Original Post by Carolyn Mikna:
If I were to collect data for my study, there are a few challenges that might arise that may alter the research. My first concern would be how honest my subjects would be with answering the questions. Someone might feel pressured into answering a certain way to make the company appear better than it actually is, and from hiding their honest opinion, the data would not be as truthful if they actually had said what they felt. Personally, I might not know if they are being dishonest, but there is always that chance that some participants might want to be agreeable and not share how they truly feel about the company and the questions. In order to prevent this, I would ensure that the participant would have complete confidentiality with the survey or interview, and I would encourage them to be as truthful as possible when I ask them to voluntarily participate in the study as well as on the beginning of the survey or interview.
My second challenge that I would have with the data is not having enough results. I would be afraid that no one would want to participate in my study. I understand that it is completely voluntary, but it would be beneficial to find out the opinions of others and find ways to make training better if necessary. Adjustments can only be made when we know if something is wrong so the input of employees is truly valuable. In order to make sure I would get enough information, I might ask multiple departments or companies to participate just in case I cannot rely on one particular company to fully participate. With this option, I would be comparing different companies’ training techniques, rather than focusing on a singular company’s training style. But even if I ask multiple companies’ employees how they feel about their particular training program, I might be able to find a correlation with employee retention and job training despite the company they work for.
My third challenge would be which method of research would be best for asking employees about their opinion of training and reasons for staying within the company. Surveys and interviews have their pros and cons, but to fully understand why people stay within a company and how they feel about their training, I think both formats would be supportive. If I had to ask multiple companies for their opinions, I think I would choose the survey format, and for a single company, I would want to do a survey and/or interviews since having that personal interaction might be advantageous.
Phenomenal point in saying the quality of the data is dependent on how honest subjects are. It is so important to make the participants feel comfortable so they are willing to be vulnerable. Our Informed Consent discussion which involved writing the study participation form is particularly relevant to this topic. Not only does writing a thorough consent form ensure there will be no legal complications to the study, it is also a frontend strategy to enhance data on the backend. Considering you are evaluating how people feel about the company they are working for, emphasizing confidentiality is going to significantly improve the data. What other ways besides highlighting confidentiality is a way to evoke truthful responses?
Lack of data is definitely a foundational, potential challenge in analysis. In order to combat this, consider the amount of responses you want. Then, recruit a significantly larger portion of individuals to invite. For example, in my research proposal, I want 50 responses per group. So, I am distributing 200 surveys knowing not everyone is going to respond. Further, it is a great idea to ask multiple departments to join the study, as long as there is not major difference between the departments which would create too many confounding variables.
In terms of your third challenge, surveys may bring less analysis challenges because it results in quantitative data instead of qualitative. The latter has a more complex analysis process. Quantitative is also better for identifying a correlational or causal relationship between variables. I agree interviews are beneficial because it entails a personal interaction. However, I imagine interviews are better for something else such as newspaper articles whereas surveys are better for studies.
Comment by Carolyn Mikna:
Thank you so much, Mary, for your response! I am glad you were able to talk this out with me in regards to what methods are best and how to overcome the challenges! You brought up some fantastic points that will be beneficial for my research! Thank you again for your clarifying points!