The research topic is concerned with optimisation strategies utilised in Emirati oil and gas companies. When doing quantitative research, the focus was on the frequency of usage of this or that strategy. The study aimed at identifying the most common optimisation strategies used in the field. However, qualitative research can provide more in-depth insights and more meaning to the understanding of the use of such strategies (Cresswell, 2014). The principal goal of the qualitative approach is to explain trends and elicit people’s ideas on the matter.
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When contextualising the research from a qualitative perspective, the researcher should take into account such factors as the aim and goals of the research as well as organisational (or industrial) peculiarities, political, social, and cultural aspects (Buchanan and Bryman, 2007).
To conduct this study within the qualitative paradigm, it is important to ensure the focus on reasons for choosing this or that optimisation strategy, benefits and downsides as seen by the practitioners as well as their attitude towards different tactics. Collis and Hussey (2013) stress that business research should be well-thought and detailed, which is especially important for qualitative studies where the number of participants is quite small whereas the bulk of data to analyse is quite significant.
To address the research goals, it is possible to employ a case study method. The focus should be made on experiences and choices of decision-makers within oil and gas companies located in Abu Dhabi. These people make the final decision as to the optimisation tactics to use in their organisations. The case study approach allows the researcher to remain focused and to collect the necessary data to address the research topic. The case study paradigm is effective when the attitudes of a particular group of people are in the researcher’s lens.
As far as sampling tactics are concerned, random sampling is not obligatory and even may be less effective. It is crucial to address practitioners whose companies remain competitive or even leading in the industry. The focus on such organisations is relevant as the use of proper optimisation tactics is one of the ways companies achieve their position in the market (Siggelkow, 2007). To collect the data, semi-structured interviews (with the use of open-ended questions) will be employed (Mishra, Gupta and Bhatnagar, 2014). This will allow the participants to share all the information they find relevant or interesting. As to data analysis, coding will be the most appropriate method as it will ensure the identification of the most recurrent themes and ideas (Fay, 2011).
It is also necessary to note that planning qualitative research differs from the preparation for a quantitative study. The qualitative research will involve interviewing people, which means that the research will have to align the research schedule with the participants’ schedules. Besides, recruiting the participants will also take a certain time as they will need some time to examine the details of the research (provided in the written consent forms) and make a decision concerning their participation. It will be important to invest certain time to run interviews as well. The analysis of qualitative data also presupposes multiple reading of the transcripts and reflecting on the participants’ stories.
Buchanan, D.A. and Bryman, A. (2007) Contextualizing methods choice in organizational research. Organizational Research Methods, 10, 483-501.
Collis, J. and Hussey, R. (2013) Business research: a practical guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students. London: Palgrave-MacMillan.
Cresswell, J. W. (2014), Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Fay, M.J. (2011) ‘Informal communication of co-workers: a thematic analysis of messages’, Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, 6(3), pp. 212-229.
Mishra, P., Gupta, R. and Bhatnagar, J. (2014), ‘Grounded theory research’, Qualitative Research Journal, 14(3), pp. 289-306.
Siggelkow, N. (2007) ‘Persuasion with case studies’, Academy of Management Journal, 50(1), pp. 20–24.