THIRD CHAPTER: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
As already mentioned above, the main purpose of this research is to determine the factors affecting the Turkish firm’s entry mode choice to developed countries. For this purpose, the several perspectives of the research field have been reviewed in literature review section. Research methodology ensures an opportunity to achieve the research aims properly in a scientific procedure (Clough and Nutbrown, 2012). For this reason, the methods and approaches that are used for gathering and analysing data on Turkish firms' entry mode strategies to developed countries (UK) is demonstrated in this section. Saunders’ et al. (2009) the research “onion” diagram is the basis of this research methodology. This diagram presents a layered approach to facilitate the examination of the different phases of the research by ensuring guidance on appropriate research philosophy, approach, strategies, choices, time horizons, techniques and procedures (Saunders, 2016).
A research philosophy can be explained as a belief in how data about a phenomenon must be collected, analyzed, and used (Blaxter et al., 2006). According to Saunders et al (2009), there are relationship between research philosophy, the nature of knowledge and development of knowledge. Moreover, it is significant that the researcher's philosophical stance is understood since it will has significant impact on the approach taken when realizing the research project (Saunders et al., 2009). Various research philosophies are summarised by Bryman and Bell (2015) which may be chosen including positivism, realism and interpretivism, each with their own epistemological and ontological assumptions. Cameron and Price (2009) explained positivism as a research philosophy that takes into account observations of social reality through logical and mathematical measurement results. Positivism aims to figure out the overview of the society by utilising social survey, statistics etc. Thus, the positivist approach is mostly inclined to general patterns rather than individuals (Saunders et al., 2009). On the other hand, realism is another approach that associated with scientific enquiry (Saunders et al., 2009). There are two type of realism including empirical and critical realism. While empirical realism explains that reality may be understood owing to the use of the convenient methods, critical realism claims that the senses deceive us frequently and make a distinction between the objects researchers study and the processes that they use to identify and understand them (Bryman and Bell 2015). Finally, interpretivism is a philosophy that focuses on the subjective meaning of social action, by taking human behaviour into consideration and regarding the distinctions between humans and their perception of the research (Bryman and Bell 2015). The interpretivist approach is highly appropriate to use in business and management research, and it is often used considering qualitative methods (Jankowicz, 2005; Saunders et al., 2009). In this research project, interpretivist approach has been chosen due to the fact that it is consulted for the views of related people in order to achieve the purpose of this study.
The research approach that will be determined by the design of the research project is the next step of the research ‘onion’. According to Maylor and Black (2005), identifying and selecting research approach has critical importance due to it significantly affects the content of the research. There are three alternative research approaches including deductive, inductive and combination of these two approaches (Saunders et al., 2009; Bryman and Bell 2015). Deductive approach is the kind of process which is used to deduce explanations of the behaviour of a specific phenomenon. This approach begins with theory and progresses through hypothesis, data collection, and testing of the hypothesis (Riley et al., 2000). On the other hand, the inductive approach can be explained as a systematic process for analyzing qualitative data in which analysis is possible to be guided by particular evaluation objectives (Thomas, 2006). This approach can be utilised with the research and analysis of relevant observations that cause the occurrence of a theory, and connects consistently such observations in a meaningful way (Riley et al., 2000). The last one is the combination of these two approaches that may be often favourable in some research (Saunders et al., 2009). This integrated approach has outcomes such as adapting existing theory or presenting an alternative theoretical framework (Ali and Birley, 1998). In this research project, data was collected from interviews and observations. Therefore inductive approach was followed for this research.
According to Saunders et al. (2009), there are two common research methods in the field of management and marketing which is called quantitative and qualitative research. Although both of two methods depend on the everyday knowledge, there is a considerable distinction between two methods in terms of the type of the data which is gathered (Blackston, 2016). The quantitative method is associated with numerical data collection and analysis, while qualitative research is inclined towards non-numeric data which is acquired from inference (Saunders et al., 2009). Moreover, the deductive approach and quantitative method are essentially associated with each other, while a qualitative method is more appropriate for the inductive approach (Blackston, 2016). According to Saunders et al. (2009), the qualitative approach ensures flexible methods such as voice records, video clips and pictures etc. This approach is not only way of data collection but also way of approaching empirical world (Taylor and Bogdan, 1984). For all these reasons qualitative methodology was applied to this research study.
In order to complete the research project, two varied types of sources were used for data collection including primary and secondary sources to achieve the aims and objectives of the research (Brewerton and Millward, 2001). The primary data is explained as original data which may be directly gathered by the researcher through the survey, questionnaire, interviews and experiments (Sekaran, 2010). The primary data is fulfilled through both qualitative and quantitative methods. Primary data is more objective and reliable than the secondary data due to its advantage that is to gather it directly from the participants without any bias from anyone (Wilson 2010). The secondary data is knowledge which is used from other relevant studies that are appropriate in terms of the quality requirements of the current research. Secondary data may be collected from kind of sources such as books, journal articles, online databases and web pages. These data assists to investigate and evaluate the previous studies about the subject (Heaton, 2008). In this study, primary data has been gathered through interviews with 8 participants from 6 Turkish companies (see Figure 2) that are operating in two main sectors; construction and food. Companies and participant’s names were demonstrated by simulated titles since real names have not allowed being used by the authorities. The data collection has been completed in London due to the majority of Turkish firms that are operating in the UK located in this city. On the other hand, set of themed questions are developed by the researcher for the participants, and the data collection has been completed by semi-structured interview questions (See Appendix A). The questions are associated with the Turkish firm’s entry mode choice to the UK. Answers of the participants to open questions were recorded and transcribed in order to ensure all of the necessary information. On the other hand, the secondary data, required for this study, was gathered from books, journal articles, websites, and reports of related companies or organisations.
When it compared with the quantitative research, the data are disorderly and rawer in the most of the qualitative research. Qualitative data has diverse nature, and due to this situation there is no unique method of analysing it (Saunders et al., 2009). Furthermore, analysis tools may be useful and convenient in some cases and for some researchers (Kvale, 1996). Data analysis is fulfilled by using the thematic analysis approach in this research. The thematic analysis approach is an instrument that describes in detail by categorising, analysing and reporting models. In addition, this approach provides an opportunity to appraise the research topic from different perspectives interpret. Furthermore, the thematic analysis has fundamental abilities which are advantageous for guiding other sorts of qualitative analysis. Therefore, it should be taken into account as the primary instrument for a qualitative approach. If it is implemented theoretically, the thematic analysis provides flexible and beneficial research methods which can ensure plentiful and comprehensive data (Braun and Clarke, 2006).
According to Saunders et al. (2009), the time horizon is a time framework of a study that design the start and the end time of the study. There are two varied aspects regarding time horizons for studies namely the longitudinal and the cross-sectional (Saunders et al., 2009). The longitudinal study inclined to consume a long period of time for the study that the gathering of data has to be repeated over time. This type of study is often used when a significant phenomenon orsubject should be investigated (Saunders et al., 2009). On the other hand, cross-sectional studies try to examine a particular phenomenon or subject within a specific time period. Cross-sectional studies are more appropriate for some studies due to time limitations (Bryman, 2015). In this case, cross sectional time horizon is more appropriate for this study since it has a time restriction and does not have a necessary to gather data repeatedly.
Ethical norms and or standards have been considered while maintaining this study. They assist to describe the difference between acceptable and unacceptable conducts. Gaining ethical standards has critical importance since they prohibit to use the artificial knowledge. Thus, the main purpose of the research is encouraging the pursuit of information and truth. Another significance of ethical behaviours is that they support the trust and accountability among the researchers (Cirt 2017). Bournemouth University’s Research Ethics Code of Practice has been followed by the researcher for this study. The Ethic Checklist (see Appendix C) has been filled and signed off by the participants before interviews take places. Moreover,the description of the research and aims have conducted to the participant prior to the interviews commencing. The statement expressed that the participation in the interview was entirely voluntary, and participant could withdraw at any point.
Validity and Reliability
The dependability, accuracy and credibility of data are based on reliability and validity. Hence, all researches need to point out these yardsticks (Simon and Goes 2011). Validity refers the accuracy of data gathering by composing involved questions to achieve the aim of the study while validity refers to the repeatability of the study. (Veal, 2011). The validity and reliability aims the research design to decrease the possibility of gathering non-appropriate responses (Saunders et al., 2009). The researcher has made the various interviews with the people who have decision-making position in the companies for the purpose of achieving the highest level of validity and reliability. Majority of face-to-face interviews took reliable length between 15-30 minutes. Moreover, biases of interviewer and participant may impact the reliability of the study. Therefore, the researcher considered to reduce the biases level by allowing interviewees to talk freely and not directing the conversation in any way. Additionally, the researcher tried to ask questions in a same voice tone in order to refrain affecting the responses.
In this section, the most suitable research methods to achieve the particular objectives of this study have been indicated. First of all, the interpretivist research philosophy has been used for this study. Furthermore, inductive approach has been followed in terms of research approach. The study utilized from qualitative research strategy by applying the semi-structured interview forms. On the other hand, data has been collected from 8 participants who are located in London. Finally; data analysis has been accomplished by utilizing thematic analysis.