In this research, an inductive research method was applied in order to support the thesis statement that smartphones pose a critical risk to business performance. The study incorporated a qualitative research approach that was selected due to the fact that the aim of this investigation was explanatory in nature. In this case, the inductive research method lends itself towards the emergent theory, hence leading to complete satisfaction of research curiosity. Moreover, qualitative research is vital in determining additional information regarding a complex highlight, hence giving a chance for proposition collection as well as theoretical development. Most importantly, there is an assumption that underlies the qualitative research method that it can easily be used in an objective manner in order to determine human events. That may not be easy in quantitative research considering the fact that a researcher will have to interpret the findings. Qualitative research will play a huge role in examining employees’ perspectives towards the application of smartphones and the effects that they have on their efficacy and efficiency in the workplace. In this case, generic qualitative inquiries were used altogether with phenomenological elements that were constructed in order to solicit deep understanding of negative impact of smartphones in business. In addition, there was primary emphasis inserted on conversational interviews during the study. The study was aimed at focusing on the manner in which employees make sense on their experiences and change such experiences into their consciousness. This chapter aims at providing the research methodology made up of research design strategy, design of research, instruments used, survey design, protection of ethics, target population, method of population selection, data collection techniques, data analysis, missing data and the anticipated results of the research.
Research Design Strategy
As mentioned earlier in this chapter, the strategy used was the qualitative method. In this case a phenomenological study design was used whereby a trial was made in order to acquire an idea of employee perceptions, knowledge as well as perspectives regarding the use of smartphones. It became evident that with phenomenological study, knowledge of live encounters or experiences is noted (Amabile, Hadley & Kramer, 2002). It also enables a study of a small sample of population. 20 employees were selected from five companies across the United States. A balance between gender was considered with 50% being male and the remaining being female employees. It was assumed that they all owned smartphones and those gadgets were allowed in the workplace. This phenomenological study depended on interviews with the employees. This research was to be carried on for a whole week and interviews took one to two hours every day for a whole week. Therefore, the research design strategy was well suited with the central theme of the study that aimed at exploring people’s perceptions and understanding of negative impacts of usage of smartphones.
Design of the Study
The results for this research were obtained from interviews that involved open-ended questions. However, the interviewers had the hidden agenda that could not be openly revealed to the participants. There was a list of topics that were expected to be answered without the knowledge of interviews. That could enhance the researchers to determine the whole concept or impact of developing bias on the part of the participants while at the same time providing a chance to reveal new ideas in order to acquire huge information from those interrogations. There was also the application of the mixed method of research at some point when the qualitative information provided by the participants could be compared with the quantitative data that was collected at certain stages. In other words, a sequential changing strategy could be initially developed as a qualitative strategy whereas an explanatory approach was used in order to guide the entire research (Creswell, 2003). Moreover, the initial qualitative research was used in order to combine the academic information as well to inform the quantitative analysis.
Instrument of Research
In this research, the researcher was the key instrument throughout the qualitative study. It was deduced that interviewing the employees required constant involvement of the researchers in order to gather relevant information concerning the thesis. Moreover, the approach was changed at the later stages whereby the researchers developed a guide for the interview that ensured that all the questions posed to the employees were arranged in a similar manner as well as context for all the employees. That was done in order to guarantee accuracy of information by avoiding bias of the employees. Most importantly, that expedited the entire process of interviews along with the application of time in maintaining the participants focus as well as interactive throughout the research period. Moreover, audio recorders were used in order to record the open-ended interviews with the employees. Copious notes were taken from the interviews in order to record all the comments that were revealed by employees involved in the research. An agreement was reached through a consent that was signed by all participants before recording such information for the research process. Lastly, questionnaires were spread to the participants to fill.
The survey was designed in an effective manner with questionnaires designed in English in manner that participants could understand. In order to ensure that the questionnaires reached the target population, the internet and emails were used in the different companies with the participants. They were required to fill the questionnaires and ensure that they were returned to the researchers. Face to face interviews were also conducted in offices of participants. That was accurate since it allowed for interactive sessions with employees selected for the research process. The researchers could also make judgments of the answers given to them by employees concerning their perceptions and understandings of negative impact of Smartphone usage in the workplace. Mails were also used to deliver the questionnaires and this assisted greatly in receiving first-hand information from the participants. The questionnaires were kept as short as possible in order to make it easy for participants to spend little time in filling them. Most importantly, some of the questions had multiple choices where the participants were required to tick the right answers. For the mailed questionnaires, they were attached along with cover notes as a sign of politeness in order to explain all that was being done in the research. Some of the questions posed in the questionnaires include:
- What are some of the positive effects of smartphones in your workplace?
- What are the effects that you believe to be negative by the use of smartphones in the workplace?
- Do you think that the use of smartphones in your workplace affects the overall performance of the company?
The interview questions were also well structured such that participants could easily understand the relevant information. For this research, the questions were mixed and randomized in order to enhance accuracy.
Protection of Human Subjects
All the participants were assured of maximum protection. Initially, they were to sign a form of consent in order to indicate their commitment to the study process. Most importantly, all the questions were asked in English language in order to avoid any ineffectiveness of replies. In attempts to protect the rights of participants, it was ensured that the study followed all the ethics that are required in such a form of study. It ensured anonymity, confidentiality as well as voluntary engagement (Creswell, 2007). Other protection measures included sending reminders to all the research participants, creation of rapport with all the participants throughout the interview process and explanation of the whole selection criteria. Moreover, advanced warnings of any problems that could emerge during the study process were given such as withdrawal that could lead to one’s data being removed from the study. In other words, it was ensured that the whole topic was of interest across all the selected participants.
Sample and Target Population
For this research, a purposive technique for sampling process was applied and that was whereby the respondents were selected in a manner that could help them meet the objectives of this research. This research dealt with employees meaning that it had to be handled in a professional way in order to acquire information concerning their perceptions on Smartphone usage in the workplaces. It was assumed that all the participants involved in the research had been using their smartphones for the previous one year. The rationale for this sampling method was in order to seek avoidance of expending the vital resources in data collection for any non-qualifying respondents. Non-qualifying respondents refer to individuals who could not contribute completely to the research by answering questions in questionnaires and in interviews. The sampling frame was composed of 20 employees from five companies in the United States. These candidates were selected from firms of different sizes that were determined in accordance to their revenues and employee population. The target population for this research was employees in various companies across the United States. All the participants were requested to identify themselves with their companies across the United States. The employees were not selected under the premises of race or color. However, the age of participants was between 18 years to 40 years since they are technology savvy.
The sampling method used for this research was the non-probability sampling technique. It did not require random selection of employees. In this case, purposive sampling was the major technique under non-probability sampling technique. Purposive sampling was done with a clear aim in mind that the research was meant for (Amabile, et al., 2002). It was aimed at proving that smartphones have a direct impact on performance and efficiency of employees in companies across the United States. The purposive sampling targeted at a population of both male and female at the ages of 18 to 40 years old in the working environment of five companies in the United States.
Pre-Testing for reliability and Validity
Reliability was determined by posing almost related questions through the questionnaire in order to measure the stability of the respondents in providing their answers. It was expected that the reliability level could reach at least 1. Moreover, the interrater reliability was obtained by establishing the equivalence of data collected by different observers during the study. For the validity of the instruments of research, it was determined by how far the responses related to the anticipated responses during the study (Clough, Jones, McAndrew & Scanlon, 2008). In this case, respondents were supposed to confirm that use of smartphones leads to negative influences in the workplace and that was confirmed. Some of the methods of data collection have been presented in the appendix.
The survey instruments were administered through the internet and mailing methods. Most importantly, interviews were done in offices of relevant participants and that took one to two hours of interrogation and replies. The questionnaires were then sent to the panel’s email in order to enhance conclusive analysis.
Date Collection Methods
The data collection techniques used for this research include direct interactions with the participants. In this case, only a small sample was used in order to avoid time ineffectiveness. In this case, the main methods used for this research were interviews and use of questionnaires. As stated earlier in this research, interviews were recorded as audios while the information gathered through questionnaires was analyzed and recorded for future reference.
The qualitative data that was collected was later analyzed by the application of four major steps of study analysis including identification of all the information given regarding the topic. That was through an analysis of all transcripts of questionnaires and separation of relevant data from the irrelevant data (Aberbach & Rockman, 2008). Moreover, that was followed by segmentation of additional information. The statements were all grouped into relevant units that could reflect several meanings involving perceptions and understandings of participants regarding smartphones usage. The other method of analysis was seeking divergent perspectives from several questionnaires that will play a huge role in drawing a clear conclusion. The audio method used in recording interview responses were also listened in order to provide additional information for the research analysis. The results of the research were then recorded in computer files where only authorized persons can access.
It became clear that there was missing data especially from unanswered parts of the questionnaires. In this case, the completely answered sections of the questionnaires were used for data analysis by drawing inferences from other results obtained through interviews and surveys. In other words, there was no excuse of non-obtained data during the analysis since the sections that were not answered could be related to other information obtained through other methods such as interviews.
Anticipated Study Results
It was anticipated that most of the respondents (over 70%) will indicate that they have used their smartphones for the past one year and intend to continue using them in the future. It was also anticipated that most the employees could indicate that they recognized the reduction in efficiency and efficacy in their workplace due to over-usage of smartphones during their time of work. Most importantly, it was expected that all the respondents could adhere to the rules and stipulations during the research.
Open-Ended Questions for Interviews
- Can you recall your first phone?
- What do you like about your Smartphone?
- What are some of the phones that you really enjoy using?
- What are some of the things that you hate about smartphones?
- Could you be having the best or worst experience of your smart phone?
- Can you figure out one day without your smart phone?
- In case I asked you to describe your smart phone in a single word, what would that be?
- What strategies do you use in using your phone?
Please tick the strategies that you prefer when using your smart phone
- Routine checking
- Turning your smart phone off
- Screening of responses