Align Major Components of the Research Study/Article/Dissertation

Align Major Components of the Research Study/Article/Dissertation

General Research and Doctoral Dissertation Resources:  Align Major Components of the Research Study/Article/Doctoral Dissertation
by Patricia D'Urso, Ph.D.

 

In order to produce a solid scientific research study, with logical flow and connection, certain components need to be in alignment, not the least of these are: the theoretical foundation (or conceptual framework) to the problem statement (variables or phenomenon), to the purpose statement, and to the RQs (and hypotheses if a quantitative study). In this document, I will provide examples of both quantitative study component alignment and qualitative study component alignment.  These examples are color-coded for your convenience.

Independent variable or predictor or study focus is coded blue.

Dependent variable or phenomenon is coded orange.

A moderating variable or additional component of interest will be coded green.

Instrumentation and theory are coded purple.

QUANTITATIVE EXAMPLE

Problem statement:  It is not known if and to what extent leadership style relates to employee engagement in a retail work environment where the work environment is moderated by an active change process.

Purpose statement:  The purpose of this quantitative study is to determine if a relationship exists between leadership style and employee engagement among leaders and their subordinates in a retail work environment where a change process moderates the environment.

Theory/model and variables:  Independent variable (IV) or predictor variable:  leadership style Bass  = theorist – MLQ is instrument

  • Dependent variable (DV) or criterion variable: employee engagement Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory and Schaufeli and Bakker (2003)   Utrecht Work Engagement Scale is instrument       

Moderating variable (MV): implementation of change process – theory of change management = Lewin and Kotter theorists – Holt change readiness assessment = instrumentation

Two separate categories for units of analysis:  1) leaders 2) subordinates

Research Question 1:  If and to what extent does a relationship exist between leadership style and employee engagement in a retail work environment moderated by active change process.

Ho1:  There is no significant relationship between transformational leadership style and employee engagement in a retail work environment moderated by active change process.

Ha1:  There is a significant relationship between transformational leadership style and employee engagement in a retail work environment moderated by active change process.

Ho2: There is no significant relationship between transactional leadership style and employee engagement in a retail work environment moderated by active change process.

Ha2: There is a significant relationship between transactional leadership style and employee engagement in a retail work environment moderated by active change process.

Ho3: There is no significant relationship between laissez-faire leadership style and employee engagement in a retail work environment moderated by active change process.

Ha3: There is a significant relationship between laissez-faire leadership style and employee engagement in a retail work environment moderated by active change process.

QUALITATIVE EXAMPLE

Problem statement:  It is not known how leadership style contributes to employee engagement in a retail work environment where the work environment is undergoing an active change process.

Purpose statement:  The purpose of this qualitative study is how leadership style contributes to employee engagement among leaders and their subordinates in a retail work environment where the work environment is undergoing an active change process.

Theory/model and Phenomenon: leadership style contributes to employee engagement -   leadership style – Bass  = theorist – MLQ is instrument (collecting ordinal level data which is acceptable in qualitative research).

 employee engagement -    Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory and Schaufeli and Bakker (2003)   Utrecht Work Engagement Scale is instrument       

Existing condition is implementation of change process – theory of change management = Lewin and Kotter theorists – Holt change readiness assessment = instrumentation (researcher does not have to collect data on the change process but must acknowledge that it exists.  If the researcher wishes to collect descriptive data on the change process, this is the instrument s/he c/would use.

Two separate categories for units of analysis:  1) leaders 2) subordinates

Research Question – overarching or RQ-O :  How does leadership style contribute to employee engagement in a retail work environment where the work environment is undergoing an active change process?

Research Question 1:  How do leaders perceive their leadership style contributes to employee engagement in a retail work environment where the work environment is undergoing an active change process?

Research Question 2: How do employees perceive leadership style contributes to their employee engagement in a retail work environment where the work environment is undergoing an active change process?

Note:  in qualitative studies the overarching research question will subsume the driving research questions that you will answer.  In this example above, RQ1 and RQ2 are subsumed by the overarching research question, otherwise symbolized by RQ-O here. You will develop the phenomenon, concomitant theory or model, and data collection instruments for RQ1 and RQ2. Specifically then, for the interview and other data collection, there are interview questions for the last RQs (in this example, RQ1 and RQ2). The overarching RQ will be addressed through the case study summary (in a case study design) where the results from the last 2 RQs are synthesized to develop the case study summary.

 An extensive synthesis and summary in other qualitative designs such as phenomenology, grounded theory, etc. apply similar to the case study summary.  Refer to Yin for substantial information to guide your development of the case study summary.

Note: See attached Word Document for full coloration of variables.

 

References

 

Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and methods. (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
      Inc.

Yin, R. K. (2011). Qualitative research from start to finish. In this book find information on
     qualitative research methodology (ISBN 978-1-6023-701-4, ). New York : The Guilford Press

Yin, R. K. (2014). Case study research: Design and methods. (5th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage