Stages of Research Process and Data collection Methods Used when Conducting a Research on Absenteeism at the Workplace
Absenteeism refers to an act whereby employees develop a habit of missing work which is usually intentionally in most cases. There are expected days that an employer expects his staff members to miss work such as public and authorized holidays but excessive absence equates to decreased or low productivity which results in a great impact on the company’s finances, strategies and morale (Federica, Massimo, and Luigi, pp. 1). Therefore, increased absenteeism in the workplace has prompted many researchers and concerned individuals to conduct researches and investigations on factors that lead to absenteeism and also determine possible solutions for the issue. More specifically, this paper discusses the stages of a research process and data collection methods used when conducting a research on workplace absenteeism.
Conducting an exclusive research on different topics including absenteeism in the workplace involves a systematic process which mainly focuses on the objective of the research and also gathering a multitude of correct information and data to analyze. Identifying the problem which in this case is absenteeism in the workplace is the first stage or step taken while conducting a research. Secondly, a background check on the topic is done in case there is a previous research or investigation done on the same issue. Thirdly, the definition of terms and concepts whereby the researcher defines the terms used in the research to reduce confusion and provide a vivid image of the issue covered in the research. The next stage involves specifying the targeted group of people in the research, for example, the Information Technology department. The fifth stage or step in the research process involves developing an instrumentation plan which shows how the study will be conducted, who will participate, how, when and where the data will be collected. Collection of data comes as the seventh stage whereby critical information and data is collected from different individuals to answer the research question. Lastly, researchers analyze the data collected according to the instrumentation plan (Brinkmann, pp. 1008-1010).
In order to achieve the best results for a research on absenteeism in the workplace, it is essential that the most reliable and productive data collections methods are used. The research involves different individuals therefore improper or unreliable data collection methods can result in inaccurate information. Use of questionnaires and conducting interviews are popular methods of data collection which are preferred by many researchers. Questionnaires are very popular means of collecting data in the field of research. Using questionnaires while conducting a research on workplace absenteeism has its advantages and disadvantages. It is advantageous in the sense that it is cheap, it can be sent via email, cover a large number of people in a department and also, it prevents embarrassments on the part of the respondent. Use of questionnaires is also associated with certain disadvantages which includes delay while waiting for responses, it is difficult to design and also, questionnaires are known to have a low response rate.
Similarly, conducting interviews is very popular for data collection during a research. This technique is primarily known for understanding the underlying reasons and motivations for people’s behavior, attitude, and preferences. Conducting interviews for data collection in a research has its advantages. They include good response rates, help to investigate motive and feelings, allows in-depth questions and it allows a serious approach to the subject, therefore, attaining accurate data. Conversely, using interviews to collect data research has its disadvantages. It is time-consuming, requires space to set up interviews, it can be expensive and also transcription and analysis can present certain issues such as subjectivity.
Conducting a research on absenteeism in the workplace requires an expert with substantial experience in the field and the researchers involved should be interactive and friendly in order to gather extensive data from the individuals. Absenteeism in the workplace is a challenge affecting major business firms and companies, therefore, managers should get experts to examine this problem and come up with possible solutions to extinguish this issue.
Cucchiella, Federica, Massimo Gastaldi, and Luigi Ranieri. “Managing absenteeism in the workplace: the case of an Italian multiutility company.” Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences 150 (2014): 1157-1166.
Brinkmann, Svend. “Interview.” Encyclopedia of critical psychology. Springer New York, 2014. 1008-1010.