Corruption is a public policy concern in South Africa but it has not been given the much-needed attention it deserves. South Africa is the only country considered developed on African soil but is still faced with corruption issues. By using research methods (Laurens 31), we ask ourselves, is the public aware of corruption in the South African public sector? Are they aware of any efforts being made to root out the vice? Do they know any measures that the government is doing to root out corruption?
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The hypothesis generated from research questions
Studies done have clearly shown that most of the public is fully aware of corruption in South Africa and also that the public is aware of the efforts being made to root out corruption in the South African public sector by the government. But the public thinks that the South African government has not prioritized its measures to root out corruption in South Africa. This article aims to test and prove if the information given by the studies conducted before is true.
The universe of analysis, units of analysis, cases, and units of observation
The universe of Analysis is the groups that the research is interested in research (Laurens 49). While the units of Analysis are the single units that the research has eyes on. It could be one person or groups of people, an organization, or even a political party (Laurens 49). The case refers to the situation that draws the attention of research while data obtained from units of analysis is what is called units of observation (Laurens 49).
Units of analysis in the study excerpt
The study seeks to know if the public is aware that there is corruption in the South African Public Sector. Therefore the first unit of analysis will be corruption in the South African public sector. The study also requires data to show if there have been any efforts to root out corruption in the public sector. The second unit of analysis would be data on efforts that have been made to root out corruption in the public sector.
Also, the study wants the data suggesting that the government has not prioritized efforts to tame corruption in the South African public sector. Are measures against corruption given much attention at all? So the third unit of analysis would be data to show that the government has not solidified its efforts in the war against corruption in the public sector.
My choice of sampling method would be random sampling for quantitative research because I would like to generalize the population in which the sample will be a part of the population, this way I will increase representativity. Putting in mind cost also, the quantitative random sampling method is relatively inexpensive especially when good sampling frames are available (Laurens 105). Sampling with sampling frames is less costly because it saves time and money. The difference between one interview and the next can be greatly affected if we are not using a sampling frame and it will end up costing more.
Definitions of Quantitative and qualitative interviews
Quantitative interviews are very structured in that the interviewee expects the respondent to answer predetermined questions that are of his/her interest to be able to generate data that of interest. They are very common in socio-economic research about activities that people do to sustain their livelihoods. Scientific researchers also more often use this kind of surveys to study disease patterns to prevent outbreaks.
The most common surveys done in this kind of research are social surveys. Surveys are a means of generating data from a large population sample. The most common type of surveys used is sample surveys which are administered on a randomly selected group of people from a large population.
Two main types of research surveys are used in quantitative interviews; self-administered interviews and personal interviews. Self-administered interviews are given to people to do them at their own time. The people fill the set of questions and return them at their own time. Researchers can also use research assistants to deliver the questionnaires which they can collect after some time or the respondents can be asked to deliver the finished questionnaire via post mail. These days there are also online surveys that someone can choose to fill when working online (Laurens 75).
This kind of research has some of it based on analysis of written texts to generate desired data. These interviews are unstructured and are somehow characterized by a free-flowing talk between the interviewer and the interviewee who could be one or more persons. In this kind of conversation, it is expected that the interviewer says less while the interviewee reveals much of his/her information.
The interviewer makes use of probing on certain questions that weigh to make the respondent reveal more information on a personal level. This kind of interview is very common among journalists who always want to know more about certain things that someone may have not been prepared to talk about. They are very interactive and they give more data depending on the skill of the interviewer.
From the study case in the excerpt, I would use quantitative research instead of qualitative research because I want to know the views of a large number of people on the issue of corruption in South Africa. Self-administered questionnaires will work best for me because the person will have a lot of time to figure out my well-structured questions about corruption. This way, I will be able to get as much information as possible (Laurens 82).
Longitudinal research, cross-sectional research, and comparative research
Longitudinal Research is a type of research that tracks changes in data over time. In other words, it measures the stability of data over time. Such research is only possible by making sure surveys are conducted repeatedly over time (Laurens 84). In cross-sectional research, surveys are only conducted at a delimited period. Data relied on is from a single survey (Laurens 84). While comparative research looks at differences and similarities between two sets of study populations. For example, differences in educational policies in various African countries (Laurens 84).
When I am investigating corruption in the South African Public sector, I will rely on data that I get at that particular time because I am interested in the views of people on corruption at that very time, so the best method of research which I’ll use is the cross-sectional research. When the time changes, it will not be possible to capture the data that I may be interested in because I believe the South African leadership can change and corruption might just be another historical issue.
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Laurens, Pretorius. Thinking Methodologically:Research Methodology, Pretoria,University of South Africa Pretoria 2009. Print.