A Research Study Critique

Summary


The aim of the paper is to give a critique on the article “The role of personal resources in the job demands-resources model” The critique is carried on the sampling, data collection methodology, data analysis methodology, and reporting and interpretation parts of the research paper. Based on the critique, most of these components are articulate, precise, and elaborate. However, some specific recommendations have been made on the areas that need improvements. The weakness and strengths are also given in an elaborate and understandable manner. Several errors and biases have been noted on the different parts and can be improved for better analysis and validation. Generally, the research study is up to the required standard.

Design issues


The study conducted is based on cross-sectional studies. New meaning was sought although it depended largely on the description already existing meaning. A relationship between variables has also been sought using cross sectional studies. The design is appropriate for answering the questions raised and in meeting the hypotheses. For example, the hypotheses formulated try to answer the questions that arise in the whole study. The strengths are that cross sectional studies can be used in future related studies for reference purpose. They are less costly as they have been conducted using questionnaires. It also has less follow ups. It can be conducted in a short period of time giving several outcomes with room for assessing any associated risks (Levin, 2006). However, the use of cross-sectional studies makes it hard to make casual inferences. Results as a result of cross sectional studies are limited to particular timeframe as they are bound to change (Levin, 2006). The research hypotheses have been clearly stated which align very well with the literature review. This implies that they are a reflection of what is being studied and what is represented in the literature review. The hypotheses are directional as they give a direction on where they seeking answers. They can be classified as bi-directional.

Participants


The study uses employees from six departments in an electrical engineering and electronics company. However, they are not sufficient as it limits the study to only highly educated workforce. A sample of 714 was used which is sufficient for the study although the response rate was low (50%) which may bias the study. The sample was selected through random sampling among the six divisions where those who felt would participate was allowed to. This reduces any bias on the sample used. However, the women in the study were low (17%) which brings about the issue of bias based on gender. The participants are well described on basis of their education level, age, mode of work flexibility, and company they worked for. The source of error in the sampling include the voluntary response bias since the sample is self selected thus more men (83%) and less women (17%). This led to under coverage bias since women are misrepresented in the research study. There was also a non response bias as the response rate was exactly 50%

Data collection

Data has been collected using electronic email questionnaire which was posted on the Company’s intranet. Given the nature of the cross-sectional study, the use of the questionnaire was reliable and valid. This is because the study sought attitudes, opinions, and perception which can best be collected using a questionnaire. This was appropriate for the cross sectional study.

Strengths and weaknesses of using the electronic/mailed questionnaire.

The advantages of using questionnaires in the study are that it is a cheap, cost effective, and reliable in collection of the data in terms of the sample size. An engineering company is a busy company and with employees’ participants being generated from six departments, is a cumbersome and tiring task. Therefore, the use of the electronic questionnaire helped in saving time, energy, and costs. Use of electronic questionnaire enable easy feedback and it limits the transmission period as they as all emailed as bulk to different participants at the same time.

The limitation of the questionnaires is that they may be the source of bias. For example, the employees may give false information given that anonymity and confidentiality was guaranteed. Given that online networks are open systems, the levels of anonymity and confidentiality are minimized. Technical problems like power failure, attack by computer virus, and computer crash may lead to data loss, wastage of time, and resources. The major source of bias/error is measurement error. For instance, the participants may have responded to satisfy the researcher.

Procedure

The study was carried in an organizational setting of an engineering company where six departments were used. The procedure has been applied sufficiently although it cannot be replicated in another study because of the biased nature of participants’ selection. The procedure is applied as required with consistency, and in the rightful manner. Based on the research paper, the participants were treated ethically. For instance, they were told on the importance and the reason why the study was being carried and promised anonymity and confidentiality. There is autonomy in the sense that the participants were given the choice to participate thus their participation was not under duress or coerced. Other ethical considerations include non malefience implying that no intentions of harming the participant psychologically have been noted. The participants are justly treated as they all received same treatment. For example, they were communicated through emails and all were given equal chance to participate in the study. They all had high level of education. Lastly, the aspect of beneficence is well articulated as it is explained the benefits of the study. No sources of bias are noted in the procedure of the research study.

Analysis


Analysis has been compressively carried where statistical testes have been conducted. Since it is a cross sectional study, inferential statistical tests were carried for identification of any difference or relationships between the different variables. A closer relation has been developed between the three case hypothesizes and the analysis. The confidence intervals are given of above 90% which act as an indication of the analysis articulate nature. Pre analysis checks are described sufficiently in the study. Data has been well presented for example, correlation analysis, standard deviations, and means between different variables. Internal consistencies of the different scales are also analysed and well presented. Lastly, the analysis would require no further analytical skills and endeavors as it is articulately, sufficiently, and effectively carried.

Recommendations


It is recommended that longitudinal studies be carried to support the cross sectional ones conducted. The strength of longitudinal study designs is that it provides insights on the causality. It also has the capacity of enabling better judgment for findings validation over a given timeframe. The weakness is that it is an expensive and time consuming research design.

Sampling errors as a result of non coverage, measurements, and other biases need to be minimised through the use of a less biased sample. The advantages of minimal bias and errors are that valid data is collected ensuring that articulate and dependable results are got. The only drawback is that errors and bias related to data collection cannot be easily minimised. It is recommendable to use a heterogeneous sample that has different participants with different level of education and in different workplace. This would add value in validating the current results. Different population would offer a platform for comparison of findings.

References


Levin, K. A. (2007). Study design III: Cross-sectional studies. Evidence-Based Dentistry (2006) 7, 24–25. doi:10.1038/sj.ebd.6400375

Bibliography


Coughian, M., Cronin, P., & Ryan, F. (2007). Step'by-step guide to critiquing research. Part 1: quantitative research. British Journal of Nursing, 16 (2), 658-663

Coughian, M., Cronin, P., & Ryan, F. (2007). Step'by-step guide to critiquing research. Part 2: qualitative research. British Journal of Nursing, 16 (2), 738-744

Mann, J. C. (2003). Observational research methods. Research design II: cohort, cross sectional and case-control studies. Emerg Med Journal; 20:54-60 doi:10.1136/emj.20.1.54

Xanthopoulou, D., Bakker, A.B., Demerouti, E. & Schaufeli, W.B. (2007). The role of personal resources in the job demands-resources model. International Journal of Stress Management, 14, 121-141.

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