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Justification for Survey Administration method Used

Write about the Reflective Report for Business Research Methods.

When doing research, one of the most important factors to consider is the research design and the data collection method. Data is an essential aspect of research since it determines the validity of research and significantly influences the research outcomes. One of the most commonly used data collection method in the survey. According to Lee et al. (2009, p. 2), survey research refers to a method of data collection where samples are drawn, respondents interviewed, and data analyzed in order to represent a certain population. The survey instrument provides an opportunity for a researcher to assess people's perceptions, attitudes, and opinions on certain issues as well as factual knowledge in the given population (Swidorski 1980, p. 5). According to Cooper et al. (2006), the types of surveys include questionnaires and sampling. In this report, the survey administration methodology used is a questionnaire.

Cost is one of the critical considerations when choosing a survey administration method. Questionnaires are essential for describing the features of a large population, and when compared to other data collection methods such as clinical trials experiments, it is the most cost-effective method (Ponto 2015, p. 170). The main costs incurred when using questionnaires are for printing or setting up online questions. Other costs may include postage and for purchasing envelopes. Another reason for selecting questionnaire as the survey administration method is to avoid bias. The questionnaires allow the respondents to provide more valid and candid information (Singleton & Straits 2009, p. 15). Questionnaires enable respondents to remain anonymous, and thus they can provide open and honest answers which are impossible with other survey administration methods.   

Questionnaires are flexible because they can be used in both qualitative and quantitative research (Bird 2009, p. 1310). A questionnaire can have both close-ended and open-ended questions. Whereas closed questions are used in quantitative research, open questions are commonly used in qualitative research (Bird 2009, p. 1309). It is quite easy to administer and analyse closed-ended questions and hence, save a lot of time (Sarantakos 2005). Open-ended questions, on the other hand, provide freedom to the respondents an opportunity to test the hypothesis (McGuirk & O’Neill 2016). Questionnaires allow researchers to obtain data from large samples of the population. Questionnaires are suited to gather demographic data that actual features of the study sample (McIntyre 2011, p. 74).

Advantages and Disadvantages of the survey Administration Method used

Questionnaires provide an opportunity for time and space for free-form responses through open-ended questions which allow participants to share their experiences, understandings, opinions, and interpretations of social processes and situations (McGuirk & O’Neill 2016). Questionnaires are also flexible regarding the types and number of variables that can be used in the study and require a minimal budget to create and administer (Bell 2013, p. 68). Questionnaires are capable of eliciting information about attitudes which are difficult to measure using other methods (McIntyre 2011, p. 75).

One of the disadvantages of questionnaires is that they are not always the best tool for collecting information (Debois 2016). For instance, if there is a previous data, questionnaires may not be able to provide clear insight. As noted by Pinsonneault and Kraemer (1993), questionnaires can be unsuitable where a reference to historical context is required. Dishonesty can also be an issue, especially where there are many positives (Debois 2016). Respondents sometimes do not provide truthful answers, and this can significantly affect the validity and reliability of results. Bell (2013) noted that biases are common in many ways such as failure of participants to provide answers or provision of inaccurate responses. Errors may also arise from intentional misreporting of behaviours by some of the respondents who want to confound the results or to hide inappropriate behaviour (Glasow 2005).       

Boynton (2004) notes that a good response to the questionnaire can be achieved by understating the study group (p. 1372). Errors in administering questionnaires can significantly hamper the research progress (Boynton 2004, p. 1372). After taking all the precautions, questionnaires can successfully be administered.

 In a nutshell, I can attest that the administrative procedure was successful. Before administering the questionnaires, all the participants were briefed about the questions after being assured that their responses will be used for academic purposes only and will not be shared anywhere else. After taking time to explain to them what the questions were all about, the participants seem to have understood. Some of them looked confused at first, but after explanation, they showed some sense of understanding after asking for some clarifications. The participants were ready and willing to answer the questions, and this was evidenced by the fact that some of them volunteered to distribute the questionnaires to their colleagues due to a large number of participants present. The respondents answered all the questions in the questionnaire without skipping any of them. While some of them were fast in responding to the questions, some took a bit longer time. The fastest respondent took 12 minutes while the slowest took 25 minutes. On average, the respondents took 18 minutes to complete the survey.       

Reflections on the Administration Procedure

It is the objective of any researcher to get as many responses as possible. It is, therefore, essential to developing strategies that would maximise response rates. The administration procedure used was face-to-face delivery. Boynton (2004) suggests that it is always good to show gratitude to the respondents upon completion of a questionnaire. This will make them pay attention to the minor details in the questionnaires.

One way of improving the administration process is to offer participants some incentives as an appreciation for completing the questionnaires (Meadows et al. 1998). Incentives motivate the participants to take part in the study, and it will show that a researcher cares about the participants’ time. It is imperative to note that it is no easy to get people to participate in a study when they could be doing other beneficial things. It is, therefore, important to appreciate such people by offering them some form of incentives. Such incentives can include buying them lunch or give them some money for personal use.

Another way to improve the administration process is by notifying the participants of the study in advance. The researcher can do this by sending a personalised invitation to each participant. This will give them ample time to prepare for the day, and it will also help to avoid lateness. Bowling (2005) states that participants of a study should be notified at least a week prior to the study date as this will allow them to prepare psychologically (p. 285). 

One of the changes that can be made to the questionnaire is the layout. According to Kelly et al. (2003, p. 261), questionnaires need to be clear and presented well. Questions that contain double negative should be removed since they are ambiguous and may lead to dishonest answers. The current questionnaire has only a few open-ended questions. It is, therefore, important to add more questions so that participants can share more of their views and experiences on the research topic. According to Kelly et al. (2003, p. 263), open questions can provide useful insight into the topic if well answered.  

The question's wording can also be changed to ensure that they are more and easily understandable. There should also be questions that make a reference to past data in order to understand the participants' experience. More questions about demographics should be developed to capture the details of participants.   

Choosing a target population is very crucial in research as it determines what kind of responses that one is likely going to receive. According to Torchiano et al. (2017, p. 35), the target population choice is vital because it determines the research validity. It is, therefore, essential to avoid restricting population-based factors such as availability.

Suggestions for improving the administration procedure

Another important lesson learnt is that the units of analysis should be guided by the objectives of the research and the research questions. Without aligning the review with the research objectives and research questions, the results obtained will be useless to the study. The questions of the questionnaires should be designed in such a manner as to seek answers to the research questions.

Administration process in survey research is very crucial because it significantly influences the outcomes. Researchers should plan well and inform the participants in advance. It is also imperative to note that motivating the participants is key to increasing the response rates. As demonstrated by studies, incentives to participants ensure that they complete their survey early enough.         

Conclusion

The various studies in this report have demonstrated that the choice of survey administration method is crucial as it determines the amount of money that one is likely going to spend on research. As discussed in the paper, questionnaires are cost-effective and less time-consuming compared to other data collection methods. However, the accuracy and validity of the information obtained through questionnaires are determined by the manner in which the questionnaires will be administered. It is vital for researchers to stick to the research questions and objectives in order to gather relevant and accurate information.

List of References

Bell, S., 2013. Learning with information systems: Learning cycles in information systems development. Routledge.

Bird, D.K., 2009. The use of questionnaires for acquiring information on public perception of natural hazards and risk mitigation-a review of current knowledge and practice. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 9(4), p.1307.

Bowling, A., 2005. Mode of questionnaire administration can have serious effects on data quality. Journal of public health, 27(3), pp.281-291.

Boynton, P., 2004. Administering, analyzing and reporting your questionnaire. BMJ, 329(7461), p. 323

Cooper, D.R., Schindler, P.S. and Sun, J., 2006. Business research methods (Vol. 9). New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Debois, S. 2016. 9 Advantages and Disadvantages of Questionnaires. [online]. Available at: < https://surveyanyplace.com/questionnaire-pros-and-cons/> 

Glasow, P.A., 2005. Fundamentals of survey research methodology. Retrieved January, 18, p.2013.

Kelley, K., Clark, B., Brown, V. and Sitzia, J., 2003. Good practice in the conduct and reporting of survey research. International Journal for quality in health care, 15(3), pp.261-266.

Lee, G., Benoit-Bryan, J. and Johnson, T.P., 2009, October. Survey methods in public administration research: A content analysis of journal publications. In 10th National Public Management Research Conference.

McGuirk, P.M. and O'Neill, P., 2016. Using questionnaires in qualitative human geography.

McIntyre, L.J., 2011. The practical skeptic: Core concepts in sociology (p. 304). McGraw-Hill.

Meadows, K.A., Gardiner, E., Greene, T., Rogers, D., Russell, D. and Smoljanovic, L., 1998. Factors affecting general practice patient response rates to a postal survey of health status in England: a comparative analysis of three disease groups. Journal of evaluation in clinical practice, 4(3), pp.243-247.

Ponto, J., 2015. Understanding and evaluating survey research. Journal of the advanced practitioner in oncology, 6(2), p.168.

Sarantakos, S., 2012. Social research. Palgrave Macmillan.

Singleton Jr, R., Straits, B.C., 2009. Approaches to social research. Oxford University Press.

Torchiano, M., Fernández, D.M., Travassos, G.H. and de Mello, R.M., 2017, May. Lessons learnt in conducting survey research. In Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop on Conducting Empirical Studies in Industry (pp. 33-39). IEEE Press. 

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[Accessed 15 July 2024].

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My Assignment Help. Reflective Essay On Business Research Methods - Survey Methodology And Administration. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2019 [cited 15 July 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/reflective-report-business-research-methods.

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