This chapter will present the methods that will be utilized in the collection and analysis of data for the study. This chapter is drawn from research design, the target population, sampling design, the data collection instruments, data collection procedure and data analysis and presentation. Further still, this chapter will elaborate on the description of the applied research method together with the explanation on how it will enhance the study to answer the research objectives. To say least, there are many means and approaches that a researcher can employ in the world of social research. Therefore, the merits and demerits of the chosen method of research should be uncovered in the overview of the method. As a means of ensuring ethics and respectable research practice, research ethics will be presented at the conclusion of this chapter.
Generally, research methodology is the social research and its effects in so far as philosophy, politics and social backgrounds are concerned. Also, it is a means of managing the implications that it may have on the practice of research more so when a method is constituted of precise techniques in obtaining and analyzing data or piece of information.
There are several ways of conducting research, more significantly the collection of research data. The main issue in the case of research methodologies, therefore, will be if the method applied originates from the quantitative or qualitative research methodologies standpoint or even a hybrid of both. Normally, the qualitative methodology of research has been used as the common term to encompass the wide-ranging research methodologies that contain various epistemological positions.
Those opposed to the qualitative research methodology, have argued that qualitative research methodology tends to be too subjective, very hard to replicate, the existence of difficulties in generalization and the methodology lacking transparency. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the key objective of the qualitative researchers is not limited to the generalization of the findings but also to provide a deep contextualized knowledge of a given facet of human activity and experience. Therefore, the qualitative research methodology has its focus on the generation and establishment of theories. On the other hand, quantitative research methodology aims at testing the theories in its deductive nature. Taking into consideration the topic of study, the derived research questions and the inherent issues of difficulty in measuring things like knowledge sharing, I will conclude on qualitative research as the most appropriate research method to be used in this study.
Research Focus and Scope
In order to have a holistic assessment and understanding of an organization, it will be key to have keen interest and observation on the phenomena of the organization and the context in which various forms of interactions occur. In general, there exist five most used methods and methodologies as far as qualitative research is concerned. These include grounded theory, case study, ethnography, case study and narrative research. However, it will be remembered that the generalization question is quite complex. This is basically due to the fact that generalization will require a researcher to extrapolate, in which case he will not be able to completely give a justification for the reason behind the results arrived at. Despite this, the generalization that is anchored on what has been observed is important in essence that it will assist in drawing broader conclusions from the exact cases and at the same time make inferences about whatever has not been observed.
The cardinal strategy in this study will be to bring forth a vast and contextualized knowledge of the human experience, which will be realized by carrying out an in-depth study of particular cases. More fundamentally, this study will narrow down the scope of the research and pay attention to one key area which will be Examining the Significance and Value of Project Management Office (PMO) in Comparison with Project Portfolio Management Offices (PPMO) and Project Program Offices (PPO).
Targeting the Right Respondents
On the other hand, the research strategy will be entrusted with the duty of finding the right mix of respondents from the population under study. Therefore, a strategy of targeting respondents entrusted with different roles in a shared context will be employed. In this study, the researcher was advised by the top advisers of the organizations to have as his respondents the top managers, senior project managers, functional managers and the members of the PMO. Despite the targeted sample of the population to be used as respondents being set at between six and ten, the total number of respondents resulted in eight.
The research data was collected through conducting interviews with the various top managers, senior project personnel, and the functional managers. In addition to this, relevant documentation of the company was also studied so as to raise the chances of arriving at a valid finding. In this scenario, the researcher overviewed the background of the company so that he could find out the reason as why the management of the company got interested in the Project Management Office presence and function, and how the organization used to handle its projects before and in what ways the functions that are traditionally related to Project Management Office were executed. In this regard, the study acknowledges the needs that are present in a company and found out if by implementing the Project Management Office will be the best antidote the existing problems. Having in mind that there exist several realizations means of PMO, the research will have to identify the best way that fits the company.
Selecting the Case Study
In the past two decades, Project Management Office has been practiced in the Oil and Gas subject of the organization under study. During this period under which PMO has been in use within the organization, it has been observed that great success in the performance of the organization has been recorded. As a research strategy for this piece of work, it will be prudent to recognize, the roles and functions that the Project Management Office that was in use before this study was involved in. it was found that the key department within the organization that was using the services of PMO, had been working with one mega Project Management Office in the past three years. This Project Management Office had its roles well cut out to planning, documentation, procurement and cost management. It is, therefore, important to note that, this project will form the area of focus for this study.
The respondents in the sample of the study were composed of eight persons aged between 30 to 55 years old, with two of them being females and the rest being males. To stress on what this study had mentioned earlier, the respondents are carefully selected with an objective of actualizing a certain duty and category mix in the sample. In the sample, the project planner, project economists and the head of procurement were all chosen because they are responsible for the corresponding PMO duties. Nevertheless, the head of the sub-department and the senior projected manager were both proposed for the interview by the head of the department. Also important to note that, the project leading engineers were seconded by the head of sub-department to be in the sample under study.
Therefore, in coming up with this sample mix, the researcher targeted a holistic image through the natural setting in order to develop a contextual finding anchored on the points of view of the participants, as implied by the qualitative research methodology.
Data Collection Method and Data Sources
In any social research, there are three most key thresholds that must be met by any set of data that is collected. These categories are the replicability, validity and the reliability of the data collected. In other words, the collected data should be reliable, replicable and valid. To ensure this is achieved, the process that will be involved in the collection of data will be of great significance. However, when it comes to the quantitative research methodology, there is some researcher who has argued that the three categories are supposed to be judged in accordance with a bit different manner. As such, there are only two principal criteria that are established for the qualitative research, which are authenticity and trustworthiness. It is important to note that trustworthiness is built around four cornerstones, which are the credibility, dependability, conformability and transferability, qualities that have their equivalents in the quantitative research methodology. In this research, therefore, authenticity and trustworthiness have been considered as the bottom line and route for the data collection.
It is also fundamental to opine that the data collection process of has been actualized by conducting semi-structured interviews on the target sample. It has been observed that the semi-structured interviews have the ability to unfold in a way of conversation, this, therefore, makes it helpful in facilitating the participants in exploring issues that they may consider vital. By the interviewer using the open-ended questions, he prevents himself from making the interview tight, thus granting the subject an opportunity to be explored in depth and from the various standpoint as it may concur with the participants.
With this in mind, therefore, after taking into considerations the diverse methods for data collection, this study will apply the method of semi-structured interviews. The interview questions and topics had been prepared and the interview will be conducted in the Oil and gas department.
Apparently, the study faced certain challenges and limitations which in essence are related to the research procedure. For instance, the research methodology that was chosen does not offer the ground for the generalization of the findings statistically, however, the same method allowed for the analytical generalization of data. It is also important to note that the scholar was also faced with the challenge of having limited resources and time, a condition that constrained the amount of data that were collected and the number of sources of data.
It has been observed that Project Management Office, is an intricate subject, whose understanding can only be achieved as part of a historical process within the background of the organization. This is due to the fact that Project Management Office is embedded into the host organization and that both instantaneously evolve. In this regard, therefore, it is the case study method that will be considered to be the most appropriate for the study, since it will enhance the collection of a highly detailed data about the events and processes.
Structure of The Interview Question
Among the respondents, it was acknowledged that US English is both the working language and at the same time their native language. In this regard, therefore, the semi-structured interview questions were carefully and diligently translated and interpreted to US English. This partook with an object of ensuring that the respondents understand the questions in their context.
The semi-structured interview questions were segmented into four parts, that is the project support system which had four questions, the PMO executives and project m...
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