Comparing the attitudinal differences between contingent and permanent worker in health

Chapter 3: Research Methodology

Methodology is the most critical step in conducting a research work effectively. In other words, methodology reflects the path followed by the researcher in study. This particular study focuses on analyzing the differences between contingent and permanent workers in the health and social care. In this regard, this chapter emphasizes on discussing the methods, strategies, and approaches used in the data collection and interpretation process respectively. This chapter is based on the Research Onion Model to develop better understanding with respect to the methodology used. The chapter has been divided into different segments that are research philosophy, approach, design, strategy, and choice of method, time horizon, data collection, analysis and ethics (Zefeiti & Mohamad, 2015).

3.1. Research Philosophies

The research philosophy is about the beliefs and assumptions based on which the research is conducted effectively. There are basically there types of research philosophies that are positivism, interpretivism and realism. In this study, the Interpretivism (interpretivist) research philosophy has been used. This philosophical approach has been selected because it orimarily focuses on integrating the human interest in this study. Additionally, according to this philosophical approach reality about the differences in attitudes of contingent and permanent workers in social and health care can only be understood by developing social consciousness and social involvement. Under interpretivism philosophy, the researcher has performed the role of social actor to detect the differences in attitudes of people. The naturalistic approach of this philosophy has enabled the researcher to use both primary and secondary data collection method in this study. Interviews and observations are mostly suitable under the interpretivism philosophy (Saunders, 2012).


3.2. Research Approach

Research approach is about the path followed by researcher in collecting data for the study. In this regard, it can be highlighted that there are two different research approaches that is inductive and deductive among others. In this study, the inductive research approach has been used. The inductive approach has been preferred for the study as it is associated with qualitative study and effective in collecting data about the research area only. Under the inductive approach, data collected is examined according to the theories associated with it. This research is attributed as inductive as several theories have been studied through secondary literatures to attain the purpose of the study effectively. In this study, the data has been collected according to the inductive approach wherein both the primary and secondary data has been used (Sahay, 2016; Saunders, 2012). Thus, this approach has been effective in detecting the attitudinal differences between the workers (permanent and contingent) in health and social care in Northamptonshire, UK.

3.3. Research Design

Research design is about the strategy applied by the researcher to collect data and interpret it accurately to derive meaningful outcomes. In this regard, there are three types of research designs that are descriptive, explanatory and exploratory. The descriptive research is based on theoretical approach and thus it emphasizes on collecting information about the specific research area only. Besides, the exploratory design is based on exploring the subject area further to find relevant outcome. However, this particular study is based on experimental design. Under the experimental research design there are different types of methods used such as focus groups, literature search, case study and interview among others. In this interview method has been used to collect the necessary information revealing about differences in attitudes of the contingent and permanent workers in the health and social care units (Boru, 2018; Harwell, 2010).

3.4. Research Strategy

Strategy is about the process followed in data collection and interpretation. In a research, there are two types of research strategy that is qualitative and quantitative. In this study, the qualitative research strategy has been used. This particular strategy has been effective in data collection and does not involve any use of numerical or statistical data. The qualitative strategy has been used to gather the necessary descriptive information about the differences between the permanent and contingent workers in the social and health care units in Northamptonshire, UK. Furthermore, this strategy emphasizes more on studying the subject area that has been helpful for the researcher in getting accurate answers to the research questions (Mehrad and Tahriri, 2019).

3.5. Choice of Method

There are three different types of choice of methods that is multi method, mono method and mixed method. In this study, the mono method has been used. Under the mono method, only one method is used either quantitative or qualitative. In this study, the qualitative method has been used under the mono method for collecting the data and information. This method has been used as understanding the attitude of workers involve only descriptive information and so it does not require any use of statistical tools (Schwaferts, n.d).

3.6. Time Horizon

Time horizon is about the total time involved in conducting the research work effectively. In a research, there are two types of time horizon that is longitudinal and cross sectional time horizon. This particular study has used the longitudinal time horizon. This is because it is used for long term research and qualitative study. Thus, the researcher has got enough time in conducting the research data collection and interpretation process effectively (Schwaferts, n.d).

3.7. Data Collection and data analysis

This is crucial step in methodology as it enables collecting the necessary evidences for the study. There are two types of data collection methods that is primary and secondary method. The primary data is raw data (Hox and Boeije, 2005). In this primary data has been collected through conducting interview among the target demographics. The target demographics involve different health care and social care workers care in Northamptonshire, UK. A sample size of 10 participants was considered in the study. In this 5 participants were permanent workers and 5 of them were contingent workers. The interview was effective in gathering necessary information about the differences in workers attitudes. The analysis of primary data has been conducted using the thematic framework and coding wherein charts and mapping has been used to interpret the data. Besides, the study has also used the secondary sources of information. The sources used in the study include books, journals, and academic articles and authenticate webpages among others (Hox and Boeije, 2005).

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3.8 Ethics

The primary data collected are always subject to issues and thus the ethical considerations are always followed in order to ensure the reliability of information presented in the research. In this study, the participants were not incentivized to ensure no biasness towards the data collected. This also ensures that the data collected are according to the purpose of the study. In addition, letter of permission or consent was also taken from the participants before conducting the interview. Apart from the consent form, information sheet was also given to the participants informing them about the ethical practices involved in completing this study (Jameel & Majid, 2018).


Schwaferts. (n.d). Applying Saunders Research Onion. [Online] Available from: [Accessed on 24 November, 2021].

Hox, J. J. and Boeije, H. R. (2005). Data collection, primary vs secondary. Encyclopedia of social management, Vol. 1, pp. 593-599.

Jameel, B. & Majid, U. (2018). Research fundamental: Data collection, data analysis and ethics. URNCST, Vol. 2, Iss. 4, pp. 1-8.

Saunders, M. (2012). Research Methods for Business Students, 6th edition. Pearson Education Limited.

Sahay, A. (2016). Peeling Saunder's Research Onion. Peeling Saunder's Research Onion, pp. 1-4.

Harwell, M. R. (2010). Research design in qualitative/quantitative/mixed methods. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 29 November, 2021].

Boru, T. (2018). Research design and methodology. University of South Africa, pp. 01-10.

Zefeiti, S. M. B. & Mohamad, N. A. (2015). Methodological Considerations in Studying Transformational Leadership and its Outcomes. International Journal of Engineering Business Management, pp. 1-8.

Mehrad, A. and Tahriri, M. (2019). Comparison between Qualitative and Quantitative Research Approaches: Social Sciences. International Journal For Research In Educational Studies, Vol. 5, pp. 1-10.

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