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Research Design and Methodology

A good research design charts out a detailed research plan of how the entire research will be conducted (Manheim, 1977). As highlighted in the below diagram on the research onion process, one of the key decisions is to choose the right methods such as the "quantitative "or the "qualitative" which influence the design choice (Saunders et al, 2007).

According to Saunders et al (2007), the first layer of the research design, namely the research philosophy is dependent upon the way that the researcher thinks about the development of knowledge. There are three views about the research philosophy, positivism and phenomenology being the more prominent, and realism being the third. Each view differs in "the way in which knowledge is developed and judged as being acceptable" (Saunders et al, 2007). The phenomenological approach explains how people experience social phenomena in the world that they live in, and empirically seek to draw conclusions based on these experiences, whereas the positivist approach includes the world as an external and objective and focuses on fundamental facts and looks for causalities.

Summary

The combination of an elaborate literature review and interviews and observation sessions ensured that the author got the best of both worlds - the expedited responses from the secondary research on the one hand, and time-consuming, but highly qualitative and detailed information from the interview and observation sessions on the other.

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