PART ONE (1) 1. (a.) Briefly explain the role of literature review.

One of the main roles of the literature review is to enlarge people's knowledge about the topic understudy. A literature review goes beyond the information search. It helps you identify and articulate the relationships between the literature and your field of research. Thus, the role of a good literature review is to find and present the pertinent work from the primary literature in a logical, organized manner and to bring the reader as up-to-date as possible.
(b.) What factors should determine the references to other people that would be included in your text literature review?       (c.)

It deals with the theory that underpins your work It deals with your subject area or overlaps it It shows your acknowledgement or bearing of other people’s work on your own It assists the flow of you arguments It puts your work into an external context It defines the current state of research in your area

With relevant examples mention 3 ways to introduce references into a text of literature review

i. ii.

Acknowledge paraphrase of an author’s words or ideas, e.g., Akosua (2012) examined the research process in details and found that…. Brief extract quotations incorporated within the student’s text, e.g., the involvement of the military in politics described by Smith (1993) as the ‘cancerous canker of African politics’ may have had some positive impact

iii.

Full quotations of more than one line separated from the main text and usually single spaced, e.g., According to Smith:….we are really like blind men led into all arena and asked to identify an entity (say an elephant) by touching one part of that entity (say a leg). Certainly, we might make better guesses if we if we could pool the information of all the blind men, each of whom has touch a different part of the elephant. (H.W. Smith, 1975:273)

2. (a.) Describe the sources of research topics available to accountancy students of polytechnics in Ghana.      

Research reports already published may be referred to define a specific problem. Assistance of research organizations, which handles a number of projects of the companies can be sought to identify the problem Professors, working in reputed academic institution can act as guides in problem identification. Company employees and competitors can assist in identifying the problems. Seminars / symposiums / focus groups can act as a useful source. Cultural changes and Technological changes can act as a source for research problem identification.

(b.)

Mention and discuss factors that determine the choice of a good topic for research study.

i.

Access to information or data: obstacles to gaining access to data shld be seriously taken into consideration. Accesses to information on sensitive and traumatic events and institutions could pose problems. The researcher has to find out if he/she could be permitted to gain access to the suggested sites and events before the study begins, e.g., attempting a research into BNI operations in Ghana.

ii.

Achievable in time available: with limited time available for any given research, the temptation to select involving topics shld be resisted. Researchers shld factor time consuming problems like illness, computer failure, domestic pressure, etc., when considering problems or topics for study. Time taken to accomplish a piece of research shld not be under estimated. The study (research) shld be physically possible in time, distance and volume of work.

iii.

Funding or Financial support: it’s important for the matter of cost to be examined before a topic is finally selected especially in the face of the difficult economic situation in Ghana. Lack of funds for travelling, secretarial services, etc., may affect the results of the project.

iv.

Research capabilities and interests: a researcher with strong capabilities in behavioral science and low mathematics abilities shld avoid choosing a topic

needing complex statistical analysis. Also, it’s important for the researcher to be sufficiently interested in the topic so as to be able to sustain interest in the study or project which may continue for long periods. The researcher is required to carefully asses his or her interests, skills, abilities and capabilities to ensure they match with the proposed research. v. Value and scope of research or study: the results of the research shld be equally valuable with regards to the results and expenses. Problem-solving ability, research competence and findings shld add to the general body of knowledge in addition to being of value to the community at large. vi. Other factors:
 

The researcher shld be able to determine if relevant literature exists and can be accessed for the project or study Any ethical or moral problems associated with the topic shld also be considered. The topic shld be sufficiently original and shld not involve objectionable duplication.

The researcher shld also determine if the topic will remain alive or over the period of research.

3. Using a topic of your choice and with clear subheadings for each section, write out a research proposal.

(Various processes or stages) Background information or background to study Problem statement(s) Research objectives Literature Review Hypotheses Operationalization of terms Methodology Scope of the study Significance of the study Organization/outline of the study References Appendix
4. In a sentence (in each case) give the main idea in the following research types

a. Case Study b. Action Research c. Experimental Research d. Survey Research  

Case Study: Action Research: It involves a small scale intervention that concerns itself with diagnosing problems and attempting to solve it in a specific context. OR Action (Applied) research aims at finding a solution for an immediate problem facing a society or an industrial/business organization Experimental Research: the main idea is to test for cause and effect and show
what can happen or results under carefully controlled conditions.

Survey Research: a. Deception: deception occurs when the respondent is only told part of the truth or when the truth is totally hidden. However, it may be argued that sometimes disclosing the true purpose of a study may result in the respondent given biased or faked responses b. Benefits: the researcher to discuss the benefits of the study with respondent, not overstating or understating the benefits. c. Informed consent: a researcher must secure informed consent from the respondent. The researcher must disclose full information about the purpose and procedures of the study and leave the respondent to decide to participate or not. The respondent shld not be misled or tricked into participating in the study. d. Right of privacy: all individuals have right to privacy and researchers must respect that right. A researcher can not disclose information obtained from a respondent to other persons. Researchers are expected to promise and guarantee confidentiality to the respondents. This may be done by I. II. Informing the respondent of their right to refuse to answer any question or participate in the study. Not disclosing the respondent identification, e.g., on a completed questionnaire.

5. State and explain the ethical issues in research

OR

Consent - This is the procedure by which research subjects choose whether or not they wish to participate in a research study. Consent involves three elements: capacity, information, and voluntariness. All three elements must be satisfied for consent to be given.

Capacity is defined as the ability to acquire or retain knowledge, and the authority, or legal qualification, to perform an act. Is the subject able to decide if he wants to participate? Does a child or a person who is mentally retarded have capacity?

 

Information consists of insuring the subjects are told, and they understand, the purpose of the study and their roles as subjects. Voluntariness means that the subject chooses to be in the study of his/her own free will and are free to withdraw from the study at any time. There must be no element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, ulterior form of constraint or coercion to get a subject to participate. Paying subjects is usually OK, but offering prisoners a parole to participate in a study is not.

Special attention must be paid to obtaining the consent of children, psychiatric patients, and mentally retarded persons. These groups, usually require that a parent or guardian give consent. The subject needs to be informed about the study and participate in the decision to be a subject as much as possible. Harm - One of the most important issues in all of research ethics is that subjects not be harmed by your study. To avoid physical harm is obvious, but other areas need to be avoided also. These areas are: psychological stress, personal embarrassment, and humiliation. The dignity of the subject (be it human or animal) needs to always be a concern of the researcher. Privacy - Every subject has the right to keep private the fact that he/she participated in your study, and the right that information given to you not be linked to them. Research often is based on information obtained from the subjects. The information will be used in the study, and perhaps published, but it must be done in a way that insures the individual's anonymity. Deception - Deception in research involves the misrepresentation of facts related to the purpose, nature, or consequences of a research study. The omission of facts is the same as misrepresentation. Subjects need to be fully informed in order to give consent. If any part of

the study is misrepresented then the subjects have not fully consented to the study and the researcher is morally in the wrong. He can be successfully sued if harm comes to the subjects or if their privacy is violated.

PART TWO (2) 1. State and explain the basic interrelationship between theory and research 2. (a). What is business research?

Business research is systematic inquiry that provides information to guide business decision levels of research.
(b). State and explain the different levels of sophistication in research

i.

Reporting study (level 1): this is the lowest level of what may be called “research”. At this level, the research only provides an account of or summary of data. Such study requires little or no interpretation or conclusion

ii.

Descriptive study (level 2): this tries to discover answers to WHO, WHAT, WHERE and HOW questions. The researcher tries to create a profile of group people, event or objects. It may or may not include the drawing of inferences. Its one of the most populates types of business research.

iii.

Explanatory (level 3): this goes beyond description and attempts to explain the reasons for what a descriptive study has observed. The researcher uses theories to try to discover causes and effects. Thus explanatory studies attempt WHY and HOW questions.

iv. v.

Predictive study (level 4): this tries to predict when, in what situations and to what extent an event will occur. Control study (level 5): once we can explain and predict a phenomenon we may want to be able to control its occurrence.

(c). State and explain the characteristics of a good research

i.

A good research should be systematic - This means that research should be structured. A good research will satisfy the steps to be taken in an orderly sequence according to a set of defined rules i.e., researcher uses scientific methods and therefore is systematic

ii.

A good research should be logical - There should be logical reasoning in any research. This logical process used could be induction or deduction. Induction is a process of reasoning from the part to the whole. To induce means to draw conclusion from one or more facts or pieces of evidence.

iii.

A Good Research should be Empirical - Empirical means the factual investigation is possible. Its validity can be checked through reliable sources and evidences. Research should be such that it can be validated, i.e., it should be possible to describe, interpret and explain the phenomenon.

iv.

A Good Research is Replicable - It means the research conducted can be repeated by any number of times. A researcher can verify the results by repeating the study and thereby delivering a sound decision making framework. For example, if two research organizations undertake the same study, the results should be similar and not different. If the results are similar, then the research is will be replicable. OR

i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. viii. ix.

Context and scope clearly defined Purpose clearly define Key concepts and constructs clearly defined Research design thoroughly planned Limitations are frankly pointed out High ethical standards are applied Adequate analysis to meet decision maker’s needs Findings presented unambiguously Conclusions justified by the findings

3. Writers usually treat the research task as a sequential process involving several clearly defined steps. Kindly state and explain the research process

i. ii. iii.

Selecting a researchable problem – finding the problem that merits study and that can be investigated by the methods of science Literature review – reviewing the literature, examining the existing theory and research on the subject, Formulating hypothesis – arriving at a statement that specifies the relationship between variables and developing operational definition that states the variable in a form that permits measurement

iv.

Choosing a research design – determining whether to the hypothesis by designing an experiment, conducting interview, observing the way people behave in particular situations, examining existing records and historical evidence, or combining these procedures

v. vi. vii.

Sampling and data collection – choosing a sample, gathering data, and recording it in accordance with the specifics of the design Analyzing the results – searching for meaningful links between the facts that emerged in the course of the research. Stating findings and conclusions – indicating the outcome of the study, and reporting the research.

4. The main goal of ethics in research is “to ensure that no one is harmed or suffer adverse consequences from research activities” (copper and schinder). State and explain major areas of concern 

Ethical treatment of respondents and subject - the first ethical concern in research is about protecting the rights of the respondent or subject, whether the study involves experiments, interview, observation, or survey. The research must be designed such that the respondent does not suffer physical harm, discomfort, pain, embarrassment, or loss of privacy. *This is done by abiding by the four ethical issues (in part 1 question 8)

Researchers and team members – research team members and research assistants have a right to safety. The researcher must ensure the right to safety fo assistants. Its also the researcher’s responsibility to ensure ethical compliance by team members and research assistants. Research team members and assistants handling data shld be required to sign confidentiality and non-disclosure statement that they will protect confidentiality of respondents and sponsors.

Ethics and the sponsor of research – there are ethical guidelines to observe when dealing with the sponsor of a research project. This can be looked at in 3 forms 1. Confidentiality of sponsor: a company has the right to associate itself with the sponsorship of a study. This type of confidentiality is known as sponsor nondisclosure. The sponsor may also want to protect the purpose of the study or its details, for example, if a new product idea is being tested. This type of confidentiality is known as purpose nondisclosure.

2. Right to quality research: a sponsors right to quality research will entail; the researcher using appropriate research design for the research problem, the researcher minimizing the cost of the study and the researcher using data handing and reporting methods appropriate for the collected data 3. Sponsor’s ethics: sponsors shld not coerce or motivate researchers (e.g., with money) to engage in unethical behavior in conducting research. Such unethical practices will include: changing data or creating false data to produce desired results, interpreting data from a biased point of view, omitting sections of data that do not favour the sponsor and making recommendations beyond the scope of data collected.
5. State and explain problems of research in Ghana.

i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. viii.
ix.

Lack of financial support Illiteracy of a large number of the population Lack of statistic/ critical and current literature Reluctance to release information Lack of co-operation Tendencies to please elders, bosses, government, financiers Bribery and corruption Distrust for research results Ambitious research projects

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