observation research

References are to Sekaran, U & Bougie, R. (2016) Research Methods for Business: A Skill Building Approach, 7th ed. Wiley, Chichester.

Task 2

1.Advancements in technology have helped data gathering via online survey questionnaires. Discuss the mechanisms that can be used to administer online questionnaires and outline the advantages and disadvantages that may occur.



Examples (survey monkey, compare with personally interview)

Advantage vs disadvantage


Chapter 9, Pages 147-148 of Sekaran & Bougie (also pages 160-161)

2.Explain the principles of wording, stating how these are important in questionnaire design, citing examples not in the book.

Chapter 9, pages 149-154 of Sekaran & Bougie



Note that for questions 3 and 4 you should focus on mixed methods research. Multi-methods and multiple methods can refer to combinations of methods that are, for example, both quantitative (for example, a questionnaire combined with an analysis of another form of quantitative data). For questions 3 and 4 your focus should be research that combines quantitative and qualitative research.

3.How are multiple methods of data collection and from multiple sources related to the reliability and validity of the measures?

p. 104: Mixed Methods

Page 160-161 Multimethods of data collection

Internal and external validity: pp. 174-175

Internal validity – page 181

Chapter 12, Pages 225-229.

4.”Every data collection method has its own built-in biases. Therefore, resorting to multi-methods of data collection is only going to compound the biases.” Provide a critique of this statement.

Again, question 4 relates to mixed methods and the extent to which it creates more bias or helps to reduce it.

Note that you are asked to critique the statement. This means that you should analyse it critically. To do this it is a good idea to put together a list of possible considerations – things that are relevant to the question. Then you can consider whether the statement is true.

Perhaps the simplest approach to the question is as follows.

Establish what is meant by bias. By bias we mean ‘error in our findings’ p. 21, by which we mean failure to state what is actually the case, or to fail to say what is actually true of the population.

We can then consider whether mixed methods helps to reduce error.

For this we might consider:

p. 30 – here we see why the pragmatist values mixed methods research. It offers different kinds of insight and understanding.

p. 104: Triangulation – this is an important way in which mixed methods might be said to reduce bias

See also p. 161 Multimethods of data collection

& See p. 22 Generalisability. A helpful question: does mixed methods make research more generalisable?


To dig deeper into the topic you may want to consider the sources of bias. I recommend that you consider bias in the context of sampling (Ch 13). For example, p. 254, table 13.2. Note in particular generalisability.


Here are parts of the Sekaran And Bougie text that are particularly helpful for this question:

See pp 18-23

Page 19 paragraph 1 describes the characteristics of scientific research. Note then the ‘hallmarks’ (p. 19).We can see from the section on rigour (p. 20) that

  • the sample must be representative of the population – otherwise there may be sampling bias
  • the way that questions are asked could introduce bias (questions might be leading, for example).
  • failure to base the research on established results in the literature may lend too much weight to findings

Note p. 21 the relationship between replicability and bias. Biased research undermines replicability or reliability and is influenced by sampling and data collection methods.

Note, then, the relationship between replicability, bias, sampling and the method of data collection.

P. 21 note Precision and Confidence as features of research that has limited bias – being properties of quantitative research (Ch 13 discusses precision and confidence in relation to sampling).

Note p. 22 Objectivity – this relates to quantitative and qualitative research and refers to the absence of subjective values and beliefs in research.

Remember that for this question it is the strength of your argument that is important. There is no clearly correct answer.

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