The objective of the research proposal was to determine the impacts of vat regulations on the FCMG sector in Dubai. The ensuing paper sections describe the methods that would be utilized in the research, beginning from a description of the research philosophy. The other concepts discussed in the paper include the data collection methods, tools and the data analysis technique. It concludes with a discussion of the research ethics.
The proposed research will be conducted through an exploratory perspective, which is generally used to create a deeper understanding of phenomena. With the intended research aims, the study will be better off with an objective research where the perspective held by the researcher is detached from the research process. Objective research is modeled on methods that establish law like findings that can be generalized to large populations rather than to distinctive populations. In the proposed objective research, the industry will be the general context to which findings are applicable. Ratner (par. 5) posits that objectivism in research integrates even subjectivity as it gives an opportunity for the researcher to acquire knowledge through the use of active as well as philosophical subjective methodologies such as synthetic and analytical reasoning, perception, logical deductions and separation of essences from appearances. The implication of this attribute is that objectivity is not constrained to quantitative methods, but can adopt the perspectives of qualitative approaches to research (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill 3). The proposed objective research will therefore ensure that the privilege over objectivity is higher than inclination towards subjective processes. To ensure that the research privileges objectivity, a positivist perspective would be adopted.
The objective research epistemology uses scientific methods of quantitative research to come up with explanations for social science phenomena. It is aimed at creating an understanding of phenomena through the use of measured and supported evidence as described by Pham (2). A positivist research philosophy is founded on data that can be subjected to statistical analysis from which generalization occurs. The positivist research epistemology is founded on the use of available evidence to describe the causal relationship between various dependent and independent variables (Hammersley 22-23). The proposed study will utilize an experimental design to determine the influence of the independent variable on the dependent variable (Cohen, Manion and Marison 17-19). The objectivism epistemology enables researchers to collect information that is reliable and thus to provide researchers with sufficient support for the generalization of information (Johnson and Onwuegbuzie 16). The rationale behind this advantage is that objectivist research philosophy is founded on the belief that information about phenomena is in reality and does not need to be created through the interpretations of research subjects and researchers.
Data collection methods
The research will used a combination of different data collection methodologies. The dissertation will apply a survey as the data collection methodology, using data from different sectors. The data collected would allow for the synthesized information to be applicable to a wide range of contexts. Ponto (168) reported that survey research is applicable where there is a need for flexibility in data collection procedures. The survey methodology allows for researchers to use multiple data collection techniques, different tools, participant selection procedures and different instrumentation for data collection (Check and Schutt 160). The survey questionnaire would be administered to at least 50 potential participants. This number will be used as the initial reach-out target, with the objective of having a minimum of at least 50% response rate. This implies that the data collected from the first 25 complete questionnaires to be returned will be used in data analysis and subsequently for information generalization. The surveys will be designed using a mixed methods design that incorporates qualitative and quantitative research techniques.
The survey questionnaires will consist of a combination of questions with numerical responses (linkert scale type questions) and those with open- ended questions. The respondents to the surveys will be able to provide their own perspectives on the survey phenomena and to direct the thoughts of the researchers depending on the directions of the questions (Kara and Pickering 240). For the planned objective research, the hypothesis is that data on the targeted phenomenon is available in the public and does not necessarily need to be formulated wholly from the responses of the participants. The survey questionnaires will be administered by the researcher, who is a professional in the field of the study. Each of the questions in the survey will be designed to reflect the research questions and objectives, hence the need to focus specifically on the information that adds value based on the research. A semi-structured approach will be used for the questions as it has been established to be effective in guiding participants and at the same time provides the researcher with an opportunity to fully describe their expectations from the research responses (Ponto 172).
The researcher intends to use internet delivered questionnaires with randomly sampled participants. The first step in planning for data collection would entail outlining the research objectives and working towards understanding the perspectives reported from the volunteer participants. Past research has shown that data collection using surveys is a relevant approach across a wide research area (Keough and Tanabe 38). Collecting data using internet delivered questionnaires is suitable for researches where the objective is constrained in terms of the available time. Internet based questionnaires can attract faster turnover in terms of response rates, particularly given the rampant rate of internet usage as a strategy for communication (2). Lin and Kozarek (AB 153) further posit that the higher response rates associated with surveys results in their applicability where the targeted study population is expansive and flexible in providing a wide range of perspectives to the participants.
The participants will be given a total of 3 days to respond to their survey questionnaires and resend them to the researcher. This period is considered sufficient for the respondents to collect any information they may feel suitable for the research. When using the semi-structured surveys for data collection, it is projected that the findings from the study will be worth analyzing using a variety of methods. According to Blandford (2), semi structured surveys are effective for a variety of research types and can be used with both positivist and interpretivist research philosophies. This is also in line with the argument that positivist approaches do well with both qualitative and quantitative data collection procedures, both of which are supported through qualitative research methodologies.
Data Collection tools
Semi-structured research survey will use qualitative research questionnaires for data collection. The survey questionnaires will be designed based on the research objectives and the research questions. The questionnaire design process followed the method given by Permani (23). The objective of questionnaire design in the said method is to ensure that the questionnaire asks the right questions, that the questions are asked of the right respondents and that the respondents understand the questions as asked. The wording of the questions in this regard would make it clear to the respondent who the question is addressed towards (Paradis and Other 263). An appropriate questionnaire design also has an adequate flow of questions. The wording of the questions would be such that there is no ambiguity, the reference period is clear and the questions are both straight forward and culturally sensitive. According to Dolnicar (552), the most carefully developed question is only as effective as its translation by the respondent.
Data analysis technique?
The research would be a mixed method study combining elements of both qualitative and quantitative research given the data collection method used. The quantitative part of the data will be analyzed to determine the correlations between various variables in the study. From the positivist philosophy adopted, the study is founded on the perception that there is data already existing out there (grounded approach) to the phenomenon under exploration (Brooks and Others 203). The qualitative aspect of the study thus examines mainly the responses of the participants towards the perceived existing data. A combination of qualitative and quantitative data analysis procedures will therefore be used for the study. The qualitative analysis will entail thematic abstraction of concepts from the responses given by the participants on different questions. The themes will be created following the research objectives and questionnaires while the actual concepts aligned to each theme will be founded on the theoretical information abstracted from secondary data, and will be organized in a template format to be used for the extraction of each respondent’s data. This process is described as template analysis and is considered suitable for qualitative research studies that use focus groups and surveys for data collection (Onwuegbuzie and Others 21).
Quantitative analysis will entail the use of SPSS software to conduct a descriptive analysis that will help to compare the data collected from before and after the implementation of the independent variable (Arkkelin 4). Since the objective of the study is to determine causality in relation to two concepts, it is reasonable to compare different data sets that depict the availability and absence of the independent variable. SPSS has been confirmed effective for exploratory research seeking to determine causality, descriptive qualitative studies and even explanatory studies hence its wide applicability in social science research (Jamshed 88; Alversia 305).
The study will be conducted using human subjects as participants to the surveys. Various past researchers have confirmed the need for adhering to specific ethical considerations when working with human subjects. The core ethical consideration in such as scenario is to ensure that the participants are treated with dignity and not manhandled in any way. The first step towards ensuring that this happens is to allow people to participate based only on their informed consent. Keough and Tanabe (39) suggests that informed consent implies that the researcher has to explain to the potential participants the objective of the research as well as the participant’s role in it. Thereafter, the researcher would give the participants the opportunity to choose whether to participate or not. A letter of confirmation would be provided to the participants to confirm that they have agreed to participate in the study while fully aware of its objectives and their roles. The researcher must also be open to the participants on the risks they face by participating in the study.
Additionally, the confidentiality of the participants have to be protected at all times. Confidentiality in this regard implies protection of all information considered private such as the names, residences and contact information for the participants (Kirk 1256). The researcher would use codes as place holders for the participants’ names to avoid confidentiality issues in revealing the research findings. The perception of the participants on the research also matters a lot as participants should only be allowed to take part in studies that they consider beneficial. The perceptions of the participants are good indicators of whether they consider themselves under compulsion or not.
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