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Alternative methods

The chapter identified alternative methods, compared these alternatives, and provided justifications for the selected methods based on the purpose, aim and objectives, and research questions previously identified for the study. The research applied both secondary and primary research methods to support a quantitative study that used questionnaire as the mode of data collection. The limitations, reliability and validity issues, and ethical issues emerging in the research process also formed part of the discussion. 3. 2 Gaps in the Literature Review

Existing knowledge based on the review of literature showed the strong correlation between the inclusion of certain minority groups in the community and the programs implemented by the national and local government in preparing to host the Olympics. (Ofsted, 2004; Home Office, 2004) Studies of actual cases indicated variances in the result. In the case of Atlanta Olympics in 1996, the results were not as expected because of the failure to consider inclusion as an outcome of the preparation programs (Higham, 1999; Lenskyi, 2000). However, these studies were made in the aftermath of the Olympics and focused on the outcomes.

The study attempted to fill the knowledge gap by studying inclusion of minority groups, determined through volunteering attitudes and behaviors towards the volunteer programs in preparation for the Olympics; and document factors that could contribute to the success or failure of the programs by focusing on the process instead of the actual outcomes. 3. 3 Research Design 3. 3. 1 Research Philosophy Research philosophy is the approach to the collection and treatment of data in the study. There are two general options for a research philosophy, which are positivism and interpretivism.

On one hand, positivism propounds the possibility of collecting data objectively and without the interference of the researcher in the phenomenon studied. On the other hand, interpretivism propounds that understanding reality could only be through the consideration of subjective experiences. One difference is the type of data collected, which could be measurable data for positivist studies and personal accounts for interprevist studies. Another difference is the involvement of the researcher, which is nil in positivism and varying degrees of involvement in interpretivism.

(Saunders et al. , 2003; Creswell, 2009) The research applied positivism as the research philosophy because this fits the purpose of the study of approaching the assessment of the role of community strategies in shaping volunteering activities of young Black-African community in preparation for the Olympics 2012 in London Borough of Newham objectively. 3. 3. 2 Research Approach The research approach determines the organization, analysis and presentation of data in the study. Two options are to use inductive or deductive approach.

The inductive approach commences with observations then proceeds to the determination of patterns before developing a tentative hypothesis and finally proposing a theory. The deductive approach starts with a theory and then develops hypotheses for investigation through observations to support confirmation or invalidation, wholly or partly, of the hypotheses and concurrently the theory. (Saunders et al. , 2003; Creswell, 2009) The deductive approach captured the purpose of the study of testing the theory linking inclusion of minority groups in preparatory programs for the Olympics. 3. 3. 3. Research Strategy

The research strategy determines the scope and source of data. Various strategies exist such as survey, case study, ethnology, and experiment (Kervin 1992; Finn et al. , 2000). These require different scopes and sources of data. The survey strategy was selected because it matched the requirements of the study of collecting data covering a wide range of areas (Robson, 2002) particularly demographics and the different points of assessing the inclusionary impact of volunteer programs in preparation for the 2012 Olympics on the volunteer attitudes and behaviour of a large number of respondents.

While the survey strategy involved more time, coordination with the target participants, this ensured the collection of data within the timeframe set for the research. 3. 4 Research Methods The research combined secondary and primary research to integrate the benefits of both in the study and address the limitations of using only one method. Secondary research offered the benefits of providing easily available data useful when there is time constraint but the data may not fit the requirements of the study or insufficient.

Primary research carried the benefits of ensuring fit between the data collected and data required by the study but this requires time and consideration of reliability and validity. By combining both methods, the limitations of the secondary method are addressed especially insufficiency of data and the reliability and validity issues are addressed in part by using theory derived from secondary data as the framework of the study. (Robson, 2002; Saunders et al. , 2003; Creswell, 2009) 3. 4. 1 Secondary Method

Secondary method refer to library research to collect data previously gathered for another purpose (Creswell, 2009) contained in books, academic journal articles, official publications and report, theses, other forms of researches, and Internet sources. The bulk of secondary research provides a strong framework for the collection of primary data. 3. 4. 2 Primary Method Primary data refer to information derived for the original purpose of the study (Creswell, 2009). There are three options for primary method, which are quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods.

The quantitative method involves the collection and analysis of measurable data while the qualitative method involves the collection and analysis of accounts or descriptions. The mixed method combines the quantitative and qualitative methods. The quantitative method fits the objective philosophy of the study by ensuring the objective data collection in the form of measurable data. While mixed methods could also apply, this involves a scope broader than the purpose of the study. The exploration of qualitative data on the phenomenon studied constitutes a recommended area for expansion of the study. 3. 4. 2. 1 Quantitative Study

Applying the quantitative study to derive measurable data involved an advantage and disadvantage. The advantage is the high reliability of data susceptible to replication because of its measurable nature. The disadvantage is issues on validity or the extent that the measures captured the phenomenon studied (internal validity) and the generalizability of data (external validity). (Saunders et al. , 2003) The research addressed the validity issue by developing a questionnaire that captures the phenomenon studied. The research applied the quantitative study by incorporating nominal and ordinal measures in the questionnaire.

3. 4. 2. 2 Questionnaire There are different methods of collecting data in a quantitative study such as experiment, survey questionnaire, and archive research (Saunders et al. , 2003). Other forms of collecting data do not fit the requirements of the study. By the process of elimination, the questionnaire remains the practical option. In addition, the selected research strategy is survey and survey data is best-collected using questionnaires, which are a set of questions in written form given or sent to the respondents to answer and given or sent back to the researcher.

This enabled the collection of data from a large group of respondents because it is self-administered. There are two types of questions that could be included in a questionnaire, which are closed and open-ended. Closed questions include a set of answers to chose from and open-ended questions are answerable as the respondent sees fit. (Kervin, 1992) The questionnaire used in the study involved closed questions to support the collection of measurable data. Specifically, the questionnaire has two sections. The first section derives socio-demographic information on the respondents as background for the theory of inclusion of minority groups.

The second section draws information on the reasons for volunteering to assess the extent that the volunteer programs, as part of preparations for the Olympics, affect inclusion of minority groups. 3. 4. 2. 3 Sampling Sampling is the process of selecting the research respondents. There are various sampling methods such as: ? Random sampling—selection without using a particular criteria ? Stratified sampling—use of selected population stratum as criteria for representation and selection ? Purposive sampling—use of a set of criteria to select a particular group of respondents

? Convenience sampling—use most accessible population ? Snowball sampling—use social network of the researcher to derive the sample. (Finn et al. , 2000) Based on the requirements of the study of collecting information on the volunteering attitudes and behavior of young people between the ages of 12 to 18 living the primarily Black-African community of London Borough of Newham, the appropriate sampling method is purposive sampling for the respondents to meet these criteria. There are also various methods of administering the questionnaire, which are:

? Household survey—going from home to home to distribute the questionnaire ? Street survey—distributing questionnaires in a busy street or street where the target sample is likely to pass ? Telephone survey—calling people to seek answers to the questionnaire ? Mail survey—sending questionnaires to respondents via post for return through post ? Site survey—questionnaires are distributed in a particular site pertinent to the study such as company or community ? Captive group survey—administration of questionnaires is to particular groups such as organizations or unions (Veal, 2006).

Since the sampling method is purposive, the appropriate method of administering the questionnaire is the combination of site survey and captive group survey to target the location London Borough of Newham and the group of young people 12 to 18 years of age living in this community. Questionnaires were distributed in the school in Newham where the targeted group are found. The number of respondents depended on the representative sample of the population meeting the criteria of age, race and residence.

As many respondents were considered as possible with the coordination of school administrators and teachers. In total 75 questionnaires were distributed. Out of which, 67 questionnaires were returned. 3. 4. 2. 4 Pre-Pilot Study The purpose of a pre-pilot study is to determine the viability of the research instruments before administration to actual respondents (Veal, 2006). The pre-pilot study was conducted amongst 5 colleagues. Of the changes made based on pre-pilot study feedback were: ? Grammatical corrections ? Addition of question 4

? Rephrasing of questions 10, 11 and 12 rephrased ? Re-sequencing of all questions (Please refer to the pre-pilot questionnaire in the appendices). 3. 4. 2. 5 Pilot Study The purpose of the pilot study is also to test the data collection instrument but by deriving data from actual participants (Veal, 2006). The pilot study was conducted amongst 10 people from the sample. The change based on feedback is the rephrasing of question 7 (Please refer to the final questionnaire in the appendices). 3. 4. 3 Data Analysis Methods

There are various methods of analysis and the key consideration in selection is the alignment between the use of a method and the data required by the study. Based on the type of data collected, the methods employed in the study include the descriptive statistics of mean and standard deviation as measures of data and the analytical methods of comparison, pattern or thematic determination, and implications derivation. (Finn et al. , 2000) 3. 5 Limitations The study has two limitations that also comprise recommendation for future studies. One is the focus only on measurable data.

The qualitative or mixed methods could be employed in future studies to encompass a broader scope. The other is the focus only on Newham. Although this area is central to the preparation for the Olympics in 2012, there are other areas affected by the preparation programs. 3. 6 Bias, Reliability and Validity Issues Bias is kept at a minimum by employing the positivist philosophy, quantitative method, and self-administered questionnaire comprised of closed questions. The study carried a significant level of reliability because the data derived and results are susceptible to repetition.

Validity emerged as an issue but the study sought to address internal validity by using questions tested and improved by incorporating feedback from the pre-pilot and pilot studies. The study also addressed external validity by deriving data from a large group of respondents to support the generalization of data to young people of the same age bracket and racial background in other communities in London. 3. 7 Ethical Issues The ethical problem of proper handling of respondents in the data collection processes (Creswell, 2009) emerged especially since some of the respondents are children and most of the respondents are minors.

However, due care was applied by coordinating the data collection process with school administrators and teachers, explanation of the purpose of the study and expectations from the participation of the respondents, and positive statement on the confidentiality of information provided. 3. 8 Summary The selection, integration and alignment of research philosophy, approach and methods expressed the aim and objectives of the study and reflected the research questions.

Apart from considering the requirements of the study, the methodology also considered emerging issues and the means of addressing these issues, particularly bias, internal and external validity, and ethical issues. Overall, the selected methodology supported the achievement of the expectations of the purpose of the study, albeit there are limitations that also comprised the recommendations for future studies.


CRESWELL, J. W. 2009. Research Design: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. 3rd edn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.FINN, M. , ELLIOT-WHITE, M. and WALTON, M. 2000. Research Methods for Leisure and Tourism: Data Collection, Analysis and Interpretation. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited. KERVIN, J. B. 1992. Methods for Business Research. New York: Harper Collins. ROBSON, C. 2002. Real World Research. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. SAUNDERS, M. , LEWIS, P. and THORNHILL, A. 2003. Research Methods for Business Students. London: FT Prentice Hall. VEAL, A. J. 2006. Research Methods for Leisure and Tourism: A Practical Guide. 3rd edn. London: FT Prentice Hall.

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