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Achieve its objectives

This chapter presents a detailed account of the methodology that will be used in conducting this research… The development of this research will depend on both qualitative and quantitative survey methods to achieve its objectives. 3. 1 RESEARCH METHODS: I considered several methods of collection of data for conducting this research. It was necessary to arrive at a specific method that will be appropriate to attain the objectives of the research; which depended on the subject under study.

For this purpose I collected all the available information about research methods and carefully analysed the difference between the two major data collection approaches (i. e. the qualitative and quantitative research methods). On an analysis of the relative merits and demerits of both the techniques I chose to adopt both qualitative and quantitative methods to gather the necessary information and data for the completion of this research. A brief description of both the techniques is presented below for the information of the readers.

3. 1. 1 QUALITATIVE METHOD: The qualitative method is ‘one of the two major approaches to research methodology in social science’, which involves ‘investigating participant’s opinions, behaviours and experiences from the informants’ points of view’. In contrast with the quantitative research method, the qualitative research method ‘does not rely on quantitative measurement and mathematical models, but instead uses logical deductions to decipher gathered data dealing with the human element’.

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The difficulty in using this research method is ‘that it is more expensive, has smaller sample sizes and is hard to measure’. (Wikipedia) In qualitative research method non-quantitative’ methods of data collection and analysis are being used (Lofland & Lofland; 1984). Qualitative research method been defined as ‘focuses on “quality” rather than quantity. While some other researchers say Qualitative method involves a subjective methodology and making the researcher as the research instrument (Adler and Adler; 1987)” 3. 1. 2 QUANTITATIVE METHOD:

Quantitative method is a research method which depends less on subjective methods but is more focused on the collection and analysis of numerical data. Quantitative research involves analysis of numerical data. According to Burns and Grove, quantitative research is: “a formal, objective, systematic process in which numerical data is utilized to obtain information about the research question” (Burns and Grove cited in Cormack 1991 p 140). Quantitative research uses methods which are designed to ensure objectivity and reliability.

In quantitative research the researcher is considered external to the actual research, and results are expected to be the same, no matter who conducts the research. The strength of the quantitative method is that, it produces quantifiable and reliable data. William Trochim (2001) 3. 2 SURVEY METHOD: Surveys are one of the most popular methods to collect primary data from the informed sources of data. As Denscombe (1998) stated, the purpose of a survey is “to get a detailed and comprehensive view about the data obtained, which will be used for mapping”.

There are three main characteristics in survey method which are pointed out by Denscombe (1998) as follows: ? Wide and inclusive coverage ? At a specific point in time ? Empirical research The popularity of the surveys method is established due to the fact that it provides a quantitative or numeric description of some fraction of the population, that is, the sample, by asking question (Cresewell, 1994; Neuman, 2000; Fink, 1995). Under surveys it is possible to make a generalisation of the results obtained as the surveys allow a large number of respondents to participate in the survey (Davis, 1996).

However, there is a low-response bias because many people do not wish to participate in the survey (Aaker, Kumer & Day, 1995). In order to get a clear indication of the relationship between the financial success and the admiration of the companies, I have opted for the survey method for the collection of more information with the object of gathering additional knowledge on the key determinants of success and admiration of a company in the perspectives of the customers and thereby to arrive at some definite conclusion for the research questions.

3. 2. 1 MAIL SURVEY: Mail survey will be used to collect a data set from a sample population of HR managers who are most likely in a position to have the best information available in respect of the best practices of talent management in this research. According to Robert et al. (2001) mail questionnaires are advantageous when responses for many questions have to be obtained from a sample that is geographically dispersed.

As this research will collect data from senior HR Professional across the United Kingdom, mail questionnaire is the most appropriate way to conduct this research. Table 3. 2 shows the main advantages and disadvantages in the mail survey which will be considered in this research.

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