Hokkanen, Nikupeteri, Laitinen, and Vasari (2016) studied the formation of EE (experimental expertise) about emotional and mental recovery via empowerment in two Finnish NGOs (non-governmental organizations). The study does not have an introduction and starts with a background section where the elaborate problem statement and description are provided alongside the rationale for the research and its purpose.
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The authors describe the problem background and discuss different approaches to its research using referring to a range of articles that covered the exploration of this problem using different theoretical frameworks and viewed it from various angles. From this discussion, the authors make a transition to EE and recovery supporting their perspective with some more theory. Also, the researchers present diverse viewpoints on the issue under discussion.
The vast majority of sources the authors of this study chose as the supporting literature are recent and were published within the last decade. However, there were a few sources from the 1990s, 80s, and 70s that were chosen for this research. They were not used in the introduction and provided mainly the information for discussion of the research findings, as well as some of the bases for the theoretical framework selected for the data processing and interpretation.
A description of the research paradigm/design utilized in the research and an analysis of whether this is appropriate given the purpose and topic of the study
The formation of EE in two non-governmental organizations in Finland was the major focus of this study. In particular, Hokkanen et al. (2016) explored the formation of EE about dealing with the consequences of violence between intimate partners, and the organization from which the data was collected was the Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters. Also, the EE was studied in the Finnish Central Association for Mental Health, about the issues of mental health accordingly (Hokkanen et al., 2016).
For the two organizations, the data was collected separately. The study relied on a mixed design and included both quantitative and qualitative data; specifically, the EE activities in the Finnish Central Association for Mental Health were evaluated using quantitative data, and those of the Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters were analyzed using qualitative data. For the Finnish Central Association for Mental Health, the data was collected with the help of a survey carried out by the associations that were members of the Finnish Central Association for Mental Health.
The questionnaire for the survey focused on the EE-based activities and their methods, resources, and outcomes specifically (Hokkanen et al., 2016). The questionnaire targeted the employees and researchers of the organizations whose expert knowledge was expected to ensure the reliability and validity of the responses. For the Finnish Central Association for Mental Health, the data was collected from the clients and employees; the methods used were observation and interviews.
Given the topic of the study, the selected paradigm is quite confusing as it presents mixed sets of results from two different organizations collected by two different methods from dissimilar groups of respondents. Such results are likely not to be transferrable and to have a weak representation level as even the statistics of the response rate are unclear.
A description of the research methods and findings
Triangulated synthesis was used to ensure the reliability and transferability of the knowledge about EE (Hokkanen et al., 2016). Triangulation has been long recognized as a successful method for establishing reliability and validity of the study results; in addition, it is helpful for the generalizability of the samples with limited size and diversity (Leung, 2015). In qualitative research, triangulation is known to be a powerful tool that can help strengthen the findings in limited and diverse samples that are particularly useful in social science (Holtzhausen, 2001).
In the study by Hokkanen et al. (2016), the researchers collected different types of data (quantitative and qualitative) from several different population groups – victims of violence in recovery, experts working with EE strategies, and professionals who had a personal experience of being in emotional recovery; to find correlations between the diverse sets of data and the responses of the groups, triangulation turned out to be the most suitable method that helps to find common patterns, and thus generate valid and generalizable findings.
An outline of the main ethical principles that informed each of the papers in undertaking this research
The main ethical principles in the research by Hokkanen et al. (2016) were those of privacy and confidentiality since their study explored a very personal and intimate subject. As a result, the principles of confidentiality and privacy were highly applicable for this research. A researcher must ensure the protection of privacy and confidentiality of their research participants and protect their personal information (Panel on Research Ethics, 2016).
For the maximum protection, the authors requested permissions from the organizations involved in the research; the latter were free to decide whether or not they were willing to participate in the study; in addition, each of the targeted respondents also had to provide consent to become a study participant (Hokkanen et al., 2016). The personal data used for research was provided by the organizations using the respective guidelines and protocols.
A critique of the research which includes the limitations and any unexplored aspects useful for further research
The research under discussion has several limitations. In particular, the population groups targeted as respondents could potentially have a bias as the EE strategies employed by their organizations focused on service delivery and societal decision-making. In that way, if the authors targeted respondents in the public sector organizations, it is possible that the results could differ (Hokkanen et al., 2016). Moreover, the selection and inclusion of the respondents were not randomized; on the contrary, the organizations were the ones to decide which potential participants were to be included in the study; as a result, the positive effect of the EE-based activities could potentially be exaggerated due to the respondent bias.
The further research could target a more diverse population of respondents that could be randomly assigned to groups; also, a study of an experimental or quasi-experimental design testing the use of EE-based activities and other types of interventions as strategies for treating the same kind of condition could be helpful and reflective of the effectiveness of the EE methods.
Hokkanen, L., Nikupeteri, A., Laitinen, M., & Vasari, P. (2016). Individual, group, and organised experiential expertise in recovery from intimate partner violence and mental health problems in Finland. British Journal of Social Work. Web.
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Holtzhausen, S. (2001). Triangulation as a powerful tool to strengthen the qualitative research design: The Resource-based Learning Career Preparation Programme (RBLCPP) as a case study. Web.
Leung, L. (2015). Validity, reliability, and generalizability in qualitative research. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, 4(3), 324–327.
Panel on Research Ethics. (2016). Privacy and confidentiality. Web.