Literature review majorly provides credible information along with real facts regarding a particular topic. It also provides theoretical information relating to the particular research article (Booth, Papaioannou & Sutton, 2012). On the other hand, an interview is a method through which primary information are obtained that are highly relevant to the current day context. Elaborately, an interview is a discussion between interviewer and interview, where an interviewer asks various types of questions to an interviewee to gain information (Bradburn, Sudman & Wansink, 2004). In this regard, it can be evaluated that both literature review and interview are important to collect information. Both these form of research methodology has certain advantages as well as disadvantages. Moreover, there are also certain implications of the literature review as well as interview method in a research. Literature review indicates the attainment of essential and credible information from the secondary source, while interview method exclusively involves the use of a primary source to collect data or information. Therefore, both these methods are useful for a research to collect the actual, relevant, credible, recent, and valid information that leads to the success of the research process (Creswell, 2013; Hart, 2001).
Contextually, this paper intends to explain about the strengths and weaknesses of literature review and interview method. Moreover, it also attempts to understand the suitability of literature review and interview along with the generalisability of the results obtained from these. It also intends to explain about the issues of using literature review and interview along with certain recommended strategies to reduce these.
To assess the appropriateness of literature review and interview in research, the strengths and weaknesses of these two methods are of significant importance, illustrated in the underneath subheadings. Both these methods are effectual for research to obtain detailed as well as in-depth information, but both of these have certain weaknesses that may hamper the research.
The major potency of literature in research is that it directly connects with the research questions, which helps in collecting actual information about the particular research topic (Liberty University, 2015). Moreover, it also reflects the skills of the researcher to gather the required information regarding the particular subject matter. Besides, one of the prime strengths of a literature review is that it provides the scope to use credible sources such as journals, government documents and books for obtaining information related to the specific topic (SAGE, 2015). Moreover, with the help of literature review, it is also possible to analyze the existing researches properly, which eventually leads to appropriate discussion and attainment of successful research outcome. The literature review also helps in assessing the real facts as well as finding from the existing studies, which significantly supports to the successful development of conceptions relating to the subject matter. The literature review is useful for gathering essential and appropriate information about the research problem and helps in enhancing the quality of the research (Nova Southeastern University, 2015). Conducting literature review also helps in identifying the research gap that provides significant scope to the researchers to contribute to the research field. The literature review also helps in improving the quality of the conducted research by providing appropriate direction and approach to the research (Levy & Ellis, 2006).
Despite the above strengths of literature review, there are also certain weaknesses that affect the research process. One of the major weaknesses of a literature review is that it is not necessary that credible secondary sources will be available relating to every topic for research. At some aspect, there is limited secondary information, which leads to difficulties in conducting the research process through literature review. Moreover, at instances, secondary information relating to present day context is very hard to obtain, which has also been its main weakness (Paul, 2012).
There are definite strengths and weaknesses of interview method of data collection in research. One of chief potency of an interview is that it helps in gathering information relating to the current day context, highly based on the experiences and opinion of the interviewee. Moreover, with the help of interview method, the interviewer gets the opportunity to interact with interviewee or respondent personally. Therefore, interviewee or respondent feel more relax and comfort during the time of the interview, and it can be helpful for interviewer to collects the relevant as well as recent information about the particular research topic (Driscoll, 2011). Also, an interview is also considered as the most flexible method for data collection, as it can be conducted at any time and at any place, but needs to be carried out based on the interest of interviewee for deriving valuable outcome. Considering data collected from interview process also helps in improving the quality of research by using the knowledge as well as the expertise of the individual interviewee. Furthermore, another strength is that data or information collected through an interview can be kept confidential, considering the interest of the interviewee (Harwell, 2015). Also, the qualitative interview also helps in exploring the research topic in more detail and in-depth information that can be helpful for making the research successful. The interview helps in providing information based on the research question and helps in enhancing the accuracy of collected data, considered as its significant strength (Patton, 2014).
There are certain weaknesses in data collected from the interview process that can hamper the work of research project. One of the major weaknesses of interview is that conducting the same for gathering information is very costly. Due to high cost, a considerable number of researchers are unable to conduct an interview for gathering appropriate information about the particular research topic. Moreover, a researcher needs to take due permission from higher authority for the interview. It can also be evaluated that without the interest of respondents, it is not possible to conduct the interview properly and collect the information, which has been its major weakness. Moreover, at instances, researchers face problem in terms of analysing the data collected from interview, as the collected data are of a significant amount and might vary considerably (Zhang & Wildemuth, 2006). Interview method is time-consuming; therefore, researchers can face issues while conducting the research within a short period. The sample size in an interview is limited, which is also its weakness that may hamper the reliability of the research outcome (Seidman, 2013).
Conducting a literature review involves presenting the collected data from the secondary source through which it is possible to gain the knowledge as well as understandings that enhance the quality of the research. Moreover, literature review is also useful to develop the research question along with the identification of the quality based research evidence related to research question. A literature review is suitable for gathering data after developing the research question that significantly improves the quality of the study (Kiteley & Stogdon, 2013). It is also appropriate in identifying the research gap. In this regard, it is suitable for a research to gather the relevant and in-depth information that make the research successful. Appropriateness of literature review is also apparent from its vital role regarding conducting the future research. Moreover, with the help of literature review, it is also possible to assess the effective way for attaining the research objectives. The research objectives majorly are developed based on the research topic as well as the research question. Therefore, it can also be mentioned that by analyzing the research questions, the information related to the research objectives can be obtained and the identified research gap can also be mitigated (Jesson, Matheson & Lacey, 2012).
To understand the suitability of interview process, its implication in the given research example is illustrated. Based on the provided case “Equal opportunities in the publishing industry”, it can be evaluated that Mary was a postgraduate student, who was taking the initiative to do the research project regarding the topic of equal opportunities in publishing industry. Mary had job experience in the field of publishing industry for near about ten years. Moreover, Mary also had interest on equal opportunities; therefore, she has selected such topic to do the research project. During the time of working in publishing industry, the interest related to the equal opportunities has increased in the mind of Mary. To obtain the information regarding the selected topic Mary had read secondary literature about the gender in work. In this regard, it can be evaluated that by reading secondary literature, it is possible to acquire the information and knowledge about the prospects provided by management to male as well as female. Literature study will support in understanding that there are certain organizations, where both male and female are not getting equal opportunities and it creates conflicts among management. Therefore, to reduce conflict among management, it is essential to provide the equal opportunities within the organization, which is a major concern in the current trend. Moreover, to gain the relevant as well as in-depth information regarding equal opportunities, Mary had focused on literature articles, as it helped her to gain logical as well as actual information about the selected research topic. By analyzing the depth information, Mary was successful to attain the research objectives that led to the attainment of successful research outcome, justifying its suitability of literature review in a research process.
The interview is a method that leads to the attainment of recent primary data related to exact research topic. Therefore, it can be evaluated that interview is suitable to gain the relevant as well as information about the particular topic. Moreover, the suitability of interview in the research process is also apparent from the fact that it leads to the attainment of information based on the experiences of employees of chosen organization. However, in the case of conducting an interview, it is essential to take the permission of higher authority, as without their permission it cannot be possible to conduct the interview successfully and collect the required information that restricts its suitability in certain instances (Dublin Institute of Technology, 2014). Also, conducting an interview is suitable when there is a requirement to gather more and different type of information based on the opinion of the respondents. In this regard, it can also be mentioned that collecting information and data is also useful for preparing the research project successfully. Moreover, in the case of an interview, the selection of questions is based on the particular research topic. It can also be evaluated that interview is suitable to gather recent and relevant information about the particular subject matter (Dey, 2003).
Based on the provided case study, it is notable that Mary, who had decided to conduct a research project on equal opportunities in publishing industry, also focused on the qualitative interview to gather the relevant information regarding the particular topic. To conduct the interview, Mary had designed 15 questions for ascertaining whether the employees of publishing industry obtain equal opportunities or not. Moreover, Mary had also decided to conduct interview with ten men and ten women to collect the information about their experiences in this particular industry along with the opportunities provided to them. To gather information through interview Mary had selected respondents, who are unknown to her. Mary also asked her friend to suggest the name of the interviewees, who are interested to attend the interview and share their work experiences. However, she faced certain problem in terms of conducting the interview because interviewees had no interest to attend the interview as they had other important meetings. Therefore, Mary was also faced problem to collect recent information that can be useful to make the research effective. In this regard, it can be evaluated that the interview method was suitable for Mary to gather relevant information about equal opportunities in the publishing industry. Moreover, its suitability is also apparent as it helps in collecting recent information based on the experiences of interviewee or worker.
The results attained from an interview can be generalised based on the similarity and accuracy of information provided by an interviewee. Likewise, the results and findings from literature review can also be generalized based on the accuracy of information and similarity of conception from different sources such as journals and books among others. Moreover, if the data provided by varied interviewee is similar and information gained from different literature sources is also relatively same, then it can be evaluated that result obtained using literature review and interview is valid as well as reliable and can be generalised (Seidman, 2015; Ridley, 2012).
There are certain issues relating to literature review and interview, which at instances hamper the work of the research such as ethical consideration, access to data, sample selection and biasess among others. The ethical violation in research is one of the major issues, which majorly create the problem regarding conducting the interview and gaining proper information because in case of interview certain ethical considerations need to be taken into consideration. Moreover, in case of interview, the sample size is limited; therefore, leads to fall in the reliability of the research outcome. Also, another issue, i.e. biasess may occur during the time of interview. For example, if any respondent presenting in the interview known by interviewer than it can create bias problem in terms of interview question, which can affect the research process. Therefore, it can also be mentioned that issues related to biasness can also hamper the quality of research work (Seidman, 2015; Ridley, 2012).
Based on the above discussion, it can be evaluated that literature review and interview both are successful methods or techniques in research, as these two methods helps in gathering in-depth information based on the needs of a particular research topic. These two methods also have specific implications of research through which the effectiveness of research or study can understand. From the above discussion, it is notable that literature review involves data collection from the secondary source while collecting primary data through interview process. In this regard, as a part of the secondary source, it provides the facility to use authentic journals and books to assess the study appropriately. On the other hand, the interview helps in collecting valid and recent data or information as per the opinion and experiences of the respondents or the interviewee. Moreover, there are various types of interview method, which includes structured and unstructured among others, which are also beneficial in research for gathering relevant information about the exact research topic. However, one of the major weaknesses of a literature review is the lack of present day data at several instances that affects the research process. However, it provides opportunity to use credible sources such as journals and book for obtaining information about the particular topic that leads to successful direction and completion of the project. The major weakness of interview is that it is costly and time-consuming. The result obtained from the literature review and interview is generalizable based on the accuracy of data or information. Moreover, there are also certain issues, which affect the research process mostly, which includes ethical violation, access to data and biasess among others. Based on the overall discussion, it can be concluded literature review and interview both are more useful and important for collecting the actual as well as detail information about the particular topic along with make the research effective.
Based on the above discussion, it can be evaluated that with the help of certain recommendations, the issues related to literature review and interview can be reduced. One of the chief recommended strategies can be that the researcher should focus on ethical consideration to obtain the appropriate and detail information about the particular research topic. Moreover, a researcher should focus on further authentic sources to gain reliable information about the particular research topic and enhance the quality of the research (Seidman, 2015).
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Creswell, J W (2013) Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. US: SAGE.
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