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Research Philosophy

Research design and methodology define the outline of methods for conducting the research study. It actually provides the framework and blueprint for collecting most accurate set of information (Tuohy et al., 2013). This section will select appropriate research design and methodology for assessing the factors influencing the supply chain management of FedEx. The chapter will select appropriate research worldview for getting appropriate direction of research design and methods for collecting authentic information about the supply chain management at FedEx. On the other hand, the chapter will also select appropriate research philosophy, research approach and research design for collecting most relevant research information. Apart from that, the chapter will also provide justification for the choice research philosophy, research approach and research design. Furthermore, the chapter will majorly focus on selection of appropriate data collection method for gathering accurate information regarding the issue of the research. Moreover, the study will choose primary method for assembling relevant research information. The study will also select appropriate data analysis method for properly analyzing the collected data towards reaching at accurate research result.

Research philosophy is associated with type, basis and progress of information through gathering. Addressing research viewpoint includes becoming aware and formulation of beliefs and assumptions regarding the research topic (Choy, 2014). Pragmatic philosophy accepts the concepts as relevant only if the concepts support actions. As per this philosophy, research questions are the most significant determinants of research philosophy. It can combine both positivism and interpretivism position within the single research as per the nature of the research questions (Roberts, 2013). Positivism philosophy ensures collection of factual data through observation. Positivism philosophy deals with quantifiable observation, which leads to statistical data analysis. Moreover, the factual data collected in the positivism philosophy enhances the quality of the research outcome.

Interpretivism philosophy facilitates in gathering socially constructed data, which is also related to reality. Gathering such real acts helps in proper understanding of the research topic, which can lead to accurate research result. On the other hand, the qualitative approach used in this philosophy helps in gathering detailed information around the research theme. On other hand, philosophy through realism is the mixed approach of interpretivism and positivism philosophy (Farooq & O'Brien, 2015). Realism philosophy relies on ideas of independence of reality in human mind. The direct realist approach of realism philosophy facilitates in gaining fuller and clear picture about the subject of the research. Such philosophy facilitates in collecting authentic research information along with socially constructed data, which can improve the excellence of research value.

Justification for Research Philosophy

The social nature and subjective nature of Interpretivism philosophy can lead to biasness in the collected information. Therefore, this philosophy has been rejected for conducting this research study. On the other hand, positivism philosophy facilitates in gathering factual data, which can enhance the quality of research outcome. Therefore, positivism philosophy will be nominated for leading this research.

Research Approach is the most useful method for gathering huge knowledge regarding the topic of the research. The assortment of appropriate exploration approach is extremely reliant on exploration topic as well as research variables. Two types of investigation methods are mostly used in directing research. These are inductive approach and deductive approach. Inductive approach generally leads to inductive inference, where known premises are used for generating untested conclusion of the research study (Lather & St. Pierre, 2013). Inductive approach requires generating new theories and models for collecting and evaluating the information related to the research topic. Moreover, this approach generalizes the information from specific to general. The data collection of inductive approach is associated with exploring the research phenomenon. It can identify themes and patterns for creating effective conceptual framework or the research stud. Moreover, this approach is basically related to theory generation towards collecting authentic information about the research topic.

Deductive approach facilitates in leading the deductive inference. In this approach, conclusion of the research is true, when the premises of the research are also true. This approach allows in utilizing previous theories and models for gathering reliable info concerning the theme of the investigation. It helps in implementing various theories and models, which are actually related to research variables (Isaacs, 2014). The previous and relevant research theories and models can provide detailed and in-depth information about the research topic towards enhancing the quality of the research. Moreover, deductive approach generalizes the information from general to specific towards reaching at standard quality of research outcome. In this approach, data is collected for evaluating propositions and hypotheses in relation to existing theories. This approach is actually related to theory verification and application of the best relevant theory for collecting effective information about the research topic.

Inductive Approach entails generation of new theories and models for collecting relevant information around the theme of the investigation. Consequently, the inductive method requires huge and money for creating new theories and models. In this way, this approach actually increases the period and budget of the research. Therefore, this research approach has been rejected for this research study. On the other hand, approach through deductive method facilitates in using preceding philosophies and models for collecting important information about the research study. In this way, this research approach actually saves the time and budget of the research study.

Research Approach

In research study, worldview provides the foundation for the inquiry of research information. It is extremely important to be aware of the worldview for designing, carrying out and interpreting the research result. The worldviews of research study are constantly evolving and there is no fixed standard for it. However, the worldviews of research method are classified in four categories like Post Positivism, Constructivism, Advocacy or Participatory and Pragmatism. Post positivism method facilitates in rejecting and confirming a hypothesis (Fletcher, 2017). Positivists believe that researched person and researcher are actually independent of each other. Post positivist accepts that the background, theories, values and knowledge can have huge influence on observed matter. It depends on deterministic and theory verification approach. Moreover, quantitative research design used in Post positivism method helps in collecting accurate research information.

Constructivism philosophy considers reality as the construct of human mind. In this philosophy, reality is perceived to be subjective. This research philosophy facilitates in gathering qualitative information for getting in-depth knowledge about the topic of the research. It also brings personal values of research participants towards analyzing the collected data. Moreover, collaboration with the research participants and including their values actually validates the accuracy of findings (King & Mackey, 2016). On the other hand, in Advocacy philosophy, the data, methods and findings of the research actually negotiated with the research participants. In this philosophy, the approaches to research do not respond to the situation or needs of the people from vulnerable and vulnerable groups. This approach also uses qualitative method for collecting authentic research information. Furthermore, Pragmatism philosophy facilitates in testing the hypotheses and providing multiple perspectives (Gabriel, 2015). In this philosophy, a proposition is accepted, when it seems to have a practical consequence in reality or otherwise the propositions are rejected. It used mixed method approach of research design for gathering both quantitative data and qualitative data.

Pragmatism philosophy will be selected for collecting most authentic information about the research topic. This philosophy allows in using both qualitative and quantitative research design for collecting both subjective and objective information about the topic of the research. Therefore, this philosophy can provide most authentic set of information about the research study.

 

Table 1: Relationship between Research Worldview, Design, Strategy, Method of Data Collection and Analysis

(Source: Fletcher, 2017)

Research design defines the set of procedures and methods for gathering and studying the actions of variables, which are specified under the problem for research. It also provides the framework for getting accurate answer to the research questions (Wiesche et al., 2017). Success completion of research study is highly dependent on proper understanding of research topic. Proper understanding of research topic is dependent on gathering adequate knowledge about the research variables (Pavan & Kulkarni, 2014). Effective research design highly emphasizes on proper understanding of research topic. Three most common types research designs are exploratory, explanatory and descriptive. Research design through Explanatory approach facilitates in recognizing connection among dissimilar research variables. This research design connects the ideas towards identifying the cause effect connection among dissimilar research variables. Moreover, this research design assists in linking the research variables with each other.

Justification for Research Approach

Research design through Exploratory method enables in identifying the contextual underpinning of the research study. Moreover, this research design recognizes the common grounds behind the research topic. Furthermore, this research design recognizes the current issues behind the research topic. It also attempts to find the groundwork for the research study, which can also lead to future research studies (Saunders & Bezzina, 2015). In this way, recognition of social causes behind the research topic leads to accurate research result. On the other hand, descriptive research strategy enables in getting proper explanation of the research topic. This research design facilitates in accumulating actual purpose of the research topic. It also provides additional information regarding the topic of the research, which ensures high quality of research outcome. In descriptive research design, it is possible to use both qualitative and quantitative research design for collecting both subjective and objective information about the research topic (Hooper & Gunn, 2014).

This research study will use descriptive research design, where both qualitative and quantitative research design can be used. Such research design will help in collecting both detailed subjective information and accurate objective information about the research topic.

Research strategy provides the direction to the thoughts and ideas, which facilitates in conducting the research study systematically. Moreover, it defines the strategies towards gathering authentic research information about the research topic. Popular types of research strategies are like survey, interview, case study, focus group, observation and lots more. Case study strategy helps in gathering authentic research information regarding the topic of the research study (Gioia et al., 2013). It provides empirical in-depth inquiry about the topic of the research. Furthermore, in can also provide reliable data regarding the theme of the examination. On the other hand, Focus Group defines small group of people, which can be used for gathering authentic data concerning the research topic. Moreover, in this research strategy, data is collected from same group of people, which can improve the excellence of the research consequence.

Survey research strategy helps in collecting objective information from the selected respondents. Moreover, in this research strategy, survey questionnaires are distributed among the selected respondents of the research study (Newington & Metcalfe, 2014). Moreover, the selected respondents are asked to provide answer to the research questionnaires as per their own opinion. On other hand, interview strategy helps in collecting detailed and descriptive research information regarding the topic of the research (Pearson et al., 2015). Moreover, in this research strategy, information is mostly collected from the organizational heads of the concerned organization. Therefore, this strategy facilitates in collecting organizational specific information from the organizational heads of the concerned organization.

Research Worldview

This research study will choose survey and interview strategy for collecting most authentic data concerning the issue of the research study. Survey strategy helps in collecting most reliable and accurate objective data about the research topic. On the other hand, interview strategy helps in collecting core organization specific information regarding the topic of the research topic.

Data collection method is the most substantial activity for collecting facts regarding the issue of the research study. Collection of relevant information is highly dependent on appropriate choice of data collection method (Lynch & Mannion, 2016). Both primary as well as secondary method of data collection is extremely important for collecting useful research information. In secondary method of data collection, data is collected from various secondary sources. It is possible to obtain the secondary data both from the external as well as internal sources to the organization. Moreover, secondary data is mostly collected from authentic journals, websites, books, company information, case studies and others (Kim et al., 2015). The secondary data can be both quantitative as well as qualitative in nature. The qualitative data is mostly obtained from newspapers, interviews, diaries, transcripts and others. On the hand, secondary quantitative data is mostly obtained from financial report, business journals, business magazines and others. In this research study, secondary information will be used for preparing the literature review section. Moreover, the authentic information collected from the secondary sources will enhance the quality of the research outcome.

On the other hand, the research study will basically use primary method of data collection for collecting most authenticate and relevant data about the investigation topic. In this research study, primary data collection will be used for collecting first hand data set from the selected respondents (Golichenko, 2016). In primary data collection, both qualitative and quantitative data collection technique will be used for collecting information both in the nature of subjective as well as objective. In quantitative technique, the employees from the supply chain department of the FedEx will be selected as the respondents (Hickson, 2016). Moreover, survey questionnaires will be distributed among the employees of supply chain department of FedEx. These questionnaires will be close end in nature. On the other hand, in qualitative technique, managers of FedEx will be selected for gathering authentic information regarding the supply chain management of the organization.

Primary data are first hand in nature, which can reduce the chance of biasness in the research method. Therefore, this method of data collection can provide most exact data concerning the examination topic, which can enhance the quality of the research outcome. Therefore, primary method of data assortment will be carefully chosen for collecting correct information about the research topic.

Research Population refers to well defined collection of individuals, which can almost similar characteristics. 80 employees from the supply chain department of FedEx will be selected as the population size of the research study. Sample will be simply the subset of this population size. Moreover, the sample will be the representatives of the population for provide accurate information about the research topic.

50 employees from the supply chain department of FedEx will be selected as the respondents for quantitative data collection. On the other hand, 3 managers from FedEx will be selected for conducting qualitative data collection. Simple random sampling method will be used for conducting the research study. In this research method, the respondents will be gathered at their convenient place for collecting accurate research information. Such method will also enhance the participation level of the respondent and enhancing their willingness towards responding to the survey questionnaires and providing most accurate information about the research topic.

Data analysis method is the most important activity towards accurately analyzing the collected data from the selected respondents. Effective data investigation method simplifies in changing the overall data about the research topic into precise manner (Burr et al., 2014). Inferential analysis tests the hypothesis and draws the conclusion regarding the population based on the sample. In Inferential analysis, the collected information is analyzed through ANOVA, T-Test, confidence interval, regression, Chi-Squared and others (Harsoor & Bhaskar, 2016). In this statistical test, the change the data pattern is identified for reaching at an effective research result. It is also possible to take the result of an analysis using sample and its can also be generalized to the larger population that the sample represents. On the other hand, descriptive statistical analysis quantitatively summarizes the features of collected data. Descriptive statistics are more likely to summarize the sample rather than population. In this data analysis method, the measures of central tendency are used for describing the data set. Moreover, descriptive data analysis uses mean, median, mode and standard deviation for analyzing the collected data from the selected respondents (Ahmad et al., 2014).

Descriptive statistical method will be used for analyzing the collected data from the selected respondents. The mean value will provide the average tendency of the collected data for reaching at a conclusion. Furthermore, the mode value will provide maximum tendency of the collected data for reaching at accurate research result. In this way, descriptive statistical method will lead to accurate research result.

Successful achievement of research outcome is extremely reliant on proper consideration of ethics. It should be safeguarded that the respondents are not forced to participate in the facts gathering process. The respondents should be allowed to take professional partaking in the data collection process. Moreover, they should have the right to quit their contribution any time from the process even after procuring their initiative in the process (Shabani Varaki et al, 2015). The willingness to participate in the data collection process is completely dependent on the selected respondents of the research study. There should not be any unethical activity in collecting data from the respondents. On the other hand, the respondents should not be influenced by any means in responding to the questionnaires. The respondents should be allowed to respond to the questionnaires only from their own perspectives. It should also be ensured that the data gathered from the respondents will be used only for private purposes and not for profitable purposes (Friedman, 2014). Furthermore, the research study should also maintain the confidentiality of the information shared by the selected respondents. Moreover, the research study should ensure all data protection act for protecting the information from unauthentic access.

 

Figure 1: Proposed Schedule

(Source: Created by Author)

References

Ahmad, M., Saleh, A., Rayan, A., Bdair, I. A., Batarseh, K., Abuadas, F., ... & Abu-Abboud, N. (2014). Web-based research using Delphi methodology to explore the discrepancy in qualitative research. International Journal of Nursing and Health Sciences, 1(6), 60-68.

Burr, V., King, N., & Butt, T. (2014). Personal construct psychology methods for qualitative research. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 17(4), 341-355.

Choy, L. T. (2014). The strengths and weaknesses of research methodology: Comparison and complimentary between qualitative and quantitative approaches. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 19(4), 99-104.

Farooq, S., & O'Brien, C. (2015). An action research methodology for manufacturing technology selection: a supply chain perspective. Production Planning & Control, 26(6), 467-488.

Fletcher, A. J. (2017). Applying critical realism in qualitative research: methodology meets method. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 20(2), 181-194.

Friedman, A. (2014). The Relationship between Research Methodology and Visual Display: A study of conference proceedings in the field knowledge organization. Information Research, 19(4), 1.

Gabriel, Y. (2015). Reflexivity and beyond–a plea for imagination in qualitative research methodology. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, 10(4), 332-336.

Gioia, D. A., Corley, K. G., & Hamilton, A. L. (2013). Seeking qualitative rigor in inductive research: Notes on the Gioia methodology. Organizational Research Methods, 16(1), 15-31.

Golichenko, O. G. (2016). The National Innovation System: From Concept to Research Methodology. Problems of Economic Transition, 58(5), 463-481.

Harsoor, S. S., & Bhaskar, S. B. (2016). Learning research methodology: Revisiting the evidence. Indian journal of anaesthesia, 60(9), 619.

Hickson, H. (2016). Becoming a critical narrativist: Using critical reflection and narrative inquiry as research methodology. Qualitative social work, 15(3), 380-391.

Hooper, C. A., & Gunn, R. (2014). Recognition as a framework for ethical participatory research: developing a methodology with looked after young people. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 17(5), 475-488.

Isaacs, A. N. (2014). An overview of qualitative research methodology for public health researchers. International Journal of Medicine and Public Health, 4(4).

Kim, Y., Lee, Y., Chung, K. Y., & Lee, K. D. (2015). An investigation on the information systems research in supply chain management: an analysis of research topic and methodology. Multimedia Tools and Applications, 74(20), 8849-8860.

King, K. A., & Mackey, A. (2016). Research methodology in second language studies: Trends, concerns, and new directions. The Modern Language Journal, 100(S1), 209-227.

Lather, P., & St. Pierre, E. A. (2013). Post-qualitative research. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 26(6), 629-633.

Lynch, J., & Mannion, G. (2016). Enacting a place-responsive research methodology: walking interviews with educators. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, 16(4), 330-345.

Newington, L., & Metcalfe, A. (2014). Factors influencing recruitment to research: qualitative study of the experiences and perceptions of research teams. BMC medical research methodology, 14(1), 10.

Pavan, G. K., & Kulkarni, N. (2014). Research methodology. International Journal of Innovative Research and Development, 3(7).

Pearson, M. L., Albon, S. P., & Hubball, H. (2015). Case study methodology: Flexibility, rigour, and ethical considerations for the scholarship of teaching and learning. Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 6(3), 12.

Roberts, T. (2013). Understanding the research methodology of interpretative phenomenological analysis. British Journal of Midwifery, 21(3).

Saunders, M. N., & Bezzina, F. (2015). Reflections on conceptions of research methodology among management academics. European Management Journal, 33(5), 297-304.

Shabani Varaki, B., Floden, R. E., & Javidi Kalatehjafarabadi, T. (2015). Para-quantitative Methodology: Reclaiming experimentalism in educational research. Open Review of Educational Research, 2(1), 26-41.

Tuohy, D., Cooney, A., Dowling, M., Murphy, K., & Sixsmith, J. (2013). An overview of interpretive phenomenology as a research methodology. Nurse Researcher, 20(6), 17-20.

Wiesche, M., Jurisch, M. C., Yetton, P. W., & Krcmar, H. (2017). Grounded Theory Methodology in Information Systems Research. MIS Quarterly, 41(3), 685-701

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