating that they are time-saving, cheaper compared to the other conventional data collection methods and able to be used with the larger samples. In studies where questionnaires are used, the validity of the findings has always remained high. Taylor (2005), notes that the responses given by most of the participants in questionnaires are personal sentiments. Questionnaires often give individuals room for self-expression thus, increasing the levels of valid responses. The questionnaire usage in both data collection and analysis has been appraised by many researchers. For example, Taylor (2005) acknowledged that the use of Bruton et al. (2015) makes it easier to analyse and collected data. The questionnaire helps in the collection of systematic data. This means that the systematic data can be easier to analyse compared to the non-systematic data.

Conversely, Punch (2013) notes that the use of questionnaire allows both statistical and descriptive data analysis unlike the other forms of data collection that restrict analysis and presentation. Based on the nature of the study, the quantitative techniques that will be used in the collection of data will lead to statistical data analysis (Taylor, 2005). Since the study will also have its qualitative components, the application of the questionnaire will be appropriate in doing a qualitative analysis.

3.2.2.      Scale Design

According to Taylor, G. (2005) employee performance is affected by a number of factors. Some of these factors are intrinsic while some of them are extrinsic. Of the extrinsic factors, Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) note that compensatory structure, the workforce autonomy and the employee job security remains principal factors affecting the employee productivity. In this manner, Fan, Wong and Zhang (2013) note that it is important to study the relationship between the employee performance and these factors. The scale to be designed in this study aims at identifying the measures that can be used in determining the effects of job autonomy, employee job security as well as the employee compensation in the Chinese SOEs (Bruton et al. 2015). In order to measure the effects of the stated factors on employee performance, the researcher will ensure that he/she uses the scale to ascertain the relationships between the factors and the levels of performance.

This study is to find how the three factors (job autonomy, job security and employee compensation structures) affect the levels of employee performance in Qatari oil and gas companies. This being the main focus, the researcher has to compare the views from various participants. The responses were significant in determining the levels of employee performance in Qatari O+G companies. Therefore, the scale design will remain critical in ensuring that the relationship between the factors and the performance is confirmed. The variables of the study will, therefore, be included and discussed in the following tables.

Measure scale of Compensation

N Item Description
1 The salary given to the workers is often adequate and reasonable to all the workers
2 The salary is inadequate and insufficient to most workers
3 The salary is equivalent to the work done by the workers
4 Workers appreciate the salary that they receive from the managers
5 Workers always complain about the salary that they get from the managers
6 All the workers regardless of their performance are entitled to pension and salary.
7 Only hardworking employees are rewarded, salaried and entitled to a pension.
8 Workers work hard because they know that they are pensioned
9 Workers work hard because they know they do not have a pension.


Measure Scale for Job Security

N Item Description
1 The job restriction disallows freedom off-duty
2 The job allows freedom and one may choose to be on duty or not
3 The work is monitored frequently and keenly and offenders are retrenched
4 Workers job is secure and safe making people free to do what they want.
5 All workers are entitled to pension

Measure Scale for Workforce Autonomy

N Item Description
1 Workers choose what they want to do without consulting the management
2 Workers must always work under the instruction and supervision by the management
3 Workers have the freedom to work together with the management of the organisations.
4 At work, there is support given to the workers by the management in order to ensure guidance.
5 Workers work alone without the interference of the management.
6 The workers are usually accurate in doing things by themselves without the support of the management.
7 Workers often error when not supported by the management
8 Workforce receives guidance from the managers frequently
9 The workforce guide themselves without the intervention of the managers

3.3.Questionnaire Design

At the end of the study, the completed questionnaires used in this study were appended as proof of the results. The questionnaires had the specific components and parts as stated in the section below.

The first part of the questionnaire had the identity details of the participants as well as the purpose of the questionnaire. The participants identified themselves with specific codes in order to ensure that there is anonymity during the study. In this manner, this section also contained the factors that were to be studied during this research. For example, the section identified factors such as employee job autonomy, compensation structure and the job security. The participants (individual workers from the Qatari O+G companies) derived the understanding of the factors to be studied from this section. In the first part, the participants identified the factors that they are aware of among the three identified factors. The participants were then being asked in this section to explain whether they enjoyed these factors or not. This was used as a confirmation that the participants were aware of the factors that affect their performance.

This first section is significant because it confirms whether the participants are aware of the factors that affect their performance. In this manner, the scale was designed in a manner that identified the degree of knowledge to confirm the level of knowledge. This means that the questionnaire assessed whether the factors (job security, compensation and job autonomy) affect their work.

The second part of the questionnaire is on the body of the questionnaire. This is where the researcher assigned responses which constituted a scale 4-pont Likert scale (1-agree, 2-disagree, 3-not sure, 4-I don’t know) for assessing the level of knowledge on the factors affecting the employees’ level of productivity. In the fourth sections, the researcher identified the details of the participants such as the demographics such as name, age, ethnicity, educational level, and frequency of purchasing as well as the levels of income.

3.4.Sampling, Data Collection & Analysis

The main aim of the study is to determine the factors affecting employees’ performance in the Qatari oil and gas employees. The interest therefore remains focused on the performance of the Qatari employees. In this study, there are many correlational factors that was included; however, the researchers use the three factors (job security, workforce autonomy and employee compensation structure) to determine how they affect the workforce productivity. Given there is a difference between the employee performances in Qatar O+G companies explained by extant literature, the study concentrated on the abovementioned factors. Since the study sought to find out the effects of these factors on the Qatari O+G employees, the employees in the Qatari state company were targeted. Although, Brandt, Van Biesebroeck and Zhang (2012) there are many Qatari companies that are eligible for the study, this study applied a concise sampling criterion in finding the best individuals to identify those who took part in this particular study. In order to be able to sample the best individuals for the study, there were factors that the researcher considered important.

One of the most important factors was the budget size for the study and its economic impacts to the researcher. Ideally, the high budget forced the researcher to restrict the sample to a given number of participants. In this manner, the researcher had to come up with another method of selecting the participants who met the specific eligibility factors. Time constraint was also a critical consideration that the researcher had to consider. Since there are many companies, the time that was needed was a lot (Tsai & Wang, 2013).  In order to battle the time constraint, the researcher applied non-probability sampling. This is where participants with specific features were selected for the study. In this sense, non-probability sampling was the best method as it gave the research a mature sample for the study.

Additionally, non-probability sampling also improved the convenience during sampling. This means that the participants selected were individuals who were carefully selected. Since the sample was made of Qatari workers, Fan, Wong and Zhang (2013) posit that such sampling ensured that those included in the study were available and easily accessible. This helped in sampling individuals who ensured that the aims of the study were achieved.

On the contrary, non-probability sampling may also cause biases during sampling of the participants. Since there was the need in attaining convenience, this method of sampling was chosen for the study. Only qualified individuals were included in this research study. Some of the requirements during sampling required participants aged above 18 years, had to be workers in some of the renowned Qatari oil and gas companies and had to have willingness to take part in the study till the end.

Based on the requirements, the researcher recruited 100 participants only. This means that the researcher had to reproduce 105 questionnaires to be used among the participants. According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) the excess questionnaires help in ensuring accuracy in the distribution of the questionnaires. This limited the errors that might have arose during the study. The excess number also ensured that the questionnaires attained the validity rate. As such, the questionnaires distributed were statistically significant after the study. Larger samples require larger inputs in order to be able to come up with accurate results. This means that researchers dealing with larger samples must be able to spend larger amounts of money, resources, time and energy in conducting the studies.

Dealing with a large population of samples in various studies has remained one of the challenges for most researchers. However, the researchers may have all the money and resources needed in conducting surveys with such large samples, but the problem is that such studies may not yield accurate results. In this sense, it advisable to choose an easily manageable samples that are easier to work with. This is why this study ensured that the participants selected for the study were only 100 workers (Du, Tang & Young, 2012). In as much as this study sample is also large, it is thought to be a sizeable population that the researcher will be able to manage without limitations. Tsai and Wang (2013) say that there are a number of advantages in working with smaller populations. Ideally, the smaller populations reduce the time taken in conducting the study. A smaller sample is easier to manage as compared to the larger populations.

According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009), larger populations tend to be tiresome when assessing. This means that the researchers may overlook some of the important procedures that are necessary for the processes of the study. While Cheng and Liu (2014) appraise larger population for the validity and generalisability of the findings from larger populations, Taylor (2005) negates the idea by saying that larger population lead to dilution of the results. In this case, the researcher in this study settled for a manageable and affordable population of participants.

This study was useful in very many ways. According to Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009), such studies can be applied in very many situations where similar problems are experienced. Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009), postulate that there are many problems that are only revealed through research studies. Ideally, findings from this study can be used in understanding the major cases of the problems that affect Qatari oil and gas company employees. In trying to find some of the challenges that the workers face in Qatar, the findings will be used across Qatar. This means that Qatar as a whole will be represented in the study. This, therefore, calls for concise analysis and interpretation of the findings. In order to be certain of the findings of the study, the researcher had to, conduct proper research that identified all the factors that affect the oil and gas company workers.

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) agreed that primary data collection help researchers in understanding a number of aspects in the research studies. This data was the ultimate confirmation that the cited problems are actually present. The data will be relevant in making viable decisions concerning the performance of the employees in similar companies. The primary data will also make it easier for the researcher to confirm the claims in the literature materials. As such, the primary data will be used together with the secondary data in order to come up with conclusive reports on how compensation, job security and workforce autonomy affects the performance and productivity of the employees.

The final data from this study will be usable in various oil and gas companies within and outside Qatar. This study will, therefore, help in determining how the performance of the employees working in the oil and gas companies can be improved. Ideally, the information obtained from this study will be relevant in developing standards upon which the O+G companies can use to increase the levels of performance. Based on the study, there are a number of O+G companies that face challenges of productivity. In this sense, it is imperative to incorporate the information from this study in an attempt of improving the performances of the employees in the company (Du, Tang and Young, 2012). Therefore, the concise analysis will ensure the use of Microsoft Excel and SPSS. In addition, the correlation between compensation, job security as well as workforce autonomy and the level of productivity will be analysed.

3.5.Ethical Considerations

The participants’ voluntarism is one of the major issues that are considered as a challenge in the study. The participants must be aware of the requirements of the study. In this manner, the study only considered only individuals volunteers who were included in this study. Ideally, this study considered participant anonymity, therefore; the application of the questionnaire made it possible to conceal the identity of the participants. However, all the participants had to be eligible for the study before they were included. This means that individuals who did not meet the criteria were excluded from the study.


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