HOW TO WRITE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY IN CHAPTER THREE OF A RESEARCH PROJECT
This chapter presents research methodology and design. The research methodology helps in giving explanation on how research study has been done and how the research problem has been defined. Not only that but also it helps in explaining what data have been collected and which methods have been used and why the technique of analyzing the data has been selected. Kothari (2004) suggested the contents of research methodology to contain: the research design, area of study (coverage), sample and sampling techniques, methods for data collection and techniques for data analysis. In view of this, this study adopted the above outline as a framework for the presentation of this chapter.
Writing a good and acceptable methodological details in chapter three of a research project requires more technicality and carefulness.
Template of chapter three (research methodology) of a research project
This case study employs both qualitative and quantitative forms with 73 respondents. The choice of the two-research design is based on the fact that these two approaches vary in strength and weakness. Therefore, the study uses both of them for complementary purposes. The explanatory research design, for instance uses open ended and probing questions which gives participants the opportunity to respond in their own words rather than forcing them to choose from fixed responses. Creswell (2009) defines, mixed method research as “an approach to inquiry that combines or associates both qualitative and quantitative forms”. This study adopts qualitative design to a large extent and quantitative design to a lesser extent. This is especially because the study is exploratory by nature. This method is used to capture frequencies of respondents and the average level of responses.
The study was conducted at the Opportunity Microfinance L.t.d. in Mbagala, Chanika, Manzese and Kiluvya. The rationale for selecting these areas is due to the availability of collecting the required data that allow intensive observation, easy to access information and to minimize cost. In addition to that, based on the 2012 Nigeria Population and Housing Census shows that three areas (Mbagala, Chanika, and Manzese) had a total population of 167,001 whereby Manzese ward had the highest population with 70,507 followed by Mbaga Ward with 52, 582 and finally Chanika Ward with 43,912 inhabitants (Nigeria census, 2012)
Population refers to all members, groups, or elements that the researcher wants to gain information from, represent and draw conclusion for the study (Vans 1990). Due to the nature of this study, the study population includes IT officers, Head of Department, client and teller in the financial institutions because they are the key informants.
According to Webster (1985), a sample is defined as a finite part of a statistical population whose properties are studied for the purpose of gaining information about the whole. It can also be defined as a set of respondents or people selected from a larger population for the purpose of a survey. When it is possible, the researcher would prefer to study the whole population in which he/she is interested. However, it is difficult to do so in this study because the population of interest is large, diverse, and scattered over a large geographic area as well as time consuming and expensive. A sample size is the unit of inquiry selected from the target population. The researcher used the proportionate stratification approach in which the sample size of stratum is proportionate to the population size of the stratum.
The researcher used purposive sampling to select 73 respondents who were obtained from the studied the Opportunity Microfinance Nigeria Ltd in Mbagala, Chanika, Manzese and Kiluvya. Purposive sampling technique is selected due to the fact that it is less expensive and quick for selecting a sample. Through this sampling technique, the researcher got the respondents who were able to deliver the required data. However, the major weakness of this method is bias, because the researcher selected only the sample, he believed enriched with the needed information.
Methods and Procedures in Data Collection
This study involved the collection of both primary and secondary data. Primary data collection methods included the use of structured questionnaire, in-depth interviews and observation. Collection of qualitative data (in-depth interview) was guided by a pre-defined set of steps and instruments of defining events and observation, for instance, check-lists for key questions and observations to be recorded. The qualitative data collection aimed at complementing and validating the data collected using questionnaire survey.
Collections of primary data were complemented by collecting secondary data from various sources such as reports as well as papers published in peer referred journals. Important data to be collected in this category was the ICT utilization on microfinance institutions performance.
Kothari (2004) defined primary data as those collected afresh and for the first time and therefore happen to be original in character. A research can be conducted without secondary data; however a research based on only secondary data is not much reliable and may have biases because it has already been manipulated by human beings. In this proposed study the primary data was expected to be derived from the answers of respondents given in in-depth interview and researcher’s administered questionnaires.
In-depth interview is a qualitative research method which involves conducting intensive individual interviews with a small number of informants to explore their perspectives on a particular idea, program, or situation (Boyce and Neale, 2006). The main reason for the researcher to adopt an in-depth interview method is that it provides a much more detailed information than other data collection methods, such as surveys. Also, the choice of interview method in this study is based on its usefulness for getting the story behind informant’s experiences, its relevance to illiterate informants and the loophole for the researcher to probe deeper into the given situation.In addition to that, in-depth interview provides more comfortable atmosphere for collecting information because people may feel more relaxed having a conversation with the researcher about the program as opposed to filling out a survey. The purpose of utilizing interviews as data collection instrument is basically because of its naturalness, spontaneity, flexibility and the control over the environment. This method will be employed in order to allow informants to freely express themselves and able explore in detail the topic under investigation.
There are different types of questionnaires in research but under this study the researcher-administered questionnaire was adopted. All questions were closed ended and were administered by the researcher. Researcher-administered questionnaire was used because of its advantages, as it is covers large number of respondents in a short time, ensures the completion of questionnaires and is simple to analyze as compared with qualitative methods like in-depth interview. This argument concurs with Kothari (2008) who states that “structured questionnaires are simple to administer and relatively inexpensive to analyze”. Under this study the original questionnaire was designed in English and administered in Kiswahili before the answers being translated back to English for recording.
Review of Secondary Data
According to Kothari (2008), secondary data means data which is already available. It involves data which have already been collected and analyzed by someone else. The reason for using secondary data in this study are that they are cost-effective way of acquiring a broad understanding of research questions and useful in designing primary research as well as in providing a baseline with which to compare primary data results. Additionally, the reviewing of secondary data helps to set the background of the problem, formulation of problem statement, research questions and gap of knowledge. In this study secondary data was derived from the findings in published documents and literatures related to the research problem with ICT.
Furthermore, in this proposed study, review of secondary data was applied as a supplementary data collection method and it includes previous researches related to the study topic. Therefore, these documents are intended to supplement the information obtained from the primary sources. Neuman, (2000) and Mouton (2001) noted that the importance of undertaking desk review in any research study is that it is based on the assumption that researchers learn from existing knowledge and build on what other researchers have already done on a similar or related problem.
Statistics package for social science (SPSS) computer program was used to analyze data that collected through questionnaires preliminary analysis of information was soughed through in-depth interviews that were done during the fieldwork. Such preliminary analysis has been suggested to be useful for improving questions during the fieldwork (Gibbs, 2002). However, the large part, of analysis was done after the field work. Interpretation of qualitative data involved organizing information into units, synthesizing, and searched for meaningful patterns and finally gained an understanding. Frequencies and percentages were used to summarize the collected data. In the process of analysis, relationships or differences supporting or conflicting with original or new hypotheses is to be subjected to the statistical tests of significance to determine validity that data can be said to indicate in any conclusion (Kothari, 2004). Summary statistics including tables was used to present findings.
Method of Data Analysis
The model for data analysis is helping to acquire knowledge from the collected data. The Model makes it possible to identify relationships between variables and understands how variables, working on their own and influences an overall system and examine each component of data provided.frequencies