Public Administration Research Methods on Management

Question: public administration research methods


1. In the given research question, the ‘creation of jobs in Alabama’ is the dependent variable and the government’s sponsorship of non-profit organization training is the independent variable. It seems obvious from the statement that the actions of the government will have some impact on the job creation therefore the actions have been identified as the independent variable. The measurement of both the aspects can be done through various methods. 
One of the methods that can be employed is the qualitative study where the respondents from the same field will be contacted. The respondents will be asked questions modeled to understand the research question. The collective opinion of appreciable number of experienced individuals who have spent more than fifteen years of their lives in employment sector and government can be the appropriate ones to respond to this question. Their experience can help in understand the likely impact of the actions. 
As per the individual assessment of both the variables are concerned, it can be recommended that a pilot study is considered on a small scale. On the other hand, past training activities of the non-profit organizations can be gathered through their archived records. After that, the change in the employment rate can be understood within that period. Though it is obvious that the impact on the employment from the non-profit training would not be the only factor, yet the change in the employment rate and the expenditure made by the non-profit organizations can show up some correlation.
The research question is oriented towards understanding whether the impact of government’s action is good or bad. Another interpretation can be that the researcher wants to understand the process of the impact. Therefore, using ‘how’ as the trigger in the question has brought in some vagueness which should not be there for better clarity of the research question and minimum confusion. 
2. Unit of analysis refers to the entity which is under consideration for analysis. Research objectives are what researchers pursue through a research (Holsti, 1969). The research objective acts as a goal for the researchers. Moreover, the research objectives help the researchers in identifying the dependent and independent variables which are studied further. Unit of analysis can be anything such as individuals or social organization. The unit that needs to be analyzed completely depends on the area that is under consideration. As for example, if a researcher wants to understand the impact of no-smoking advertisement on the student community, then the unit of analysis in this can be the student community. They are the dependent variable on whom the impact needs to be studied of the advertisement. On the opposite side, considering advertisement as the unit of study and studying the impact of student’s behavior on airing the no-smoking advertisement will never fulfill the research objective stated above. Therefore, it can be stated from here that the selection of the unit of analysis entirely depends on the research objectives or the questions. 
3. The research question that was turned in is, “How does the variety types of learning style affect in students' comprehension in Auburn University at Montgomery?” In general, the theory building approaches are either qualitative or quantitative. The theory building approach that seems appropriate for this research question is qualitative. The reason is that the solution for research question can be achieved in an appreciable manner by considering the qualitative aspects rather than the quantitative ones. The qualitative approach will help in understanding the non-metric responses in far clearer way and can give greater insight into the solution. However, one challenge can be the successful interpretation which requires proper experience in this aspect (Eisenhardt and Graebner, 2007). 
4. Surveys are the most preferred methods among the researchers. Numerous studies have considered studying the opinion of the people to reach certain conclusion. The businesses operating around the world are the ardent users of the survey technique. It helps them get insight into what is the likeliness that their products will be accepted by the consumers or where they stand in the eyes of the consumers. Surveys are in the form of questionnaires that assess the opinion of the respondents regarding certain aspect. However, it cannot be clearly stated that the surveys are the best method of study as the researchers do not get the opportunity to assess each of the respondents in detail and mostly fails to understand whether the responses made by them are true. For the surveys at small scale and qualitative in nature, the researchers get enough opportunities to probe respondents about the research questions (Mugenda, 1999). 
On the other hand, for the ‘large scale quantitative analyses’ the respondents rarely get the complete picture about the responses made as all the respondents stay in behind the scene. The researchers do not get the opportunity to meet the respondents physically and the research results depend on the statistical calculation of the data gathered. The major advantage is that the researchers will have large scale data size and the results can be near to actual situation. This method also incurs less cost if the questionnaire distribution is done through electronic methods, that is, email and web-surveys. 
Case studies are the most cost-effective method for the research. However, as the earlier to methods generally focus on getting to the generalized results, the case study method focus on solution of specific problem or situation. As the case study methods are historical in nature and researchers rarely get the chance to work on live cases, the results can be less applicable. Moreover, the results obtained through case studies may not be generally applicable as other research designs above. 


Holsti, O. R. (1969). Content analysis for the social sciences and humanities.
Mugenda, O. M. (1999). Research methods: Quantitative and qualitative approaches. African Centre for Technology Studies.
Eisenhardt, K. M., & Graebner, M. E. (2007). Theory building from cases: Opportunities and challenges. Academy of management journal, 50(1), 25-32.

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