Primary research is the process of collecting data from original sources as compared to gathering data from existing literature. The most common techniques used by researchers for primary data collection include but are not limited to face to face interviews, questionnaires, online and telephonic surveys and observation. Primary data can be either quantitative or qualitative. If the primary aim of your research is to test a hypothesis, validate an existing theory or perhaps measure some variables then quantitative research model will be the more appropriate choice. On the other hand, if your research questions or hypothesis can be better addressed through observations and experiences of people then you should consider using qualitative data for the same.
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If your dissertation research design incorporates collecting data from a company in your area of research then you might be thinking of different ways of approaching the company for your primary study. But before you make that move it is important to ask yourself these questions;
Is the company you wish to engage is suitable for your research?
The first question that you must be asking yourself is whether or not the company you will be approaching is suitable to the needs of your research. Do your research to find out about the different departments of the company with particular focus on the one that is related to your study. It will be important for you to figure out which areas of the company are not performing well and the causes of their underperformance. Because at the end of your research you will be expected to come up with ideas that could help them improve their performance.
Do you see yourself working for the company after completing your research?
Many students aim to secure a job with a firm they approach for their primary study. Do you intend to work for the company you are researching after graduating? If YES, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you can showcase your ability to identify areas of problem in a company and also propose a plan to rectify the situation then it is highly likely that the company itself will be eager to add you in their team of employees. On the other hand, an in-depth research about the company may reveal that it is not the right choice for your career, for example the ethos are not what you had original hoped for.
Why did you choose this company for your research?
It is vitally important for you to establish at the start of your research how this company will enable you to address the aim and objectives of dissertation paper. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of this before you approach the company. Some questions that you should think of are; does the company have enough workforce to provide an adequate sample size for your research? Does it really fit fell with the research hypothesis or research question of your study? Why do you see it as the suitable company considering the aim of your research?
Once you’re ready with your background research, and have all the related information, make efforts to get in touch with the management of the company. You will have to put in a lot of hard work to lure their interest towards your study. Managers and other company officials have a busy work schedule, and so contacting them and obtaining appointments would be nothing less than a challenge. The key is to not give up. Keep trying even if you have to initially face rejections or cold response.
There might be instances where your chosen company might refuse your request to conduct a research based on their business and employees or they may simply not approve of your chosen method of collecting primary data. If that is case, you will either have to press your case or change your primary data collection method. Do whatever needs to be done to help the company understand how the research exercise not only will benefit you, but their business as well. Explain how you intend to conduct the research, and what will be the outcomes. Leave a lasting impression on the company and the management, you never know you might land a job in the same company!
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Once you’ve established a contact with the officials and have convinced them to participate in your study on their organization, propose a schedule as to how the study will be conducted. There are different ways of collecting primary data. If you’re intending to interview some members of the management, propose a plan of how and when these interviews will be conducted so the participants can incorporate that in their work schedule. If all the interviews cannot be conducted the same day due to prior engagement of the company’s staff, schedule and propose alternative days and time according to their availability. Follow the same pattern for other primary research tools, such as surveys and questionnaires etc.
Due to financial and time constraints you may propose to have company’s representatives participate in your study and respond to questionnaires, surveys and interview questions online tools such as Survey Monkey and Google Spreadsheets.
If possible, propose two or three plans with the help of which primary research can be conducted in the organization so the participants can choose the plan that suits them best. Conducting a primary research requires a lot of time, depending on the chosen primary data collection method. Understand the different methods used to collect primary data before you start your dissertation.
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- Make yourself meeting ready by preparing documents related to the performance of company your research is based on. You can leave these documents with the person you have the interview with so that they can better understand the idea behind your research and influence other staff members.
- Here is the bottom line – the company will be mainly interested in the benefits your research will bring to them so you will do yourself a great favour if you emphasize the points that are of interest to the company.
- Avoid being over assertive even though there is nothing wrong in demonstrating your expertise in the field of your study.
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