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Concepts of Research Methods Dissertation

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The research does not comprehensively capture the research methodology employed in the conduction of the research. He or she should have vividly expressed the method used in the collection of information, normally, qualitative or quantitative. The importance of stating the research method used is to help the audience or readers of that work ease in assessing the research and its validity (Paul Krugman 2009). When these are notably missing then the researcher needs to do better.

In use of qualitative method, the researcher will have to focus more on qualitative data and responses from would be targets of the research. It is critical to use this method of data collection in one’s research as it enables for a comprehensive analysis of the data provided. Qualitative information is normally collected through such processes as interview and questionnaires with open ended questions (Patrick Mcneill 2009).

Quantitative research on the other hand provides for information which enables for quantitative analysis. Quantitative analysis is important in determining the figures necessary in justifying the conduction of the research. For instance, quantitative information will provide information on whether there is need to conduct the research as it affects a given portion of the population.

In this regard, the report has failed to adequately provide information on the need of the research itself. A weakness to collect information puts the whole research and its conclusion on the spot as they are bound to be inadequate. One cannot conclude on something that they have collected information regarding the same in a shoddy manner. In the provided report only one source of information is used in the collection of information process.

The researcher only considers capital structure analysis as his only source of information without the urge to divulge to other sources of information that may help in arriving at substantive conclusions. This is one of the major and most important parts of the research and should therefore be done with lots of keen and attention. The researcher fails to do this by simply getting a single source of information which is also a secondary means of information. Sources of information can be categorized into two broad categories:

  • Primary sources
  • Secondary source

The primary sources involve one going into the field to and collecting information from the ground. Here, the researcher gets information in its crude form without having been analyzed or processed. The secondary sources of information are the processed bits of information, one researcher collects this information from the primary source and analyses it and then provides the analyzed information in form of books and or journals to other would be researchers.

Other researchers then get this information and use it in their analysis. The problem with secondary sources of information is their biasness. The information depends on the first researcher and whether he or she was right in their analysis. In this report, the researcher has only used one source of information and it is a secondary source of information (Mankiw 2006).

This leaves the results of the report largely dependent on the first researcher’s work; if he was wrong then the result of the subsequent research are bound to follow the same of be even worse but if he was right the research might also be right, but this again is not guaranteed. As of the provided report, the researcher employs this one source of information which in its original form comes with lots of assumptions and thus leading to the questioning of the conclusions.

The research is also lacking in the literature review provided. The literature review should be exhaustive and all inclusive. The researcher in this case has only considered published materials and paid very little attention to web sources of information and journals. The internet is one of the major sources of information especially the current information. One always needs to consider the internet when conducting a literature review in order to be exhaustive.

Online publishing is an upcoming form of publishing and more authors are taking to it by the day. This means that a lot of materials are found in soft copy more and more providing for a rich source of knowledge in the internet. The idea is to avoid doing a similar research as that conducted and published by another author in the internet and be considered plagiarized.

As the popular saying goes, ignorance is no defense and therefore one should not conduct a researched already conducted on the basis that he or she did not consider the internet to know whether the research had been done by an earlier author. (Louis Cohen 2007)

Ways in which research could be designed to plug the gaps or overcome the weaknesses

To ensure the gaps and the weaknesses in the research are overcome, the researcher should confirm the information provided by the secondary information vis a vis other sources of information preferably the primary sources of information. This would greatly improve the quality of analysis provided in the end since. The assumption made by the previous researcher would have to be analysed and then verified to affirm whether they are worth making or they are not (Covey 2003).

This will greatly improve the quality of the conclusions arrived at. Assumptions used in one research should be verified before they are used in other research, this is the essence of improving a research by use of another. As stated, over reliance on h the secondary sources of information in the conduction of a research should be discouraged. (Course 2008)

In such a scenario the best approach to use in the collection for information would be both the qualitative and the quantitative. As stated, the research “paper attempts to determine reliable and important factors in Tesco and Sainsbury in terms of nature of Capital Structure.” Primary sources of information would be the best since they would provide the researcher with the accurate information about what is happening hence improve the conclusions that the researcher is going to be having at the end of the research.

In the primary sources of information, the researcher would have to employ qualitative form of information collection by interviewing all the major players in the Tesco and Sainsbury in terms of capital structure and what impacts the same. Questionnaires would be another very accurate approach in helping identify the confidence that the two have on the capital structure (Beins 2004).

It is crucial to also consider other factors mentioned by other researchers regarding the same. Qualitative information should be collected and the actual figures presented for analysis. A view of the actual figures would help the researcher improve on the conclusions deduced.

Demonstrate how it could be structured

Firs the research would need to have a comprehensive proposal on how it is going to be conducted and the expenses that may be involved in doing so. This will a clear view on what the research is going to be like and what is likely to cost (Barro 2008). A research proposal would be most appropriate in aiding for preparation and also in conducting a reconnaissance.

The reasons and purposes for conducting the study should be as well underlined in order to give the research a direction. This way it would be easier to ensure that one sticks to what he or she is supposed to do and does not divert into other things. The only good way to do this is list the aims and purposes of the study in the first chapter.

To ease this process, the aims and purposes of the study could be turned to questions (popularly referred to as research questions). These will be the questions that the research is trying to answer. The aim still remains the same; to keep the research with a clear view of what it is that is to be done. (Covey 2003)

The next step would be to identify the appropriate methodology of collecting information. This should be done in consideration to the kind of research that is to be conducted, for this cases both qualitative and quantitative methods would be appropriate (Eysenck 2004). For the purpose of picking these kindly refer to above discussion on the best methodology.

After identifying the appropriate research methodology then one should conduct an exhaustive literature review (Louis Cohen 2007). This should be exhaustive as the word suggests. The review should include websites, journals and books in order to indentify if the same research had been conducted before by any other writer and if so, what are the conclusions, do they answer the research questions I have identified if not then how can I improve on the research (Nevid 2007).

If yes, are the answers satisfactory? If the answers are not satisfactory then how can I improve the answers through my research? Did the researchers make any assumptions? Are the assumptions accurate? How can I improve on the assumptions? These are some of hte questions I would be asking myself as I conduct a literature review. It is important to note that one should not start conducting the study before finishing the exhaustive literature review.

The next step would be to conduct the study and collect information according the identified methods of doing so; qualitative and quantitative research methods. The collected information would then be graphically and tabular represented for analysis. After the presentation, the information is now ready for analysis (Patrick Mcneill 2009), this is a very important part of the research and should therefore be done with a lot of caution to ensure it leads to the appropriate conclusions.

After the analysis is complete, conclusions would then be drawn from these analyses in response to the research questions identified in the beginning of hte research. (Mankiw 2006)This proposal mainly focuses on the idea that the findings ought to be realistic and hence the reason to go out of the way and conduct an exhaustive information collection session. This helps in identifying the actual problems affecting the people and hence arriving at actual and realistic solutions that would help in curbing the problems. (Paul Krugman 2009)


Barro, R. J. 2008. Macroeconomics: A Modern Approach. Cengage Learning, Chicago

Beins, B. 2004. Research Methods: a tool for life. Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, Michigan

Course, O. U. 2008. Thinking Critically. Open University Worldwide, New York

Covey, S. R. 2003. 7 Habits of Highly Influential People. Hay House Incorporated, New York

Eysenck, M. W. 2004. Psychology research. Psychology Press, New York

Louis Cohen, L. M. 2007. Research Methods in Education. Routledge, Washington D.C

Mankiw, G. 2006. Macroeconomics. W H Freeman-Usa, New York

Nevid, J. S. 2007. Psychology: Concepts and Applications. Cengage, Chicago,

Patrick Mcneill, S. C. 2009. Research Methods: Third Edition. Cengage Learning, Chicago

Paul Krugman, R. W. 2009. Macroeconomics. Worth Publishers, New York

Weiten, W. 2010. Psychology: Themes and Variations. Cengage Learning, Chicago

William m., J. P. 2006. Research Methods Knowledge Base. Cengage, Chicago

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