Significance of the Study to Leadership a leader's ability to adapt to change within global markets determines the multinational company's success (Handley & Levis, 2001). Affective adaption to cultural changes, albeit depends upon available information; essential to the leadership decision-making (Kontoghiorghes & Hansen, 2004). If leaders of multinational companies better understand the challenges and impact of culture and diversity in global markets, they may use the information to improve planning and global decision-making (Lip*****z & Mann, 2005). Ultimately, improving decision-making may help promote effective cultural communication, and build effective global business relations.
NATURE of the STUDY
Research Design Synopsis
As referred to earlier in this proposal, rather than comparing identified groups of people, qualitative studies propose to develop ideas and theories regarding human experience(s). The following five qualitative research methods denote the options the researcher considered for the proposed study:
Heuristic. (Research Methodology, N.d., pp. 3- 6)
Five Qualitative Research Methods
In Ethnographic research methodology, the researcher attempts to fully describe a culture or social group in a complex manner through immersion with the group at a personal level. Ethnographic research methodology, which evolved in anthropology and sociology, involves the researcher entering into the field, completing fieldwork, gathering information through direct observation, interviews, photographs, and utilzing materials and artifacts available to members of the group or culture. This frequently informal method may appear unsystematic, however as the researcher observes events as they arise, over time previously apparently obtuse things may become clear. Researchers strive to locate key informants who may direct them toward filling their research needs, or they may choose those in the sample group deemed to be appropriate members of the group, creating "judgmental sampling." Ultimately, the researcher organizes the data into a portrait to convey a holistic cultural impression. (Research Methodology, N.d.).
The utilization of case study research methodology, with roots similar to ethnographic studies, also developed in anthropology and sociology fields. Contrary to ethnographies that study entire social systems or cultures, albeit case studies traditionally focus on smaller units such as an individual or a specific program. In case studies, an exploration over time through detailed, in-depth data collection, it proves vital to clarify the rationale behind the choice of the case being studied. This is known as purposeful sampling, as the researcher collects data through observations, interviews, documents, audio-visual material, artifacts, or archival records. The researcher contextualizes case studies within their physical, historical, and socio-economic setting (Research Methodology, N.d.).
Phenomenological research, as noted earlier in the Purpose Statement section of this proposal, the researcher's choice for the proposed study's research methodology is both experiential and qualitative. In this type study, the researcher's detachment is important. The focus in phenomenological research is not on describing the experience of one person in a more total manner, but generally more on a particular aspect of human experience as it occurs in several people. Attaining immediacy also proves significant in this research approach (Research Methodology, N.d.).
When/if the researcher conducts interviews, he/she chooses participants for their close involvement with the subject being studied. The subjects themselves, nevertheless do not serve as the primary focus in the process of descriptive analysis. Instead, phenomenological research attempts to engage with the essence of the experience. The researcher attempts to find the meaning of the experience, as well as seek general and more universal meanings from the explorations. Phenomenological research permits the researcher to arrive at more definitive conclusions than attainable though heuristic research methodology (Research Methodology, N.d.).
Hermeneutic research received its name from Hermes, the reported Greek god of communication. In traditional hermeneutics, the researcher searches for meaning in and between different contexts including texts, stories individuals relate about themselves, films, and art. Through exploring one relationship to another, hermeneutic methodology places concepts in dialogue to search for deeper meaning. It also involves the comparative study of various source materials. Theoretical theses utilize hermeneutic methodology, and may frequently focus on philosophical questions concerned with rational structures, organizing principles, as well as the nature of the relationship existing between the researcher and the researched. Theoretical theses may also assess existing theories, or propose new theories.
Robert Romanyshyn proposed alchemical hermeneutics, a new research framework which posits research chooses the researchers rather than, the other way around; noted in traditional hermeneutics (Research Methodology, N.d.).
Instead of encouraging detachment, heuristic research encourages relationship and connectedness. In heuristic research, the researcher examines a particular phenomenon in person; over time. The approach, more autobiographical than in phenomenological research, seeks immediacy and meaning for the individual. The researcher then synthesizes the experience, and records (writes/types) the structure and meaning of the entire study. Whatever presents itself to the researcher in heuristic research may be considered data. The researcher serves as both the object and subject of the research as he/she travels back and forth from experience to witnessing to experience. This particular methodology requires the researcher develop the capacity to be objective about self, while alternatively delving deeper into subjectivity (Research Methodology, N.d.).
Quantitative Research Methodology Not Choice
The researcher did not choose a quantitative study for the proposal as this type study must possess a testable hypothesis; with the hypothesis including concepts measurable by numbers. "In quantitative studies the experimental methods must be appropriate and well designed and the statistical applications and tools must be appropriate" (Research Methodology N.d., p. 1). The qualitative phenomenological research design, the researcher asserts, best suits the proposed study as it examines the impact of cultural diversity on a number of small multinational businesses.
The process of descriptively analyzing cultural diversity, instead of the individuals will relate the essence of the study's focus. Along with providing more universal meanings relating to cultural diversity from the explorations, phenomenological research will permit the researcher to arrive at reasonably definitive conclusions.
Lip*****z & Mann (2005), the research reveals, contend that a better understanding of the challenges and impact of culture and diversity in global markets possess the potential to enhance the planning and global decision-making for small multinational companies (Lip*****z & Mann, 2005).
The understanding of the term "hypothesis," which the Glossary of Key Terms (N.d), notes, contends it to be: "A tentative explanation based on theory to predict a causal relationship between variables"(hypothesis).
M.E.F.Highfield (N.d.) asks, as well as answers the question "What is a hypothesis?." According to Highfield, researchers only craft hypotheses for quantitative studies, as they are not to be included in qualitative studies.
Yet another source, "Advice on writing up a qualitative study," (N.d.) concludes that the researcher will not likely conclude his/her introduction with a hypothesis. According to this particular source, in qualitative work, one will not be likely to conclude with a hypothesis, as he/she is not likely to be testing a prediction, but exploring some things. The focus for the exploration may be "constructions, speech acts, language use, experience etc.," ("Advice on writing...," Introduction, # 6), however the researcher should present a paragraph which summarizes his/her rationale. The researcher also needs to re-iterate what he/she hopes to discover more about. Instead of the researcher crafting a hypothesis, according to "Advice on writing up a qualitative study," the researcher may perceive this step to be clarifying his/her research question.
Other investigators, albeit purport that hypothesis-testing, deductive research may, in fact, benefit from the utilization of qualitative research methods. "Using Qualitative Research Methods" (2008) argues that using a hypothesis may be considered consistent with contemporary accepted standards of validity and rigor. The researcher concurs with the contention that the "strength and unique contribution of qualitative methods in developing insights into actors' values, beliefs, understandings and interpretations of events and other phenomena, or in explaining historical occurrences, can enhance 'conventional; forms of empirical research" ("What is the role...," section ¶ 2). Qualitative research methods prove valuable" in providing rich descriptions of complex phenomena; tracking unique or unexpected events, illuminating the experience and interpretation of events by actors with widely differing stakes and roles" ("Using Qualitative Research...," sidebar). Qualitative research also give voice to those whose views rarely heard, as it completes initial explorations. It develops theories to generate and then test hypotheses. Qualitative research help moves understanding toward explanations. As reported at the start of this proposal, the researcher aims to explore the impact of cultural diversity on small multinational companies in global markets. In light of the dearth in literature relating to this particular focus, the researcher purports the following hypothesis: When the leader of the small multinational company develops and maintains an intellectual understanding of cultural diversity in the global market, he/she will more likely overcome challenges to enhance his/her company's possibilities and opportunities.
Just as no plain prescription relates exactly how the researcher may write an informative, interesting opening proposal paragraph, Paul T.P. Wong (2004), Ph.D., C. Psychology, Research Director, Graduat Program in Counselling Psychology, asserts, no hard or fast rules dictate how the researcher may best frame his/her research question. Proposed research questions the research plans to address during the ensuing study include, but may not be limited to:…