Human Resources (HR) Research Methods
Research Methods Question:
Psychologists have argued that individuals’ career identity (a general view of how an individual perceives his/her career) plays an important role in determining one’s career success (e.g., London, M. (1983). Toward a theory of career motivation. Academy of Management Review, 8(4), 620-630.): When an individual regards career as a central part of his/her life (work centrality), he/she will try to search for subjective career success (e.g., career satisfaction, career engagement). When an individual sees career as a means for living, he/she will pay attention to external career success (e.g., salary increase; promotion; recognition).
On the other hand, research in career development has shown that many contextual factors, like supervisory support and organizational policies in terms of career development also take part in and have an impact on employee career success.
As a researcher, you try to combine those two different views in your research design, and want to conduct an empirical study on this topic.
Please describe your research design by using the following questions guidance.
1) What is your research question (s)?
2) Which research paradigm are you going to use to investigate your research question(s)? Why?
3) Clarify what are the conceptual variables (constructs) in your study?
4) Are there the operational variables in your study? What are they?
5) Formulate your research hypotheses, if possible.
6) How are you going to execute your design?
7) Which statistics methods would you like to use in testing your hypotheses?
8) Are there any special points which you would like to address in your research design?
Below I list some suggestions with the purpose to help you understand and prepare the assignment efficiently:
1) Your answers should be guided by the 8 sub-questions. In other words, you need to answer question by question. It is not necessary to follow the format of an essay. It means that you don’t need to start with an introduction and end with a conclusion.
2) As an assignment, more extensive answers are expected for each sub-question. You need to not only state your answers, but also give the reasoning why you chose those answers. For example, in answering the sub-question 1 “What is your research question(s)?”, you are expected not only to state your questions but also to provide the reasoning behind them. The same applies to sub-question 4, you need to explicitly provide arguments why you operationalise your concepts in the way you have proposed.
3) You need to read the literature so as to become familiar with the relevant concepts.
4) Sub-Question 6: The method section in any empirical paper can be used as an example to help you structure your answers.
5) Sub-Question 8: The term of “any special points” means the shortcomings of your research design.This is part of your self-critical review. You may compare your design with the theoretical framework proposed by Schwab (2005) and point out the issues that need further attention.
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