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Three Abbreviated Research Plans Proposal


Introduction

Quantitative, qualitative and mixed research methods have been used in various studies by different scholars. Therefore, this paper examines the strengths and weaknesses of each of the research methods. Besides, this paper provides an abbreviation for each of the research approach. Finally, it includes an introduction, a purpose statement, research questions and a research plan.

Quantitative Research Methods: Strengths and Limitations

Quantitative research methods have been used in different types of research studies by different researchers (McLaren, 2012; Symonds & Gorard, 2010). In this case, there are known strengths and limitations of the methods. It is important to begin with the strengths and then consider the limitations later. A quantitative method can be used to test and validate already constructed theories regarding how and why certain phenomena happen (Horsewood, 2011).

Besides, the method is considered as one of the most appropriate when testing hypotheses that are established before the collection of data (Scott, 2010). Again, it is also the most appropriate where a researcher plans to collect numerical data (Scott, 2010). According to a researcher, a quantitative method is able to generalize research outcomes, especially in cases where data are collected based on randomly selected samples (Scott, 2010).

Most importantly, most researchers have acknowledged that a quantitative method is one of the most objective methods of investigation, which is the reason it is mostly used to conduct empirical studies (Wells, 2009; DeCoster & Lichtenstein, 2007).

Despite its strengths, a quantitative research method has a number of significant limitations. First, the method ignores the context of a study, which often influences the outcomes of a research process (Terry, 2011). Second, the statistical accuracy of a study greatly depends on the size of a sample population (Riccucci, 2010).

This implies that for a researcher to achieve a high level of accuracy, he or she must have a relatively very large sample population, which may be costly in terms of time and logistics (Riccucci, 2010). Lastly, a quantitative method does not delve into the nuances of a phenomenon during a study process (Riccucci, 2010).

Qualitative Research Methods: Strengths and Limitations

As much as many researchers prefer quantitative methods to other research methods, there are other researchers who consider qualitative methods to be the most appropriate for their studies. In this case, there are strengths that make a qualitative method to be the most suitable approach to a study (Knox & Burkard, 2009).

First, since the method uses open-ended questions, participants have the opportunity to respond to the questions in their own words (Knox & Burkard, 2009). Second, a researcher is able to probe participants for more information regarding a particular phenomenon (Knox & Burkard, 2009).

Third, the method provides rich, detailed information that can be used to describe the behavioral traits of individuals, and assist a researcher to investigate the feelings and attitudes of individuals, which a quantitative method is not able to deal with (McCulliss, 2013; Agee, 2009).

Fourth, a qualitative method allows a researcher to study a phenomenon within its natural setting, which is an important scenario when a searcher investigates complex issues regarding phenomena of interests (McCulliss, 2013). Lastly, a qualitative method is relatively cost-effective as it depends on fewer participants than a quantitative research method (McCulliss, 2013).

However, qualitative methods have also limitations. One of the limitations of a qualitative method is subjectivity. A qualitative research process is often prone to personal biases of a researcher, which may negatively affect the accuracy of study outcomes. Besides, the findings of a qualitative research may not be easily generalized to a large population due to its subjectivity. In addition, with this method of study, it may not be possible to make quantitative forecasts.

Mixed Methods: Strengths and Limitations

Mixed methods have been adopted by many researchers for different reasons (Knox & Burkard, 2009). It involves a combination of both quantitative and qualitative research methods. This approach is often used by researchers who do not consider the exclusive use of either quantitative or qualitative methods to be effective (Knox & Burkard, 2009).

One of the strengths of this approach is that a researcher is able to compensate for the limitations of one approach by utilizing the strengths of the other approach (McLaren, 2012). This implies that a researcher who uses this method is able to overcome the limitations of a single research method (McLaren, 2012).

Moreover, the methods can be used to deal with different questions at different levels of a research study. For instance, a research study may have research questions, some of which may require the use of either quantitative or qualitative methods to answer (McLaren, 2012).

With mixed methods, a research is also able to address theoretical perspectives at different levels (Symonds & Gorard, 2010). Again, research studies that utilize mixed methods may be easy to define and to report (Hong & Espelage, 2012). Further, when a researcher uses mixed methods in a study, he or she can be able to generalize qualitative outcomes of a study (Hong & Espelage, 2012).

Additionally, this approach can enable a researcher to position his or her research in a transformative framework so as to achieve high levels of reliability. Finally, this kind of an approach can be helpful in terms of designing and validating research instruments (Hong & Espelage, 2012).

Conversely, mixed methods also have specific limitations that may render it unsuitable for use in a research study (Hong & Espelage, 2012). One of the limitations is that the approach has little guidance in relation to transformative methods.

Yet again, decisions are almost made impossible in cases where a research study is to proceed in sequential designs (Hong & Espelage, 2012). Additionally, when mixed approaches are used in a study, there are risks that some research designs are likely to general disparate evidence, which may potentially have negative effects on the outcomes of a research study (Hong & Espelage, 2012). In this case, the exclusive use of either the quantitative or qualitative methods may be the most preferable for a researcher (Terry, 2011).

Quantitative Research Methods

Introduction

The partnerships among governmental and non-governmental organizations have been considered to be very crucial in terms of ensuring efficient service delivery processes (Osborne, Chew & McLaughlin, 2008). Despite this fact, different leaders of public organizations have always been faced with the dilemma of allocating the limited resources of the organizations to ensure that they meet the needs of the public members (Alexander & Nank, 2009).

This dilemma is further complicated by the fact that the traditional approaches that have always been used are no longer effective in terms of service delivery (Radnor & Osborne, 2013). Other researchers have observed that the state, on its own, does not have the capability of achieving its main goals of meeting the varied needs of the members of the local communities (Radnor & Osborne, 2013).

Therefore, it is widely acknowledged that there is a great need for government organizations to form working partnerships with non-governmental organizations to enhance the delivery of services to the members of the public (Alexander & Nank, 2009). The argument in this case is that in a democratic state, the existence of non-governmental organizations play a major role in terms of service delivery (Alexander & Nank, 2009).

In relation to this, the proponents of democracy have argued that the level of democracy within a state is determined by the extent to which non-governmental organizations are involved in service delivery processes (Batley & Rose, 2010).

However, the partnerships between governmental and non-governmental organizations are often faced with the challenge of integrating their organizational cultures (Batley & Rose, 2010). This can be attributed to the contrasting cultural practices within governmental and non-governmental organizations.

This therefore requires that leaders should come up with specific mechanisms through which they may integrate the cultures of both the two types of organizations (Batley & Rose, 2010).

The Purpose Statement

The purpose of this quantitative study will be to analyze the approaches through which the cultures of public and non-governmental organizations may be integrated to enhance the benefits of partnerships between them. As was pointed out in the previous section, the partnerships between governmental and non-governmental organizations are very significant in terms of meeting the needs of the members of the local communities within the County of Georgia (Osborne, Chew & McLaughlin, 2008).

Nonetheless, without a workable, efficient mechanism to integrate the different cultures, the partnership between the two types of organizations may not work to effectively benefit the target members of the local communities (Sachs, 2011). Therefore, the primary purpose of this study will be to employ quantitative approaches in evaluating the best ways that can be used to integrate the cultures.

Research Questions

For purposes of this quantitative approach to study, the following are the questions that the research will seek to respond to;

  1. Does the integration of cultures enhance effective partnerships between governmental and non-governmental organizations?
  2. What is the correlation between the integration of cultures and the performance of partnerships between governmental and non-governmental organizations?
  3. What are the effects of not acknowledging the need for cultural integrations during the formation of partnerships between governmental and non-governmental organizations?

Hypotheses

Below are the null and alternative hypotheses that this study will seek to either accept or reject. The rejection or acceptance of either of the hypotheses will be determined through the confirmation or refutation of the null hypothesis.

H0: There is no relationship between the integration of the cultures of governmental and non-governmental organizations and the efficiency of partnerships between them.

H1: There is a relationship between the integration of the cultures of governmental and non-governmental organizations and the efficiency of partnerships between them.

Qualitative Research Methods

Introduction

Researchers have pointed out that partnerships between governmental and non-governmental organizations have become very important in relation to providing public services to members of the local communities (Osborne, Chew & McLaughlin, 2008). This is to argue that the partnerships make it possible for the leaders of public organizations to enhance the process of service delivery to citizens (Alexander & Nank, 2009).

More researchers have also advised that the government should form partnerships with non-governmental organizations in order to speed up its functions (Radnor & Osborne, 2013). In this case, scholars have argued that the government alone cannot solve all problems that affect members of the public (Radnor & Osborne, 2013).

Furthermore, research studies have shown that there is a huge deficiency of public resources, which makes it a challenge to the government to meet the diverse needs of the members of the society (Waterhouse & Keast, 2012).

Basically, the government lacks sufficient resources, and hence is not able to effectively solve the challenges that are faced by every citizen of the state (Waterhouse & Keast, 2012). This is the kind of a scenario that has necessitated the need for the government to form partnerships with various non-governmental organizations.

Even though the partnerships between the government and non-governmental organizations are very important, one significant obstacle to the partnership is due to the differences in the cultural practices of governmental and non-governmental organizations (Batley & Rose, 2010). The incompatibility of the organizational cultures of both types of organizations has been a significant hindrance to the establishment of efficient partnerships (Batley & Rose, 2010).

Therefore, there is a need to define specific approaches through which the cultural differences between governmental and non-governmental organizations can be solved. This will help the government to reduce its monopoly in relation to the provision of social services.

The Purpose Statement

The principal intention of this qualitative study is to use in-depth interviews to discover the strategies that can be used to integrate the organizational cultures of both the governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Different scholars have revealed that issues of cultural differences have the tendency to hold back the partnerships between the two types of organizations, a situation that has negatively impacted the process of service delivery (Frohlich, 2012). The need to study the integration strategies has been triggered by the fact that the partnership between the organizations has become indispensable in the 21st Century (Radnor & Osborne, 2013).

Research Questions

  1. Are leaders of both governmental and non-governmental organizations willing to allow governmental and non-governmental organizations to integrate their varied cultures?
  2. What are the best strategies through which the cultures of governmental and non-governmental organizations may be integrated?
  3. What factors impact the cultural integration during the formation of partnerships between governmental and non-governmental organizations?

Mixed Methods

Introduction

Considering a study that has been done, the partnerships between public leaders and civil societies appear to be familiar occurrences (Lee, 2008). There has been growing concerns regarding the efficiency of the government’s service delivery initiatives (Lo, 2010). In relation to this, studies have noted that due to lack of sufficient resources, the government, on its own, is incapable of meeting all the social needs of the citizens (Velotti, Botti & Vesci, 2012).

Besides, the government does not have effective mechanisms through which it can help citizens to meet their personal needs (Velotti, Botti & Vesci, 2012). It is important to note that an optimal development needs the utilization of a nation’s assets, natural and human resources in order to meet the demands of citizens (Park, 2011).

Scholars have argued that non-governmental organizations are better placed to express the needs of local community members and provide the necessary services and developments at local levels (Gourevitch & Stein, 2012). This means that the involvement of non-governmental organizations enhances the process of service delivery to the public members. This is what makes it necessary for the government to explore partnerships with the non-governmental organizations.

However, the main problem is that governmental organizations have cultures that differ from those of non-governmental organizations. On this ground, leaders need to find approaches that can be used to integrate the different cultures so as to achieve successful partnerships.

The Purpose Statement

The purpose of this research is to utilize mixed research methods to study the ways through which leaders of both public and non-governmental organizations can integrate the cultures of their organizations to facilitate effective partnerships.

Researchers have contended that cultural differences between governmental and non-governmental organizations are able to jeopardize the necessary collaboration between the two types of organizations in the process of service delivery to the members of the public (Lewis, 2012). Therefore, this study will primarily help in finding out the approaches that may be used by leaders to integrate the different cultures of both types of organizations.

Research Questions

Since this study will utilize mixed methods, the study will have both quantitative and qualitative questions. Besides, the quantitative components will have hypotheses. In this case, the research questions for the quantitative method include;

  1. Does the integration of cultures enhance effective partnerships between governmental and non-governmental organizations?
  2. What is the correlation between the integration of cultures and the performance of partnerships between governmental and non-governmental organizations?
  3. What are the effects of not acknowledging the need for cultural integrations during the formation of partnerships between governmental and non-governmental organizations?

Hypotheses for the Quantitative Methods

H0: There is no relationship between the integration of the cultures of governmental and non-governmental organizations and the efficiency of partnerships between them.

H1: There is a relationship between the integration of the cultures of governmental and non-governmental organizations and the efficiency of partnerships between them.

The Research Plan that Addresses the Questions

All the above research methods have both the quantitative and qualitative elements. Therefore, the most appropriate research plan that will address all the questions is that which enables a researcher to deal with all the questions. A mixed methods approach is the research plan that will address all the questions raised in the three research methods. The use of mixed methods in a study enables a researcher to overcome the weaknesses or limitations of a single research method (Creswell, 2013).

The quantitative research questions will be dealt with quantitatively. In this case the data will be collected through structured questionnaires (Creswell, 2013). Convenient sampling will be used as the most preferred technique of selecting the participants who will be surveyed (Fuller, 2011). In this case, a total of 50 individuals will be selected to participate in the study.

The qualitative research questions will be dealt with qualitatively. Therefore, in-depth interviews will be used to collect qualitative data from 30 interviewees, who will be selected through a purposive sampling technique (Kaar, 2009; Denscombe, 2010). During data analysis, the qualitative data will be sorted and transformed into quantitative data.

Thereafter, the two sets of data will be merged and then analyzed together through quantitative methods. During the study process, especially during the selection of participants and interviews, the researcher will ensure that all the ethical and legal requirements will be followed.

References

Agee, J. (2009). Developing Qualitative Research Questions: A Reflective Process. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 22(9), 431-447.

Alexander, J., & Nank, R. (2009). Public–Nonprofit Partnership: Realizing the New Public Service. Administration and Society, 41(3), 364-383.

Batley, R., & Rose, P. (2010). Collaboration in Delivering Education: Relations between Governments and NGOs in South Asia. Journal of Development in Practice, 20(4-5), 579-585.

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. London, UK: SAGE Publications.

DeCoster, J., & Lichtenstein, B. (2007). Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in Communication Research. Journal of Communication Methods and Measures, 1(4), 227-242.

Denscombe, M. (2010). The Good Research Guide: For Small-scale Social Research Projects. Berkshire, England: McGraw-Hill International.

Frohlich, C. (2012). Civil Society and the State Intertwined: The Case of Disability NGOs in Russia. Journal of East European Politics, 28(4), 371-389.

Fuller, W. (2011). Sampling Statistics. Winchester, Hampshire: John Wiley & Sons.

Gourevitch, P., & Stein, J. (2012). The Credibility of Transnational NGOs: When Virtue is Not Enough. London, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Hong, J. S., & Espelage, D. L. (2012). A Review of Mixed Methods Research on Bullying and Peer Victimization at School. Journal of Education Review, 64(1), 115-126.

Horsewood, N. (2011). Demystifying Quantitative Methods in Comparative Housing Research: Dispelling the Myth of Black Magic. International Journal of Housing Policy, 11(4), 375-393.

Kaar, M. (2009). A Critical Investigation of the Merits and Drawbacks of In-depth Interviews. Munich, Germany: GRIN Verlag.

Knox, S., & Burkard, A. W. (2009). Qualitative Research Interviews. Journal of Psychotherapy Research, 19(4-5), 566-575.

Lee, M. N. (2008). Restructuring Higher Education: Public–Private Partnership. Journal of Asian Public Policy, 1(2), 188-198.

Lewis, D. (2012). Management of Non-Governmental Development Organizations. New York, NY: Routledge.

Lo, M. (2010). Public–Private Partnerships for Maternal Health in Africa: Challenges and Prospects. Journal of Marriage and Family Review, 44(2-3), 214-237.

McCulliss, D. (2013). Poetic inquiry and multidisciplinary qualitative research. Journal of Poetry Therapy, 26(2), 83-114.

McLaren, I. A. (2012). The Use of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in the Analysis of Academic Achievement among Undergraduates in Jamaica. Journal: International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 35(2), 195-216.

Osborne, S., Chew, C., & McLaughlin, K. (2008). The Once and Future Pioneers? The Innovative Capacity of Voluntary Organizations and the Provision of Public Services: A longitudinal Approach. Public Management Review, 10(1), 51-70.

Park, J. (2011). Trade-induced Industrialization and Economic Growth. International Economic Journal, 25(3), 513-545.

Radnor, Z., & Osborne, S. P. (2013). Lean: A Failed Theory for Public Services? Public Management Review, 15(2), 265-287.

Riccucci, N. M. (2010). Public Administration: Traditions of Inquiry and Philosophies of Knowledge. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Sachs, J. (2011). The End of Poverty: How We Can Make it Happen in Our Lifetime. New Delhi, India: Penguin Books Limited.

Scott, J. (2010). Quantitative Methods and Gender Inequalities. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 13(3), 223-236.

Symonds, J., & Gorard, S. (2010). Death of Mixed Methods? Or the Rebirth of Research as a Craft. Journal of Evaluation & Research in Education, 23(2), 121-136.

Terry, A. J. (2011). Clinical Research for the Doctor of Nursing Practice. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Velotti, L., Botti, A., & Vesci, M. (2012). Public-Private Partnerships and Network Governance. Public Performance & Management Review, 36(2), 340-365.

Waterhouse, J., & Keast, R. (2012). Strategizing Public Sector Human Resource Management: The Implications of Working with Networks. International Journal of Public Administration, 35(8), 562-576.

Wells, E. (2009). Uses of Meta‐Analysis in Criminal Justice Research: A Quantitative Review. Journal of Justice Quarterly, 26(2), 268-294.

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