Merits and Demerits of interview techniques

Interview method is the most popular method for collecting primary data. It is widely used in every fields or sectors. The interview technique is one of the important and powerful tool for collecting the primary data in social research. The technique involves presentation of oral-verbal stimuli and reply in terms of oral-verbal responses. It is a direct method of data collection. The interview technique can be used through personal interviews and through telephone interviews.

The major merits of interview technique can be summarized as:
  •  More accurate information can be obtained.
  • Personal information can as well be obtained easily under this method.
  • Due to personal presence of the interviewer, there is flexibility in the inquiry.
  • Additional supplementary information can also be obtained.
  • The interviewer can usually control which person will answer the questions.
  • Generally non-response remains very low in this method.
  • Observation method can as well as applied to recording verbal answers to various questions.
  • Representative and wider distribution of sample is possible by using the method.
  • The interviewer contact the informants personally, they can exercise their intelligence, skill, tact etc. to extract correct and relevant information by cross examination of the information, if necessary.
  • The language of the interview can be adopted to the ability or educational level of the person interviewed and as such misinterpretations concerning questions can be avoided.
Interview techniques have many  merits but it have also many demerits. The main demerits of this techniques are given below:
  • It is a very expensive method, specially when large and widely spread geographical sample is taken.
  • There remains the possibility of the bias of interviewer as well as that of the respondent.
  • This method is relatively more-time consuming, specially when the sample is large.
  • Certain types of respondents may not give true answers to the questions.
  • The presence of the interviewer on the spot may over-stimulate the respondent.
  • Training and supervising of the interviewers is more complex.
  • Systematic errors may arise.

Primary Data: Sources of Data Collection

Depending upon the sources, mainly there are two types of data i.e. primary data and secondary data. Primary data are those data which are collected afresh and for the first time on the account of concerned investigation. The primary data is thus original in character. Researcher or his staff collects the necessary data from field of inquiry. In the initial stage, the primary
data are raw in nature. After collecting the data, they are presented, edited, tabulated and analyzed at the central office of the investigator. On the basis of analyzed data, specific conclusions of the investigation is made.

There are different methods of collecting primary data. The main methods of them are:
  1. Observation Method
  2. Interview Method
  3. Information Through Correspondents
  4. Mailed Questionnaire Method
  5. Through Schedules
  6. Other Methods
1. Observation Method: In this method, the data are gathered by investigator on observing some events as they occur without asking from the respondents. The investigator watched each and every activities of the concerned units and note them  for taking information. The concerned units may be people, animal, objects etc. This is the most commonly used method specially in studies relating to behavioral sciences and animal sciences. The observation methods are also further classified into (a) Participant and Non-participant Observation, (b) Structured and Unstructured Observation, (c) Controlled and Uncontrolled Observation, (d) Behavioral and Non-behavioral Observation.

2. Interview Method: The interview is perhaps the most popular method of primary data collection in social research. It has been and still used in all kinds of practical situations. It is the direct method of collection of data. The interview is probably man's oldest and most often used device for obtaining information. The interview technique is a verbal method of obtaining data related with the research problem. A person who asks questions is known as interviewer and a person who gives the reply of the questions is known as interviewee.

Interview method can be used as personal interview (direct or indirect), telephone interview, Internet interview, focus group interview etc. Generally there are two types of interviews. They are

  1. Structured and Unstructured
  2. Standardized and Unstandardized
Structured and standardized interview use a set of predetermined questions whereas unstructured and unstandardized interviews do not use predetermined questions. In the later case, the interviewer is allowed much freedom to ask supplementary questions if it is necessary. The unstructured, unstandardized interview is an open situation in contrast to the structured, standardized interview which is closed situation.

Types of sampling techniques

Non-Probability sampling techniques: This types of sampling techniques in which every unit of the population has not an equal chance of being included in the sample is known as non-probability sampling. The sample are selected on the basis of personal knowledge, opinion and discretion of the sampler. This type of sampling method is also known as non-random sampling. For the opinion surveys, this sampling method is mainly used. There are different types of non-probability sampling methods. They are:
  1. Judgement or purposive sampling: In this method, the investigator selects sample items on his own judgement. The choice of selecting sample is nothing to left in chance in this method.
  2. Convenience sampling: In this method, the samples are selected on the basis of the convenience of the investigator. It is also known as chunk sampling.
  3. Quota sampling: In this method, the population is divided into different groups, known as quota. After doing this, the researcher collects information from quota. Quota sampling is the most systematic and scientific method in comparison with other non-probability sampling method.

Types of sampling techniques

Generally there are two types of sampling techniques which are described below:
  1. Probability (Random) sampling technique
  2. Non-probability (non-random) sampling technique
1. Probability (Random) sampling
A type of sampling technique in which every unit of the population has an equal chance of being selected in the sample is known as probability sampling. In this method, selection of the sample is based on the theory of probability. This type of sampling is also referred as random sampling. Here, the term random does not means the haphazard or without any purpose. It is a systematic process.

Probability sampling is further sub-divided in the following types:
a) Simple random sampling
b) Stratified sampling
c) Systematic sampling
d) Cluster sampling
e) Multi-stage sampling

1. Simple random sampling: The simplest and most common method of sampling is simple random sampling. In this method, each and every unit of the population has equal chance of being included in the sample. It is also sometimes referred as unrestricted random sampling.

If a unit is selected and noted and then returned to the population before the next drawing is made and this procedure repeated many times, gives to required to many sample. This procedure is generally known as simple random sampling with replacement (SRSWR). If the selected unit is not returned to the population before the next drawing is made, this is known as simple random sampling  without replacement (SRSWOR).

2. Stratified sampling: Stratified sampling is a type of restricted random sampling. In this technique, first the whole population is divided into homogeneous groups under certain criterion. These groups are called strata. Then the sample is drawn from each stratum. Proper care should be taken while making strata.

In stratified sampling, the allocation of the sample to different strata is done by the consideration of three factors: stratum size, the variability within the stratum and the cost in taking observations per sample in the stratum. A good allocation is one where maximum precision is obtained with minimum resources. Mainly there are four methods of allocation of samples sizes to different strata in a stratified sampling. There are equal allocation, propotional allocation, Neyman allocation and optimum allocation.

3. Systematic sampling: A sampling technique in which only the first unit is selected with the help of random numbers and the rest get selected automatically according to some pre-designed pattern is known as systematic sampling.

4. Cluster sampling: The entire population is divided into the smallest unit. A group of such unit is known as a cluster. When the sampling unit is cluster, the procedure is called cluster sampling. Generally the cluster sampling is used when the sampling frame for elementary units of the population is not available.

5. Multi-stage sampling: A type of sampling which consists in first selecting the clusters and then selecting a specified number of elements from each selected cluster is known as two-stage sampling. The selection procedure can extended to any number of stages. Hence, in general, it is known as multi-stage sampling. This type of sampling has been commonly used in large-scale surveys.

Sampling Technique

The population or universe consists of a number of units usually very large and sometimes infinitely many. In most of the cases, it is practically not possible to include all units of the population for a study. For the studying purpose a part of the population are taken or considered. On the basis of this part the inference of the whole population is made. This technique of taking a part of the population for a studying purpose is known as sampling technique.

Sampling is a part of our day-to-day life which we use advertently or inadvertently. For instance, a housewife takes one or two grains of rice from the cooking pan and decide whether the rice is cooked or not. A consumer takes few grains of pulses and decides to buy it or not. The intelligence of the individuals in a subject is estimated by the university by giving them a four hour test at post graduate level. In all these situations, sampling is invertible and given satisfactory results.

Even in those cases where complete enumeration is possible, it is preferred to use sampling technique due to the facts that complete enumeration is much more time consuming and expensive, requires more skilled and technical personal, more errors etc.
Sampling is a tool which enables us to draw conclusions about the characteristics of the population after studying only those objects or items that are included in the sample. Sampling technique has a great importance in every field of life. It is widely used as a mean of collecting information to meet a definite need in government, industries and trade, physical and life sciences and technology, social, educational and economical problem. All walks of life are covered by sampling techniques. It is impossible to give the full range of importance of it. However, some specified importance of sampling techniques are given as follows:
  • When the scope of the investigation is very wide and the population is not completely known, then sampling technique is only the way of investigation.
  • Sampling can saves time, money and other resources. When time, money and other resources are limited for the studying purpose then it is only the means of overcome such remedies.
  • It gives more accurate results when results with maximum accuracy or reliability with a fixed budget, or with a minimum number of units with specified degree of reliability are required, then the sampling technique is used.
  • When the population is infinite e.g. the population of stars in the sky, the water in the ocean etc. and the items or units is destroyed under investigation e.g. the population of light bulbs etc., then sampling is inevitable.
  • The results obtained through the complete enumeration can be cross checked by using sampling technique.

Likert-scale for measurement of attitudes

Different people has different feelings. The thinking and behavior towards certain things are varying from people to people. These feelings are commonly referred attitude. In social science, various  research are conducted to know people attitude  towards certain things. In social science studies, it is necessary for measuring attitudes of the people towards certain things. Generally for this attitudes, scale is construct in such a way that the scores of the individual responses assign him a place on a scale. Under this approach, the respondent expresses agreement or disagreement with a number of statements relevant to the issue.

There are three major types of attitude scales: summated rating scale (Likert-scale), equal-appearing interval scales (thurstone scale), and a cumulative scale (Guttman scale).

Likert scale consists of number of statements which express either a favorable or unfavorable attitude towards the given object to which the respondent is asked or react. The respondent reacts in terms of statement given in the scale. Response of the respondents lies between the two extreme statements. The purpose of the Likert-scale is to pace an individual somewhere on an agreement continuum of the attitude in question. Each response on the Likert scale is given a numerical value or score and the scores are totaled to measure, the respondent's attitude.

Likert-scale is easy to construct and takes less time to construct. It is considered more reliable than the other scale. By using Likert-scale, investigator can study how responses differ between people and how responses differ between stimuli. Likert-scale has some limitations too. In spite of all the limitations, this Likert-scale is widely used in social science research studies to measure attitudes.

Types of Research Design in Management Areas

In simply, research design is the conceptual structure within which the research is performed. A research design is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure. Research design constitutes the blueprint for collection, measurement and analysis of data.

There are different types of research design are available. The suitable research design is selected on the basis of purpose, level and nature of study. The common research designs used in the management areas are described as follows:
  1. Conventional research (scientific research): Conventional or scientific research is a systematic and organized process of research. In this research, truths are not ascertained by beliefs, they are ascertained by logical consideration. This type of research design is widely used in the area of management.
  2. Developmental research: The type of research design whose main purpose is to predicting the future trends is known as developmental research. In this design, research concentrates on the study of variables, their rate of change, directions, sequences and other interrelated factors at a time. Longitudinal growth study, cross-sectional growth study and trend study are the three major methods of this design. For doing market survey, forecasting of sales by area or time, an employee survey might be done by using this research design.
  3. Case study  research: Case study usually refers to fairly, deeply and thoroughly examinations of a single unit. a single unit may be a person or a small group of people or single company etc. In this type of research, a researcher finds various aspects of a unit which is taken an account. Case study design is a very popular form of research in the area of management. Selected unit is studied intensively under this method.
  4. Field  study research: In this type of research, research is performed to discover the relations and interactions among variables. Researcher does not manipulate independent variables in the field study research. In the management areas, several researchers are performed to test the hypothesis. For testing the hypothesis field study research is quite useful.
  5. Action research: One of the most widely used research design in the management area is the action research. Action research is a type of design which acquires new skills or approaches of particular problems. This type of research is more practical and directly related to actual situations  of the concerned problem. It is also referred as applied research. Managers have been facing different immediate problems in their organization. They are interested to remedying the problem. For doing this action research design is the most appropriate.
  6. Evaluation research: A type of  research which is performed to evaluate the performance of the projects and the economic programmes that have already been implemented is known as evaluation research. In the area of management, evaluation research is carried out to measure achievements of the objectives and to suggest the improvements required. Action research and evaluation researches are more important in the stage of execution and control of the management.
  7. Descriptive research: Descriptive research studies are those studies which are concerned with describing the characteristics of a particular individual, or of a group. Adequate facts of the topics are collected and the conclusions are drawn  in this design. This design is more common in socio-economic surveys, job activity analysis, study of the workers in a company etc.
  8. Correlation research: In the management area, there are different variables which are influencing each other. So the researcher of the management areas are interested to find the relationships between the variables. To find the relationship between the variables correlation research is usually used. To study the relationship between the demand and supply, salary and working efficiency of staffs, advertising expenditure and profit etc., researcher may use this design.
Besides the above mentioned research designs, there are also many other designs. Such as historical research, ex-post facto research, true experimental research, assessment research etc. These designs are seldom used in the area of management. Selection of appropriate research design is mainly depends upon the nature of a particular research problem and the desired accuracy of the research.

Socio-economic impact of Visit Nepal 98

The various research designs are developed for studying the different problems. Research design is selected on the basis of the research problem and purpose. For studying the socio-economic impact of visit Nepal 98, I would use the descriptive research design.

Descriptive research studies are those studies which are concerned with describing the characteristics of a particular individual, or of a group. In descriptive research, studies are concerned with specific predictions, with narration of facts and characteristics concerning individual, group or situation. Descriptive research is a process of accounting facts.

For the given research project, I am interested to know about the impact of "Visit Nepal 98" in sociological and economic condition of a society. "Visit Nepal 98" may have a positive/negative socio-economic impact. For the given research the study is related with two factors i.e. sociological and economic factors. For this purpose opinion of the different people are necessary to collect. Here specific working hypothesis is not necessary to formulate. By collecting detailed  factual information about the project we make comparisons and evaluations in descriptive research design.

The general steps of the given research are:
  1. Formulating the objectives of the study: The objective of the given research is to find the socio-economic impact of visit Nepal 98.
  2. Designing the methods of data collection: There are various methods of data collection. For the given project, it is better to collect data by using the personal interview method or through the schedules.
  3. Selecting the sample: The sample for the studying purpose is carefully selected. Visit Nepal 98 is a programme directly related with the tourism area. So sample are also selected from the tourism area.
  4. Collect the data: Necessary adequate data are collected from the required area.
  5. Processing and analyzing the data: Collected data are processed and analyzed through the various tools.
  6. Report the result: On the basis of the analyzed data report the result of the concerned research.

Factors to be considered in conducting action research

While conducting action research some factors should be considered. The main factors considering in conducting action research are given below:
  1. Define the problem: Define the problem or set the goal of the concerned problem in lucid manner. The problem might be developed as a new skill or solution.
  2. Reviewing of literature: To learn or identify whether others have met similar problems or achieved related objectives, reviewing of literature is necessary. By consulting libraries, encyclopedias, journals, periodicals, published or unpublished thesis reports it might be done.
  3. Formulation of the hypothesis: The backbone of the research is the hypothesis. All the hypothesis revolves withing the hypothesis. So it should be formulated in a clear and concrete form. It should be tested and related with the research problem.
  4. Collection of data: Reliable and adequate data are collected to the problem concerned. Unnecessary data should not be collected.
  5. Analyze the data: Collected data are analyzed by using proper statistical tools.
  6. Outcomes: On the basis of the analysis of the data outcomes or result of the research is made. Evaluate the outcomes.
  7. Research report: Research report should be prepared with proper care. It includes all works of the research process. This is the most important factor of the research. So it cannot be finished with hurriedly.

Library finding for research purpose

The process of proper arranging the materials collected in a library is referred as an organizing  library findings. For organizing library findings first it is necessary to prepare note cards. Each note card must be labeled with a topic heading. It must be reviewed all the materials presented in the note card. After reviewing, the contents of the  card is summarized and conclusion is drawn. The outline of the conclusion is drawn in terms of alternative headings which provide the logic for reviewed literature. It may necessary to follow this process several times until  it logically follows. This will help to decide which notes will be places in the body of the chapter.