CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.0 Research approach
This chapter will illustrate the way the research has been conducted by presenting the methodologies used. The technicalities if conducting this research will be described in detail. Central issues such as the method of research and the nature of the research will be highlighted.
The study will implement the Delphi research technique. The reason why the researcher has considered this as appropriate is because it is non-experimental and there is no manipulation of variables, since it is simply an exploration of the opinion of the experts in the field of the study (William, Donnelly, & Arora, 2015). The researchers seek to ...view middle of the document...
However, over the years, the technique has been applied to other disciplines successfully. It is based on structural surveys used to gather intuitive-based information from participants who are mostly expert in the field of study. It puts into use the knowledge of these experts, and puts them together to provide a convergent opinion or solution. The subjects are selected purposefully, according to their expertise in the problem area (Williams & Webb, 1994).
A series of surveys will be conducted with the participants based on the feedback from the previous questionnaires. This will involve several rounds of the survey, where each participant will work through the questionnaires which will be returned to the researcher to collect, edit, and return a new questionnaire based on the results of the previous one (Custer, Scarcella, & Stewart, 1999). This will give the participants an opportunity to reassess their positions provided in the previous surveys based on the feedback from the other panelists (Altschuld, 2003). A statement highlighting the final position taken by the group, as well as the individual’s opinion is sent to each participant at the end of the survey. This statement will include a summary of the group’s position, as well as each participant’s position and feedback from the panelists, with reasons for their opinions.
Other outstanding features of the Delphi technique include the ability to provide anonymity to the participants. This is an advantage in that it reduces the effects of dormancy in group-based approaches such as this one (William, Donnelly, & Arora, 2015). Further, confidentiality is enhanced due to the differences in physical locations of the subjects, as well as the use of electronic media in communication. This also reduced certain limitations that are associated with group dynamics such as coercion and manipulation to adopt a given viewpoint (Hasson, Keeney, & McKenna, 2000).
In addition, the Delhi process is intended to reduce the effect of noise, which results to controlled feedback. Noise, according to Miller (2006) and Kaplan (1971), refers to the communication process in a group that may result in distorted data and a focus on individual interests rather than the main task of the group, which is problem solving. Solutions from such group processes are usually laden with bias unrelated to the study. However, controlled feedback gives each participant an opportunity to contribute to the group, as well as shed light on the information gathered throughout the series of surveys conducted. The use of multiple iterations ensures a problem-solving oriented approach, insightful opinions and as a result reduces the effects of noise.
Lastly, this method is subject to a variety of statistical analyses, which further play a role in reducing the pressure to conform (Hsu & Sandford, 2007). This is because they allow for the inclusion of every opinion. The subjects are therefore not forced to conform...