Choosing the Right Methodology

Answering the Research Questions

To effectively test the research hypothesis and answer the research questions that touch on the need to create environmental awareness and scarcity in the Australian health sector, the proposed study will utilize a mixed methods approach in which both quantitative and qualitative methods are applied contemporaneously. Leech et al. define a quantitative methodology as one that involves the collection of data using tools such as surveys and observations to test predetermined variables.1 For instance, when examining the reasons behind the need for Australian hospitals to adopt green supply chain policies, the researcher may have to quantify the extent of loss incurred following the previous adoption of non-green strategies. Qualitative data will also be gathered by means of interviews or questionnaires to help test the given hypothesis. The qualitative methodology, on the other hand, will seek to answer questions such as why, how, and in what way. Overall, the use of the mixed method will help the researcher achieve the research objectives, which revolve around investigating the most effective strategies and benefits of embracing a green supply chain in Australian hospitals.

The Precise Methods to Use

The researcher proposes the simultaneous use of interviews and questionnaires, both of which will contain pre-formulated questions that the participants will be required to answer within the given timeframe. The questionnaire and interview guide will be provided a fortnight before the commencement of the study. The interviews will take place at the participants’ workplaces, after which they will be required to fill in the corresponding questionnaires. The interview questions that will be used to solicit the qualitative data will be open-ended to facilitate the collection of more data from the respondents.

Justification of the Choice of Methodology

The choice of a mixed method approach for this study is informed by the fact that the contemporaneous use of these two approaches will facilitate the collection of highly reliable and valid data. Creswell argues that research data tends to be more convincing and dependable when it is contains both qualitative and quantitative elements.2 This argument is grounded on the view that the researcher is empowered to compare data from the two approaches to detect any inconsistency that may compromise its reliability. Thonon et al.’s work titled, “Identifying Potential Indicators to Measure the Outcome of Translational Cancer Research: A Mixed Methods Approach,” cements the argument about data validity and reliability as a result of using the mixed methods approach.3 In their research into potential indicators to measure the outcome of translational cancer research, the authors indicated that the results were highly valid and consequently suitable for generalization.

The Commonness of the Proposed Methodology

In recent history, the mixed methods approach has gained grounds in medical-related research due to evidence showing that data obtained using the approach is highly convincing and reliable. Another reason for the employment of the stated research method is that it is easy to use, since the qualitative and quantitative data points can be collected and analyzed concurrently. This methodology has been used successfully in different medical fields such as dentistry, nursing, family medicine, and psychology, among others. The qualitative component of the mixed methods approach is used to solicit data pertaining to a variable about which the researcher is unsure. On the other hand, the quantitative component is used to test the extent to which the independent variable affects the dependent one(s). The exploration of the two aspects contemporaneously in a mixed methods research design makes it attractive to medical researchers.

Bibliography

Creswell, J., Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications, 2013.

Leech, N. et al., ‘Evaluating Mixed Research Studies: A Mixed Methods Approach’, Journal of Mixed Methods Research, vol. 4, no. 1, 2010, pp.17-31.

Thonon, F. et al., ‘Identifying Potential Indicators to Measure the Outcome of Translational Cancer Research: A Mixed Methods Approach’, Health Research Policy and Systems, vol. 13, no. 1, 2015, pp. 13-72.

Footnotes

1 – N. Leech et al., ‘Evaluating Mixed Research Studies: A Mixed Methods Approach’, Journal of Mixed Methods Research, vol. 4, no. 1, 2010, p.17.

2 – J. Creswell, Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications, 2013, p. 32.

3 – F. Thonon et al., ‘Identifying Potential Indicators to Measure the Outcome of Translational Cancer Research: A Mixed Methods Approach’, Health Research Policy and Systems, vol. 13, no. 1, 2015, p. 14.