Qualitative Research on How We Know the City

How do we come to know the city?
A city can be defined in a number of ways (Parr, 2007): firstly, in a physical sense of the territory it occupies (Smart, 1974); secondly, by its population size (Newling, 1996; Eeckhout, 2004); or alternatively, by the area dedicated to urban activities (Hall & Hay, 1980). All of these interpretations of the meaning of a city have come about from different perceptions of certain cities, which can be researched using various qualitative methods. The qualitative methods that will be discussed in this essay include ethnography, participant observation, interviewing, and focus groups, arguing that a combination of approaches should be taken to reflect the dynamism of cities. Thus, this essay will examine how we come to “know” a city, taking a particular focus on Newcastle, located in North East England (Miles, 2005).

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The city is a taken-for-granted concept, frequently used unthinkingly in everyday life (Cloke et al., 2005). We live in an increasingly urbanised world (Hamnett, 2005), with 60% of the global population expected to be housed in cities by 2030 (United Nations (UN), 2016). However, trends of rapid suburbanisation and counter urbanisation have been witnessed since the 1980s, particularly in developed countries such as the UK, in which the city of Newcastle is located (Champion, 1989; Cheshire, 1995). In some cities, this suburbanisation is coupled with inner-city decline, subsequently followed by gentrification and city centre regeneration (Ley, 1996; Peach, 1996; Smith, 1996). Thus, contemporary cities are often characterised by growing inequalities, social segregation and socio-spatial unevenness (Hamnett, 2003; Knox & Pinch, 2010). As Geographers, it is important to know how these cities are changing, both in terms of their economic foundation and social structure (Hamnett, 2005). This can be done using qualitative research methods, which examine the ways in which different social groups visualise, feel and know the city, through a multitude of senses, rather than merely sight (Cloke et al., 2005). Therefore, a multiple-method approach is most desirable in order to know that there is more to a city than its physical existence and material construction (Elwood, 2010).
Unlike quantitative research methods, qualitative methodologies do not begin with the presumption that there is a pre-existing world that can be known; instead, we see the world socially, as a construct that is constantly changing (Limb & Dwyer, 2001). The emphasis, therefore, is to understand the meanings of everyday experiences of the cities (Limb & Dwyer, 2001). Ethnographies are one of these such methods, which are characterised by in-depth approaches (Watson & Till, 2010), rather than aiming to necessarily produce statistical data. This method involves living and working within a community to understand how people experience their everyday lives, and thus the city (Cook, 2010).
Participant observation is a research method heavily emphasised by ethnography. It enables investigation into behaviours and socio-spatial interactions (Cloke et al., 2004) in a more natural setting, therefore producing more reliable responses as participants feel at ease (Western, 1992). Although this method does provide the researcher with a greater depth of understanding as they come to know the participants on a personal level, the research is based upon a very small sample size, which raises questions over to what extent reliable conclusions can be drawn (Limb & Dwyer, 2001). Thus, it is important to use other methods, such as interviewing different groups of people, in order to overcome the temptation of generalising. Furthermore, it can be difficult for the researcher to detach themselves and remain an outside observer, as one becomes an intimate member of the group, often over a prolonged period (Chrisman, 1976). Overall, participant observation as a part of ethnographic research produces tacit knowledge of people’s interactions with the city (Stake, 2005), thus aiding in explanation of how we come to know the city.
Defined as a ‘conversation with a purpose’ (Bingham & Moore, 1966), semi-structured interviews are one of the most commonly used qualitative methods in social science research, and Human Geography in particular (Crang, 2002; Longhurst, 2003; Kvale, 2007). Despite often mistakenly being criticised for not being representative or scientific, as Valentine (2005) outlines, an interview enables the researcher to understand the mental world of individual people (McCracken, 1988), and how they experience and make sense of their own everyday lives, and thus, how they come to know the city. Interviewers tend to loosely base their questions on an interview schedule, which consists of memory prompts and key topics of discussion (Keats, 2000; Bryman 2004), however, this is often deviated from due to the fluid nature of this methodology (Limb & Dwyer, 2001). Time consuming. Cultural and historical knowledge.

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Another qualitative research method that can be used to investigate how we come to know the city is focus groups. These usually consist of a one-off meeting among five to eight individuals (Limb & Dwyer, 2001) where they are often presented with a set of small tasks, such as watching a short video (Goss, 1996). For the researcher, this is an efficient way of gaining an insight into the ways in which people come to know the city (Krueger & Casey, 2015), by getting participants to share their personal experiences and argue for different points of view (Barbour & Kitzinger, 1999). Rather than interviewing on an individual basis, which can create disproportional power relations (Smith, 2006), the focus group context shows the researcher how certain individuals interact with each other, allowing conversations to develop in arguably a more common social situation (Lunt & Livingstone, 1996). However, if the group are not interested in the topic, it can be very difficult for the researcher to get the conversation to flow (Agar & MacDonald, 1995). Furthermore, it is important to be aware of high dropout rates, and factor this in when planning research using this method (Limb & Dwyer, 2001). For this reason, focus groups tend to be used in conjunction with other methodologies, such as interviewing, rather than as a stand-alone approach (Frey & Fontana, 1993). Produces practical, context-dependent knowledge (Starman, 2013).
Knowledge. Several misconceptions, such as that knowledge is only gained through observation of the world (Sayer, 1992). (Law, 2005). According to Sayer (1992), knowledge is in fact gained through a common language, interaction with other people, and the use of shared resources. Different types of knowledge are appropriate to different functions and contexts (Sayer, 1992). The city looks and feels different, depending on the perspectives of those inhabiting the space (Law, 2005). Dominant ‘way of looking’ in Geography normalised as white, heterosexual male. (Rose, 1993; Rose, 1997). Excludes viewpoints of people from different races, sexualities, genders, and abilities (Law, 2005). Marginalisation of deaf and blind people, etc. in the city until the turn of the century (see Kitchen et al., 1997). These people are likely to have different experiences of the place. In terms of gender, women can find streets lined with trees intimidating at night as they reduce the visibility of being seen (Valentine, 1989). To others, it feels natural and seems aesthetically pleasing, particularly during the day. The city looks and feels, and is therefore known as, being different, depending on the perspectives of those inhabiting the urban space (Law, 2005). Mixed methods.
Historically, Geography has been understood as a visual discipline. However, as Rodaway (1994) highlights, we come to know a city through a variety of senses: smell (Porteous, 1985), sound (Ingham, 1999; Smith, 2000), touch (Podock, 1993), taste. Cosgrove (1998) further recognises this in our association between the visual world and the production of reliable knowledge, with little consideration of other sense. If we rely only on vision as the best way of knowing a city, we, as Human Geographers, consequently only research the remarkable and elite landscapes (rather than the everyday) that are often theoretically only seen from above, rather than below (Law, 2005). If we mimic the position of urban planners in only seeing the city from above, we risk fixing its meaning, and thus denying its complexity (Law, 2005). Thus, it is important to take a multiple-methods approach in order to come to know the city through all of our senses
In conclusion, this essay has argued that the city can become best known through a multiple-method qualitative research approach, incorporating a combination of ethnographies, participant observation, interviews and focus groups. It is important not to over-emphasis on visual sight, but also consider other, less-appreciated senses that contribute to our overall knowing of the city.

The Objective Of Financial Reporting And Qualitative Characteristics And Constraints Accounting Essay

1 Introduction
The U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), namely the Boards, jointly published a Discussion Paper and received 179 responses. The Exposure Draft was created from the Boards’ redeliberations regarding issues being raised by respondents. The Boards published this common Exposure Draft for the public to comment and it is the Board’s broader conceptual framework.

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The Boards are considering their frameworks: to provide standards that are consistent, converge their standards, to develop a general and enhanced conceptual framework. The Boards decided that a reconsideration of concepts would not be efficient because many aspects of the frameworks are consistent and do not need fundamental revision. The Boards are focused on improving and converging their existing frameworks.
The conceptual framework for financial reporting established by the Board displays the concepts that underlie financial reporting. This conceptual framework consists of 2 chapters: the objective of financial reporting and qualitative characteristics and constraints of decision – useful financial reporting information – useful financial reporting information.
2 Chapter 1: The Objective of Financial Reporting
This conceptual framework establishes the objective of general purpose financial reporting by business entities in the private sector, which is the foundation of the framework. The objective of general purpose financial reporting is to provide financial information to current capital provides to make decisions. This information might also be useful to users who are not capital providers.
The general purpose financial reporting develops superior reporting standards to help in the efficient functioning of economies and the efficient allocation of resources in capital markets. General purpose financial reporting focuses on an extensive range of users’ needs that lack the ability to obtain financial information needed from the entity. It should be broad enough to comprehend information for the various users. Therefore, the financial report is where they depend on to acquire information. Diverse users may require different information which might go beyond the scope of general purpose financial reporting.
The financial reports are prepared from the entity’s perspective (deemed to have substance on its own, spate from that of its owners), instead of the entity’s capital providers. An entity attains economic resources (its assets) from capital providers in exchange for claims to those resources (its liabilities and equity). Capital providers include
Equity investors
Equity investors normally invest economic resources in an entity expecting to receive a return on, as well as a return of, the resources invested in. Hence, equity investors are concerned with the amount, timing, uncertainty of an entity’s future cash flows and the entity’s competence in generating those cash flows which affects the prices of their equity interests. Furthermore, they are concerned with the performance of directors and management of the entity in discharging their responsibility to make efficient and profitable use of the assets invested.
Lenders usually expect to receive a return in the form of interest, repayments of borrowings, and increases in the prices of debt securities. Lenders have similar interests as the equity investors.
Other creditors
Other creditors provide resources because of their relationship with the entity, instead of a capital provider; no primary relationship.
Employee – salary or compensation
Suppliers – extended credit
Customer – prepay for goods and services
Managers – responsible for preparing financial reports
Capital providers make decisions through useful information provided in financial reporting by particular entity. Financial reporting usefulness in assessing cash flow prospects depends on the entity’s current cash resources and the ability to generate sufficient cash to reimburse its capital providers. Besides, financial reporting usefulness in assessing stewardship includes the management’s responsibilities to protect the entity’s economic resources (assets) from unfavourable effects. Management is also liable for safeguarding the assets of the entity which conforms to the laws, regulations and contractual provisions; thus, the importance of management’s performance in the decision usefulness.
The general purpose financial reporting is limited to information which does not reflect pertinent information from other sources that should be considered by the users. Financial reporting information is based on estimates, judgements, and models of the financial effects on an entity of transactions and other events in which, is only ideal for preparers and standard setters to strive. Achieving the framework’s vision of ideal financial reporting to the fullest will be difficult in the short term because of technical infeasibility and cost constrains.
Financial reporting should include information about: the economic resources of an entity (assets), the claims of the entity are (liabilities and equity), the effects of transaction and any events or circumstances that can affect the entity’s resources and claims and provide useful information about the ability of entity to generate its cash flow and how well the entity meets its management responsibilities.
The usefulness of financial reporting to the users:
Provide useful information about the amount, timing, and uncertainty of future cash flow
To identify the entity’s financial strengths and weaknesses (especially for capital providers)
To indicate the potential of entity’s cash flow for its economic resources and claims
To identify the effectiveness of the entity’s management responsibilities
To assess availabilities of the entity’s nature and quantity of the resources for the use in its operation
To estimate the values of the entity.
The quantitative measures and other information regarding the changes in entity’s economics resources and claims in the financial report can help the users to assess the amount, timing, and uncertainty of its cash flow; and indicate the effectiveness of management responsibilities.
Furthermore, the entity must provide a positive return on its economic resources in order to generate net cash inflows; and return the earning to its investors. Other information like variability of returns, past financial performance, and management’s ability can be used to assess the entity’s future financial performance.
The information regarding the accrual accounting in financial reporting can better provide the users to assess the entity’s past financial performance and future prospects in generating net cash inflows without obtaining additional capital from its investors.
The entity’s cash flow performance in financial reporting assist the investors to understand the entity’s business model and operation through assessing how the entity obtains and spends cash. Information about its borrowing, repayment of borrowing, cash dividends and other distribution to investors, as well as the factors of entity’s liquidity and solvency, can also assist the investors to determine the entity’s cash flow accounting.
Besides, information about the changes of entity’s resources and claims not resulting from financial performance may assist the investors to differentiate the changes that are results of the entity’s financial performance and those that are not.
The information of management explanation should be included in financial reporting to assist users for a better understanding about management decision in any events and circumstances that have affected or may affect the entity’s financial performance. It is because the internal parties know about the entity’s performance than the external users.
3 Chapter 2: “Qualitative Characteristics and Constraints of Decision-Useful Financial Reporting Information”
Fundamental qualitative characteristics distinguish useful financial reporting information from information that is not useful or is misleading. For information to be useful, it must have two fundamental qualitative characteristics:
Relevance – capable of making a difference in the decisions made by users as capital providers. Information is relevant when it has predictive value, confirmatory value, or both.
Predictive value – information that is assists the capitals providers to form their own expectations about the future.
Confirmatory value – information that confirms or changes past or present expectations based on previous evaluations.
IASB said that information is relevant “when it influences the economic decisions of users by helping them evaluate past, present or future events or confirming, or correcting, their past evaluation.” FASB believes that to be relevant, “accounting information must be capable of making a difference in a decision by helping users to form predictions about the outcome of past, present, and future events or to confirm or correct expectations.” Since some users may have been obtaining information elsewhere other than financial reporting, and emphasizes the relevance of information in their decisions, relevant information does not really make a difference in the past or in the future. Any information that might be able to make a difference is said to be relevant.
Faithful representation – depiction of an economic phenomenon is complete, neutral, and free from material error.
Complete – includes all information that is necessary for faithful representation of economic phenomena.
Neutrality – information which is bias free.
Freedom from error – estimation of the economic phenomena is based on the appropriate inputs and each input must reflect the best available information.
Relevance is concern with the connection between economic phenomena with the decisions of capital providers and not their depictions, therefore should be consider first. Then, the faithful representation is applied to determine which depictions of economic phenomenon best corresponds to the relevant phenomenon.
Enhancing qualitative characteristics improves the decision usefulness of financial reporting information that is relevant and faithfully represented. They are used to distinguish more-useful information from less-useful information. The enhancing qualitative characteristics are comparability, verifiability, timeliness, and understandability.
Comparability is the quality of information that enables users to identify similarities and the differences between two sets of economic phenomena. Since the essence of decision making is to select between alternatives, the information is more useful if it can be compared with similar information about the other entities and with similar information about the same entity for some other period. Comparability should not be confused with uniformity. Overemphasizing on uniformity may reduce comparability by making unlike things look alike.
The IASB Framework actually discusses comparability as a qualitative characteristic which is equally important as relevance and faithfully representation. However, FASB concludes that comparability is an enhancing qualitative characteristic because regardless of how comparable the information may be, it will not be useful if it is irrelevant to users’ decisions and does not faithfully represent the economic phenomena.
A quality of information that helps to assure users that information faithfully represents the economic phenomena that it purports to represent. If the information is verifiable, the knowledgeable and independent observers could come to the general consensus. The verifiability of the information focuses on whether the recognition or measurement method is correctly applied. Verification can either be direct or indirect. An amount or other representation itself verified such as by counting cash or observing marketable securities and their quoted prices are called direct verification. An example of verifying the carrying amount of inventory by checking the inputs (quantities and costs) and recalculating the ending inventory using the same cost flow assumption (accounting convention or methodology – average cost and first-in, first-out) is indirect verification.
IASB Framework does not include verifiability as an explicit aspect, yet FASB does. FASB observed that some of the information which is faithfully represented may not necessarily be verifiable. Therefore, if the information is verifiable, it is generally more useful. Thus, FASB concluded that verifiability is an enhancing qualitative characteristic.
Timeliness means having information available to decision makers before it loses its capacity to influence decisions. A lack of timeliness can rob information of its potential usefulness. The IASB Framework discusses timeliness separately, as a constraint that could rob information of relevance. However, FASB concluded that reporting information in a timely manner can enhance both the relevance and faithful representation of the information since information can be reported in a timely manner but has no relevance, or information delayed in reporting remains its relevance.
Understandability is the quality of information that enables users to comprehend its meaning. When the information is classified, characterized, and presented clearly and concisely, the understandability will be enhanced. Although the reporting information has to be understandable, the users of the financial report should also review and analyze the information with reasonable diligence as the users are assumed to have a reasonable knowledge of business and economic activities and to be able to read the financial report.
Enhancing qualitative characteristics should improve the usefulness of financial information and should be maximized to the extent possible. However, if the information is irrelevant or not faithfully represented, the enhancing qualitative characteristics cannot make that information useful for decision. Besides, the application of the enhancing qualitative characteristics is an iterative process which does not follow the prescribed order.
In addition, FASB considered whether some other qualitative characteristics should be added, such as transparency, true and fair view, credibility, internal consistency, and high quality. FASB concluded that it would be redundant if transparency is added as one of the qualitative characteristics. True and fair view is not a qualitative characteristic itself, but it should result from applying the qualitative characteristics. FASB concluded that it should be the goal to achieve high quality to which financial reporting and standard setters aspire. By adherence to the objective and qualitative characteristics of financial reporting information, the goal can be achieved. Therefore, the characteristics mentioned in not added as the qualitative characteristics of the financial reporting information.
In a nutshell, the qualitative characteristics of financial reporting information in this draft can be categorized into fundamental qualitative characteristics and enhancing qualitative characteristics as shown in the following:
Figure 1
Compared to the conceptual framework issued by the Malaysian Accounting Standard Board (MASB) in 2007, most of the qualitative characteristics are identical to the characteristic discussed in this draft. However, the most distinctive aspect which can be found is MASB did not categorize the qualitative characteristics into fundamental and enhancing qualitative characteristics. The qualitative characteristics concluded by MASB are shown in the figure below.
Figure 2
MASB concluded that the relevance of information is affected by its nature and materiality while FASB discusses materiality under the constraints of financial reporting. MASB provides that the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of the financial statements could be influenced when the omission or misstatement of the information is material. Thus, materiality provides a threshold or cut-off point rather than being a primary qualitative characteristic which information must have for it to be useful.
Besides, MASB also discussed about substance over form and prudence under the characteristic of reliability. MASB provides that if information is to represent faithfully the transactions and other events that it purports to represent, it is necessary that they are accounted for and presented in accordance with their substance and economic reality and not merely their legal form. However, FASB did not identify substance over form as a component of faithful representation as it would be redundant to do so. In addition, FASB did not conclude prudence as a qualitative characteristic because it might conflict with the quality of neutrality.
MASB discussed the characteristic of timeliness as a constraint on relevant and reliable information. If there is undue delay in the reporting of information it may lose its relevance. Management may need to balance the relative merits of timely reporting and the provision of reliable information. However, FASB concluded timeliness as an enhancing qualitative characteristic of the financial reporting information.
There should be a balance between the qualitative characteristic as the IASB Framework says: “In practice a balancing, or trade-off, between qualitative characteristics is often necessary. Generally the aim is to achieve an appropriate balance among the characteristics in order to meet the objective of financial statements. The relative importance of the characteristics in different cases is a matter of professional judgments.”
The information provided by financial reporting is limited by materiality and the cost of providing.
Materiality depends on the nature and amount of the item judged in the particular circumstance of its omission or misstatement. It is important to consider the materiality of information because material omissions or misstatements will cause information to contain error, making it biased and incomplete. However, it is hard to specify a uniform quantitative threshold at which the information is material.
Concepts Statement 2 and IASB Framework define materiality similarly but discuss materiality it differently. IASB describes materiality as an aspect of relevance and does not indicate that it has a relationship to other qualitative characteristics. On the other hand, Concepts Statement 2 provides that materiality should be considered together with qualitative characteristics (not only relevance). Thus, the Boards conclude that materiality is pertinent to all of the other qualitative characteristics.
The Boards emphasized the balance between the benefits of financial reporting information and the cost of providing and using it.
Costs of providing information:
Cost of collecting and processing
Cost of verifying
Cost of disseminating
Cost of analysis and interpretation
Cost resulted from omission of decision-useful information
Benefits of financial reporting information:
More efficient functioning of capital market
Lower cost of capital
Improved access to capital market
Favourable effect on public relations
Better management decisions
However, the major problem for the standard setters in conducting rigorous cost-benefit analyses is the difficulty in qualifying the benefits of a certain reporting requirement. Besides, it is also difficult to obtain complete, quantitative information about the initial and ongoing cost of a requirement and impose them. Nevertheless, standard seekers should take into account both benefits and costs of proposed financial reporting requirements.
There are 3 constraints of financial reporting information mentioned by the MASB:
Balance between benefit and cost
As mentioned in FASB, cost is one of the constraints of financial reporting information and the Boards emphasizes on the balance between the benefits of financial reporting information and the cost of providing and using it.
Balance between qualitative characteristic
MASB provides that, “In practice a balancing or trade-off, between qualitative characteristics is often necessary. The relative importance of the characteristics in different cases is a matter of professional judgments”. The FASB also mentions, “In assessing whether the benefits of reporting information are likely to justify the costs, it is necessary to consider whether one or more qualitative characteristics might be scarified to some degree to reduce cost”.
MASB mentioned that a constraint which is not mentioned in the conceptual framework of FASB; timeliness. MASB provides that if there is undue delay in the reporting of information it may lose its relevance. To provide information on a timely basis it may often be necessary to report before all aspects of a transaction or other event are known. On the other hand, if reporting is delayed until all aspects are known, the information may be highly reliable but of little use to users who have had to make decisions in the interim. Management may need to balance the timely reporting and the provision of reliable information.

Phenomenology and Interviews in Qualitative Research

Zoheb Rafique
Introduction: In my master of bioethics we were asked to develop a qualitative research proposal in second year as requirement for awarding the degree. My topic “Ethical Aspects of Doctor-Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Relationship” and my research question was “what is the Impact of promotional methods used by pharmaceutical companies on doctor’s prescribing behavior? In the research qualitative as well as quantitative methods are used, and in my research proposal qualitative approach was used. I was asked to prepare a literature review matrix formation of at least 20 articles from qualitative design or mix and I did it. We were also asked to apply one research design and method for my research. I did applied phenomenology and in-depth interview as my design and method. In other components I did mentioned that how I will collect the data and than analyze and interpret it. In this article I will justify the research design and method which I used in my research proposal.
Research Design: There are many different types of study designs and different research traditions are used in different studies such as narrative research, phenomenological research, grounded research, ethnographic research and case study research etc. I did used phenomenology as my research design.
Phenomenological Research: A phenomenological study design is one which describes meaning for several individuals of their lived experiences of a concept or a phenomenon. The Phenomenologists focus on describing what all participants have in common as they experience any phenomenon (e.g., grief is universally experienced). The basic and primary purpose of phenomenology is to reduce the individual experiences with a phenomenon to a description of the universal essence (i.e., a “grasp of the very nature of the thing,” van Manen, 1990, p. 177) (1). This human experience can be any phenomena such as insomnia, anger, being left out, grief, or undergoing (CABS) coronary artery bypass surgery (Moustakas, 1994) (2) . The researcher then collects data from those persons, who have experienced this phenomenon, and develops a comprehensive and composite description of the essence of the experience for all of those individuals. This description consists of “what” they experienced and “how” they experienced it (Moustakas, 1994). Any individual writing a phenomenology would be remiss to not include some discussion about the philosophical presuppositions of phenomenology along with the methods in this form of inquiry. Phenomenology has a very strong philosophical component to it. It draws heavily on the writings of the Great German mathematician Edmund Husserl (1859-1938). Phenomenology is popular in the social and health sciences, especially in sociology, nursing and the health sciences, and education. The philosophical assumptions rest on some common grounds: the study of the lived experiences of persons, the view that these experiences are conscious ones, and the development of descriptions of the essence of these experiences, not explanations or analyses.

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Types of Phenomenology: Two approaches to phenomenology are highlighted in this discussion: hermeneutic phenomenology (van Manen, 1990), and empirical, or psychological phenomenology (Moustakas, 1994). Van Manen has written an instructive book on hermeneutical phenomenology in which he describes research as oriented toward lived experience (phenomenology) and interpreting the “texts” of life (hermeneutics) (van Manen, 1990). Although van Manen does not approach phenomenology with a set of methods or rules, he discusses phenomenology research as a dynamic interplay among six research activities. Researchers first turn to one phenomenon, which seriously interests them (e.g., reading, running, driving). They reflect on essential themes, that what constitutes the nature of the lived experience. They write a description and explanation of the phenomenon, maintaining a strong relation to the topic of inquiry and balancing the parts of the writing to the whole. Moustakas’s (1994) psychological or transcendental phenomenology is focuses less on the interpretations of the researcher and more on a description of the experiences of participants. Moustakas focuses on one of Husserl’s concepts, epoche (or bracketing), in which investigators set aside their experiences, as much as possible, to take a fresh perspective toward the phenomenon which is under examination. The procedures, illustrated by Moustakas, consist of identifying a phenomenon to study, bracketing out one’s experiences, and collecting data from several persons who have experienced the phenomenon. The researcher then analyzes the data by reducing the information to significant statements or quotes and combines the statements into themes. Following that, the research develops a textural description of the experiences of the persons (what participants experienced), a structural description of their experiences (how they experienced it in terms of the conditions, situations, or context), and a combination of the textural and structural descriptions to convey an overall essence of the experience.
Procedures for Conducting Phenomenological Research: The major procedural steps in the process would be as follows:
• The researcher first determines if the research problem is best examined using a phenomenological approach. The type of problem best suited for this type of research is one in which it is important to understand several individuals’ common or shared experiences of a phenomenon.
• A phenomenon of interest to study, such as anger, professionalism, what it means to be underweight, or what it means to be a wrestler, is identified.
• The researcher recognizes and specifies the broad philosophical assumptions of phenomenology. For example, one could write about the combination of objective reality and individual experiences. These lived experiences are often “conscious” and directed towards an object. To fully describe how participants view the phenomenon, researchers must bracket out, as much as possible, their own experiences.
• Data are collected from all the individuals who have experienced the phenomenon. Often data collection in phenomenological studies consists of in-depth interviews and multiple interviews with participants. Polkinghorne (1989) recommends that researchers interview from 5 to 25 individuals who have all experienced the phenomenon (3).
• The participants are asked two broad, general questions (Moustakas, 1994): What have you experienced in terms of the phenomenon? What situations or contexts have typically influenced your experiences of the phenomenon? Other open-ended questions may also be asked, but these two, especially, focus attention on gathering data that will lead to a textural description and a structural description of the experiences, and ultimately provide an understanding of the common experiences of the participants.
• Building on the data from the first and second research questions, data analysts go through the data (e.g., interview transcriptions) and highlight “significant statements”, sentences, or quotes that provide an understanding of how the participants experienced the phenomenon. Moustakas calls this step horizonalization. Next, the researcher develops clusters of meaning from these significant statements into themes.
• Researchers also write about their own experiences and the context and situations that have influenced their experiences.
• From the structural and textural descriptions, the researcher then writes a composite description that presents the “essence” of the phenomenon, called the essential, invariant structure (or essence).
Challenges: A phenomenology provides a deep understanding of a phenomenon as experienced by several individuals. Knowing some common experiences can be valuable for groups such as teachers, therapists, health personnel, and policymakers. Phenomenology can involve a streamlined form of data collection by including only single or multiple interviews with participants. Using the Moustakas (1994) approach for analyzing the data helps provide a structured approach for novice researchers. On the other hand, phenomenology requires at least some understanding of the broader philosophical assumptions, and these should be identified by the researcher. The participants in the study need to be carefully chosen to be individuals who have all experienced the phenomenon in question, so that the researcher, in the end, can forge a common understanding.
Justification of Using Phenomenology in My Research Question: My research question relates to doctor-pharmaceutical sales representative relationship and I have to use one of the research designs for my qualitative research proposal, and I have chosen phenomenological approach as my research design. My question asks about the impact of various promotional methods used by pharmaceutical companies on doctors prescribing behavior. The pharmaceutical company spends millions of dollars annually on general practitioners, physicians, consultants and other heath providers. They use various promotional methods which I have described in detail in the synthesis. I will use phenomenological approach in my research because phenomenology deals with the lives experiences of several individuals. I will use interview as a method, and the research participants will be GPs and physicians in the OPDs of the government hospitals. The medical reps visits frequently to the OPDs and use their promotional methods. The assumption behind phenomenology is that there is an essence to shared experience. It requires a researcher to enter into an individual’s life world and use the self to interpret the individual’s or group’s experience. I will explore the experiences of the individuals (doctors), to whom the medical reps visit and offer various gifts, free samples etc. I have already discussed the various articles from the literature search and it shows that phenomenology is the best approach for my research question, because the participant experiences some common phenomenon. It can be happiness, irritation, greed, anger. The participants will describe their experiences in detail and share the feelings related to it. I will also use my own experiences in writing this study. I can take the interview from 20 to 50 participants and even more as shown in the matrix of 20 articles. The participants will be asked two general questions: 1. what have you experienced in terms of the phenomenon? 2. What contexts or situations have typically influenced or affected your experiences of the phenomenon? There are two types of phenomenological approaches, 1. Hermeutic phenomenology. 2. Empirical, transcendental or psychological phenomenology. I will use the psychological method in my study because it focuses on description of the experiences of the participants. I will describe my own experience with the phenomenon and bracket out my views before proceeding with the experiences of others. I will then analyze the data by reducing the information to quotes and statements and combine the statements into theme as shown in matrix of articles. Following this, I will develop a textural description of the experiences of the persons (participants) and a structural description of their experiences (conditions, situations, or context), and a combination of the textural and structural descriptions to convey an overall essence of the experience.
Research Methods: There are many types of research methods used by qualitative researchers to answer the research question. These include in-depth interviews, focus groups, unobtrusive methods, narrative analysis and life history, memory-work, ethnography and participatory action research etc. I used in-depth interview as my research method.
In-Depth Interviews:

In-depth interviews are good mean to understand the view point but both the interviewer and interviewee are not free from the impact of one another.
A good interview is like a good conversation i.e. a two-way conversation.
It is not very useful to describe in depth interviews as semi-structured, open ended version of fixed response survey interviews. They aim to explore the complexity and in-process nature of meanings and interpretations that cannot be examined in survey interviews.
The hardest work for most of the interviewers is to keep quiet and to listen actively.
Active listening can be divided into two fragments. First, the interviewer must listen what is said including all the emotions, body language and topic. In the second phase, the interviewer must keep in mind the process of interview i.e. the pre structured contents.
The interviewer must start conversation, especially on sensitive issues, with neutral statement to avoid embarrassment by the participant.
It is not necessary that interviewer should be of similar age, gender, race, class and sexual orientation to the people being interviewed. However, in case of very personal and sensitive issues, like marital rape, it is more appropriate to conduct interview by same gender and age.
Informed consent is very important component of each interview. However, in taped interview the verbal recorded consent fulfill the criterion of ERC.
Open-ended interviewing assumes that meanings, understanding, and interpretations cannot be standardized. So the phrasing of the questions and the order in which they are asked should be altered to fit each individual.
In-depth interviewing requires an ability to relate to others on their own terms.
Constructing a “theme list” is a good idea, however, the key to asking questions during in-depth interviewing is to let them follow, as much as possible, from what the participant is saying.
“Probing” aims to elicit information to fill in the blanks in a participant’s first response to a question. There are six different types of probes: elaboration, clarification, attention, completion, and evidence probes.
For managing an interview, each interview may require a letter of introduction, a personal introduction, consent from gatekeepers, phone calls to schedule the interview, travel arrangements for the interviewer and the interviewee, the booking of an interview room, a letter or a [phone call to confirm the interview time, the scheduling in of other appointments around the interview, and a thank you latter after the interview.
“Tape-recorded” interviews have many advantages. They provide detail and accuracy not attainable from memory or by taking notes. However, sometimes the data is excessive and burdensome for researcher with specific and limited aim.
While it is important to examine pre-existing theory, in-depth interviews allow new understandings and theories to be developed during the research process. However, they require a considerable investment of time and energy. It is more appropriate to use other less expansive methods when detailed data is not required on meanings and interpretations.
In in-depth interviews, participants may be more prepared to discuss sensitive methods which they would not otherwise talk about in front of other people, and which could not be examined using methodologies such as participant observation or focus groups.

Justification of Using In-Depth Interview in My Research Question: My research question is related to doctor-pharmaceutical sales representative relationship. I have to use one of the research methods for my research question and I will use the method of in-depth interview in my research question. My research question asks about the impact of various promotional methods used by pharmaceutical companies on doctors prescribing behavior. They use various promotional methods which I have described in detail in the synthesis of 20 articles. In-depth interview method has many features as follows. In-depth interviewing is a privilege. There is something satisfying and deeply rewarding about talking to another person for an hour or more in such a way that you come to understand a particular part of their life ‘in depth’. In-depth interview is like the half of a very good conversation when we are listening. The focus is on the ‘other person’s own meaning contexts. Good interviewing is achieved not only through method and technique, but also out of a fascination with how other people make their lives worthwhile and meaningful. Conducting a good in-depth interview is an art that cannot be achieved by particular methods or following rules. However, this is only half the story and there are many techniques, rules of thumb, skills, and practical guidelines that, if followed, will also facilitate a good interview. I will use In-depth interview as a method in my research question and my research participants will be physicians and general practitioners (GPs) of the medical OPDS of the government hospital. The medical reps visits GPs frequently in the OPDS, Wards and private clinics and they use various promotional methods and do manipulation to get benefit. Now as I have discussed in the synthesis that not all GPs are corrupt and there are many reasons behind their relationship to medical reps. I will use In-depth interview method because of the reason that different physicians have different views regarding medical reps and pharmaceutical companies and therefore a detailed interview will definitely give good results and will clarify the concept regarding this relationship. Other advantage of using In-depth interview is that they are an excellent way of discovering the subjective meanings and interpretations that people give to their experiences. In-depth interviews allow aspects of social life, such as social processes, to be studied that could not be studied in any other way. My research participants will be qualified doctors, so interview won’t be difficult to take and 45 to 60 minute interview will be enough per participant. The thing that I have to keep in mind is their biasness as majority of them gets huge benefits from pharmaceutical companies. I will ask the GPs and Physicians to share their experiences as how they are approached? How they are educated regarding new pharmaceutical products? What incentives they are being offered and in how much quantity? And finally what is the impact of the gifts from pharmaceutical sales representatives on the prescribing behavior of the doctors? After taking detailed interviews from the doctors I will gather the data and will compile it.

Qualitative Characteristics of Financial Information

The purpose of financial statements is to give financial statements information about the change in financial position, financial performance and financial position of the organization. These can provide data use in decision making such as investment, credit and economic decision making which are useful for various users. There are seven main groups of users which are public, investors, lenders, employees, customers, supplies, government and other agencies and the needs of information is different for each group, for instance, employee will interest on the profitability, retirement benefits and employment opportunities and so on. Financial statement is supposed to relevant, reliable, understandable and comparable. In addition, financial statement may include other information, for example, the uncertainties and risks that influence the organization.

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Evaluation of the relevance, reliability, comparability and understandability
Relevance is about the information that has the ability to influence the economic decisions of users. There are two main points relate to the relevance which are predictive value and confirmatory value. Predictive value can help users to measure the past, present or future performance. Confirmatory value can help users to confirm their past evaluations. The annual reports include ten-year statistics which have the recent ten-year figures. It includes profit and loss account, balance sheet and passenger services figures and so on. It can help the shareholders to confirm the past evaluations, measure the past performance and compare the relevance information at the same time.
The annual reports embody a part of operating network with future extensions. In this part, the report has stated all properties that they are developing, constructing, planning and the properties that owned, developed and managed by them. It can help us to predict the present and future performance and verify the past evaluations.
In the annual reports, we can find the CEO’s review of operations and outlook. This part is the MTR’s CEO taking about the MTR past performance which is good and which is bad, it also mentions the next year development of the MTR. It gives us a clear mind about the MTR what will do during the next year and briefly review the previous year performance.
Reliability is about the information that is a complete and true representation. There are five major issues involve in reliability, free from material error, a faithful representation, neutral, prudent and complete. MTR use one of the big 4 accounting company that is KPMG. KPMG is a large international company and has a lot of auditing experience and professional staff. Therefore, shareholder can have a great confidence on the financial statements. On the other hand, the audit report state that the KPMG give a true and fair view that means the MTR reports are properly prepared with accounting standards which means the reports are free from material, faithful representation, prudence and complete. Also, the accounting firm is an independent audit firm which can fulfill the point of neutral. As a shareholder, we can have a great confidence on that reports, because it is accuracy and do not have any creative account.
MTR is a public organization and it is managed by government. It has been required a high transparency that disclosure all information to public, such as, company policies, therefore, their information must be faithful, neutral, prudent and complete which are required by law. So, their information has a high reliability. From the view of shareholders, we can trust on it.
The MTR have an internal audit team which is responsible for the internal control, project review, fraud investigation, due diligence and management review and so forth. It can help the MTR to give us a report that is reliable, free from material error, faithful, neutral, prudent. As a shareholder, we can have great confidence on the annual reports.
Comparability is about the similarities and differences can be discerned and evaluated. There are two key matters include in the comparability which are consistency and disclosure. Inside the annual reports, we can find many figures that can give us to compare. Such as the Ten-Year Statistics, it includes ten years data for us to realize. We can see that the earnings per share are increased steadily each year from $0.81 per share in 2000 to $1.69 per share in 2009. Also, the profit is increased rapidly from $7,758 on 2006 to $15,182 on 2007.
In addition, in the CEO’s Review of Operations and Outlook part, it compare a lot of data, for example, the Average weekday patronage for the Domestic Service in 2009 was 3.5 million, which represents an increase of 0.9% over 2008 and the total revenue from property rental, property management and other businesses in 2009 was HK$2,928 million, an increase of 8.0% over 2008.
Moreover, the financial statements have provided two years figures for us to compare which is 2008 and 2009. For instance, the Loans, other obligations and bank overdrafts is decrease significantly from $31,289 in 2008 to $23,868 in 2009 which decline 23.7%. The dividend per share is increase from 0.48 in 2008 to 0.52 in 2009 which increase 8.3%. From the figure that we have analysis above, we can see that the MTR profit is increase each year and the loan decrease each year, therefore, it is a signal for us continue to keep the share or investment more.
Understandability is about the significance of the information can be perceived. There are two important points contain in the understandability, users’ abilities and aggregation and classification. Inside the annual reports, it contains a glossary part. In the glossary, it explains a particular domain of knowledge that uncommon, specialized or newly introduced. For example, operating margin means operating profit from railway and related businesses before depreciation and amortization as a percentage of the turnover and ordinary shares means ordinary shares of HK$1.00 each in the capital of the company and so forth. As a shareholder, it helps a lot during reading the annual reports, because not every shareholder also has that much professional knowledge.
The annual report contains many picture, table and chart. An annual report is very thick, because it contains large information about the MTR performance. From the view of shareholder, if the reports are full text, it is hard for us to read it all, because it has a lot of words to read and understand. When reading the annual reports, it is not hard to find pictures, tables and charts, it can help us more easily to realize the information, especially the tables and charts, it convert the figures into a understandability form so that the readers can catch the main point easily.
It also includes a content page and classifies similar data to similar group. When we look at content pages, it not only states the title but also state the number page which makes the shareholders more convenience to find the information what they need.
This annual reports have different language version which can take care of different users, although this MTR is a Hong Kong organization, as a shareholders, I may be a foreigner and I can not read any Chinese words. Therefore, different language version is important as well. It is easy to find that the MTR annual reports have been prepared by two versions which are Chinese and English.
Which one of the four qualitative characteristics of financial information is the most important?
In my opinion, the reliability is the most important qualitative characteristic.
If the financial statements are not reliable, the shareholders will not have any confidence on the MTR reports, because they feel that the financial statement information of the MTR is not faithfulness and truthfulness. Hence, they will not have any interest to realize the MTR reports, so that the objective of financial statement is invalid. Even though the annual reports has higher quality of relevance, comparability and understandability, but without reliability which will cause the shareholders and potential investors run away.
In the opposite side, if the financial statements have a higher degree of reliability, the shareholders will have more confidence on the annual reports, because higher degree of reliability means the annual repot have meet the requirements of free from material error, a faithful representation, neutral, prudent and complete. When the reports meet those requirements, it attracts the shareholders stay and attracts more investors.
When seeing the MTR annual reports, we can know that their reports have a good reliability. The MTR employ an external accounting firm which is KPMG to audit their accounting information, it fulfill the point of neutral. The audit firm also give a true and fair view to the MTR which means their information are faithful, complete, prudent and free form material error.
From the above discussion, we can see that reliability is the most important qualitative characteristics in the financial statement.
During analysis the MTR annual reports, I know that the four qualitative characteristics have a great influence to shareholders. It has a significant impact on the decision making, because it can help them to understand, realize and build up the confidence on the MTR reports. The four qualitative characteristics also affect the shareholders invest or not. In my opinion, the reliability is the most important qualitative characteristic, it represents faithfulness and truthfulness. Shareholder will depend on it to decide whether those accounting information can trust or not, thereby to planning the investment decision.
Word Count: 1553 words

Qualitative aspect of drug action

Qualitative aspect of drug action – Schild plot
Schild plot: Schild plot is defined as pharmacological method of receptor classification. By using schild plot dose-effect curve for an agonist is determined in the presence of various concentrations of a competitive antagonist for its receptor in the presence of agonist i.e. equilibrium dissociation constant is calculated. The experiment is carried out for series of dose ratios for a given effect. For example the ratio of the dose of agonist (A’) to produce a specific effect (e.g.,half maximal effect) in the presence of the antagonist (B) to the dose required in the absence of the antagonist (A) is calculated. This is determined for several doses of antagonist and then log ((A’/A) -1) versus the negative log B is plotted. If the regression of log ((A’/A) -1) on -log B is linear with a slope of -1, then this indicates that the antagonism is competitive and by definition the agonist and antagonist act at the same recognition sites. If the slope of the regression is not -1, then by definition the antagonist is not competitive or some other condition is in effect. This might include multiple binding sites or pharmacokinetic interactions.
Agonist: Agonist is a drug which has both affinity and efficacy.
Antagonist: Antagonist is a drug which has affinity and zero efficacy.
Affinity:Affinity is a property of a drug; it measures how tight a drug binds to a receptor. To bind to a receptor a functional group of the drug should bind to the complementary receptor. The binding capacity of the drug defines the action of the drug.
Efficacy: Efficacy of a drug can be defined as ability of drug which activates the receptor to produce desired effect after binding.
Affinity and efficacy are explained in the equation as:
K+1 α
A + R AR* Response
K-1 β
B + R BR No Response
Where A is agonist, B is antagonist, K+1 is association rate constant for binding, K-1is dissociation rate constant for binding
α- Association rate constant for activation
β- Dissociation rate constant for activation
By using law of mass action affinity is explained as
B + R BR
Drug free receptor drug-receptor complex
At equilibrium KB = [R] [B] KB = Equilibrium dissociation constant
Hill-Langmuir equation: this equation explains drug occupancy
[RT] = [R] + [BR]
If [RT] = Total number of receptors then by substituting this in law of mass action equation
[RB] = [B]
[RT] KB + [B]
By this equation it is determined that drug occupancy (affinity) depends on drug concentration and equilibrium dissociation constant.
Equilibrium dissosciation constant: EQUILIBRIUM DISSOCIATION CONSTANT (Kd) :
It is the characteristic property of the drug and the receptors. It is defined as the concentration of the drug required to occupy 50 % of the receptors. The higher the affinity of the drug for the receptors lower is the Kd value. Mathematically Kd is k2/k1 where k2 is the rate of dissociation of the drug from the receptor and k1 is the rate of association of the drug for the receptor.
Receptor (R) and Drug (D) interact in a reversible manner to form a drug-receptor (RD) complex.
Where R = Receptor
D = Drug (L for ligand is sometimes used in these equations)
k1 = the association rate constant and has the units of M-1min-1
k2 = the dissociation rate constant and has the units of min-1.
k2 is sometimes written as k-1.
If an agonist binds to the receptor, then the interaction of the agonist (D) and the receptor (R) results in a conformational change in the receptor leading to a response.
If an antagonist binds to the receptor, then the interaction of antagonist (D) and receptor (R) does not result in the appropriate conformation change in the receptor and a response does not occur.
For drugs that follow the law of simple mass action the rate of formation of the complex can be defined by the following equation
d[RD]/dt refers to the change in the concentration of [RD] with time (t).
Note: the square brackets refer to concentration.
This equation indicates that the rate at which the drug receptor complex (RD) is formed is proportional to the concentration of both free receptor (R) and free drug (D). The proportionality constant is k1.
The rate of dissociation can be defined by the following equation
-d[RD]/dt is the decrease in drug-receptor complex with time
This equation indicates that the rate at which the drug-receptor complex (RD) dissociates back to free drug and free receptor is proportional to the concentration of the drug receptor complex. The proportionality constant is k2.
When the drug and the receptor are initially mixed together, the amount of drug-receptor complex formed will exceed the dissociation of the drug-receptor complex. If the reaction is allowed to go for a long enough, the amount of drug-receptor complex formed per unit time will be equal to the number of dissociations of drug-receptor complex per unit of time, and the system will be at equilibrium. That is equilibrium has occurred. Equilibrium can be defined as
or k1[R][D] = k2[RD]
This equation can be rearranged to give
Kd is the dissociation equilibrium constant. Kd has units of concentration as shown in the following equation.
Simple competitive antagonism: simple competitive antagonism is the most important type of the antagonism. In this type of antagonism the antagonist will compete with available agonist for same receptor site. Sufficient antagonist will displace agonist resulting in lower frequency of receptor activation. Presence of antagonist shifts agonist log dose response curve to right. A schild plot for a competitive antagonist will have a slope equal to 1 and the X-intercept and Y-intercept will each equal thedissociation constantof the antagonist.
This can be explained in equation as:
Occupancy for agonist
[RA] = [A] OR [A]/ KA
[RT] KA+ [A] [A]/ KA +1
In presence of competitive antagonist (B)
[RA] = [A]/ KA
[RT] [A]/ KA + [B]/ KB + 1
Occupancy reduced according to [B] and KB
To obtain same occupancy, must increase [A] to [A`]
r = [A’] / [A] = [B’] / [B]
Schild equation:
r = [B] / KB +1
Where r depends on [B] and KB
Applying log on both sides
log (r-1) = log[B] – log KB
Aim: The main aim of the experiment is to measure the equilibrium dissociation constant (KB) for atropine at acetylcholine muscuranic receptors and to determine the drug receptor interactions.
The main objectives of the experiment are as follows
Ø To measure the equilibrium dissociation constant for atropine at acetylcholine muscuranic receptors
Ø To demonstrate the reversible competitive antagonism of atropine at acetylcholine muscuranic receptors
Ø To determine the equilibrium dissociation constant (KB) for atropine at acetylcholine muscuranic receptors by using schild plot.
MethodIsolation and mounting of Guinea-pig ileum in organ bath
Guinea-pig was first sacrificed and then the ileum was collected and transferred into physiological salt solution maintained at 370C. The food particles present in the ileum was expelled out through running Krebs solution through the lumen. Then tissue was tied with a thread at both the ends where one was tied to the mounting hook and the other was attached to the transducer.

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1) Preparation of serial dilutions of drug
The drugs used in the experiment were acetylcholine (Ach) and atropine. To determine the simple competitive antagonism of atropine at Ach muscuranic receptors serial dilutions of Ach were carried out. Ach was given as 1×10-2M and from the above concentration of the drug the following concentrations were prepared to the organ bath concentration such as 1×10-6M, 3×10-6M, 1×10-7M, 3×10-7M, 1×10-8M, 3×10-8M, 1×10-9M and 3×10-9M Ach. Then atropine was diluted to 1×10-8M (organ bath) from the given 1×10-2M concentration.
2) Determination of Organ bath concentration
The volume of physiological salt solution (pss) was 20 ml, and each time the volume of drug introduced into organ bath was 20µl.Therefore if 20µl of 1×10-2M drug was introduced into the organ bath then it gives 1×10-5M organ bath concentration.
Mathematical calculation of organ bath concentration:
In organ bath we have 20ml of pss which is equal to 20×103 µl of pss, if 20 µl of 1×10-2 M Ach was introduced then the organ bath concentration
= 20 µl x 10-2 M
20x 103 µl
= 1×10-5M (organ bath concentration).
The isolated guinea- pig ileum was mounted onto the organ bath and set up for recording isometric tension of the tissue using chart software in a Mac book.
Calibration of the experimental apparatus: The chart 5 software was calibrated and the sampling rate was adjusted to 10 samples per second with a maximum input voltage to 10 mV. The baseline was set to zero and then trace was started from the baseline zero then the force transducer was calibrated by placing 1 gram weight and after the calibration the trace produced was stopped for the moment to convert the units of tension into grams by selecting the trace produced previously.
Sensitisation of preparation: To check the viability of the tissue a response of suitable height was obtained by adding a little high concentration of the drug. Here in the experiment an appreciable recording was noted at 1×10-7M Ach.
The time cycle followed to construct a concentration- response curve was
0 seconds – to add the drug concentrations
30 seconds – to empty the organ bath and refill with fresh physiological salt solution
180 seconds – next drug concentration was added to the organ bath.
Concentration Response Curve:
By making use of the above drug concentrations a concentration response curve was constructed according to the provided time cycle.
1) 20 µl of 1×10-9M Ach was added into the organ bath at zero seconds at is allowed to stand for 30 seconds, then after 30 seconds the organ bath was emptied and refilled with pss. Pss was allowed to stand for 180 seconds. During the wash period if the peak does not return to the base then it was washed twice or thrice to make sure that all the drug dissociates from the receptors before the next addition of the other drug concentration. Each concentration was repeated twice or thrice until the two consecutive responses were reported with the same peak height.
2) By following the procedure and time cycle, the concentration response curve was constructed with different concentrations of acetyl choline such as 1×10-9M,3×10-9M, 1×10-8M, 3×10-8M, 1×10-7M, 3×10-7M,
1×10-6M and 3×10-6M Ach (organ bath concentration).
Equilibration of Acetylcholine receptors with acetylcholine
After step-2 the preparation was washed several times until the peak returned to the base line. Then atropine (1×10-8M organ bath concentration) was added to the preparation and then set aside for 40 minutes to allow atropine to equilibrate with acetylcholine muscuranic receptors.
Concentration response curve in the presence of atropine
The concentration response curve with acetylcholine was repeated again in the presence of atropine by following the time cycle and procedure, which was same as same step 2.Therefore in step 3 with each addition of acetylcholine concentration atropine was added simultaneously.
i) The graph pad prism in the Mac book was used to plot concentration response curves in the absence and presence of atropine.
Log concentration (acetylcholine) Vs response in grams
ii) From the above plot EC 50 values of acetylcholine in the presence and absence of atropine were obtained. Then the distance between the two curves control and response for the atropine presence was denoted by ‘r, where ‘r’ was called as shift.
iii) The shift was calculated mathematically as
r= EC 50 of response in the presence of atropine
EC 50 of Ach in the absence of atropine
iv) From the value of the shift, schild plot was plotted as log concentration of atropine presence against log(r-1).
v) From the schild plot the dissociation constant KB for atropine at acetylcholine muscuranic receptors was determined.
As explained above in the procedure serial dilutions of acetylcholine was added to the organ bath, where Ach has produced concentration dependent contractions of the guinea pig ileum as shown in the fig 1.
As shown in ‘ 1 the serial dilutions of acetylcholine are added into the organ bath from 1×10-7M to 3×10-6M Ach. Here in the trace it was clearly shown that contractions produced by the acetylcholine have been increased with respect to the concentrations.
In step-2 the preparation was washed and added with 1×10-8M atropine and set aside for 40 minutes to equilibrate the acetylcholine receptors.
In the trace it is clearly shown that, the contractions produced by serial dilutions of Ach from 1×10-8M to 3×10-4M in the presence of 1×10-8M atropine.
When Trace 1 and Trace 2 are compared it is evident that the contractions produced by Ach alone (trace 1) were greater than the contractions produced Ach in the presence of atropine (trace 2) which proves the simple competitive antagonism by atropine at muscuranic receptors.
A graph is plotted to the log concentration response curve produced by Ach alone against Ach in the presence of atropine. (graph is attatched to the report)
From the graph it is known that with the increase in the concentration of Ach, response have been increased when compared to Ach in the presence of atropine and also there is a shift towards right which shows the simple competitive antagonism produced by atropine.
From the results produced by Ach alone against Ach in the presence of atropine the fractional difference which is called as shift can be obtained as follows
Mathematical Calculation shift ‘r’
= EC50 of response after atropine (or) in the presence of atropine
EC50 of control (or) Ach in the absence of atropine
= 2.51×10-6 = 8.36
3.0 x10-7
r-1 =8.36 -1=7.36
log(r-1)=log (7.36) =0.86
Partial dissociation constant (PKB) or PA2 is measured to confirm the simple competitive antagonism, where pKB values play an important role in classifying receptors.
Therefore PKB =log(r-1) -log [atropine]
=0.86 -log (1×10-8)
=0.86 – (-8)
=0.86+ 8
From the above results log EC50 values for control (Ach alone) and Ach in the presence of atropine were given as 3.0e-007 and 2.51e-006 respectively.
This shows the molar concentration of Ach which produces 50% of the maximal possible response is higher than the molar concentration response produced by Ach in the presence of atropine.
If the antagonist is competitive, the dose ratio equals one plus the ratio of the concentration of antagonist divided by its Kd for the receptor. (The dissociation constant of the antagonist is sometimes called Kb and sometimes called Kd)
MathType Equation
A simple rearrangement gives:
MathType Equation
Here we have plotted a graph with log (antagonist) on the X-axis and log (dose ratio -1) on the Y-axis. If the antagonist has shown simple competitive antagonism then the slope should be 1.0, X-intercept and Y-intercept values should be both equal the Kd of the antagonist obtained.
If the agonist and antagonist are competitive, the Schild plot will have a slope of 1.0 and the X intercept will equal the logarithm of the Kd of the antagonist. If the X-axis of a Schild plot is plotted as log(molar), then minus one times the intercept is called the pA2 (p for logarithm, like pH; A for antagonist; 2 for the dose ratio when the concentration of antagonist equals the pA2). The pA2 (derived from functional experiments) will equal the Kd from binding experiments if antagonist and agonist compete for binding to a single class of receptor sites.
From ‘ 5 and 6 it is evident that no concentrations of atropine have showed competitive antagonism perfectly. Therefore from the above results it is known that the concentrations of atropine has not shown simple competitive antagonism fairly.
Reversible competitive antagonism: The binding of drug to a receptor is fully reversible which produces a parallel shift of the dose response curve to the right in the presence of an antagonist.
The mechanism of action of acetylcholine at muscuranic receptors:
In various gastrointestinal smooth muscles, acetylcholine and its derivatives produce contractions by activating muscuranic receptors. It is generally assumed that the M3 muscuranic receptor plays a key role in mediating this activity. The M3 receptor is coupled preferentially to Gq-type G proteins, resulting in the activation of phospholipase C (PLC) and the formation of ionositiol trisphosphate (IP3) and diacylglycerol (DAG) which are likely to participate in muscuranic receptor-mediated smooth muscle contractions. IP3 causes Ca2+ release from intracellular store and can also mobilize Ca2+ secondarily through Ca2+-sensitive or store-dependent mechanisms. DAG, via activation of protein kinase C, phosphorylates various proteins and can directly activate non selective cationic channels.
From the above results the value of shift obtained was 0.378 which denotes the simple competitive antagonism produced by the concentration of atropine used (1×10-8 M).From the value of shift the pKB value was calculated as 8.4.If atropine has shown simple competitive antagonism then the value of pKB should be equal to 1-X intercept.
Therefore pKB=1-X intercept
We got value of pKB as 8.86.Therefore pKB is not equal to 1-X intercept.
Therefore the concentration of atropine (1×10-8M organ bath concentration) used by our group has not shown simple competitive antagonism effectively. The literature value of pKB is given as approximately 9 and we have obtained the value of pKB as 8.86 which does not fit with literature value.
Therefore from the above observations and results i can conclude that a little more high concentration of atropine may serve to produce complete simple competitive antagonism by atropine at acetylcholine muscuranic receptors.

Qualitative Research in Geography: An Overview

Geography seems to be one of those disciplines that shifts its interest from one perspective to another without necessarily changing its central research questions. Qualitative methods have long been used within the discipline of human geography. However, it was not until recently that they have become sufficiently established that some consider them to have gone too far (Marshall, 2001), as the last decade has undoubtedly seen an expansion in qualitative work in both terms of the types of work and the topics addressed. This essay will address the fact that we have moved from a period when papers were prefaced with legitimisations of qualitative work to a time when we are seeing debates within qualitative methods over establishing orthodox approaches and standards. This will be done thorough a reflection on current re-evaluations of the most common methods – mainly interviewing and ethnography –and where they are developing.

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Qualitative approaches have long had a strong association with cultural, social and radical geographies, in part as a reaction to quantified social geography. For example, in terms of the geographies of gender, feminist critiques of masculinist approaches were picked up and an argument about empathy amplified the concern with qualitative methods. This also could be reversed, labelling qualitative work with a feminist `softness’ as opposed to hard science. This debate though, has matured, from quick over-assumptions that qualitative work was generally `soft’, to considering its weaknesses and strengths in a more balanced fashion (Raju et al., 2000). Qualitative research has also had to wrestle with the argument that simply listening to, giving voice to and representing the silenced is not enough.
There is now a maturity about qualitative methods in geography, but also that there comes with this a certain conventionality of approaches. In delving deeper into this discussion it is important to consider the continued debates about the framing of qualitative, and especially ethnographic, work, after the so-called ‘crisis of representation’ and work in the performative vein, as qualitative research is often torn between a constructivist approach and a longing to convey a ‘real’ sense of the field.
Geography has followed anthropology through these debates on ethnography and representation, responding to the question ‘how is unruly experience transformed into an authoritive written account?’ (Besio and Butz, 2004: 433). There has been a backlash against what are described as ‘excesses’ of reflexivity in some responses to this question. For instance, Bourdieu (2003) called for a renewed ‘objectivity’ via structural reflexivity in a participant observation. He argues for a personal understanding of reflexivity, to address the academic and social structures that drive research agendas, which for geography in non-western settings would show how ‘academic research practices … have relied extensively on remnant colonial discourses and structures of domination for access to research subjects, efficacy of data collection and legitmation’ (Bourdieu, 2003: 288).
Katz points out that ‘in the field and in their private readings, ethnographers share a culture of evaluation which is masked by the fractious, even righteously indignant commentary that characterises rhetoric about ethnographic writing’ (2002: 64). Katz argues that ‘as ethnographers, we must do more than claim: we need to show’ (2002: 68). However, Besio and Butz (2004) offer an alternate reflexivity, taking Marie Louse Pratt’s definition of autoethnography. Where rather than being about reflecting on one’s own practice it refers to the subject or dominated people’s self-representation to colonisers’ terms while remaining faithful to their own self-understandings. This tradition is not just framing local knowledges; Gold (2002) looks to a globalised religious movement that is using its self-representations and indeed academic work in its self-constitution. This makes the important point of not separating ethnography from writing – not privileging oral research over written material but rather seeing productions of various representations as moments for situated reading and interpretations by all actors. If we thus move to models of representation as intervention rather than corresponding to prior reality, we might look for new ways of producing and judging truth.
Besio and Butz (2004) provide their own critique of transcultural representation. They point out that this is not an automatic process but something that has to be worked at and may only be achieved in specific circumstances. The apocalyptic tones of this debate seem particular to anthropology with its habitual [re-] definition of fieldwork as residential participant observation – as opposed to the more plural practices of qualitative methods in geography.
These reflexive studies raise questions about how the usual methods fit these new topics. Meth (2003) suggests that reflective, discursive diaries first offer a ‘discontinuous writing’, allowing people to change their minds and priorities, meaning that they are not dominated by what happened in the morning before an interview. Moreover, they offer different and possibly easier routes for respondents to express themselves, especially their emotions, and reflect upon their own world-views. Alternately, Harper (2002) provides a history of the ‘photo-elicitation’ interview where pictures push people’s normal frames of reference to form the basis for deep discussions of values.
The use of pictures in presenting material raises the issue of how visual and verbal relate to each other, whether they could speak to different ways of knowing rather than just being treated as different kinds of evidence (Rose, 2003). As Basio and Butz (2004: 444) note, the ‘visual in ethnographic has generally not been used intrinsically for interpreting and representing ethnographic data and culture’ but either as just more data or subordinated to a textualising metaphor. Whatmore (2003: 89) notes ‘the spoken and written word constitute the primary form of ‘data’’, whereas the world speaks in many voices through many different types of things that ‘refuse to be reinvented as univocal witnesses’. This comes back to the heart of a new kind of programmatic writing which is ‘suggestive of nothing less than a drive towards a new methodological avant garde that will radically refigure what it is to do research’ (Latham, 2003: 2000).
It is normally at this point, as we engage artistic approaches, that policy-orientated researchers voice concerns about a turn away from commitments to engaging ordinary people and offering them a voice. This seems to me to be a false opposition of committed, ‘real world’ versus ‘inaccessible’, theoretical research.
It might be a good idea to end this report by returning our attention to the rich yet ambiguous and messy world of doing qualitative research. As Thrift notes: ‘Through fieldwork is often portrayed as a classical colonial encounter in which the fieldworker lords it over her/his respondents, the fact of the matter is that it usually does not feel much like that at all. More often it is a curious mixture of humiliations and intimidations mixed with moments of insight and even enjoyment’ Thrift, 2003: 106), where knowledge is coproduced ‘by building fragile and temporary commonplaces’ (2003: 108, see also Tillman-Healy, 2003).
This seems to be a good summary of the qualitative work currently being done in human geography. It remains inspired by ethical and political concerns, and practitioners are deeply concerned by the moral and political implications of their work. Some of the old taken-for-granteds about fieldwork have been replaced, but it is instructive to wonder what questions have not been asked. While researchers have struggled to populate their work with real subjects rather than research objects, there have never been fewer attempts to talk about materialities in practice if not in topic. However, it does not seem that this entails a rejection of work that has been, is being and will be done, nor a turn from engaged and practical work; but that it does raise issues about the investment in specific notions of what ‘research’ is, what evidence is and how the two relate to each other.
Basio, K. & Butz, D. (2004) Autoethnography: a limited endorsement. Professional Geographer, 56, 432 – 438.
Bourdieu, P. (2003) Participant observation. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, NS9, 281 – 294.
Gold, L. (2002) Positionality, worldview and geographical research: a personal account of a research journey. Ethics, Place and Environment, 5, 223 – 237.
Harper, D. (2002) Talking about pictures: a case for photo-elicitation. Visual Studies, 17, 13 – 26.
Katz, J. (2001) From how to why: on luminous description and casual reference in ethnography (part 2). Ethnography, 3, 63 – 90.
Latham, A. (2003) Research, performance, and doing human geography: some reflections on the diary-photograph, diary-interview method. Environment and Planning A, 35, 1993 – 2018.
Marshall, G. (2001) Addressing a problem of capacity. Social Sciences, 47, 1 – 2.
Meth, P. (2003) Entries and omissions: using solicited diaries in geographical research. Area, 35, 195 – 205.
Raju, S., Atkins, P., Townsend, J. & Kumar, N. (2000) Atlas of women and men in India, London, International Books.
Rose, G. (2003) On the need to ask how, exactly, is geography visual? Antipode, 35, 212 – 221.
Thrift, N. (2003) Practising ethics, in Whatmore, S. Using social theory, London, Sage, 105 – 121.
Tillman-Healy, L. (2003) Friendship as method. Qualitative Inquiry, 9, 729 – 749.

Research Methods for Organisations: Qualitative Interview Assignment

Research Methods for Organisations: Qualitative Interview Assignment

Commitment in the workplace



In Meyer and Allen´s three-component model (2007, p.7), there are three dimensions of commitment in the workplace. Affective refers to the desire of the employees to work for the company; continuance indicates the anticipated cost of leaving the organisation; and normative refers to the degree of obligation workers feel towards the firm. In this regards, what is the relationship between the three dimensions for the target occupation of this study – business analyst – towards its commitment in the workplace? As a human resource professional, I want to develop practices to keep employees committed. If the workforce is not committed at work, productivity levels may decrease, and negative behaviours such as lateness and absenteeism among employees may increase (Irefin and Mechanic, 2014). Therefore, commitment in the workplace was the most interesting topic for me, and I wanted to get in-depth knowledge about it.

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The goal of the study is an exploration of the relationship between the three dimensions of commitment, taking the perspective of a bank business analyst as a reference. Due to the possibility of obtaining rich data and having flexibility, a qualitative research method was considered the best fit. Finally, I interviewed a bank business analyst called for this study Harry because of his long-term relationship with the company where he works.

Conducting the interview

This section presents not only the interview´s strengths and weaknesses but also further improvements.

The main strengths were the rapport with the interviewee, the setting and the quality of the data. Harry was delighted to collaborate in this study. Besides, the interview was conducted in a study room without surrounding noise, which made not only the record clear and perfectly audible but also, a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The environment, the interviewee ‘attitude, the eye contact, and my verbal and non- verbal affirmations built a genuine rapport between us. 

Harry understood everything, which let me intervene only to add details to develop the information received. The data obtained was rich concerning understanding his role in the company, his professional expectations, and his values. The most valuable questions were, “After the project, did you say something to improve that situation in the future?” “How do you make you feel that you cannot participate in the decision-making?” They provided me with the information need to establish what is critical for Harry to commit to a company.

The main weaknesses were the previous assumption about the topic, lack of listening in some part of the interview, the absence of probing and interpreting questions and an unsuccessful interview´ end.

My assumption was: the level of loyalty from a young-adult would be low, and his commitment towards the firm would be related to the salary. Thus, through my questions, I was suggesting his answers. Fortunately, Harry showed a strong view, and he did not enable me to change his perspective. Also, it was difficult to be flexible, and I reflected my concern on the topic instead of being focused on my interviewee ‘answers. Consequently, I stopped listening to him, and I did not formulate probing and interpreting questions, which caused the loss of valuable information. In the end, I did not provide him with the opportunity to add or ask.

Briefly, it was a good qualitative interview concerning the rapport with Harry and the data ‘quality. However, further improvements should be implemented. I should maintain focus in asking questions not to lose sight of the research topic, I should reduce my own biases and expectation to eliminate possible suggested answers, and I should provide space to the interviewee, letting him clarify, add or ask.


Template analysis is the best technique to analyse this interview because of the prior codes identified in the theoretical position of the research: affective, continuance and normative commitment.

The main advantage of this technique, according to Brooks, McCluskey, Turley, and King (2015, p. 206) “is the flexibility and a focus on developing a hierarchical coding structure”. Choosing this technique allows elaborating a semi-structured interview focus on the prior themes. However, it does not mean that the initial code keeps intact. Thus, the disadvantages of this technique are the possibility of miss information and the possibility of not recognise when a prior theme is not representing the data. In this research, the previous themes were considered tentative to avoid the disadvantages. Therefore, the initial developing template (Appendix 4, Table 2) shows the top level themes modifies because the prior code did not represent the meaning of the transcript.

In the initial template (Appendix 4, Table 1) affective commitment represents the desire concerning job satisfaction and development. However, after analysing the interview, affective commitment was considered a broad term which did not fully cover the meaning of the transcript. Hence, I decided to remove affective commitment and establish job satisfaction and job development as top themes.

Job satisfaction is related to the following sub-themes: a good relationship with colleagues, company values, and interesting job content whereas job development is regarded to growth opportunities, sense of ownership, and constant learning. The subtheme “constant learning” changed its position on the final template (Appendix 4, Table 3) due to its belonging of growth opportunities. If you have access to new roles within the company, you will increase your knowledge and have more learning opportunities.

 Continuance commitment, defined as the anticipated cost of leaving the organisation, was part of the prior themes but it was removed; it was not represented on the data. Consequently, a different top theme came up: organisational support, which represents the contributions from the company to support and keep employees committed. Their subthemes are accountability, openness and recognised contributions. In the final template, openness became part of accountability because it provides the micro-perspective of accountability concerning the relationship with top management and practices to perform.

Normative commitment, referred to the degree of obligation workers feel towards the firm, was removed not to be represented on the data.

In the initial developing template and the final template, three top themes are explored: job satisfaction, job development, and organisational support. Job satisfaction is founded in the following quotations: “I like it everybody helps (…) we have a great relationship”; “working together is a core embedded value with I find in myself and my company (…)”; “something new that I am working on is the implementation of the new regulation (…)”. Those quotations show how important the relationship between colleagues, shared values with his company, and interesting job content are to be committed. Regarding job development, quotations such as: “Well I would definitely work toward getting in to the managerial side (…)”; “It has many opportunities, a lot to learn, (…) so many different things”; “So the goal itself of the company and my goal is (…) serve the costumer right”. They show that constant learning and growth opportunities as an entity and sense of ownership are the main characteristics to be delighted within the company. Finally, organisational support is founded in quotations such as: “I was able to discuss with my head of the department (…) I do not know if they did consider or take the feedback”; “I feel bad. If I have a choice, I will give my feedback and ideas (…)”. They show that for Harry, it is essential to have the full picture of the company ‘strategy to provide ideas and to have an open relationship and communication with top management.



This section presents the strengths and weaknesses in this study regarding answering the research question and my experience of conducting this interview.

I have not answered my research question due to the lack of information obtained in one interview. My prior themes, in which my research question was based on, were changed. If I had had the possibility of conducting at least ten more interviews, I would have obtained more information from different interviewees, who probably would have provided me with enough data to make my prior themes come up. Thus, the main weakness of this study is the lack of information. Besides, I find difficult to create themes and subthemes, and I have struggled to be objective and let my viewpoint out of the analysis. Hence, qualitative research method allows obtaining much information about the topic of the study, conducting several interviews, which is a strength. However, the subjective of the analysis is one of its main weaknesses.

According to Bryman and Bell (2015, p.397) “in qualitative research, there is a preference for treating theory as something that emerges out of the collection and analysis of data”. From my perspective, even if having flexibility allows you to explore a variety of topics without limitations, qualitative research is not a method for an amateur researcher. I have felt lost without an in-depth literature foundation supporting my research question.

Finally, qualitative research has weaknesses, which can be managed, and strengths. However, as I have not enjoyed the flexibility and I have felt subjective while interpreting the data, quantitative research methods adjust more to my personality and work style.


Appendix 1: Consent form




Appendix 2: Scheduled- interview

How are you?

I would like that you tell me about yourself, how old are you? In which company and position are you working, and for how long?

Why did you decide to work for this company?

Which organisational values match with yours? Why?

Can you provide me an example when you implement those values in your daily basic?

What is the main goal of your company?

Do you think that you contribute to that goal? Why? How? Can you give me an example?

Imagine that I am a master student of business analytic, would you recommend me apply for your company?

Do you think that you have better professional opportunities out there?

How would you feel if you lose your job?

Are you considering leaving your company?

What would happen if you get an offer from a different company?

What do you think about people who move from one company to another quite often?

Appendix 3: Case summary

Harry appears as a delighted employee of his company because of the learning and development opportunities, which are currently provided. I can see that for him, the work environment regarding the variety of the cultures and background is essential. He likes to analyse everything in a macro-perspective, counting different viewpoints. Besides, “working together” not only represents one of the primary values of the company itself but also represents one of his central values. That shared make him feel committed and comfortable working there.

Even though, he is committed with his company. He has a high professional expectation such as, become a VP in two years, because of that he will be willing to move to other companies if those provide him with the opportunity mentioned above. At the same time, there is a lack of communication between top management and employees, the strategy is not fully understood, and that diminishes his commitment as well. Sometimes, he feels powerless because his voice has not listened.

Appendix 4: Conducting Interview: Template analysis

Table 1: Developing top level themes

Top Level Theme

Initial a priori themes

Job Satisfaction (what are the desires and expectations about the employment?)

Derived from the original Affective and Normative commitment theme.

Job Development (what are the training needs and opportunities to keep employment?)

Derived from the original Continuance and Affective commitment theme.

Organisational Support (What are the contributions from the company to keep employment?)

Derived from the original Continuance commitment theme.

Table 2: Initial developing template – defining thematic categories

Main Theme

Defining Scope of the Theme

Job Satisfaction: this theme refers to wider desires and expectations, which are identified to have an important impact in commitment in the workplace. Sub-themes should cover:

Good relationship with colleaguesIncludes: sharing values (colleagues working through values such as: deliver quality, making a difference, and being positive); diversity (working in an international environment with an open mind and everyone open to change and different backgrounds and cultures); sharing a common goal.

Company ValuesIncludes: matching company and personal values (the main value “working together” is the one which have more value, because working as a team develop rich project and increase knowledge from different backgrounds); link between values and behaviours.

Interesting job contentIncludes: professional development, new topic to work (in this case: Bank Business analyst, working analysing all the trades and comply with the regulations established by the FCA and ESMA. In addition, managing the implementation of Mifid); openness to learn about different department to increase the knowledge of the company itself.

Job Development: this theme refers to training needs and opportunities to fulfil employee commitment. Sub-themes should cover:

Growth OpportunitiesIncludes: technical progression; managerial development. 

Sense of OwnershipIncludes: support new ways of thinking from management; share vision and strategy.

Constant learningIncludes: lack of routinely tasks; new and different approach to investment activities.

Organisational Support: this theme refers to the contributions from the company to support and keep employees committed. Sub-themes should cover:

AccountabilityIncludes: opportunity to speak up to top management; possibility of implement new ideas.

OpennessIncludes: top management open to listen new ideas; good communication from top management to every single level of the company; spread strategy of the company.

Recognised contributionIncludes: award good work; offer flexible scheduling.

Table 3: Final template

Job satisfaction:

Good relationship with colleagues.

Company values.

Interesting Job content.

Job development:

Growth opportunities.

  Constant learning

Sense of ownership.

Organisational support:



Recognised contribution.


Bell, E., Bryman, A. and Harley, B., 2015. Business research methods. Oxford university press.

Brooks, J., McCluskey, S., Turley, E. and King, N., 2015. The utility of template analysis in qualitative psychology research. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 12(2), pp.202-222.

Irefin, P. and Mechanic, M.A., 2014. Effect of employee commitment on organizational performance in Coca Cola Nigeria Limited Maiduguri, Borno state. Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 19(3), pp.33-41.

Meyer, J.P. and Herscovitch, L., 2001. Commitment in the workplace: Toward a general model. Human resource management review, 11(3), pp.299-326.

Pros and Cons of Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Method Research

For every job or task there is a specific tool befitting such work. Similarly, every researcher after having identified the scope of their research needs to apply a particular method of research in order to attain the best results. Interestingly, there are some methods of research that when applied or used together the acquired results will be forthcoming. Hence the concept of mixed methods in research, it refers to application of both quantitative and qualitative techniques in a single study. Currently, the fundamental study techniques which are widely used are quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods.

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Qualitative study involves evaluation of data, like different interviews, videos, pictures and objects such as artifacts. It is the descriptive data from observation or interviews which are not structured (Taylor, 2009). Quantitative study, on the other hand, is the analytical progression of figurative data from different fields. The disjointing of into quantitative and qualitative is a very common difference; the tendency has been due to the desire to link quantitative methods with a natural science (positivist) and qualitative methods with a social science (interpretivist) (Mingers, 2006).
Nevertheless, the simple distinction has not gone down well with a lot of researchers, many researchers basing their differences on the lack of clarity on the issues of validity and accuracy. According to Yin (2007), the distinction between quantitative and qualitative methods applies to data and not so much into the methodology. Other researchers believe that the underlying paradigms are incompatible. Mixed method is the mixture of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies; it is the third research paradigm after qualitative and quantitative. The argument to use both quantitative and qualitative modes in one study has been based on over theoretical approach to research within the social sciences. (Jones, 2004)
According to Fieldman (2005), in the comparison of quantitative and qualitative research methods, the attributes of the latter have been misidentified. The argument has been premised on the fact that the relationship between positivist paradigm and quantitative research have been blown out of proportion. Glaser and Strauss (2007) believe that the association of qualitative research with grounded theory is an excellent example of such misunderstanding. On the other hand, there has been the use of the exploratory factor analysis in the quantitative research. This has caused a lot of arguments within researchers and hence the outcry for the need to adopt the use of mixed research method. Glaser (2009) has further blurred the idea by stating that the grounded theory emanated from quantitative work and that it is some sort of general methodology for use on both qualitative and quantitative work.
Tashakori and Teddie (2008) believe that the distinction between qualitative and quantitative methods of research is largely artificial. The view that is quite clear is that there is need some sort of paradigm wars over the adoption of the methodologies used in explaining the two methods of research.
Pragmatism plays a pivotal role in the comprehension of mixed method as a research method. (Howe, 2009) The compatibility thesis postulates that both quantitative and qualitative methods are actually compatible, meaning that the two can be used within a single study. Pragmatism on the other hand, was started by Charles Sanders Peirce, William James and John Dewy promulgated that researchers should apply or use a mixture of approaches that co-ordinate best in a real-life situation. Therefore, what works best in a particular situation should always be used in that scenario regardless of any assumptions that can arise in relation to that particular situation.
Nowadays researchers apply a fundamental principle of mixed research. This fundamental principle requires from the researcher to use a mixture or combination of methods that have some level of complementary pros and cons both of which are overlapping. In order to understand the mixed method research it is imperative to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods.
Qualitative research
Qualitative research has a lot of strengths which explain why it is still a favorite option for many researchers to use. Firstly, it focuses the data collected on the participants’ groups of explaining or expounding the particular meaning within the study. Secondly, a lot of researchers have heaped accolades on this method of research owing to its suitability for the study of a minimum number of cases in depth. Thirdly, in as far as describing complex phenomena is concerned; it is the best methodology for the job.
Fourthly, at the point where the researcher needs to explain a particular area of the study by dissecting individual case information, qualitative research method offers a better clarification point than other methods of research. Fifthly, it is excellent in as far as conducting cross-case assessment and analysis is concerned. Sixthly, it provides a better focal point in as far as providing an understanding and description of people’s personal experiences of certain phenomena that happened to them. Seventhly, it can be used to describe a rich and well articulated as it is specifically situated and located within local contexts.
Eighthly, by adopting qualitative method of research the user can study dynamic processes or assist in the documentation of sequential patterns and change. Nine, the researcher can use the qualitative method of grounded theory to inductively produce a tentative but descriptive theory about an occurrence. Ten, it is used to determine how the participants’ of the study interpret self-esteem, I Q and so on. Also, the data collected under this method of research is done so in naturalistic settings. In addition, the approaches adopted within this method of research are especially responsive to the numerous changes that usually occur within a study, mainly if the study requires a lot of extensive fieldwork, and it assists to shift the focus back to the study.
Furthermore, qualitative data in the words and categories of participants’ lend themselves to exploring how and why particular occurrences happen. Also, owing to its variant intrinsic attributes the researcher can use an important case to clearly demonstrate phenomena to the general audience and more particularly the readers of the final report. Finally, qualitative research aids in the determination of idiographic causation or the determination of causes of particular proceedings.
Sadly despite so many positive highlights, qualitative research also fails in its quest for a perfect research method. To begin with, the information produced from research conducted on the foundation of qualitative methodology might not generalize to other people or other settings. This is because some factors will remain unique from one individual to the next. Secondly, researchers who use this method usually find it difficult to make quantitative predictions. Further, since qualitative research ahs its tenets premised within large pools of participants, it makes it very difficult to test hypotheses and theories generated from the study.
In addition, some commissioners of certain programs and administrators find qualitative research method to have low levels of credibility. Also, compared to its counterpart, quantitative research method, it is more time consuming when it comes to the collection of data. The same scenario applies when it comes to data analysis. Finally, due to its requirements of researcher and personal involvement, the data gathers is mainly plagued with biasness and idiosyncrasies.
Quantitative Research
In line with Denscobe (2007) “the quantitative study is all about the quantifying relationships between variables.” In the social sciences, quantitative study is the systematic empirical study of the quantitative properties and their relationships. Mathematical models, theories and other different hypotheses are employed in the process. The dimension progression is central in the process, as it provides the fundamental connection between the empirical observation and the mathematical expression of all the quantitative relationships.
In the spheres of psychology, anthropology, sociology and political science the quantitative study method is employed regularly. In the sphere of mathematics and physics which are “quantitative” by the definition it is used, but the term is different in the context. In the case of the social sciences, the term is related to direct and empirical methods, and most crucial it deals in both philosophical positivism and arithmetical findings, and in many ways it is a direct contrast with the qualitative study methods. The qualitative techniques produce the data of the particular case studies that are assigned to the study and all other hypotheses are nothing but general conclusions. The techniques can be used to verify in different aspects (Denscobe, 2007).
Many researchers find quantitative research methods better in application to their particular studies because it allows them to validate and test already constructed theories about how and why some occurrences happen. Also, it gives the researcher some edge in the actual research because they can test the hypotheses that are constructed before the actual data is collected. Moreover, researchers are in a better position to simplify research findings when the data is founded on arbitrary samples of sufficient mass.
In addition, researchers are better off when they use quantitative methodology because of its ability to allow them to simplify research findings when it has been used and repeated on so many different populations and sub-populations. Unlike qualitative research method the data collected can be used for purposes of quantitative predictions. Also, the researcher, under quantitative format of research, has the ability to construct a situation that eliminates the bewildering sway of many variables, allowing one or more plausibly recognized cause-and-effect relations.
Furthermore, in as far as pace is concerned; data collected under this method of research is a lot faster than qualitative methodology. More so, the data collected is more precise, concise and of course quantitative. As earlier highlighted, analysis of data under this method of research is a lot less time consuming. Unlike qualitative data, this method of research allows the results gathered to be more independent of the researcher and hence they are of statistical significance. Further, in as far as individuals in power are concerned; data gathered under quantitative research method can find favor and liking to such individuals who fund the study programs. Briefly, it is applicable in the study of masses.
Similarly, quantitative research methodology also falls short in as far as being fully credible in the research world. Mainly, researchers find that the categories they use do not usually reflect local constituencies’ understandings. In addition, the theories propagated by researcher operating under this method of research might not as well reflect the local constituencies’ understandings.
Furthermore, owing to the requirement of a lot of focus on the theory and hypotheses generation, researchers usually miss out on the happening of particular occurrences. Finally, the information gathered under this method of research might be too theoretical and general for direct appliance to particular real-life situations, contexts and individuals.
Mixed Method Research
Qualitative study is a type of scientific research. Generally speaking, in any According to Hesse-Biber (2010), “there is basically an investigation which seeks answer of a specific question.” The examiners systematically use a pre defined set of procedures to find the closest answer of the question. Collecting evidences and more crucially different kinds of data are two very crucial aspect of the research. Finally, a qualitative study aims to produce different findings that were not generally “determined in advance, and also the finding can be applicable beyond the immediate boundaries of the study” (Hesse-Biber, 2010).
In addition to all these the qualitative study techniques tries to understand a given study problem or topic from the perspective of the general population with whom the study is mainly involved. The qualitative study method is very effective in obtaining the specific cultural data about the “values, opinions, behaviors and other different social contexts” (Hesse-Biber, 2010) of a specific population. Creswell (2009) indicated that when the results of qualitative study are combined with quantitative techniques it helps to interpret and better understand the complex reality of any given situation, along with the implications of quantitative data (Creswell, 2009).
The findings from the qualitative study can often be extended to people with characteristics which are quite similar to those in the study population, which gains a rich and complex understanding of a specific social context or phenomenon, which typically takes precedence over eliciting data that can be really generalized to other geographical areas. In that light it is clear that qualitative study is slightly different from the scientific study progression in general (Nachmias-Frankfort & Nachmias 2008).
The third and more preferred method of research has an array of strengths that appeal to many researchers. To begin with, the combined strengths of both quantitative and qualitative research can be found when using this method of research. Further, terms, pictures and narratives can be used to add connotation to numbers. In addition, while using mixed methods of research, researchers have the advantage of using numbers to add precision to words, pictures, and narratives. Another advantage of applying the mixed method in research is that researchers can generate and actually test a grounded theory.
Applying the mixed method of research allows the researcher to tackle a broader and a more complete range of research questions owing to the fact that the researcher is not confined within the tenets of a particular method of research. In addition, researchers have the ability to use the strength of one method of research to counter or overcome the weaknesses in another method. In other words it incorporates the concept of complementarity.
In the advent of a researcher conjuring up a conclusion under this method of research, they are in a better position to provide stronger evidence in the conclusion bit through convergence and collaboration of findings. Furthermore, the method of research allows the researcher to add insights and methods that might be omitted when only a single method is adopted. Similarly, the method allows the researcher to simplify to increase the simplicity of the results. Finally, since the mixed methods of research is all about the incorporation of both qualitative and quantitative methods of research, the researcher can produce more complete knowledge necessary to inform theory and practice.
Unfortunately, this method of research also has a few shortcomings despite its overwhelming support from researchers. Firstly, owing to its duplicity content, the application of the mixed methodology in one study can prove difficult to handle by any one single researcher. This is the case especially when the researcher has two apply two or more approaches concurrently.
Furthermore, a researcher choosing to rely on this method of research has to learn about multiple methods and approaches and understand how to appropriately mix them. Similarly, a lot of researchers are of the view that any one researcher should work within either the qualitative or the quantitative method. Moreover, the mixed method of research is more expensive and time consuming than any other method of research due to its duplicity content. Finally, since it is a mixture of two relatively different methods of research, a lot of researchers and methodologists have as yet to fully workout problems of interpreting conflicting results, quantitative data and the paradigm mixing.
Justification of combining qualitative and quantitative methods
The paradigm war of the two methods of research has created so much chaos. On each side of the argument are proponents of one particular type of research method, well armed with reason and examples why it is better than the other research method. Such arguments caused the creation of some sort of middle ground, combining the two types of research methods, the result, mixed methods research.
So what is the justification for amalgamating the two types of research methods? The rationale for the creation of a common ground was concretized and coded. The coding mirrored each side’s legitimate views and by so doing the weakness of each side was revealed. A scheme was created to tabulate the justifications for the need to join the two methods of research.
First, triangulation: which promulgated that there was need for some sort of convergence or corroboration since by so doing the emphasis would be shifted from the differences and moved towards the amalgamation of the research methodologies. Secondly, complementarity: which seeks the elaboration or the results acquired from one method with the results of another method. Thirdly, development: which highlights the need to use the results acquired from one method to either inform or develop the contrasting method. Fourthly, initiation: it seeks the unearthing of irony and incongruity, the remolding of questions from results gotten from one method with the replica of the other method of research. Fifthly, expansion: This seeks to increase the span and variety of enquiry by adopting different methods for different inquiry components. (Niglas, 2004)
Design within the mixed methods
Researchers usually face a daunting task while constructing a model design that will be suitable for their study. Nevertheless, it is imperative to point out that model designs do not exhaust the rationale of possibilities. (Creswell, 2003) However, their requirement and classification append to the thoroughness of mixed methods designs in primary care research.
Instrument Design Model
Under this design the priority is given to quantitative data collection and analysis. Implementation is premised in a two-phase project that starts with qualitative data collection and analysis and proceeds to quantitative device design and testing. Incorporation happens at the data analysis phase, then after researchers dissect the qualitative data and use this information to develop a device for information collection.
The main use for this model is to come up with a device that is embedded in the views of the participants, instead of using an instrument that might not actually reflect the opinions of the participants. The approach used makes the use of the instrument design model logical and easier to carry out. Nevertheless, a lot of expertise is required to not only code the qualitative data but to also analyze it. In addition a psychometrically sound instrument is ultimately developed. (Kutner et al, 2008)
Triangulation Design Model
This particular type of design model is used mainly in primary care research. However, it is more difficult to incorporate compared to the sequential instrument design model due to the need to not only reconcile but to also bring back quantitative and qualitative information. The core use of this type of design model is to triangulate or rather bring both qualitative and quantitative methodologies simultaneously, and to incorporate the two paradigms of research in order to best comprehend the research situation at hand (Tashakori A. & Teddie C., 2008).
Concisely, this particular type of design model creates an equal platform for both qualitative and quantitative methods of research, both of which in other formats of research are usually found in separate columns which may or may not be set on equal footing. Furthermore, the triangulation design model usually integrates the information gathered from both the qualitative and quantitative methodologies into one final comprehensive and all-inclusive report. It is important to note that the same can either be summarized one conclusion, interpretation or results phase.
The triangulation design model is structured in a manner that accommodates both qualitative and quantitative data albeit in different sections. The same format will apply for the analysis results for the two methodologies. This is then followed by an in-depth discussion of both data results which is summarized under neo conclusion heading. It is no wonder that he researchers adopting this type of design model present both results under different methodologies as conflicting evidence for results. Alternatively, the researchers can also convert one form of data under a particular methodology into another form in an attempt to conglomerate the results gathered. (Baskerville et al, 2007 and McVea et al, 2009)
Data Transformation Design Model
This type of design model is specifically preferred by the primary care researcher since it incorporates co-relational designs. Observational designs that are usually found under this type of design model are studies on retrospect, prevalence and prospective matters. It is imperative to note that this type of design model usually favors qualitative data over quantitative data. It allows the investigator collect qualitative information; dissect in attempts to understand codes and themes underlining it. All this is done in line with a predetermined code book or conceptual outline. In addition, the codes and themes there under are counted numerically.
The foregoing notwithstanding, the design model can be formatted to also favor quantitative data compilation and analysis. The incorporation of the results is concurrent and the assimilation of the same happens at the data analysis phase. (Mcllvain, 2008).
The above three models of design bring about the possibility of having mixed methods models within the framework of primary care. Moreover, it is important to highlight the fact that the three models do not in any way exhaust all the model designs available. Others not dealt with are the explanatory design model and the nested design model. In the former a pioneer quantitative stage is conducted in order to gather empirical or statistical results. (Creswell, 2006) The second stage is for the researcher to collect qualitative information that he will use to expound or explain the quantitative results. (Tashakori A. & Teddie C., 2008).
The nested design model is different from the explanatory method in that, a lesser qualitative information gathering phase is assimilated or contained within a larger quantitative interference trial. In as much as this type of model matches the criteria for a synchronized and quantitative design, it still represents to some extent, a disparity in which the bigger component addresses one issue and for the lesser components another issue.
Using a mixed models method, which is inculcated into a rigorous design structure, makes one assume that the research has all the proper know how required in understanding a particular study. Such expertise is important when conducting research on a certain study. Further, it assists the researcher in knowing which design will best suit the study. Using mixed methods research is not only time consuming but also it is very tasking on the individual conducting the research. This is the case because mixed methods apply multiple variants in its data format and collection. (Goering PN, 2007)
Grounded theory
Sociologists Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss (1967) have comprehensively articulated the grounded theory on the background of social science. The main purpose of grounded theory is to come with theories about social phenomena, meaning, to develop some level of comprehending which is more grounded in systematic data. The grounded theory is the most all-inclusive qualitative research methodology available. Grounded is viewed by many researchers and methodologists as a problem-solving endeavor concerned with understanding action from the perspective of the human agent. It is an approach to applying qualitative research, in that its procedures are neither numerical, nor quantitative in some other manner. It initiates its progress by targeting a particular area of study and collects information from numerous sources, for instance personal interviews and field observations.
Grounded theory is more suitable when one is dealing with social interact s or experiences which are driven to explain a process. After collection of the needed data, the same is analyzed using coding hypothetical sampling measures. Then after theories are borne from the results garnered and interpretive procedures, having concluded that part everything is concretized and presented. Glaser and Strauss view grounded theory as a general theory of scientific method concerned with the generation, elaboration, and eventual validation of social science supposition. They further believe that grounded theory should meet the accepted canons for doing good science. However, the main reason for applying grounded theory in ones research is to construct theories in order to understand occurrences.
The key features of this theory are that it must have an iterative study format, purposive sampling and a scheme analysis. An iterative study design encompasses cycles of simultaneous information collection and analysis. A good grounded theory must meet the following conditions; it must be inductively derived from data, subjected to hypothetical amplification and judged sufficient to its area with bearing in mind a number of evaluative criteria. (Kennedy, 2006)
Purposive approach
Under this approach which is extremely favorable in the docket of quantitative research. The issues or topics for research are chosen based on similar characteristics that they portray. The method it uses is quite simple, when taking a part of the sample, reject or ignore the participants who do not fit the required profile for the study. This approach usually starts with a rationale in mind, the sample is designed to include the people who fit the criteria of the research and exclude those participants who fail to achieve this target.
This method is popular with researchers who use quantitative methodology because it offers results that are more concise and precise. However, since it is subject to non-probability it is susceptible to partiality and inaccuracy. For instance, marketing investigators adopt this line of approach when they are in quest of support for their new product. They will obviously start with persons in the streets, first approaching only likely suspects and then move on onto excluding individuals who do not match their particular criteria.
This paper has highlighted and dissected the tenets that determine the realm of the research domain. Initially, there used to be only two methods of research, namely qualitative method and quantitative method. However, over time, the proponents of either side so the need to combine the two in an attempt to strengthen each other’s weaknesses. The result was the mixed methods research. The latter is a research design encompassing a method and a methodology.
As a methodology, it entails collecting, analyzing and amalgamating quantitative and qualitative methods from the initial to the conclusion stages of both. As a method, it deals with the collection, analyzing and joining qualitative and quantitative information into one study. This mode of research methodology highlights and encourages the gathering of more in-depth evidence for research problems. Furthermore, it assists in the answering of questions that could not previously be answered under either qualitative or quantitative methods. In addition, it does away with any form of adversarial relationships that previously existed between the two modes of research.
Mixed methods approach is more favorable because it aids in multiple world views, besides, many researchers have deemed it more practical and easier to apply in research. Moreover, it is applicable to the research situations of today seeing that they are more complex and intricate. Its practical nature assists in exemplifying issues to larger audiences. It has grown through a number of phases: a formative stage, a paradigm contest, the procedural phase and the evolving interest in federal endowment, journals, disciplines, and unique workshops.

Qualitative Analysis Of An Overhead Throw Physical Education Essay

Overhead throw is an important fundamental movement in many sports. It is categorized to be one of the early fundamental manipulative motor skills for every child to develop (Kathleen, 2004). This skill can be transferred to many other sports such as tennis serve, javelin throw and baseball pitching. The throw can be assessed either for accuracy (e.g. baseball pitching) or for distance (e.g. javelin throw) and there are some critical features that need to be present in the throw in order to achieve an optimum throw. In this study the goal is to achieve maximum distance and hence it is important to consider the law governing projectile motion which is angle of release, height of release and velocity of release. In qualitative studies, we use critical features or elements to cue the presence of these 3 features. The presence of upward ball path, the fully extended elbow in the throwing hand and the accelerated overhead arm swing are some of the actions to cue presence.

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Critical features or elements are based on biomechanical factors that create the throw movement and are usually derived from quantitative analysis studies of throwers. One such factor is kinetic open chained movement where body segments or joints move in a combination. The movement involves chaining segmental movements such that the last segment is free to move E.g. in a kicking ball action, the hip flexes with the knee extends and dorsi-flexes during the kicking action and the relax arm action during an overhead throw. Another biomechanical factor is the concept of kinetic-link and stretch shorten cycle where there is an interaction of a linked system of body segments. (Kreighbaum and Barthels, 1985; Steindler, 1955). Each segment need to move in a sequential coordinated manner with precise timings of acceleration of proximal segment so as to transfer energy to distal segment.
In qualitative studies, physical education teacher and coaches observe these critical features for quick assessment on the overhead throw or other activity. Qualitative analysis is much preferred than quantitative analysis as it is not feasible and practical for physical education teachers and coaches to adopt quantitative analysis. There are many issues concerning using quantitative analysis such as time, cost, practicality and even ethical. Some parent may not be comfortable with their child being taken into lab for collection of data. One major advantage of qualitative analysis is that it allows skill to be assessed as a whole as the proficiency of some movement may be involving the interaction of every critical feature. In motor development milestone studies, qualitative studies take the approach of observing the critical features and analyze it with the motor skills developmental milestones. Getchell, 2005, motor development experts formulate logical decision tree checklist to assess the maturity of the critical features. Another method is to compare the performer with and expert, this allows the skill gap to be more visible. Intervention can later been drafted effectively to improve performance by emulating the technique of the expert.
The objective of this study is to show the use of qualitative analysis in improving a child (subject age 6) overarm throw. The throw will be maximal effort, thrown for distance. The comparison model will be of an adult expert thrower (subject age 30). Intervention will be suggested based on the qualitative analysis to improve throwing technique.
This study adopted Knudson & Morrison’s four-task integrated qualitative analysis model of preparation, observation, evaluation/diagnosis and intervention. Prior to the activity, an observational check list (Fig 2) was drafted using Gangstead and Beveridge, 1984, D. Knudson & C. Morrison, 1996 and Haywood & Getchell, 2005 model of an overhead throw. In this check sheet, the overarm throw was broken up into 3 phases which are preparation, action and follow through phases. Critical features for each phase were listed to assist in the observation and evaluation of the throw. An adult expert thrower was used for comparing the child’s throw. Each component and phases were evaluated objectively with a score of poor, average and good.
The adult and the child performer was tasked to do overarm throws (n=3) with maximal effort and distance of each throw was recorded using a standard 50m measuring tape. Maximal effort throw was chosen as the type of activity rather than throw for accuracy as the latter may be a difficult skilled task for the child. These eliminate the concern for motor developmental stage of the child. Children sponge tennis balls were used as projectile. Due to the experience level and language limitation of the child, he was given verbal instructions and a demonstration of the activity. The adult and child thrower performed the throws at two different locations due to child’s parents’ consents. Video of each throw was recorded using a Sony digital camcorder model: Model: DSR-PDS10P using a 2-dimensional analysis camera setup. The video data was analyzed qualitatively using the checksheet and the software use is a standard computer integrated media player, window media player.
Fig 1: Sequential phases of expert and child throw
Child achieved an average of 8.58m as compared to the expert thrower with 20.5m (Fig 3). From Fig 1 & 2, sequential phases and observational checklist, the child showed a different movement pattern from the expert and score poorly in terms of path of hub, bodyweight transfer and movement of the legs and trunk during the preparation, action and follows through phase. There is an absence of trunk utilization throughout the 3 phases. During the preparation and action phases, the child exhibited a poor homolateral lower body action where he bent his knee of the same side as the throwing hand. In addition, there were no bodyweight transfer and leg drive by the child in the preparatory and action phases.
On the other hand, the child showed similar upper body movement pattern in the action and follow through phase. There was an arm and humerus lag during the action phase. There was acceleration of his throwing arm in forward direction. The ball was released in an incline with his arm fully extended at the top of his head. The whole movement was accelerated, smooth and continuous. During the follow through phase, his arms swung across the body and relax. The child scored well in critical features of arm actions and the release of ball. As a whole, he show competency in the action phases with an average score and scored well in the follow through phase with a good score.
Fig 3: Throw Distances
Fig 2: Observational Checklist
The child has good upper body technique and if the child is able to throw consistently with this technique. Improvements could be made in leg drive, contral lateral leg action, sequential coordination, and angle of release. Practice should consist of a combination of games approach (GCA) and drills bearing in mind his age and motivational level. The whole throwing sequence can be broken down into parts to simplify learning. One example practice to improve leg drive and contral lateral leg action is by putting visual cues like colour spots or numbering spot for them to step on. Next, improvement of the angle of release can be taught by putting target on the wall and the child needs to throw toward the target. Different target height can be put so as to allow the child to explore and experience different angle of release. The presence of targets allows the child to direct his attention to the effects to the ball trajectory (external focus of attention) rather than directing their attention to their arm throwing form (internal focus of attention) hence making learning more effective (Wulf & Prinz, 2001). Sequential coordination should be the last to be taught as for many high-speed movements, it is the last refinement area for optimal performance. It said that development of sequential action will be limited until energy from the lower extremity can be channeled up to the body (Morrison & Knudson, 2002).
Before introducing the intervention, there should be some consideration in terms of his age and developmental milestones. There is a need to individualize the teaching and feedback hence his training should not be mixed with other children unless being group with similar profile. This is because children of the same chronological age may differ in developmental level and physiological age (Getchell, 2005). Models of good throw as a whole or segments need to be shown with good critical cues used during practice, research show that this can improves performance and learning best in children (Fronske, 1995; Masser, 1993; Weiss, 1982). Appropriate augmented feedback need to be given by identifying both strength and weakness with strength to be praised before reinforcement. According to Throndike’s law, 1927, people tend to repeat responses that are rewarded and avoid responses that are punished.
Evaluation, diagnosis and re-observation need to be done regularly to monitor progression. In addition, record keeping of the whole movement and critical features progression through observation check sheet provide reference to coaches and teacher on the progression of learning. Video recordings or pictures can be also be adopted to provide visual feedback to the child. This allows reflective learning which further enhances learning.
From this study, we can clearly see the practicality and the feasibility of qualitative studies in an activity. It is a low cost and quick way of skill and technique improvement process. As teachers and coaches, the use of video and checksheet can help to record and observe large number of students at the same time. The video data can then be viewed at a convenient time. With the current technology, the video can be played in slow motion where critical features can be objectively assessed. In the event of shortage of manpower, the use of observational checksheet allows the coaches and teachers to share the evaluation workload with other teachers or senior students without compromising the objectivity and validity of the evaluation. In addition, the videos and observational checksheet allow record keeping of subject performance for future development and studies. Exemplary skills can be shared and showed to future students and trainee for modeling purposes.
The possible challenge to the use of qualitative analysis is the perception its effectiveness. Teacher and coaches may perceive qualitative assessment may not be very objective as it is not absolute. When it comes to grading or selection exercise, the subject of fairness is questionable. There will be some resistance to the use of video analysis as some may find it difficult to use. To tackle these two issues, qualitative analysis can be made more objective and assessment friendly by having more details description in the observational checklist. As for the difficulty in using video, more training can be given to teacher and coaches. They can also be attached a mentor to assist. The proficiency will eventually be improved with more practice.

Ethnographic Methods in Qualitative Research

Firstly, this essay outlines a definition of both qualitative and ethnography methods. It will then explain how four articles of qualitative research have used the ethnographic method. It will discuss each article then compare and contrast them. Finally, the essay will look at a critical analysis of ethnography by linking the articles to the data written. They are as follows: Impact of financial incentives on clinical autonomy and internal motivation in primary care: ethnographic study is article one; Assessing the promise of user involvement in health service development: ethnographic study is article two; Receptionist input to quality and safety in repeat prescribing in UK general practice: ethnographic case study is article three; and Role of ethnographic research for assessing behavior of employees during cleaning and sanitation in food preparation areas is article four. And finally, it will look at different perspectives on ethnography such as feminist and postmodernist.

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Qualitative research collects data that usually diary accounts, open-ended questionnaires, unstructured interviews and unstructured observations (Jamshed, 2004). This kind of research is hard to measure. It includes things such as eye colour or characteristics of something that are obtained by in-depth research through collecting rich data. Therefore, qualitative research can be described, rather than measurable data (quantitative) (Patton and Cochran, 2002).
Ethnography is used to represent the study of realism through knowledge and experiences, and the understanding of human behaviour, and in addition It consists of debates on the emergence of today’s society. Max Weber definition embraces the explanation and understanding by using the interpretive understanding of social action, where interpretivism is subjective meaning to social action. Schutz (1962) suggest it is observation on the experiences of everyday lives (Schutz, 1962, p. 59 cited in Bryman, 2008, p.16). Ethnography is a study of observation and interviews, and developing an understanding of the society and individuals’ behaviour. According to Sarsby (1984) “every field is different and it is being at the right place at the right time” (Bryman, 2008, p. 401) and building a relationship with partcipants.
Article one is a study that was done using observations and interviews. The research explores the attitudes and patterns of behaviour of the staff. The researchers had interviews that were both formal and informal conversations with most of the staff. To get the details it was requested that the partcipants described their job roles. They were asked what their views were on how it affected their jobs with new contracts (MacDonald, 2007). The methods they used were interviews and observations of involvement within the practice. They stated that the data of these methods helped to compare the behaviour of the staff (MacDonald, 2007).
With the interviews, they transcribed and coded to recognise the developing areas. They conversed with the research team frequently to assess expectations and also to categorise ways for more study (MacDonald, 2007). There are limitations to this study, as the researchers conducted insignificant samples and there were no views from the staff within the practices. Besides that, they found that they could not observe the motivation of the staff. This is because it might delay observations of their behaviour and the writing up of their findings (MacDonald, 2007). The research shows the early stages and there is a need for further research (MacDonald, 2007). The outline of the study where the structural deviations linked with the implementation of the quality and outcomes has shown the ways that doctors and staff relate to each other. In addition, it shows the difficulty in predicting “the long-term costs” of the changes (MacDonald, 2007).
Article two used participants’ observations and interviews, and collections of documentary evidence. It was led by professionals that determined the areas that needed improvement where partcipants users could take part (Fudge, 2008). It was hard to identify the effect on the services. Indeed, the study highlighted there was further knowledge of the personal gains for the staff who were involved (Fudge, 2008). By doing this research it gave increased knowledge about strokes and the services available for patients and specialists, and administrative staff (Fudge, 2008). There was not much evidence of direct user involvement of improving quality of services. In addition, there a lack of skilled staff was noticed (Fudge, 2008). The study has limitations because the programme is not directly generalisable to modernisation. Another limitation was that the study was only carried out two years of the three years that was predicted. It only provided part of the study where the user involvement continues to progress (Fudge, 2008). One strength of this research is that, by using the ethnography method, they are able to include participant observations. They can see what the staff actually do instead of what they say (Fudge, 2008).
The objective of the research in article three was to describe, explore and to compare organisational routines for repeat prescriptions in doctors’ surgeries. (Swinglehurst, 2011). The investigation involved mapping the prescribing service by building on a rich description of the organisational doctors’ surgeries, and also connecting them through combination reports on the repeat prescriptions (Swinglehurst, 2011). The research showed that the receptionists and administrative staff regarded themselves responsible to the patients when repeating prescriptions. It requires a “high degree” of modifying and the decision of receptionists where there is a need for an updated study for patient protection (Swinglehurst, 2011). It was found by researchers that the doctors were oblivious of the input of their receptionists and administrative staff, indeed, within the article there was no information in the policy documents and previous research. However, the staff were occasionally criticised for not getting work done and their indirect ways of safeguarding patients (Swinglehurst, 2011). The research discovered the relationship and pressures of the work they do daily, and to find ways of the issues within the surgeries, and to find a better way for the procedure of repeat prescriptions. They found their research was bigger than any other UK practice. Furthermore, the willingness of the staff being observed could have replicated features of the practice. This is common when observing, as using electronic patient records are combined with pharmacy systems (Swinglehurst, 2011).
Article four is a study that observes and undertakes interviews in the workplace. This is to see how they understand and explore practices of food handling and provide measures for the effectiveness of workplace training. The research shows that the results help to identify areas of improvement, by allowing the progress of training with the right tools. This is where the training is inputted from “primary production through to food handling by the consumer” (Crandell et al., 2015). This study used an ethnography method to collect the data of employees who did the cleaning and sanitation jobs (Crandell et al., 2015). Many tasks were identified while doing an observation interview procedure (Crandell et al., 2015). The study showed that there was a need for improvement and “to provide training and materials”, and also to regulate “whether the SOP and SSOP procedures were being followed as written and if not, why not?” (Crandell et al., 2015). The research found that there is a need for new and modified work flow, and with new tools and training (Crandell et al., 2015). The researchers used interviews with open-ended questions to fill the gaps that observations cannot pick up.
However, there are limitations with open-ended questions that can give diverse information; the answer could be irrelevant to the research, and also the question can be too complex and the interviewee could lose their way in the interview. Another problem is that the person who is being interviewed could be intimidated by the questions. It can be time consuming and the interviews take a long time to transcribe and code. Strengths of open-ended questions interviews include that they can allow for unlimited possible answers and can be answered in detail. Some findings could be gained that the interviewer had not thought of using before.
This essay will now use critical analysis of the ethnography method, and it will discuss the findings within the study. An example of ethnography is the Chicago School of Social Research. Robert Park encouraged students to study and observe the continuous changes of social occurrences of Chicago in the 1920s and 1930s. The research was extensive in areas such as “crime and deviance, race relations and urbanism” (May, 2001, p.147; Bulmer, 1984a; Kurtz, 1984). It is claimed that the researcher was part of the study in order to get an understanding of changes by participating and recording their experiences (May, 2001, p.148).
However, it can be argued that individuals act on principles from their environments. This is because they can understand the actions of individuals who occupy and produce cultures, defined as symbolic and learned aspects of human behaviour. Becker (1979) states that there is a need to recognise the difficulties and concepts in order to determine the information within the study (May, 2001, p148). Ethnography leads to an empathetic understanding of a social setting. Glaser and Strauss (1967) state that it should be related to the behaviour of the study. As the researcher is exposed to each social setting it acts as a control on reaching rushed conclusions (May, 2001, pp. 150-151). It is possible that researchers will omit a whole range of data in order to confirm their own pre-established beliefs, leaving the method open to the charge of bias. Furthermore, the observation of small-scale setting leaves it open to the charge that its findings are local, specific and not generalisable. It therefore lacks external validity. This may be challenged by arguing that the observed social setting is “typical”, by adopting the perspective of realism and examining the generative mechanisms of human interaction (May, 2001, pp. 170 – 171, Porter, 1993), or using a variety of data sources (May, 2001, p.171).

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This essay will now compare the four articles. All articles used an ethnography method with interviews and observations. Article one and two did a small amount of research. It is clear if the study was done over a longer term it would have been more accurate. This is because the researchers would have rich and more detailed data. Article two is an example of this statement. It was smaller than the researchers predicted ― they only researched for two years instead of the three years they predicted. Article one had no mention of the views from the staff and in article three the doctors were unaware of what administrative staff do within the practice. However, they were often asked what they have done within the day. Article four used open-ended questions to fill in the gaps that observation could not identify. However, it can be argued that the questions can be complex and all the answers are not recorded. The first research only used a small group of researchers; the study does not show the views and the outcomes of observation in the study. There were many consequences and it was difficult to recognise the impact of the services. The research found that there is a lack of technical knowledge. However, other studies have shown it helps with the running of the surgery. The third undertook an investigation by charting the services to build a rich description. It showed it is essential for quality and services on repeat prescriptions. Also, it highlights the work that the receptionists and administrative staff do in the background. Indeed, teamwork is essential for patient safety. Finally, the fourth study identifies areas of improvement and training with the right tools. The study evaluates the cleaning process of working with food. Documents were observed and identified the need for improvements in employee training with the right tools, and training for improvement.
This kind of research has proved to be first-rate and it seems to be an ideal way to study. Even though there are differences among areas of study, it has delivered an in-depth collection of data. It also often determines more research that needs to done. There are limitations too; time is an issue for ethnographic studies and there are costs with doing full in-depth research. Another example would be funding ― to do an in-depth research will cost money to do. It will be cheaper to do a survey then an investigation over a long time.
However, the main challenge would be acceptance from the people they are studying. They need to be accepted in the area of a study to get the best results. The progress is important to find out the key informants to conduct this kind of research. This is because they would undertake regular reviews and the researchers need to have a good rapport with them. When conducting research participant observation involves looking and listening. The objective is to see individuals in their usual background; the investigator should not interrupt the setting. Blending into the background is usually recommended. However, it can be impossible, for example, when observing in a classroom will be out of place. This can result in an artificial setting (Taylor et al., 1995, p621). However, it can be difficult to observe sometimes a participant observer and interviewers are unclear because researchers usually write up the day’s finding on the day while they are still fresh in their minds. However, even doing it on the same day information can be left out due to the fact that the researcher cannot remember everything that has be spoken in the interview.
Feminist approach suggests that issues concerning women are often overlooked. Looking through the feminist lens they believe that it is how we think, such as what is the truth and what is false, (epistemology) and it is the reflection of the researcher understanding of what is fact(ontology). According to Marcus (1992) “realist ethnographers believe in coherence, community, historical determination and structure” (Skeggs, Nd, p.431). In addition, “there is a reality out there which can be discovered and identified.”(Skeggs,Nd, p.431). Marcus also suggest that it is “the question of who or what controls and defines the identity of individuals, social groups, nations and cultures (Skeggs, Nd, p.431).
Postmodernists ethnographers focuses on the pressures of issues of globalisation, and the movement of people, and the everyday relations of the world (Weiss and Wesley, Nd). Therefore, different perspectives see ethnography in a different way, and also do their study in various differences of their research. They argue that the “nature of knowledge has changed to a new radical” theories. The theory of knowledge (epistemology) claims that the truth can be discovered by the use of the correct techniques. In addition, it used to evaluate what is true and what is not, however, postmodernist believe it is possible to rule out the knowledge as being untrue (har & Hol, yr, pp. 904/5).
In conclusion, this essay has looked at how qualitative research and ethnography methods are used in four different articles. It has sought to identify similarities and differences of using ethnography within research. All four used ethnography with observation and interviews. In the studies, they all highlighted that there is a need for further research and training is needed in all areas of these works of research. Each work of research was done in different areas; however, they have similar aspects in what they covered. However, they have used the study in different ways. It has shown that, when using the qualitative research and ethnographic method, there are strengths and weaknesses. Before starting the research, these have to be examined before deciding on what method to use. By looking at different views on ethnography, it highlights that they look at it in different perspectives of the work of ethnography method.