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  1. 1. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY (BUS331) KUMAR BISWAZIT SAHA | ASSISTANT PROFESSOR Department of Business Administration Varendra University 01730896064 kumar@vu.edu.bd
  3. 3. Topics  Introduction  Primary Data Collection Methods  Unobtrusive Methods  Interviews  Unstructured and Structured Interviews  Training Interviewers  Some Tips to Follow When Interviewing
  4. 4. Topics…  Face-to-Face and Telephone Interviews  CATI and CAPI  Focus Groups  Videoconferencing  Advantages and Disadvantages of Interviews
  5. 5. Introduction A widely used method of collecting data in business research is to interview respondents to obtain information on an issue of interest.
  6. 6. Interviews An interview is a guided, purposeful conversation between two or more people. There are many different types of interviews. Individual or group interviews may be unstructured or structured, and conducted face to face, by telephone, or online.
  7. 7. Unstructured Interviews Unstructured interviews are so labeled because the interviewer does not enter the interview setting with a planned sequence of questions to be asked of the respondent. A possible objective of an unstructured interview is to bring some preliminary issues to the surface so that the researcher can determine what factors need further in‐depth investigation.
  8. 8. Unstructured Interviews…  Suppose that a manager is interested in solving a problem in the work setting. In order to understand the situation in its totality, the researcher may interview employees at several levels. In the initial stages, only broad, open‐ended questions should be asked, and the replies to them should inform the researcher of the perceptions of the individuals.
  9. 9. Unstructured Interviews… Tell me something about your unit and department, and perhaps even the organization as a whole, in terms of work, employees, and whatever else you think is important. I would like to know something about your job. Please describe to me in detail the things you do in your job on a typical day, from eight in the morning to four in the afternoon.
  10. 10. Structured Interviews Structured interviews are those conducted when it is known at the outset what information is needed. The content of a structured interview can be prepared in advance
  11. 11. Structured Interviews… An introduction: A set of topics in a logical order: Suggestions for probing questions:
  12. 12. Structured Interviews…  As the respondents express their views, the researcher notes them down. The same questions will be asked of everybody in the same manner.  Visual aids such as pictures, line drawings, cards, and other materials are also sometimes used in conducting interviews.  When a sufficient number of structured interviews has been conducted and adequate information obtained to understand and describe the important factors operating in the situation, the researcher stops the interviews.
  13. 13. Some Tips to Follow When Interviewing The information obtained during the interviews should be as free as possible of bias. Bias refers to errors or inaccuracies in the data collected. Bias could be introduced by the interviewer, the interviewee, or the situation.
  14. 14. Some Tips to Follow When Interviewing..  Listening attentively to the interviewee, evincing keen interest in what the respondent has to say, exercising tact in questioning, repeating and/or clarifying the questions posed, and paraphrasing some of the answers. Recording the responses accurately is equally important.  Interviewees can bias the data when they do not come out with their true opinions but provide information that they think is what the interviewer expects of them or would like to hear.
  15. 15. Some Tips to Follow When Interviewing..  Some interviewees may be turned off because of personal likes and dislikes, or the dress of the interviewer, or the manner in which the questions are put.  Some respondents may also answer questions in a socially acceptable manner rather than indicating their true sentiments.
  16. 16. Some Tips to Follow When Interviewing.. Biases could be situational as well, in terms of (1) Nonparticipants, (2) Trust levels and rapport established, and (3) The physical setting of the interview.
  17. 17. Some Tips to Follow When Interviewing.. How to Reduce Bias Establishing Credibility and Rapport, and Motivating Individuals to Respond The Questioning Technique
  18. 18. Establishing Credibility and Rapport, and Motivating Individuals to Respond  Researchers must establish rapport with, and gain the confidence and approval of, before they can even start their work in the organization.  the researcher should state the purpose of the interview and assure complete confidentiality about the source of the responses.
  19. 19. The Questioning Technique Funneling Unbiased questions Clarifying issues Helping the respondent to think through issues Taking notes
  20. 20. The Questioning Technique  Funneling: At the beginning of an unstructured interview, it is advisable to ask open‐ended questions to get a broad idea and form some impressions about the situation.  For example a question that could be asked would be:  What are some of your feelings about working for this organization?
  21. 21. The Questioning Technique  From the responses to this broad question, further questions that are progressively more focused may be asked as the researcher processes the interviewees’ responses and notes some possible key issues relevant to the situation.  This transition from broad to narrow themes is called the funneling technique.
  22. 22. Face-to-Face and Telephone Interviews Interviews can be conducted either face to face or over the telephone. Although most unstructured interviews in business research are conducted face to face, structured interviews may be either face to face or through the medium of the telephone, depending on
  23. 23. Face-to-Face and Telephone Interviews… the level of complexity of the issues involved, the likely duration of the interview, the convenience of both parties, and The geographical area covered by the survey.
  24. 24. Face-to-Face/Personal Interviews: Advantages and Disadvantages  The main advantage of face‐to‐face or direct interviews is that the researcher can adapt the questions as necessary,  clarify doubts, and  ensure that the responses are properly understood, by repeating or rephrasing the questions.
  25. 25. Face-to-Face/Personal Interviews: Advantages and Disadvantages  The researcher can also pick up nonverbal cues from the respondent.  Any discomfort, stress, or problem that the respondent experiences can be detected through frowns, nervous tapping, and other body language unconsciously exhibited by her.
  26. 26. Face-to-Face/Personal Interviews: Advantages and Disadvantages  The main disadvantages of face‐to‐face interviews are  the geographical limitations they may impose on the surveys and  the vast resources needed if such surveys need to be done nationally or internationally.
  27. 27. Face-to-Face/Personal Interviews: Advantages and Disadvantages  The costs of training interviewers to minimize interviewer bias are also high.  Respondents might feel uneasy about the anonymity of their responses when they interact face to face with the interviewer.
  28. 28. Telephone Interviews: Advantages and Disadvantages The main advantage of telephone interviewing, from the researcher’s point of view, is that a number of different people can be reached in a relatively short period of time. From the respondents’ standpoint it eliminates any discomfort that some of them might feel in facing the interviewer.
  29. 29. Telephone Interviews: Advantages and Disadvantages…  A main disadvantage of telephone interviewing is that the respondent could unilaterally terminate the interview without warning or explanation, by hanging up the phone.  Caller ID might further aggravate the situation. This is understandable, given the numerous telemarketing calls people are bombarded with on a daily basis.  As mentioned earlier, another disadvantage of the telephone interview is that the researcher will not be able to see the respondent to read the nonverbal communication.
  30. 30. Focus Group  Focus groups consist typically of eight to ten members with a moderator leading the discussions on a particular topic, concept, or product.  Members are generally chosen on the basis of their familiarity with the topic on which information is sought.  For example, women with children may compose a focus group to identify how organizations can help working mothers.
  31. 31. Focus Group…  Large organizations such as Coca‐Cola, Unilever, and Nike regularly convene  young men and women from around the world to tap them for ideas for a new product.
  32. 32. Focus Group…  The focus sessions are aimed at obtaining respondents’ impressions, interpretations, and opinions, as the members talk about the event, concept, product, or service.  The moderator plays a vital role in steering the discussions in a manner that draws out the information sought, and keeps the members on track.
  33. 33. Focus Group…  Focus group discussions on a specific topic at a particular location and at a specified time provide the opportunity for a flexible, free‐flowing format for the members.  The unstructured and spontaneous responses are expected to reflect the genuine opinions, ideas, and feelings of the members about the topic under discussion.  Focus groups are relatively inexpensive and can provide fairly dependable data within a short time frame.
  34. 34. Videoconferencing  If regional variations in responses are expected, several focus groups could be formed, including trained moderators, at different locations.  This process is easily facilitated through videoconferencing.  By zooming in on a particular member, the nonverbal cues and gestures of that individual can be captured, as and when desired.  With the great strides that have been made in technological advancement, videoconferencing as a means of gathering information from different groups in distant locations has become rather common these days.