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3.2. Research Design

Links to: Ideas; My Dissertation; Abstract; Table of contents; Lists; References; Bibliography; Appendices; Interviews; Coding; Memos; Notes; Categories; Chapter One; Chapter Two; Chapter Three; Chapter Four; Chapter Five; Chapter Six

Saunders’ model (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill 2009) of research methods was used in selecting the overall direction for this study toward a qualitative approach, followed by a study of Creswell’s (Creswell and Poth 2018) breakdown on qualitative methods until a final choice was deemed to be the most suitable, i.e. the modern version of grounded theory – the constructivist grounded theory taught by Charmaz (2014).

Omitting the mechanical aspects of OA deposition, this study is concerned with the subjects’ actions from a motivational angle. For this, uncovering meanings that the subjects attach to their actions (or lack thereof) in the process of deposition is a necessary component for understanding both the actual ‘play of OA’ being performed at RGU as well as the ‘behind the scene’ reality in a continual process of social interaction. Taking the ontological stance that it is the subjective interpretations and perceptions that constantly create the reality in the field, calls for a subjectivist view for which the interpretive philosophy is the chosen mode of expression for this study. Viewing the subjects, i.e. the social actors building this reality indefinitely, through their subjective lenses, summons the angle of social constructivism.

Lacking knowledge about specific factors that influence the subjects’ motivation to deposit and their interrelationships, justifies the choice of a grounded theory approach, which will facilitate the harvesting of codes and elucidation of the conundrum of these factors by continually refining conceptual categories from a number of behavioural and organisational theories emerging through the coding of the collected data (Gibbs 2015 07:50-08:38). Fused with the current of social constructivism, this approach would yield a more legitimate perspective of the field, hence the constructivist grounded theory strategy is preferred, as championed by Charmaz (2014).

Avoiding the combination of qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques, the study will rely solely on one source of data and technique for collection (mono method) (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill 2009) that is synergistic with this strategy, i.e. in-depth interviewing. Theoretical sampling Charmaz (2014) will be used, as a selective method of organising further interviews precisely on the basis of prior findings and in order to find additional data in support of the emergent theory. This will be achieved by timely ensuring (as much as realistically possible) that the participants have sufficient experience of the phenomenon being investigated and of the abstract conceptual categories emerging from coding, enabling them to provide further rich information.

The study is not a longitudinal one, lasting over a considerable period of time and no repetition of it is planned, hence it will be what Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2009) call a cross-sectional study, taking place during June-September 2018.

Throughout the study, care will be taken to impose a rigorous analysis of the collected data, and to exert great care in the interpretation of the data through coding, in order to reduce any ‘bias’ in the interpretation, which can emerge from internal and external sources (the writer’s own prior conceptual knowledge and the literature respectively). 

This reader is presented with the total experience of the research conducted at RGU, which crystallised through a dual process inspired by Holliday (2002). On one hand, the collection of raw data from intensive interviews, its rigorous analysis through coding and comparing them to data from existing literature; and on the other hand the writing up of a judicious argument revealed through the author's discursive commentary on the most relevant themes discovered throughout the research.

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