CHAPTER – III
3.0 Research Methodology
This chapter describes the several different types of methodologies that were applied in the study. This includes the research philosophy, research design, data sources and types, data collection methods, target population, sampling design, sampling plan, sampling techniques, data analysis methods, tools and presentation. It has also given attention on validity and reliability of instruments and ethical issues.
3.2 Research Philosophy
A research philosophy is a belief about the way in which data about a phenomenon should be gathered, analyzed and used. The term epistemology (What is known to be true) as opposed to doxology (What is believed to be true) encompasses the various philosophies of research approach. The purpose of science then, is the process of transforming things believed in to things known: dox to episteme.
Prior to discussing relative to research methodologies, it is important to understand the
underlying philosophical background of the investigation. This will help clarify research designs and indicate the kind of evidence required, and data captured and interpretation.
3.2.1 Choice of research methods
Welman et al. (2005) argue that research could follow any paradigm based on the following centrism: phenomenology, positivism or triangulation paradigm. In this research project logical positivist is suitable and acceptable which believe that observation and reason are the best ways of realizing human behavior; true knowledge is based on the experience of senses and can be obtained by observation and experiment. At the ontological level, positivist accept that the reality is objectively given and is measurable using properties which are free from influence of the researcher and his or her instruments; in other words, knowledge is objective and systematize the knowledge generation process with the help of quantification to increase accuracy in the description of parameters and the relationship among them. Positivism is concerned with uncovering truth and presenting it by empirical means (Henning,VanRunsburg andSmit,2004). Welma et al. (2005:192) observes that while the positivists aim at uncovering general laws of relationships and/or causality that apply to all people at all times. They require that a research design is completed before data collection. The anti-positivists usually favor emergent designs. “This means the researcher may adapt data collection procedures during the study to benefit from unknown data that only comes to light during research process”. Therefore, taking in to consideration the above nature of problem the research approach adopted in this thesis took the position of logical positivist. Then the research methodology used must able to generate data that is objective, quantitative, and descriptive of factors that affect project performance of URRAP.
3.3 Research Design
A research design is simply the framework or plan for a study that is used as a guide in collecting and analyzing the data. It is a blueprint that is followed in completing a study. Research design is the blue print for collection measurement and analysis of data. Actually it is a map that is usually developed to guide the research (Prabhat P& Meenuu M.2015.18).
The study was adopted descriptive research design in examining the factors influencing project performance of URRAP in Borana Zone. This research approach was used because it describes the phenomena as they exist and it used to identify and obtain information on the characteristics of a particular problem and helps that to ascertain and describe the characteristic of the pertinent issues.
It also allows the researcher to record, analyze and report conditions that exist or existed. The research study incorporated both quantitative and qualitative approaches. The descriptive survey design method will be appropriate and useful in exploring availability of fund, contractor related factors, consultant related factors, and management practices related factors influencing project performance of Universal Rural Roads Access Program.
3.4 Data Sources and Types
The task of data collection begins after a research problem has been clearly delineted and research design/plan chalked out. While deciding about the method of data collection to be used for the study, the researcher should keep in mind two types of data viz., primary and secondary. The primary data are those which are collected afresh and for the first time, and thus happen to be original in character. According to Mugenda and Mugenda (2003) primary data is where the researcher collects first hand data through the use of instruments such as surveys, experiments, case studies, interview and questionnaires. Questionnaires were used in data collection.
The secondary data, on the other hand, are those which have already been collected by someone else and which have already been passed through the statistical process. According to Boslaugh (2007), secondary data is information collected by someone else for some other purpose. Secondary sources to be used included books, magazines and the internet that involves; looking into already done materials. Therefore, in this study the main source of data are the primary sources and secondary sources.
3.5 Data Collection Methods
Data must be collected and recorded in a form suitable for the intended analysis. The collection of data requires time and substantial effort for acquiring skills and making the necessary arrangements for collection and to ensure adequate quality Pandy and Mishira (2015).
The study would use both primary and secondary data collection methods. The primary data would be collected using questionnaires both open ended and closed ended. Secondary data will be derived from the organization’s records, books, journal articles. Questionnaires will also be prepared for respondents to fill and availed data for the purpose of study as a qualitative approach to obtain data. All the data collected through the questionnaire were analyzed to identify any inconsistencies and institute the necessary corrective measures.
3.6 Target Population
According to Pandy and Mishira (2015) target population is defined as a universe of the study as all members of a real or hypothetical set of people or events to which an investigation wishes to generalize results Mugenda and Mugenda (2003) describes the target population as a complete set of individuals with some common characteristics to which the researcher want so generalize the results of the study. According to Pandy and Mishira (2015.41) By target population, also called universe, we mean all the members of a real or hypothetical set of people , events or objects to which we wish to generalize the results of our research.Therefore, target and study population of this study was consist of zonal and district road office managers, expert of URRAP in Borana zone roads authority office, expert of URRAP of 13 districts roads authority office, SME contractors currently working in URRAP, SME consultants currently working in URRAP. In this particular study the population will made up of 30 office managers from both Zonal and district office, 94 employees from zonal and district office, 35 members of SME contractors and 15 members of SME consultants.
Therefore, the target population of the study comprised of 174 participants. The targeted population of this study is regarded as to have experience, skill and knowledge in the area of study in factors affecting project performance of URRAP in Borana Zone.
Table 3.1 Target population
Category Population(P) Percentage
1 Office Managers of Zonal ; Woreda 30 17
2 Experts of Zonal ; Woreda office 94 54
3 SME Contractors 35 20
4 SME Consultant 15 9
Total 174 100
3.7 Sampling Design
According to Gerald Hursh “a Sample Design is the theoretical basis and the practical means by which we infer the characteristics of some population by generalizing from the
characteristics of relatively few of the units comprising the population Smt. U.et al (2010).
A sample is a finite part of a statistical population whose properties are studied to gain information about the whole (Webster, 1985). Pandy and Mishira describe sampling means selecting a given number of subjects from a defined population as representative of that population. A good sample should be adequate and representative of the underlying population. A sample of 30% is an adequate sample in a descriptive study of this nature as supported by Gay (2005).
3.7.1 Sampling plan
Sampling is the act, process, or technique of selecting a suitable sample, or a representative part of a population for the purpose of determining parameters or characteristics of the whole population. The target population for the study was 174. According to Silverman (2005), the sampling frame should be large to allow the researcher to make inferences of the entire population simple random sampling was applied on the zonal and district experts (94) while purposive sampling was done for the office managers, SME contractors and SME consultants.
Saunders et al. (2009) argued that dividing the population into series of relevant strata means that the sample is more likely to be representative as one can ensure proportional representation within the sample. The Yamane (1967) formula was used to calculate the sample size.
n = sample size;
N = population size;
e = error margin which is 0.05.
n = 174
1 + 174 (0.05)2
n = 109
By using Yemane’s formula of a sample size with an error and with a confidence coefficient of 95% (Yemane,1967) the calculation from a population of 174 come up with a sample size of 109 from all four categories.