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Different Approaches to Conducting Research, Essay Example

Pages: 7

Words: 1854

Essay

The analytical approach to keeping a strong construction industry in the United States implies that in these difficult economic times the industry must seek alternative income in order to remain strong. Every day we read that that the housing industry is at an all-time low. Construction firms must seek other income in order to continue to pay their workers and like Ford’s Edsel, doesn’t simply disappear from the marketplace. Many construction companies, without the foresight for planning, have already faded into oblivion as the demand for homes has dropped.

The best investigation of these nearby construction forms is through qualitative research. Janesick (2010) advises the qualitative researcher to be creative. Janesick suggests that qualitative research needs to to ask questions and to find answers to the “roads least traveled.” According to Janesick, there is no single answer to any one qualitative question. Instead the best research is conducted by individuals who are willing to explore areas which were previously unexplored. Much of what Janesick wrote can be found in earlier versions of qualitative reasoning (Hseich and Shannon, 2005). Hseich and Shannon discussed the gathering and coding of material, then assembling that material into a meaningful framework. Janesick digs deep and narrow for material but writes little about approaches and stages of collected works.

Padgett (2004) and Creswell (2008) support the use of mixed mathematical methods.  Although considerable material is available through extensive interviewing, this method is only plausible in industries which are in nearby locales. It is not often financially possible for the research inquirer to investigate businesses that not nearby—the cost of relocation and extended stays is impossible—and in some industries where the researcher is doing this in his spare time, extended stays at remote locations may simply be impractical.

Padgett (2004) and Creswell (2008) examine variables that are different between companies but which are actually are in more distant locales. This information can be sought through questionnaires or can sometimes be found through already published studies. The researcher is often not a part of the studies, as is the case in qualitative examination. Padgett observed that although the researcher is not a part of the study, validity is present in multiple studies. That is, where the work is similar, regardless of whether a qualitative study or a quantitative study is being conducted, there should be similarity in the findings.

When doing qualitative studies, Padgett (2004) reported that the researcher needed to prepare the data and define the units of analysis. The data was taken usually through a series of questionnaires and personal interviews. Although the researcher may not a part of the work environment, he or she had similar experience in that workplace or a different workplace and could effectively interact with the people who were being interviewed. For instance, the researcher had previous construction experience. In a different setting, a medical worker interviewing nurses probably medical training him or herself. Similarly, the collected material needed to be placed into categories and represented by a coding scheme. Next, the coding scheme needs to be tested on different data; the result(s) should produce results similar to the first set of results.

In a quantitative study, Denzin and Lincoln (2005) observed that the researcher is typically outside of the work arena. The material they gather they do so from pre-published results, and using that material, they perform statistical calculations to verify the gathered data has similarity. One method is the performance of a chi square. This statistical calculation is used to determine whether variable are dependent or independent upon each other. There is no correct answer. The chi square merely shows a relation.  Denzin and Lincoln also use Pearson’s r. It is measure of strength, or weakness, between variables. The stronger the relationship, the more likely it is that the relationship is valid. There is also the production of the Anova: This is a frequency statistic suggesting that there is a stronger relationship between groups than there is among groups. Miles and Huberman (1994) suggest that there is no one best way to conduct research. Because costs can be prohibitive, especially for the student, Kosner (2006) suggested that qualitative research should be done in close proximity to where the researcher resides or where he or she is attending school. Kosner also suggested that when conducting research at a greater distance, quantitative research is most applicable, not because one method is better than the other but because of the personal, sometimes prohibitive costs of doing research involved.

Miles and Huberman (1994) observed that one single method of collecting and analyzing data is not preferable to mixed methods. According to Miles and Huberman, data collection and analysis is best done using mixed methods—both qualitative and quantitative studies. What was once a costly and impractical combination of data collection has been simplified through improved technological changes. Collection process results are now readily available through the Internet as well as from other media collection techniques. The analysis of these results, no matter how they are received, provides for mixed methods—both a combination of qualitative and quantitative research.

The Construction Industry

There were numerous house builders in 2005. The housing industry was experiencing rapid growth. Within a couple of years, home building experienced a major decline. During those years where anybody who could nail one board to another found success, all of a sudden only the most experienced home builders could guarantee some level of success. The answer to what changed is better left to the economist, a person who spends his or her life investigating the relationship of people with money to spend.

According to a researcher employed by WPNR in Connecticut (Jones, 2011) independent housing manufacturers now hire people with lobbying skills to represent them and their industry in front of the state legislature.  Their biggest concern is twofold. First, they must be able to ride out the recession if they are going to be around when the industry come back. Second, in addition to their personal income, they employ masons and bricklayers, electricians, and plumbers. Although not a part of their homebuilding concern, their existence is required of other companies who turn to them in order to sell supplies. For instance, lumber markets provide a unique income for the lumber producer and without the housing market there won’t be a requirement for lumber. Jones reported that the housing industry is not being left to die and that legislative representatives are searching for money so that housing will eventually realize economic growth.

According to Jones (2011) in order for these various skilled laborers to remain a part of the housing market, many of them need to be retaught. For instance, instead of worrying about new home building, some workers are now being engaged in home repairs and/or home remodeling. In addition, some home builders are now entering the home mortgage business. Although many home owners have simply walked away from their present dwellings, reshaping the available funds including offering lower interest rates and creating variable interest rates where they will go up or down according to the market, may help some home owners to stay in their homes while bring much needed cash back into the housing industry.

Jones (2011) noted that although new home sales are a major staple of our marketplace, many “older homes” were built just after the end of World War Two to accommodate the many soldiers returning home and desirous of starting their own families and needing a place to live. In an older housing market, home builders have begun stocking and selling repair items. There has been an increased need since people realize that in this tight market it is likely they will remain longer in their homes. Some of the items being sold are air conditioners, new lighting, and better insulation.

In addition to bring new supplies to the housing market, builders are seeking different market in which to peddle their wares. Historically, the housing market received the greatest attention. When that market failed, those builders with money at their disposal started to look at offering low interest funds so that homeowners who might otherwise walk away from their investments could find help that banks were unwilling to give. Following the consumer marketplace, the building industry encouraged investments in home improvement: new air conditioners, improved lighting, and better insulation.

Public housing or buildings constructed for public use were not often a topic for individual home builders. Other builders took on public construction while private construction was completed by a different set of contractors. Public buildings usually require competition bidding and those individuals engaged in this facet of construction needed specialized people trained for the bidding process. The new tightness of construction has caused private contractors to enter the bidding process for public construction. First, more competition has driven prices down and advantages previous not used by home builders are now bringing back skilled laborers who were temporarily laid off when the market collapsed.

Summary

There are three kinds of research. The first is qualitative research. It is a study conducted by the researcher when he places him or herself into the job environment. It is done by interviewing volunteer participants and by coding what information was given into viable process for analysis. The second research method is quantitative. The research is usually a stranger to the work environment but records published materials and searches for analytical beliefs based on the research. The third method is mixed; it is a combination of qualitative and quantitative beliefs. Numerous researchers believe that mixed methods will avail more material than will any singular method.

The construction market took a hit when the economic recession took full swing in 2005. In order for construction to remain in business, they have had to hire lobbyists to represent them in front of the legislature.  Another way of keeping themselves alive was to begin improving older housing markets. These improvements enabled them to sell more efficient air conditioning and insulation. It also permitted them to remodel kitchens and add more inside lighting. For those builders who were sitting on cash they also investigated offering new home mortgages to those people who would otherwise be forced to walk away from their property.

Using qualitative and quantitative skills combined with mixed methods, the researcher is going to explore home construction to find out the difficulties encountered and ways to improve housing in the U.S. marketplace.

References

Creswell, J. (2008). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publishing.

Denzin, N., & Lincoln, Y. (2005). The Sage handbook of qualitative research. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publishing.

Hseich, H., & Shannon, (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research 15(9): 1277-1288.

Janesick, V. (2010). Stretching exercises for the mind. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publishing.

Jones, H. (2011, May 23). Discussion current economic recession and its effect on Connecticut’s home builders. Live television on WPNR (city unknown).

Kosner, J. (2006). Leadership perspectives that facilitate school improvement: An ethnographic case study of a public elementary school principal’s leadership role. New York, NY: University Microfiche Incorporated.

Miles, M., & Huberman, A. (1994). Qualitative data analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing.

Padgett, D. (2004). Qualitative and mixed methods in evaluation. Chapter appearing in program Evaluation by David Royse, Bruce Thyer, and Deborah Padgett. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.

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