Quantitative research requires considerable insights into theory, methods and reality. This chapter illustrates how a doctoral project using quantitative methods unfolds, from designing research taking into account complex relationships and selecting data collection techniques to optimise reliability, validity and generalisability, to using sophisticated software for data analysis and testing hypotheses.
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Sameer Qaiyum and Catherine L. Wang
Kate L. Daunt and Aoife M. McDermott
Writing for publication is an essential part of a successful research career, yet the practicalities of managing authorship decisions and relationships can be tricky. This chapter aims to shed light on this little-discussed topic and draws on formal guidelines and anecdotal evidence to outline a number of different approaches to authorship choices and arrangements. In doing so, the themes of expectations, obligations, accountability and integrity are considered (as well as the benefits of having a surname beginning with the letter A!)
Qian Yi Lee
Data collection, internal politics, power, timing. This chapter tells the experience of arriving to interview a senior manager who also brought a subordinate to the interview. All previous interviews in the project were one-to-one interviews, not one-to-two, particularly not with such a display of internal politics and power differentials.
Mark N.K. Saunders
In this vignette I consider the trial drafting and re-drafting of an academic article prior to publication. In it I reveal the process that a colleague and I, even though we are seasoned academics, needed to engage in to ensure that our work meets the standards required by academic journals.
Mark N.K. Saunders and David E. Gray
While the issue of gaining access to survey respondents is often considered in the research methods literature, the focus is usually on gaining cognitive access within a single organisation. In this chapter, based on our own experiences of conducting a UK national survey, we focus on difficulties associated with gaining physical access to respondents holding a particular role in a large number of organisations. Based on the challenges we eventually overcame, we make a number of key recommendations for researchers.
Many doctoral students live a difficult period while defining their research question. The broadness of initial thoughts often leads to an ocean of information. The process of learning how to select proper information and networking within their research field is a key to developing a proper research question.
This chapter uses a PhD project to explain how patterns of unexpected findings and an abnormal case were used to develop new ideas that resulted in successful completion of the PhD and a number of publications.
A short vignette about maintaining contacts and gaining access to organisations to collect data. Access issues can be extremely challenging and disheartening, but the key is to remain open minded and flexible to change.
Edited by Keith Townsend and Mark N.K. Saunders
This vignette briefly discusses an altercation regarding a comma between a PhD student and a Professor at a first-year PhD progress review.