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Research Proposal Part-2

Course Title and Code

Research Methods, C39RE

Course Lecturer

Dr. Esinath Ndiweni

Title of Research Proposal

Occupational Stress Management: Stress, Burnout and Coping among Nurses operating at Emergency Departments in Abu Dhabi

Student Name

Jesvin Joseph Augustine

HWID

H00259465

Program title:

B.A. Business and Finance

Word Count:

1854

Table of Contents

Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..3

· Research Aim and Objectives……………………………………………………………………………………………….3

Research Strategy…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….3

· Research Philosophy…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….3

· Research Approach………………………………………………………………………………………………………………3

Data Collection Methods………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….4

· Semi-structured Interviews…………………………………………………………………………………………………..4

· Web-based Survey Questionnaires……………………………………………………………………………………….5

Data Analysis Techniques…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………5

· Thematic Analysis…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………5

· Statistical Package for Social Sciences…………………………………………………………………………………..5

Ethical Issues…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….6

Structure…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..6

Structure of Final Work…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….7

References………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..7

Introduction:

Research Aim and Objectives

Part 1 of the Research Proposal showed that the aim of the proposal was to understand the research topic of occupational stress management with regards to stress, nurse burnout and coping among nurses at the emergency departments in Abu Dhabi. It included a background into the research topic, literature review and the significance of the dissertation. The research questions inquired (1) whether stressors have an impact on nurses, (2) if Nurse Burnout can be reduced or eliminated, (3) which coping strategies are most preferred among nurses, and (4) what percentage of nurses exhibit high and low stress working in the emergency department. The objectives included (1) to evaluate different stressors affecting nurses in the workplace, (2) to explore the factors leading to Nurse Burnout, (3) to evaluate nurses’ preferences on coping strategies, and (4) to examine differences in stress levels among nurses in the workplace.

Part 2 of the Proposal will follow up on the strategy, methodology and structure of the dissertation.

Research strategy:

Research Philosophy

Along with being a means to answer research questions, a research strategy bridges the philosophy and methodology to be utilized in the study (Denzin & Lincoln, 2018). Here, the dissertation will be exploratory in nature, through a case study strategy on a medical institution in Abu Dhabi, so as to understand the influences of occupational stress on nurses and would help gain deeper insights on the research topic (Yin, 2014). Furthermore, since human behavior and interests are aligned to the research, the philosophy undertaken would be of interpretivism as the study will be exploring subjective opinions (Myers, 2013). In the same manner, Saunders et al. (2016) find interpretivism to be particularly apt while conducting research in areas such as Organizational Behavior as well as Human Resource Management which are core elements of the research topic.

Research Approach

Whilst conducting research, the approach to be utilized will be of mixed methods, which involves making use of quantitative and qualitative data collection methodologies in order to explore observations (Tashakkori and Teddlie, 2010), drawing out conclusions and attempting to build on existing related theory. This relates to the Triangulation of qualitative data from semi-structured interviews and quantitative data from web-based survey questionnaires which is highly associated with a case study strategy (Saunders et al. 2016) and will be considered in the study.

Although interpretivism usually associates with qualitative methods of collecting and analyzing data, quantitative methods may be utilized since the nature of the research inquiry is subjective (Saunders et al. 2016); which is further backed by authors Cook and Reichardt (1979) who suggest that the philosophical paradigm of one approach may be utilized along with the methodology of another.

The reason for adopting a mixed methods approach pertains to the understanding that some elements of the study will require utilizing an inductive approach, through the use of semi-structured interviews to explore (1) whether stressors have an impact on nurses, (2) if Nurse Burnout can be reduced or eliminated, and (3) which coping strategies are most preferred among nurses, and some following a deductive approach, in the form of survey questionnaires to explore (4) what percentage of nurses exhibit high and low stress levels working at the emergency department. This approach is further backed by the understanding that both quantitative and qualitative methods can be used to support each other (Creswell and Plano Clark, 2017). And by using multiple methods, Bryman (2016) suggests this approach to be highly appropriate among managerial researchers since the limitations of using a single method are avoided as well as providing a more insightful approach to collecting, analyzing and interpreting data.

Data Collection Methods:

Easterby-Smith et al. (2018) suggest that having existing contacts for the purpose of research provides easier access to data and increases credibility among new contacts, which aligns well within the case study strategy followed. Similarly, this is how the study will attempt to gather data. On another note, the use of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, are able to test and enhance theoretical perspectives which will be able to offer a more focused sense of direction to the study (Tashakkori and Teddlie, 2010). Both primary and secondary data sources will be used in the dissertation. Primary data will be acquired from semi-structured interviews (qualitative) and web-based survey questionnaires (quantitative) to collect, analyze and form conclusions on findings. Secondary data will be acquired from past and current published papers on similar studies to review and understand certain elements of the research topic, which is often utilized in case study strategies (Saunders et al., 2016). The semi-structured interviews will be purposive and use ‘snowball technique’ in order to gain participants whereas the web-based survey questionnaire will be self-completed.

Semi-Structured Interviews

Cooper and Schindler (2018) suggest that adopting semi-structured interviews within an exploratory study is highly appropriate for the research design so as to understand the decisions, mindset and responses of participants and their reasons for these. Along with fitting into the interpretivist epistemology, these offer the opportunity to build on participants’ responses to comprehend the meanings of the observed phenomenon (Saunders et al. 2016) thereby exploring research questions through further inquiries. In the same manner, Creswell and Poth (2016) imply that the core and associated questioning involved in gathering data, are improved while the interview is being conducted. This part of the study would follow an inductive approach. Being purposive, semi-structured interviews will be used to evaluate different stressors for nurses at work, to explore factors leading to Nurse Burnout and to evaluate their preferences of coping strategies, by adapting from Lazarus and Folkman’s Transactional Model of Stress and Coping.

The data from the semi-structured interviews will be either be audio recorded or taken down as notes to produce transcripts (Kvale and Brinkmann, 2015) under participants’ consent, for analyzes. Guest et al. (2006) suggest that 12 semi-structured interviews would be sufficient provided that participants are part of a homogeneous group. Here, 14 participants would be considered and categorized on the basis of age, gender and work experience, and will remain anonymous.

Web-based Survey Questionnaire

Although they are not apt for exploratory research, survey questionnaires concerned with attitudes and ideas of participants would aid in understanding their differences towards a particular situation (Saunders et al., 2016). Here, it would look at differences in stress levels among nurses in the workplace. These self-completed questionnaires would be designed and available online using SurveyMonkey. Furthermore, they work well in a mixed method approach and will be complementary to findings from semi-structured interviews (Creswell and Plano Clark, 2017). By using questionnaires, the study will mainly look at Attribute Variables, which understand differences of opinions and behavior among participants, so as to make conclusions on the population (Dillman et al., 2014). Moreover, questions adapted from the Professional Life Stress scale developed by David Fontana will be considered as similar studies utilized this too. It includes rated questions which are useful in collecting subjective opinions (Saunders et al. 2016). In addition, this study will also include Burnout as a factor which similar studies did not consider (Koval, 2016).

Here, the sampling frame will consist of all registered nurses of the emergency department at the particular medical institution, in Abu Dhabi. A sample of 90 participants will be considered.

Data Analysis Techniques:

Thematic Analysis

Data gathered from semi-structured interviews will be analyzed to search for patters or themes from each research question. Braun and Clarke (2006) find Thematic Analysis to be the basis for qualitative data analysis since it provides a systematic and flexible approach in analyzing qualitative data. This will be aided by transcribing data through summaries so to be familiar with it (Kvale and Brinkmann, 2015). Furthermore, all data would be coded, as the approach followed here is inductive, in order to be exploring all possibilities of meaning from the data collected, however this may be time consuming (Saunders et al. 2016). A list of codes used, along with a description of its’ use will be kept during coding. The research question to be answered here, will influence the data to be selected for coding. CAQDAS will be used to help code data. After coding, the analysis will follow searching for themes and patterns that are related to the research question by understanding core concepts, whether these seem to be related and/or recurring within codes, the essence of each theme and the presence of a thematic map underlying relations among themes. Then follows refining themes to revise the relationships between them so as to check whether coded data are meaningful to each other. Through this process, the study will hope to gain testable propositions, so as to develop valid conclusions (Miles et al. 2019).

Statistical Package for Social Sciences

According to Greasley (2008), SPSS is most commonly used and appropriate analytical tool for quantitative data, through the use of questionnaires. The Ordinal data collected from the web-based survey questionnaire will utilize SPSS. This is done to determine what percentage of nurses exhibit high and low stress levels in the emergency department. As the dissertation will be exploratory in nature, analysis will utilize descriptive statistics through measures of central tendency and dispersion so as to provide a brief summary of the data; and coding will utilize existing schemes of Social Attitude Variables (Park et al, 2010) which will be pre-set codes. As a result of this, discussions will be drawn out in order to provide the final thoughts and recommendations of the dissertation.

Ethical Issues:

Saunders et al. (2016) suggest that ethics should be the first priority during and after the study, which may involve changing research strategy and methodology wherever required. Here, it is crucial that the understanding of the country and culture where the study would be conducted, be considered. In short, following appropriate ethical codes of conduct within the bounds of the study is a critical aspect in its validation (Marshall and Rossman, 2016). Research related to nursing along with all forms of human studies are found to be highly sensitive to ethical codes as there is great deal of concern with protecting the overall well-being and interests of participants involved (Denscombe, 2012). With regards to gaining access to data, the study will not put pressure on nurses to participant and will respect their privacy, thereby not disrupting their interests.

Structure:

Structure of final work:

Chapter 1 will look at introducing the research topic of Occupational Stress Management with regards to Stress, Burnout and Coping Strategies among nurses working at Emergency Departments in an Abu Dhabi based hospital. It will also include the research questions along with aims, objectives and how the study would be conducted. Chapter 2 will focus on Literature Review in Theoretical Context by utilizing secondary data sources like research papers and related journal articles. Chapter 3 will follow up on research methodology, which includes the philosophy, approaches, data collection techniques and analyses to be considered while conducting research. Chapter 4 would form a discussion on the results from data collection and analyses from research methodology. Chapter 5 will conclude the study by providing final thoughts and recommendations. The dissertation will end on a reference list and additional data through appendices.

References:

Bryman, A. (2016). Social Research Methods. 5th ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

Cook, T. D. & Reichardt, C. S. (1979). Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Evaluation. 1st Ed. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage publications.

Cooper, D. R. & Schindler, P. S. (2018). Business Research Methods. 13th ed. London: McGraw-Hill.

Creswell, J. W. & Plano Clark, V. L. (2017). Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Creswell, J. W & Poth, C. N. (2016). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches. 4th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage publications.

Denscombe, M. (2012). Research Proposals: A Practical Guide. 1st ed. England: McGraw-Hill Education.

Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2018). The SAGE handbook of qualitative research. 5th ed. Los Angeles: Sage.

Dillman, D. A, Smyth, J. D. & Christian, L. M. (2014). Internet, Phone, Mail and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Taliored Design Method. 4th ed. New York: Wiley.

Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. & Jackson, P.R. (2018). Management and Business Research. 6th ed. London: Sage.

Greasley, P. (2008). Quantitative Data Analysis Using SPSS: An Introduction for Health & Social Science. 1st ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Guest, G., Bunce, A. & Johnson, L. (2006). How many interviews are enough? An experiment with data saturation and validity. Field Methods, 18(1), pp. 59-82.

Koval, L. (2016). Stress management among health care professionals: Psychological methods and coping techniques. Bachelor’s Thesis, Laurea University of Applied Sciences.

Kvale, S. & Brinkmann, S. (2015). Interviews: Learning the Craft of Qualitative Research Interviewing. 3rd ed. Los Angeles: Sage.

Marshall, C. & Rossman, G. B. (2016). Designing Qualitative Research. 6th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Miles, M. B. Huberman, A. M. & Saldana, J. (2019). Qualitative Data Analysis: A Methods Sourcebook. 4th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Myers, M.D. (2013). Qualitative Research in Business & Management. 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Sage

Park, A., Curtice, J., Thompson, K., Phillips, M., Clery, E. & Butt, S. (2010). British Social Attitudes. 26th report. London: Sage.

Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2016). Research Methods for Business Students. 7th ed. Harlow: Pearson.

Tashakkori, A. & Teddlie, C. (2010). The Sage Handbook of Mixed Methods in Social and Behavioral Research. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Yin, R. K. (2014). Case Study Research Design and Methods. 5th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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