Definition of Research and Research Methodology
In this section of study, components used to answer research questions and the methodology constructed to analyse those procedures are justified based on literature reviewed. Consequently, special emphasis is provided to other methods of research and the rationale behind them for not being subjected to be part of this exploration. However, constituent of research philosophy, research strategy and element of research design and research procedure are dealt in detail to offer maximum credibility to decisive findings. Besides, throughout the chapter ethical considerations have gained great substance allowing results to be analysed with immense attention.
Research is used to describe a number of similar and overlapping activities relating a search for information. It is "something that people undertake in order to find things out in a systematic way, thereby increasing their knowledge" (Saunders et al. 2009). According to Kothari (2004), endeavour of any research is to uncover the concealed reality that is yet to be exposed or revealed. However, research is constantly used to solve organizational problems through systematic strategies (Ojo, 2008).
Foundations of research are built and conducted over a structure called methodology (Remenyi et al. 1998) and a valid study will always adapt encouraging research methodology (Buckley et al. 1975). Hence, it is decisively fundamental to deploy quintessential methodology with great care and systematic understanding of the intricacies involved (Amaratunga et al. 2002). In this particular piece of study, efforts are made to discover the factors that lead to bullying at workplace with special emphasis on ethnic bullying. Intentions of this research were to illustrate, appreciate, anticipate, criticize and interpret the existing social science phenomenon (Maylor & Blackmon, 2005) by systematically obtaining data to solve research problem (Ghauri & Gronhaug, 2005).3.3 Methodological Considerations:3.3.1 Preconceptions and frame of reference:
Generally research questions are derived from preconceptions. When study samples respond to these questions they react differently with reality (Lundahl & Skarvad, 1992). Meanwhile, frame of reference formed in the minds of people due to preconceptions, repeatedly affect on findings of any research either directly or indirectly. Johansson Lindfors (1993) writes there are three major aspects to be considered in perceptions; Epistemological perceptions, Common perceptions and Theoretical perceptions.
Temporarily, epistemological perception is a method used to explain the knowledge in the form of theories (Fisher, 2004). Thus, it is obligatory to know the acceptable knowledge of any discipline (Bryman & Bell, (2003). While formation of common perception are developed through personal experience or firsthand information gathered from work or studies, Theoretical preconceptions provide an opportunity to appraise a range of views attained through various theories of academic sources, books, journals, articles, and magazines. To be precise they are impractical to compile through personal experience (Johansson Lindfors, 1993).3.3.2 Research Philosophy and administration:
Given that the research philosophy transmits the enlargement of knowledge and its temperament, chosen research philosophy ought to answer all the research questions in actual fact (Saunders et al. 2009). A lot of times research philosophy inculcated will manipulate the researcher views and the methods that are chosen to construct research strategy. But, within the context of social science there is an uncompleted argument to pick the most suitable position from the excessive horizons of positivism to the extreme end of interpretivism (Smith et al. 1991). However, research philosophy is further broadly classified into three major categories; Positivism, Interpritivism and Pragmatism or Realism.
Core regulations of any approach are authentic/perceptual knowledge and hermeneutics (Johansson Lindfors, 1993) which constantly travel in opposite directions to each other (Andersson, 1979). While authentic/perceptual knowledge or positivism represents phenomenon of a discipline through quantifiable observations (Dayarathna, 2009), hermeneutics interprets the same social components through qualitative observations (Saunders et al. 2007). Under positivism there is a possibility of cause effect relation that can be confirmed or rejected (Patel & Davidsson, 2003). Here, values of researcher and phenomenon of the study are clearly distinguished with a rule or law helping the researcher to observe reality. Whereas in interpritivism, this rule or law doesn't exist thereby making it viable for the researcher to involve in the process (Hartman, 2004) by allowing him/her to interpret the work at any desired stage in any desired ways to obtain complete knowledge.
The philosophy adopted here is believed to express both positivism and interpritivism. Objective methods are used to measure properties of externally existing social world and are not subjectively attached through sensation, reflection or intuition (Smith et al. 2008). Hence, "working with an observable social reality and the product of such research can be law-like generalizations similar to those products by natural and physical scientists." (Rememyi et al. 1998, pp. 32). For the moment, Interviews and self administered questionnaires are used here to gather the required data by emphasising on both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection.
The objectives of research:
To discover different sources of ethnic minority bullying at work
To inspect diverse forms of ethnic minority bullying at work
To find out important causes that leads to ethnic minority bullying at work
To expose effects of bullying on ethnic minority employees at work
To observe reactions of ethnic minority employees to unhealthy practices bullying at work
To realize various defensive mechanisms developed by ethnic minority employees to prevent from being bullied at work
To examine the management/managers perspectives on ethnic minority bullying at work
To suggest recommendations to prevent ethnic minority bullying at work
A range of problems will be encountered throughout practical implementation of the project or research administration (Rowley, 2002). To avoid these inadequacies, study should infuse the objectives that are measure driven. Concurrently all the aims of research cannot completely revolve around human interests and beliefs (Smith et al 2008). Because, qualitative approaches often fail to reproduce commonality of the results (Sekaran, 2003). In such situations quantitative approaches appears much more meticulous.3.3.3 Research strategy:
Normally intentions of research invade strategy, where time, resources, philosophy and approaches play a greater role. But, there will always be an element of deduction in any type of studies undertaken (Ticehurst & Veal, 2000), thereby persuading the researcher to be selective towards the data required or the data gathered. However, quantitative strategy is a method of data collection under deductive approach where data will be accumulated through survey questionnaires and acquired data will be analysed through statistical methods. Sub-sequentially deductive approach always helps in verifying or discarding a hypothesis by assembling and quantifying data (Dayarathna, 2009). Being objective and scientific in its nature this strategy is considered to be black and white method due to its lack of consideration with the results (Bryman & Bell, 2003). Owing to positivism deductive approach is used for this study.
Although there are various types of research strategy, general and business research rely more upon survey based strategy (Saunders et al. 2009). Because, the techniques applied here to collect data largely depend on purpose of the study, intensity of the problem, information required and the availability of time, money and human resources (Ghauri & Gronhaug, 2005). Indeed, under this strategy data can be gathered in three different forms; personal interviews, survey questionnaires and telephone interviews (Bernard, 2006) and for the current project, personal interviews and survey questionnaires are used to extract required information.
As part of quantitative analysis, a self administered questionnaire will be sent to the ethnic minority employees working in the organization to extract maximum information on ethnic minority bullying, and the sources, causes, and forms that leads to bullying behaviour. Personal interviews will also be used as part of study to know the responses of the employees to bullying manners and the measures anticipated by them in abolishing ethnic minority bullying at workplace thereby fulfilling the requirements of qualitative analysis.
First section of the survey questionnaire consist of five basic or personal information questions; Age, Gender, Job Level, Ethnicity and Work Experience and in the second section of the questionnaire, eleven close ended and three open ended questions were asked focusing more on bullying and ethnic bullying at work. Especially, Open ended questions were used to present employees with an opportunity to express their genuine ideas and thoughts about the subject without any barrier. Primarily, all questions of the study were designed and uploaded to an online survey portal; 'SurveyPirate' with a note in the beginning of the questionnaire clearly stating the purpose and objectives of the survey in brief. Later, link of the portal leading to questionnaire was downloaded and delivered to the respondents by emails with the help of Vice President-HR, ABB. India.
Constructive nature of qualitative method makes it central to understand respondent's views and how they generate meaning in an active manner (Maxwell, 2005). To involve interview approach as part of study researcher has to be very open in his perspective. As nature of the project demanded a qualitative approach to explore the unquenched myriads of ethnic bullying, a prior prepared semi-structured interview questions were also used during the study along with quantitative methods of data collection (Saunders et al. 2003). Personal interview conducted with the managers during the project will help in understanding the manger's perspective towards existing ethnic bullying practices and the problems caused by them. Furthermore, it also assists in recognizing the policies and measures implemented by both organization and the government to address these unpleasant and unfavourable workplace traditions
By making use of qualitative or interview methods, analysis of the report gains a comprehensive and exclusive edge over other similar explorations undertaken on bullying. As it lend a hand in gathering valid and reliable information relevant to the questions and objectives of the research (Kahn & Cannell, 1957), it becomes easier to compare the outcomes of the study to the theoretical frameworks ethnic bullying. Under qualitative method understanding between the author, respondents and the subjects will be on much higher grounds than other approaches of data accumulation (Bryman & Bell, 2003) because Interview is nothing but a conversation or exchange of views and ideas between two people on a topic of mutual interest (Kvale, 1996).
In order to accomplish the aims of the study eight managers from different department were interviewed with prior appointment. The ambitions behind interviewing managers were to bring broader viewpoint to the observations made and to explore the problem on macro levels. All the interviews were carried out as per the semi-structured questionnaire designed with in the time limit allotted. Despite all the above precautions qualitative methods can be very subjective and the final outcomes could involve element of bias due to preconceptions (Patel & Davidsson, 2003).
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