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Top 10 tips for writing a dissertation methodology

What is the Methodology?

❶Researching a doctoral dissertation is an ongoing learning process.

Appropriateness

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A Scientific Approach

The following article is a sample dissertation methodology on the following dissertation topic: The methodology depicts a mixed method research, using quantitative surveys and semi structured interviews. The social world of banks and graduates upon which this study is based exists externally and are not related to the researcher; therefore they would be measured through objective methods rather than being inferred subjectively through reflection, sensation or intuition Easterby-Smith, This study would therefore adopt a positivist approach as credible data could only be derived through quantitative analysis of phenomena observed Saunders et al, Details regarding effectiveness are measured using objective means such as increase in candidate application and reduction in costs , thereby warranting a positivist approach.

Due to the positivist nature of the research, this study would adopt a deductive approach Saunders et al, This approach represents the most common view of the relationship between theory and research and results gotten from this approach are developed through logical reasoning Bryman and Bell, The data findings would be compared against existing literature to ascertain if they concur with what has already been published in the field of online recruitment.

The ability to gather primary data during this study was dependent on gaining access to an appropriate source within the organization. The level to which this source is appropriate relies on the research question, related objectives and research designs Saunders et al, Therefore, the researcher, as a friend of an employee within the organization, was in a favorable position to get access within the organization. I contacted a friend of mine who currently works within graduate recruitment at Lloyds TSB, and discussed the prospects of my dissertation.

She spoke to several of her colleagues on my behalf and they agreed for me to conduct telephone interviews with 4 members of the graduate recruitment team, some of which had been there for an average of 5 — 10 years reasons expatiated further in this chapter. Due to the non-intrusive nature of my research, there were no objections or limitations raised by the participants with regards to the questions asked or the purpose of the study.

This study would adopt a case study strategy in answering the research question. Robson asserts that the case study strategy would be useful if the aim of the study is to gain a rich understanding of the research perspective and the process being endorsed. Therefore as this study aims to understand the recruitment process within Lloyds TSB and also any benefits associated with online recruitment, a case study would be most effective. Two separate yet parallel approaches would be utilized in this study, and are outlined in the table 1 below.

Quantitative methods are mainly used in the data collection process of research. It involves data that is either in the form of, or expressed as numbers Easterby-Smith et al, The quantitative questionnaires were handed out to 10 graduates and undergraduates. The questionnaire was mainly designed with rating scale questions, where respondents were asked to state their opinion or preference for a particular question on a scale of 1 — 5.

The quantitative questionnaire distributed to respondents is outlined in appendix. Quantitative questionnaires are useful as the results derived are quantifiable and measurable against other variables in an objective manner Saunders et al, Following the access grant to four members of the recruitment team within the organization, 15 — 20 minute qualitative telephone interviews were carried out.

A semi-structured interview is a qualitative interview that is defined by a pre-set question guide. It aims to provide in-depth findings through informal discussions with participants Collis and Hussey, This interview method was chosen over unstructured or structured interviews, because this study intends to answer the research questions by asking specific questions, but not so much unstructured that it generates useless data, and not so less structured so as not to miss out on any unanticipated information.

The interview questions in the semi-structured interview are in appendix. The themes utilized in this study were derived mainly from the literature review and were crucial in developing the questions that were raised during the study. The semi-structured approach also provided the researcher with the ability to probe answers. Answer probing was particularly useful in responses whereby more explanation was needed in order to fully understand the answers.

Due to the recent adaptation of online recruitment, the semi structured interviews was targeted at members of the team who had witnessed or orchestrated the shift towards online recruitment, that way these respondents would be better able to answer questions that relate to the comparison of both methods. Also, members of the online recruitment team being interviewed had different positions within recruitment and handled separate tasks.

The questionnaires were given to them beforehand, when the approval was first sought, and each respondent chose the questions that they were more qualified to respond to. Therefore the research was such that all respondents answered some questions, while some others were answered by a particular individual because of their knowledge of that process.

Table 2 outlines the respondent details and their interview theme. Each respondent were asked for their consent to interview, prior to the interview sessions, and also requested not to have their names mentioned so as to prevent any form of organizational backlash if the contents of the study were interpreted in any other non-academic form, and distributed.

They have therefore been given fictional names, so as to make the research more readable. Based on the research objectives and the issues to be investigated, it would have been most appropriate if all recruitment staffs within the organization were interviewed.

However, due to the time constraints and resource limitations inherent in this study, a non-probability sample of the population was selected. Saunders et al asserts that a non-probability sample is most often used when adopting a case study strategy.

A non-probability sample, as described by Oppenheim, , is a sample in which the probability of each case being selected from the total population is not known. Try to be as specific as possible. This kind of approach should be defended by comparing with other methods and denying those that do not meet the needs of your study.

This section should not be structured as a simple textbook-like description of different research designs, but rather focused on the effort to find the most rational design appropriate to your study. Base this section on the problem you investigate, the theoretical framework of a study, and its purpose. Include sufficient details to suggest some recommendations about the answers to the core research questions. The main aim of this section is to convince the reader that the chosen approach and research design is maximum appropriate for the desired results.

This section should explicate the type of research design you use historical, correlational, phenomenological, etc. Also, one should justify and demonstrate deviations from the steps necessary to complete the research design.

Include a description of the independent variables and dependent variables. The dependent one is a response that is influenced by the independent treatment. Thus, if you are performing a qualitative study, there are no independent and dependent variables. The research design should establish a strong sequence of the events in a research process. The size of this section depends on the number of experiments performed and results expected.

So, the detailed explanation of each method and point should be documented. Include the following elements:.

Summarize all you have written in the last part of this section. The last paragraph should include a short explanation of data analysis. Conclude it with a sentence that would introduce the next chapter of your dissertation. Cool article with much useful information. But I think more examples of the exact words and phrases to use would be appropriate, too.

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A key part of your dissertation or thesis is the methodology. This is not quite the same as ‘methods’. The methodology describes the broad philosophical underpinning to your chosen research methods, including whether you are using qualitative or quantitative methods, or a mixture of both, and why.

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To address how to write a methodology, in the Methodology section of your dissertation you have to justify and explain your choice of methodologies employed in your research. You don’t however have to explain the methodological approaches that you could have used.

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Dissertation Methodology. If you are a taking a taught or research-based masters course, or doing a PhD, then you will likely be asked to present a dissertation that includes research and data from a project . Here you will find a number of dissertation methodology examples in a range of subjects. Free to read, no registration required!

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Dec 06,  · The methodology of your dissertation describes how you will carry out your investigation. For example, are you going to use a survey or will you stick to a literature review?. Your goal is to answer the question: “How can the research best be done?”/5(69). The dissertation methodology chapter is the segment of a piece of scientific work that includes a set of scientific algorithms. The writer uses these to achieve the desired aim and drive of the research methodology dissertation.