Mixed Methods Research Design

Introduction

This chapter enclosed the research method used in the dissertation to explore the effect of TQM practices on the product of Innoson vehicle manufacturing Co. Ltd. The success of the research objectives is highly dependent on the design of the research. This chapter explains the detail mixed  method research desing deploy to explore the problem along with the practical approach to achieve the objectives.

The mixed methodology has been used to study the effect of TQM on the product of Innoson. In addition, data collection is managed through the semi-structured interview as well as the survey among the staff of the company. The qualitative approach is used to conduct semi-structured of the ‘four managers’ with the help of video conferencing. The qualitative approach offers flexibility to study the phenomena and experience of the user. Furthermore, the survey has been used to collect data from production and other staff from the plant. The quantitative approach is used to study the perception of larger population perception. Quantitative approach is useful as deploying structured and rigid approach to test the hypothesis and study the casual relationship  (Teddlie and Tashakkori, 2009).

According to Gray (2013, p.205), mixed approach, is useful to match the need of the study as well as the purpose of the study. Furthermore, mix approach is useful to identify unexpected themes which otherwise may not get noticed. The reason for deploying the mixed approach is to understand the perceptive of management through conducting semi-structured interviews as well as the perception of the plant employee through conducting surveys. This has allowed studying the effect of TQM through studying the attitude of management, as well as employees. Nevertheless, qualitative approach is helpful to analyse data and quantitative approach will help to understand financial and employee motivation in implementing TQM (Gray, 2013).

Comparative Research

According to Bray, Adamson and Mason (2016, p.40-42), it is useful to identify and explain similarities, as well as the difference between multiple events. Nevertheless, it is used to study social-cultural studies in much better way. Comparative research has played an important role in the development of scenarios, analyse the situation, and is considered as a distinct field to study a problem. Nevertheless, comparative study is helpful to identify, highlighting similarities and differences at the border level. The results achieved from a comparative analysis are useful to explain and interpret the historical data and significance of information for organisation arrangement (Bray, Adamson and Mason, 2015).

Research Methodology

The research method used in the dissertation involves both qualitative as well as a quantitative approach. The benefit of applying mix approach involves understanding the problem as well as providing the clear recommendation behind the problem. The quantitative approach is useful in order to present the results of the analysis. Moreover, the analysis, reason, and finding are explained through a qualitative approach.

The function of mixed approach highlights the management risk and useful for information in order to study an effect of total quality management at the product of Innoson vehicle manufacturing Co. Ltd. The factor study includes improvement in the products, improvement in profitability, staff motivation, reduction in wastage as well as customer response for the product (Johnson, 2016).

Research Design and Process

According to Creswell (2013, p.18), quantitative approach is used by researchers to study post-positivist factors such as causes and effects in relation to a specific variable. The strategy used to conduct such inquiry involves surveys and experiment and data collection deliver statistical results. On the other hand, in the qualitative approach claims are made on the basis of the constructivist perspective. This involves open-end questions, phenomenologist as well as ethnographic. At last, not least, mix method uses the pragmatic approach to study the phenomena.

The purpose of the qualitative approach is to examine the attitude of the management and staff at Innoson vehicle manufacturing through managing the semi-structured interview. Moreover, the quantitative approach such as survey is useful to develop an understanding individual stakeholder perception in relation to total quality management (TQM). (Creswell, 2013)

Mixed Research Methods Creswell

Qualitative vs. Qualitative

The key difference between qualitative and quantitative approach is methodological matter. The design of the research is based on the need to meet the objectives in terms of its suitability to answer the research question. According to Lincoln (2015), qualitative research is focused on understanding the problem through developing social meaning, as well as its stress the relationship importance between the topic and investigator.

On the other hand, quantitative research is concerned with measuring the relationship between the variables. Quantitative research is used to understand the variable relationship, concept, characteristic, meaning, and a description of the things. Concurrently, quantitative research is used to measure the outcome of the variables (Maxwell, 2012).

The qualitative research is useful for observation as well as investigation into description, metaphor, things, as well as distinctiveness to observe the phenomena. The qualitative approach is much more flexible and gives better understanding of the situation. This technique is useful to provide detail information on scenario as well as it takes less time to understand the situation and bring clarity to the information, analysis, and result interpretation. The perception and attitude of the employee are much better understood (Tracy, 2016).

The major difference between qualitative and quantities approach has the difference in the area analytic objectives, nature, and type of question presented as well as data collection methodology and design of research. Furthermore, qualitative research involves an interpretative approach to identifying and understands the meaning of the phenomena in the social context (Sale, Lohfel and Brazil, 2016).

To summarise the numerical data from the survey, quantitative data is useful to analyse the data. The information gathering strategy for quantitative methodology is difficult than the subjective approach yet gives better results.

Mixed Research approach

According to Creswell (2013, p.22), a mixed design is useful to identify and capture qualitative, as well as the quantitative research approach. For example, In case of Innoson vehicle manufacturing Co. Ltd, mix approach is helpful to generalize the perception of the large population, as well as an understanding of individual perceptions. Therefore, this approach allows what variables to study and consequently, study those variables with large sample population.

Nevertheless, the first perception of a large population is studied and afterwards the results in a specific context (Creswell, 2013). That is why, with mix approach, qualitative open-end question and quantitative close end surveys have advantages to study the phenomena in to develop a better understanding of the research question. In summary, the usefulness and application three approach is shown below (Johnson, Onwuegbuzie and Turner, 2015)

Mixed Research approach

Research Philosophies

According to Maykut and Morehouse (2012, p.3) qualitative approach is classified as phenomenological philosophy whereas positivist approach is classified as a quantitative study (Maykut and Morehouse, 2012).

Positivistic philosophy

According to Mukherji and Albon (2014, p.13), the positivist approach is useful in order to determine the facts of the social phenomena. The positivist approach is largely used in the social sciences to identify and determine the facts associated with a particular problem. In the positivist approach, a highly structured methodology is deployed in order to mark and facilitate quantifiable phenomena. Positivist approach pays more attention to the event and highlight the causes behind the event but pays no attention to the subjective state of the person (Mukherji and Albon, 2014)

Moreover, the positivist approach provides the basis to explain as well as it allows anticipating the phenomena in terms of their occurrence and consequently allows control the situation. The explanation involves establishing the relationship between the variables and links the event with deductive theory. Positivist approach explains social reality exists and it independent of the knowledge of people. In positivist approach, the epistemological position is taken which advocate the study of social realities. Thus, logical reasoning is used in the research, which requires precision, rigid structure and objectivity (Mackenzie, 2015).

Phenomenological Philosophy

Edgar (2014) explained that phenomenological is concerned with studying human phenomena in everyday social context as well as involving those who have experienced the phenomena. It explains the experience of people in the social context as well as social reality, which give meaning to issue or reality. Hence, the researcher will work toward social phenomena to develop and enhance its understanding of the issue from the real world.

Nevertheless, phenomenological approach explains how human being explains and interprets the situation. In order to develop an understanding, researcher needs to interact with people in the social environment as well as those people who have directly experienced the situation (Flick, 2013)

There are two approaches to studying the social phenomena. In the first method, direct contact with people is managed through in terms of interviews conducted by the researcher. On the other hand, the second method involves relative indirect approaches that involve observing the situation in the social environment as well as live with the people and the person in order to experience such situation (Moustakas, 2015).

Consequently, Smith, Flowers and Larkin (2014) elaborated that approach relies on the experiences as well as understanding of the researcher. The application of the positivist approach is difficult in a real world as it is practically hard to use physical science in a real world. Another approach, which is socially constructive, is known as phenomenological. This approach is much applicable when the relationship between the investigator and the scenario investigated is difficult to separate.

Phenomenological approach is based on the phenomena or appearance observed or perceived.  This approach is much useful in order to understand the perception and human behaviour in the social context. It is concerned with examining the situation, which exists in reality, as well as the  cause in question (Bray, Adamson and Mason, 2015).

Research Philosophies

The relevance of the positivist and phenomenological approach could not emphasise less as the effect of TQM at Innoson is treated as phenomena and it is investigated from social perspectives. The improvements in the products of Innoson have overall implication for the organisation. The objective is to identify the improvement in the product through the implementation of TQM principles. The phenomenon approach is useful to explore and investigate the human behaviour through analysing documents as well as conducted the semi-structured interviews. Moreover, the qualitative approach is useful in order interact with employees. Nevertheless, the phenomenological approach allows unstructured data collection and analysis (Mackenzie, 2015).

Inductive or deductive Reasoning

According to Bryman and Bell (2016, p.14), the important thing associated with the research is a clarification of whether research conducted is deductive or inductive. Moreover, deductive approach is used to test a theory in scenario when researcher presents a hypothesis of the theory. On the other hand, inductive researcher involves building a theory.

In order to narrow down the border concept presented by the theory of generalization, inductive mode of thinking is used. To generalize the border concept inductive reasoning is used and it is used to study the open-end phenomena. Inductive reasoning is used to test and confirm the hypothesis (Bryman and Bell, 2016).

This approach is useful to analyse and generalize the environment. On the other deductive reasoning is useful to propose a hypothesis. At the point when researcher first starts to open up any new line of enquiry, there will be no valuable speculations accessible from which to originate propositions for testing. It includes a kind of sensible jump. Going a stage more remote than the hypothesis, information is then gathered to test it.

In this case, the hypotheses are narrow down towards a specific point. This study design in the light of the inductive approach which helps to study and analyse the situation in much broader context, as well as helpful to generalized a larger context in a narrow perspective (Nestor and Schutt, 2015).

Constructionism

According to Denzin and Lincoln (2015, p. 20), this approach perceives reality in socially constructed order. The construction context exists in the mind of the person and interprets the role of the inquirer to understand, analyse, and reconstruct the situation to give meaningful purpose and achieve the desired outcome. In addition, constructionism is building knowledge about the reality but it is not construction the reality. Moreover, in constructionism approach, both a subject, as well as object, is engaged in building knowledge about a reality.

Different people perceive thing and construct different meaning for the same social phenomena. Therefore, constructionism is concerned with focus how different stakeholders perceive a situation, in particular, social setting when the study the phenomena (Denzin and Lincoln, 2015).

In case of constructionism, the situation develops as more information received. Therefore, Phenomenological and construction is linked to some extent as both approaches lead to understanding the situation than conclude the results. Therefore, using the construction approach will help to understand the total quality management practices at Innoson vehicle manufacturing Co. Ltd. As the objective is to study the social phenomena or experience, therefore, constructionism approach is suitable for the situation (Hesse-Biber and Leavy, 2013).

Interpretivism

According to Kasi (2015, p.96), social reality is more consider as constructed and interpretation of meaning as well as behaviour of people in the light of research. Therefore, interpretation is a social process in which investigator cannot separate him from the situation. Interpretivism is considered that world is complex and it difficult to break down into observable law.

Therefore, it is important to understand the reality behind the law. The goal of the interpretive approach is to the understanding meaning of the social context and observed from the point of view of those who experience it. Nevertheless, it is important that the researcher should interpret the event, develop an understanding of the situation, as well as reveal the findings, which are embodied in the behaviour of the people (Kasi, 2015).

According Blaikie (2014, p.99), to interpretivism helps to highlight the subjective meaning of a situation, which highlight motivates the actions of the people.  Nevertheless, there is only one reality in the real world but researcher understands the matter from a different situation. Through adopting the interpretivism, approach has helped to highlight the attitude and behaviour of staff toward the TQM initiatives.

The analysis of the social environment helps me to interpret the environment at Innoson.  The interpretation of data from the documents and in-depth information from the company has helped me to develop the scenario, interpret the meaning, and convert them into results (Blaikie, 2014).

Research Methodology – Flow Chart

Data Collection

Data collection is the most important phase of the research. The accuracy, reliability and timing play an important role in outcomes of the results. The success of research objectives is based on data collection methodology through collecting the relevant data. There are two types of data available for research which is known as secondary and primary data (Pawar, 2012).

Secondary data

Secondary data plays an important in order to identify and develop the problem as well as to find information to solve the problem. A literature review is an important component to gather the secondary data. This involves journal articles, books as well as other online sources. Some research questions can be managed through secondary data. However, in this dissertation primary data is used to answer the problem. (Bryman and Bell, 2007)

Primary data

According to Kothari (2014, p.96), Primary data is gathered when secondary data is unable to answer the research questions. The data collected first hand for a specific purpose is known as primary data. There are several ways in which primary data can collected some commonly used methods are surveys, observation, experiments, interviews or questionnaire.

The key advantage of the primary data is that it collected for a particular project and, therefore, it consistent and relevant to draw the results. The data collected for this dissertation involve primary data which is collected through surveys and semi-structured interviews (Kothari, 2015).

Sampling

Sampling is known as a method of data selected from a large population through selecting an element (sample) from the population. Sampling usually falls into two categories which are probabilistic and random sampling. In the case of probabilistic sampling, every member of the population has known the chance of being selected. In case of random sampling, all member of the population has an equal chance of getting selected. Moreover, in this research quota sampling technique is used. In quota sampling, certain member and number of people from the group are selected to study (Flick, 2015).

Sample section

Privacy and confidentiality of selected sample are maintained and consent is obtained in order to publish information. The survey conducted does not gather any personal information or business secrets to preserve the confidentially of business and personal information. The respondent is required to fill online survey which is cost effective and time-saving technique to gather primary data.

The questions asked in the survey include the closed-end question to the staff. On the other, four managers were asked in an open-ended question to gather the results. The data analysed and results from interpretation using both qualitative as well as qualitative information (Bamberger, 2016).

Survey

The survey is a useful technique to collect data from a direct member of the selected sample. Moreover, the survey is a positivist approach based on a sample drawn from the population. For this research, an online survey is conducted among the 80 staff of Innoson. Staff members selected is working closing production and finance department and their opinion is valuable to identify the financial and non-financial benefits achieved from the TQM application.

As the sample population is small, i.e. data is collected from large of the respondent. The key benefit of online survey is time and cost involved. The important implication in terms of carrying a survey is that data collection should be unbiased (Andres, 2012).

Questions and piloting

According to Sue and Ritter (2011, p.163), the questions included in the survey are closed end for 80 staff members. The questions are structured on the basis of the literature review. The request to fill the survey among the selected member of the population is sent through email. Email is quickest and cost-effective way to contact respondent among the selected sample of the population. The survey was checked by another researcher in order to ensure clarity and instruction provided for the respondent. The survey is attached in appendix one(Sue and Ritter, 2011).

Survey Administration and data integrity

According to Marsden and Wright (2010, p.528), the internet survey is managed through online free survey websites Surveymonkey for the period of two weeks. The invitations sent to 80 staff members of Innoson.

The response rate will be established in order to check data integrity and validity. The focus of the survey involves collection staff perspective on TQM and its effect on the product of Innoson. The invitation for the survey is sent to employees of the company. The questions objectives are to study the effect of TQM practices (Marsden and Wright, 2016).

Interviews

The purpose of the interview to understand the key idea along with meaning as happens in the real life. Interviews objective is to seek both facts and meaning of the situation. Interviews are easy for the respondent to express their opinion and expressions. There different of interview which could be used to gather data from the respondent. This includes informal, standardized as well as closed-end interview. Informal interviews have no pre-determined questions in order to adapt to nature of the interviewee (Seidman, 2013).

Moreover, open end standardized interviews involve presentation questions to the interviewee for faster and flexible response. At last, not least, in case of closed-end interviews, same questions are asked of all respondents and choose to answer the predefined parameters. The interview for this dissertation is conducted through Skype among the four managers at Innoson (Nestor and Schutt, 2014).

Questions for interview

The design of interview questions will be an open-end standardized question for the manager. The questions have kept open-end to more flexibility and receive the better response. The focus of the questions is to determine the effect of TQM practices on the products of Innoson. The semi-structured nature of interview will offer better flexibility to the respondent (Mishler, 2015).

Privacy and confidentiality

No personal or business confidentiality information will be asked of the respondents. All the data will keep in a secure manner. Moreover, no personal information or business information general information other than relevant to TQM included.

Data collection and analysis

According to Panneerselvam (2015, p.15), Interviews will be conducted over the Skype in order to provide time flexibility to the respondents. This method is cost-effective and will not time bound the interview. The video calls will be recorded for after the consent of the interviewee. The data will be analysed to identify and highlight the benefits interviews preserved achieved from the TQM.

There are total four participants (manager) from the plant. In order to collect the deserve data, managers will be informed about the objectives of the research question as well as given overview of the requirement about information expect from them. The will be emailed to interviewee prior to the interview (Panneerselvam, 2015).

Triangulation

According to Taylor, Kermode and Roberts (2016, p. 235), triangulation is a useful strategy to develop confidence and strengthen the result and finding of the research. Furthermore, triangulation is used to reduce the methodological and personal bias along with it is useful to increase the generalisation the finding of the study.

Mackenzie (2010) added that triangulation involves collecting data from sources and develops information which is much more credible and dependable. The different types of triangulation include methodological, data, researcher as well as theoretical triangulation. In this dissertation, triangulation is achieved by collecting data from multiple sources through using multiple methods which are semi-structured interviews and surveys.

These multiple approaches have allowed the data triangulation in order to cover the weakness of the different method. Triangulation is useful to increase the reliability of data and develop confidence in the result and finding of the research (Taylor, Kermode and Roberts, 2016).

Ethical Consideration

The entire participant in the research will be informed about data usage as well as consent will be asked. The surveys will not collect the personal information as well as interviews. The email address of the respondent will not be disclosed and all the survey and videos will be deleted after the completion of the dissertation. The participant will be asked to give consent and signed data protection before the survey and interview (Miller et al., 2015).

Conclusion

This chapter of the dissertation enclosed practical as well as theoretical method and approach on how research will be carried out. The theoretical approach involves interpretivism and phenomenal approach. The mix of qualitative and quantitative approach is used to develop deep understanding of objectives of the dissertation.

This dissertation uses the mixed methodology to gather data from the employee of Innoson in order to determine the effects of TQM on the product of Innoson. The mixed approach has offered flexibility as well as data can collect from a large number of the user. The quantitative survey will allow gathering data from 80 staff with the structured and closed-end question. This will allow building hypothesis and give overall of perception of a large population.

Furthermore, the qualitative approach for a semi-structured interview will offer flexibility to gather data from the management perspective. The use of technology to conduct survey and interview has made this research cost-effective as well as give the flexibility to complete the dissertation in a timely manner.

 

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