The Refractive Thinker®: Vol. II: Research Methodology
The Refractive Thinker®: Press 2009
Number of Pages: 264


Summary

PREFACE

Thank you for joining us for Volume II to celebrate the accomplishments of these doctoral scholars affiliated with the University of Phoenix School of Advanced Studies. The purpose of this anthology is to offer a glimpse into the scholarly works of these authors, specifically within the world of research methodology. The purpose is to provide a resource that is beyond the boundaries of a textbook with regard to the doctoral dissertation. Part I for example is a Delphi Primer—three different author’s interpretations and application of the Delphi Method—all unique, all within the vein of The Refractive Thinker® where each challenged the conventional wisdom and expanded the traditional boundaries. These authors dared to not just think outside of the box. Instead the box continues to evolve into exploring nearly entirely new ideas for the construction of ‘the box’ i.e. the applicable methodology. Along the same lines, Part II includes elements of the Mixed Methodology, Part III: Qualitative Techniques, and Part IV includes Quantitative Techniques. The last section, Emerging Methods, builds upon this refractive thinking® by offering an entirely new research methodology for consideration.

In addition to exploring various research methodologies, the purpose of The Refractive Thinker® is also to serve the tenets of leadership. Leadership is not simply a concept outside of the self, but comes from within, defining our very essence; where the search to define leadership becomes our personal journey not yet a finite destination.

The Refractive Thinker® is an intimate expression of who we are—the ability to think beyond the traditional boundaries of thinking and critical thinking. Instead of mere reflection and evaluation, one challenges the very boundaries of the constructs itself. As in volume I, the authors within these pages are on a mission to change the world, never satisfied or quite content with what is or asking why, instead these authors intentionally strive to push and test the limits to ask why not. Join us on this next adventure of The Refractive Thinker® where Volume II continues the discussion specifically themed for this volume to explore the wonders of research methodology. This offers yet another bite of the apple from the tree of knowledge upon an ever expanding canvas from which these authors choose to cast their paint, envisioning new horizons in which to move forward and explore in the future.

New to this volume is the edition of a Peer Review Board, comprised of both content experts as well as those well versed in the style of APA format. While the purpose of this board was to offer additional layers of editing to enhance the brilliance of the ideas put forth by these authors, the final version for each chapter was at the discretion of each to preserve the integrity and authenticity of their individual work.

I invite you to join with me as we venture forward to showcase these authors of Volume II. The goal is to offer a chance to bring to publication more ideas for which the audience may be interested in the expertise and guidance that they offer.

Please contact me for further information regarding these authors and the works contained within these pages. Perhaps you or your organization may be looking for their expertise to incorporate as part of your annual corporate meetings as a key note or guest speaker(s), perhaps to offer individual or group seminars or coaching, or require their expertise as consultants.

We look forward to your interest in discussing future opportunities. Let this continue our journey begun with volume I to which The Refractive Thinker® will serve as our guide to this and future volumes. Come join us in our quest to be refractive thinkers and add your wisdom to the collective. We look forward to your stories.

Chapters

Chapter 1: The Delphi Primer: Doing Real-World or Academic Research Using a Mixed-Method Approach
This primer provides an overview on when and how to use the Delphi Method, a spectacular tool for mixed-method research. The Delphi technique provides the ability to first qualify the issues in the research area and then quantify those issues in subsequent rounds. One of the key benefits of Delphi research is its flexibility, often using experts when the actual participants from true target population are impossible to survey. This article reviews the many applications and best practices in using the Delphi method. The Delphi technique is uniquely suited for many types of academic, government policy and business research and it will be utilized much more extensively in the future.
Chapter 2: The Delphi Epiphany: Research into Emerging Market Success Factors
The Delphi Epiphany is an intriguing look at identifying the success factors associated with global emerging market success. It describes a research methodology, when applied correctly, is capable of uncovering some most amazing findings. The article demonstrates that research methodology can have a profound affect on outcomes and that Delphi techniques unique application of both qualitative and quantitative methods combine to form a powerful research tool capable of producing a significant and unique understanding of the subject matter.

The article describes the rather unique application of the Delphi research technique, as well as the process and relevance to the global emerging markets. It demonstrates the benefits of using life experience as a method of avoiding proprietary business information and discusses the process application upon which the research model was based. The article will provide the reader with sufficient insight to understand the unique research methodology and the application which made this epiphany possible.

The research identifies three emerging market strategies that combine into a powerful system that tends to move the organization toward the market rather than the traditional method of moving the market toward the organization. The top three success factors translated into much more than simple elements of success, they translate into a powerful system for emerging market success. When viewed in the context of a system, these success factors provide both insight and an epiphany for understanding emerging market success.
Chapter 3: The Modified ‘Ask-the-Experts’ Delphi Technique: The Conundrum of Human Resource Experts on Management Participation
The purpose of this chapter is to present the 2007 Lentz Dissertation study which was based on the application of a quantitative correlational explanatory method, using a modified Ask-the-Experts Delphi technique to determine if the traditionally held view of the strategic management process where strategic decision making had once been entrusted solely to the organization’s top management was still valid. Historically, only those in senior leadership positions within the executive office were felt to understand and employ strategic literacy in order to possess the skill, knowledge, and expertise to most effectively formulate corporate strategy and make strategic decisions. The purpose of the present study was to extend the foundational work of Wooldridge and Floyd from their 1990 study, using the modified Delphi Technique to look at the significance of additional employee involvement in the strategic decision-making process as it correlates to organizational performance.
Chapter 4: Stages of Internet Adoption in Preventive Health: An Exploratory Diffusion Study of a Community-Based Learning Venue for 60+ Year-Old Adults
Seniors could improve the quality of their lives while saving themselves healthcare expenses with Web-enabled health education programs; however, research methods are almost nonexistent to establish this evidence base. This community-based intervention demonstrated the feasibility of empowering older adults to use the Internet to find credible health information (Cortner, 2006). A quasi-experimental study design explored the idea of seniors using the Internet to find and download reliable preventive health information that could assist in their own health. The study investigated the process of change in a community-based trial that showed promise of diminishing the older adults' unique digital divide. The researcher/author offers the Health Information Internet (HII) Class Questionnaire as an open-source instrument for nonprofit use.
Chapter 5: The Phenomenological Research Method as a Valid Human Sciences Research Tool Into the Investigation of Human Behavior
Phenomenology has gained wide acceptance within the scholarly community, particularly over the last two decades. It is now recognized as a viable and robust research methodology for gaining insight into human behavior, particularly when numbers simply cannot tell the entire story. The beauty of phenomenology, in particular, is its ability to take the researcher into the unknown about a particular life event such that the knowledge gained adds significantly to the body of knowledge about the phenomenon and will often open new avenues of research to help humans gain a better understanding of themselves and their relationship to their world. The discussion that follows will illustrate the application of phenomenological inquiry for a significant phenomenon that occurs daily in the business community – decision-making.
Chapter 6: A Qualitative, Ethnographic Review of Teachers’ and Administrators’ Perceptions of a Prescribed Writing Program: A Requisite for Educational Leaders
The 2009 Sensenig study adds to qualitative, ethnographic methodology by reviewing the perceptions of teachers’ and administrators’ who teach young children how to write in a writing workshop setting using the prescribed writing instruction model 6+1 Trait® Writing Model. 6+1 Trait® is a trademark belonging to Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (6+1 Trait®). Through individual and focus group interviews, the 2009 Sensenig study identified patterns of thoughts and behaviors that led Sensenig to recommend teachers become writers; and, educational leaders can promote this recommendation through fostering professional development and learning communities. The purpose of this research methodology required the researcher to participate in the data collection and to adapt to research circumstances beyond the researcher’s control (Lecompte & Schensul, 1999). The findings of this research methodology required Sensenig to reflect upon personal knowledge and experience in the teaching of writing to seek themes and remedies to sustain a sound writing program.
Chapter 7: Exploring Consumer Perceptions of Global Branding and Iconization
Global usage of the Internet continues to increase exponentially, yet non-English-speaking audiences misperceive the meanings of corporate communiqués. Diverse communities of global consumers purchase products based on a positive image of the product as reflected in the content found on the Internet, and social networking applications such as DIGG, Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, Twitter, and YouTube, which includes text, images, and icons. Corporate leaders may not have an awareness of the common elements present in successful Internet communiqués as comprehended by different cultures. In this article, a qualitative, phenomenological data analysis was used to explore the perceptions and feelings of a purposive sample of participants regarding content found on global corporate Internet applications. Each participant in the study spoke English or a combination of English and Spanish and explored their perceptions and feelings regarding global Internet applications. The following five themes emerged from the research results regarding consumer perceptions of global Internet applications: (a) product, (b) information, (c) people, (d) simplicity, (e) and brands. Information gleaned by this study regarding consumer behavior can be incorporated into a comprehensive global marketing campaign that can be used by leaders to expand business internationally.
Chapter 8: Use of Spearman’s Rank Correlation to Determine Pilot Survey Validity for Doctoral Dissertation on Workplace Bullying
Workplace bullying is a problem and is an important organizational and social concern. In 2007, Judy Blando performed a study examining workplace bullying and its effect on job satisfaction and productivity. The research showed how bullying behavior affects a target's ability to perform their jobs, which can impact the morale of employees and the financial performances of an organization. Prior to beginning actual data collection, a pilot study, or 'trial run,' was conducted to ensure the survey materials and procedures were clear and did not evoke any confusion from the participants. The pilot study produced data to validate the proposed research questionnaire. Using Spearman's rank correlation coefficient or Spearman's rho, a pilot study can be a tool used to assess how well an arbitrary monotonic function, preserving the given order, could describe the relationship between two variables without making any other assumptions about the particular nature of the relationship between two measurement variables and one 'hidden' nominal variable. Spearman's Rank Correlation compared the pilot study's results for Workplace Bullying to Namie's 1998 non-scientific survey data, which was used in the scientific study for the doctoral dissertation Aggressive Behavior: Workplace Bullying and Its Effect on Job Satisfaction and Productivity. The final data in this study found that 75% of participants reported being a target of a bullying or witnessing mistreatment of others sometime throughout their careers.
Chapter 9: The Elements of the Gaze: Building Internal Coherence in Research Design
Effective research design requires a researcher to understand research method and its scientific qualities (Coopers & Schindler, 2005), as well as the unique footprint of the researcher perspective (Bentz and Shapiro, 1998). Qualities of the problem and research questions emerge at this intersection for a thorough exploration within the research study. While some researchers depict the development of a research process as a linear one (Coopers & Schindler, 2005, p. 58), this article examines the process as a circular one; one which turns back on itself until optimal clarity is reached. Inquiry properly applied in the development phase of the study can offer a level of clarity in the design of the study which may offer optimal research results. The Elements of Gaze Model offers a model of the relationship between the researcher perspective, the method approach, the problem statement and research questions to be used in research design. The model, together with its inquiry based approach, offers the possibility of clarity of design resulting in superior research outcomes and the understanding which results are effective.