Research Methods & Analysis

Research Methods & Analysis

Research Project Report

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Toward completing your Research Project reports, I lay out below the steps to follow as you prepare and write your final reports. The first steps are based on assigned readings and class discussions covered in Chapters 1-2, 4 and 6-8.  As we cover each of the remaining assigned chapters, I will provide instructions on how to incorporate what is learned in each chapter into your project.

First, select 3 articles published in top academic journals addressing the topic of your choice.

  • Select articles from my listing of journals that focus largely on human resource, labor relations, labor market and management research or other leading scientific journals. [HINT: Find a recent article addressing your topic and identify studies that the author(s) cite as highly relevant studies previously published.]
  • Select only articles that have been published in peer-reviewed journals (NOT online, unpublished articles, or chapters in edited books).
  • Select at least 2 articles based on empirical analyses, whether survey-based or experimental.

Second, begin writing your report using the following headings and tasks identified.

Citations and Abstracts

  • Provide a full citation for each article selected (authors, title of article, name of journal, date published and page numbers).
  • Provide copies of Abstracts for each article.

Hypotheses and Theory

  • Describe the topic you are studying, including your dependent variable of interest and the key independent variable(s) you are focusing on.
  • For each of the 3 articles, select 1 main hypothesis tested by the authors. Report these hypotheses as exactly stated by the authors in each article.
  • Summarize the broader theoretical cause-effect arguments, logic and assumptions underlying these hypotheses.

Method and Data 

  • For each of the 3 articles, describe the method used to collect data to test hypotheses (by survey, interviews and/or archival data, by experiments, or via observation).
  • Describe the samples collected, the size of the samples and the response rates.

 

 

Operational Definitions and Validity

  • For each of these 3 hypotheses, report how the dependent and independent variables were operationalized.
  • Are the hypothesized relationships positive, negative or curvilinear?
  • Evaluate both the construct and internal validity of each testable hypothesis as “high, satisfactory or low.” If not evaluated as high, explain your concerns.

 

Measurement

  • Describe the measurement of the independent and dependent variables for each hypothesized relationship. Provide the range, mean, and standard deviation for interval values, or the scale of ordinal values, or 0-1 for nominal values.
  • Do the authors address (or are you concerned) about any potential measurement error in the operationalization of the dependent and selected independent variables? For example, do measures appear to imprecisely capture the hypothesized effect, lack content validity, contain omitted (confounding) variable bias, lack temporal precedence, suffer potential response reactivity, or not to have high reliability?
  • What other independent variables are included (controlled for) in the analysis? List 3 such variables and describe how each is measured.

 

Statistical Analysis and Results

  • What kind of estimator was used to estimate the effects and goodness of fit statistics for each article?
  • For each of your 3 selected hypotheses, report the following:
  1. Estimated coefficient and its interpretation (e.g., each unit change in X is associated with a 10-point increase in Y)
  2. Calculate the magnitude of the effect between the lowest and highest scores of independent variable X on Y.
  3. What is the level of statistical significance (.10, .05, or .01)?
  4. Was the significance level based on a 1-tail or 2-tailed test?
  • For regression models estimated, how many independent variables are included in the equation and how many were statistically significant at the .05 or .01 levels?
  • What was the “coefficient of determination” (R2) for each equation? What was the level of statistical significance?

 

Generalizability of Findings and Conclusions (Chapter 14)

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