Research Methods - Investigate how research is done

In this task you will need to select a narrower area and investigate “how research is done”; this means focusing on the methods used rather than the outcomes of the research.


The purpose of this report is to discuss the proposed methodology of a research study that is planned to be undertaken on the topic ‘The impacts of Cloud Computing on business operations.’ The research methodology can be considered as one of the most important phases of a research work because it involves several stages starting from the collection, analysis, results and conclusion gathered from the data. There can be various methods in a research study such as qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods. It depends on the topic of the research and on the particular researcher. As for example, in this proposed research, the choice of methodology will constitute of the Literature Review that will be a qualitative data collection method. It will entail a qualitative analysis of the data. Then, a Survey will be undertaken on some employees of an organization that will constitute a quantitative data collection process for facilitating a quantitative data analysis method. It will also consist of a Focus Group discussion. Therefore, the said research seeks to achieve enhanced reliability and credibility by deploying both the qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis procedures. The research methods have been aligned with the expected outcomes to be achieved and it is expected to yield successful outcomes from the proposed research study which is to determine the positive or negative influences that the business operations face from the application of Cloud Computing technology (Coles, 2018).


The sources of the data related to the methodologies of Literature Review, Focus Group and Survey have been gathered from various internet sources. The sources have been verified so as to ensure that the sources are reliable and authentic. The sources of the resources impact the actual work of the analysis and outcomes. The purpose of conducting the in-depth analysis of several literature and resources is to gather necessary and important knowledge on the subject area of the research. Here the topic of research is impacts of Cloud Computing on business operations. The data gathering is one of the most important steps towards effective research. The methodologies being selected in this case are literature review and survey. Literature review will be providing with ample source of informative resources from which the required knowledge and data could be extracted to be used in the main research work. The sources of the literature review include the articles from the internet, website articles, journals, books and reports. These sources will be authentic and reliable to provide resources on Cloud Computing and its impacts on the business operations. The articles or literature which would be reviewed would provide general idea and knowledge on the subject area of the research. 
The second source chosen for the research methodology is survey. Survey provides first-hand data and information from the participants who have practical knowledge of using the technology in the business context. The survey will include the responses and the perceptions of the employees of the companies which are using Cloud Computing. The data collected from the survey would form huge pool of primary data which would be analyzed and interpreted for the information to be used in the main work of research. The sources of the primary data would be authentic and reliable. The survey would be conducted with the help of structured questionnaires with close-ended questions where the responses would be able to provide important insights to the subject area of the research study. The survey would be uncover the research questions’ answers and evoke into detailed discussion. 
The third choice of methodology will be the Focus Group discussion consisting of around 6 employees from the IT department in few organizations where Cloud System is implemented. They will be asked open-ended questions and there will be a form of group discussion within the group members in presence of the interviewer.

Discussion of Method

The literature review would be conducted with the help of external sources of information which would be collected from internet and other means. The literature which would be focusing on the analysis of Cloud Computing in relation in the business context would be selected and reviewed. The impacts of the use of Cloud Computing on the business operations would be the main theme of search and analysis. The review would be providing some of the useful resources and data on the impacts of Cloud Computing from different business cases. These would be reviewed to come to the main theme of the study and would be used for effective accomplishment of the final research study. The advantages, disadvantages, opportunities and risks associated in the use of Cloud Computing in the business would be searched for and gathered after in-depth analysis of the sources of literature. The outcomes from the literature review would be linked with the outcomes of the primary data which would be collected through survey and would be used for effective interpretation and outcomes of the research. The literature review outcomes would be used for the development of concrete idea and knowledge on the subject area of the research. The focus of the research study would get more sharpened with the help of literature review. The intended research will be enriched with critical analysis on the topic (Kim, 2018). 
The survey would be conducted on the employees of different companies which are using the technology of Cloud Computing. The employees would be the respondents or the participants of the survey who would provide first-hand data on the subject area of the study. The instrument of the survey would be well-structured questionnaire which would contain close-ended questions related to the domain of study. The respondents would be able to answer them conveniently. The multiple choices would be there for the responses so that the employees could give their responses feasibly. The primary data which would be collected from the respondents would be used for analysis and discussion on the objective of the study. The interpretation will become meaningful and resourceful with the help of quantitative analysis of the primary data. The outcomes of the survey would be linked with the information and resources which would be obtained from the literature review and together they would form comprehensive outcomes of the research. The primary data would be the base of quantitative research method and the results would be used for the analysis and formation of the outcomes of the research. The survey would be providing opinion of the employees or the respondents who are being used to with the technology and this would enhance the meaning of the intended research (DeFranzo, 2012). 
The Focus Group discussion will be undertaken on some employees using the Cloud System in few organizations They will be asked various questions for a qualitative analysis of the responses. It will consist of a form of interview with open-ended questions and group discussions (Kokemuller, 2018).

Comparison of Methods

The literature review methodology is used to collect information from previous research papers or reports those are based on past data and knowledge. However, it helps in forming basic idea about the proposed research topic. The survey technique helps in gathering feedbacks directly from the sample respondents. Hence, the data collected is much relevant and recent. But, it has chances of being biased and dishonest depending on the particular respondent. The focus group interview is undertaken on a small sample of participants who are asked some common questions and they respond to such questions through a group discussion and exchange of knowledge as the researcher or the interviewer record their individual feedbacks and observes their group behavior. It offers varied feedbacks that can be trusted for credibility as such discussions happen in the presence of many persons.

Implications of Methods

The literature review process will be implemented in the said research study to gather information on the influence of Cloud Computing on business operations. Various sources of relevant articles will offer key knowledge and insights into the expected outcomes of the research. The survey will be administered on some employees working in different organizations using the Cloud technology. It will help to gather first-hand feedbacks for a quantitative analysis. The focus group study will be conducted on a very small sample of employees from some organizations where Cloud Computing is implemented. They will be asked open-ended questions and there will be a group discussion about their personal opinions. It will facilitate the research with credibility (Kokemuller, 2018).


The findings from the sources which have been utilized for gaining knowledge on the selected research methodologies such as Literature Review and Survey depict the major advantages achievable by applying the said methods of data collection and analyses.
Literature Review
The literature review is a study that encompasses reading various sources of knowledge and information such as journals, books, reports, websites, etc. The research will benefit from applying this methodology because the technique helps in collecting comprehensive knowledge and information on the research topic. It helps to develop a string foundation to the intended research study. As the proposed research will be on identifying the impacts of the Cloud Computing technology on the various functions of the business, hence it is expected that a literature study will help in gathering the required information as there are various articles available over the internet on this modern technology that is being used worldwide in several organizations to ensure that they are able to conduct the business functions effectively, faster and with the least chances of errors. Hence, the review of literatures will be an ideal research method for collecting relevant information on Cloud Computing and its various pros and cons on the functioning of a business unit (Design-gid, 2016).
The survey technique comprises of collecting feedbacks from sample participants representing the population. The advantage of a survey is that the respondents are administered with questionnaires having multiple options for selecting responses. The survey questionnaires mainly consist of closed-ended questions in which the respondents can choose only one option for each question. This helps in identifying the numerical value of the responses to each question. After the completion of each of the survey questionnaires from the chosen sample size, they are fed into a computer system having software for undertaking a quantitative analysis of data. As for example, for the purpose of this research, a sample of respondents will be selected from the employees working in the IT department of an organization. They will be administered with closed ended questionnaires consisting of questions related to the advantages and disadvantages of Cloud Computing and what according to them are the major advantages that the organization has received from implementing the Cloud Computing technology in terms of impacts on sales and profitability. The survey will also consist of questions related to the employee satisfaction derived from the implementation of the Cloud Computing system within the organization (Explorable, 2018).
Focus Group
The focus group discussion will be valuable to the proposed research because it will lead to a meaningful group discussion about the research subject where various open-ended questions will be put forward to some employees who are experienced in working on Cloud system and they will be encouraged to take part in a group discussion in the presence of the researcher.


The selected methodologies of Literature Review and Survey have some perceived limitations also which are discussed as follows:
Literature Review
The major limitations of the Literature Review process are as follows:
•  The contents in the literature sources are generally the results of past research works those have been carried out in a location or time that is quite different in context to the       research work that is currently being undertaken. Hence, there is no absolute reliability of the information gathered.
•  The literature review needs to be analyzed with the help of strong analytical skills of the researcher. Hence, if there is lack of analytical ability on the part of the researcher            then the undertaking of the literature review might not be the most effective tool to be used in that particular research.
•  The search criterion is very important in a literature review study because the accuracy of the results depends on the accuracy of the key words or search terms provided by       the researcher.
•  Since it is based on the opinions of the other researchers, hence there is possibility of biasness in the findings that might not always hold true in general.
The survey technique has some limitations those can be enumerated as follows:
•  There can be risk of wrong information provided by the respondents on which the results are to be based.
•  The survey procedure is time consuming and hence cannot be effectively undertaken all the time.
•  The survey technique requires adequate funding by a researcher but often due to the budget constraints in a research such technique cannot be afforded always.
•  The surveys are conducted in localized areas on some sample population and hence the results obtained might vary geographically or culturally (ISHTM, 2009).
Focus Group
The limitations of Focus Group method can be enumerated as follows:
•  It is often influenced by few dominant members in the discussion and tends to make the output biased.
•  Participants might not always share their true feelings towards sensitive topics.
•  The results from focus group discussions are non-projectable to larger populations.
•  The artificial meeting room ambience can stimulate unauthentic responses as compared to the real feelings which might be different in the practical scenario (PB Works,              2006).

Ethical Considerations

Whatever might be the chosen approaches to the research methodology, all of them must conform to the ethical guidelines of undertaking a research study. As for example, adequate permission is to be sought for collecting and using the data in the research. The data should be gathered through ethical and honest means and there should be no coercion or undue influence in gathering the data. The research should contribute to a beneficial outcome for the society or organization on whose behalf it is being carried out.


In the conclusion it could be said that choice of source of methods to be used for the effective research is very important for the successful accomplishment of the research. The sources of the research methods to be selected need to be authentic and reliable. The data collected from them must be accessible conveniently. The selected sources should provide resources and knowledge being relevant to the subject area of the study. The relevance of the sources and the contents to the main theme of the research study is very essential. It would be seen that the Literature Review would demonstrate the field of knowledge and would justify the reasons for which the intended study would be conducted. The linking between the literature review information and the primary data would help in forming concrete idea and knowledge which could be used for successful completion of the research study.

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Coles, C. (2018). 11 Advantages of Cloud Computing and How Your Business Can Benefit From Them. Retrieved from skyhighnetworks:
DeFranzo, S. E. (2012, June 29). The 4 Main Reasons to Conduct Surveys. Retrieved from snapsurveys:
Design-gid. (2016). Advantages and disadvantages of literature review. Retrieved from design-gid:
Explorable. (2018). Advantages and Disadvantages of Surveys. Retrieved from explorable:
ISHTM. (2009). Limitations of surveys. Retrieved from
Kim, Y. S. (2018, January 11). The Importance of Literature Review in Research Writing. Retrieved from owlcation:
Kokemuller, N. (2018). The Focus Group Research Method. Retrieved from smallbusiness.chron:
PB Works. (2006). Issues including advantages and disadvantages. Retrieved from focusgroups.pbworks:

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