The coursework topic consists of two parts
(a) Suggest a research design to answer the following question: “What are the main factors that influence young people’s decisions to seek employment in the gig economy?”.
(b) Clarify and critically discuss the ontological and epistemological assumptions for the chosen design.
• The research question should be clear, but you may need to specify how you understand/define the concepts involved: ‘main factors’, ‘influence’, ‘employment’ and ‘gig economy. You may further focus the question by only looking at some of the ‘main factors’, some ‘young persons’ and parts of ‘the gig economy.
• The research design is the plan for the research. It is meant to ensure that the evidence obtained enables you to answer the research question in the best possible way.
• You are not meant to answer the research question. You are only meant to outline and discuss how to research the question
• The research design includes the choice of research philosophy, approach to theory development, research strategy and methodological choice (an overarching plan for the collection, measurement and analysis of data). It covers the four outer layers of the ‘research onion’ (Saunders et al (2019), p. 174 – 7th edition, p. 164).
• In your response, make sure that you relate to all four layers. You need to motivate your choice of approach. Be aware that the choices in each layer are connected.
• You are not meant to go into detail with the methodological choice (data collection and data analysis). It is enough to describe and explain the choice of quantitative or qualitative (or mixed) approach.
• All research designs have weaknesses as well as strengths. For instance, questionnaire surveys and interviews have different strengths and weaknesses. Make sure that you explain both strengths and weaknesses of your chosen design.
• One way of evaluating the quality of a given research design is to look at reliability and validity – and credibility (see Saunders et al (2019), p. 213-218 – 7th edition, p. 201-207) and the slides for lecture 2 week 3). You do not need to refer to this in your coursework, but it will strengthen it if you do.
• You can find advice about how to develop research design in either Saunders & Lewis (2012), chapter 5 or Saunders et al (2019), chapter 5 – 7th edition, chapter 5, and in the slides no. 2 and 6-8 for Lecture 3 week 1.
• This is likely to be the most challenging part for many of you. It requires that you are familiar with the concepts (ontology and epistemology), and that you are able to use the concepts in the context of this coursework. You must motivate the choice of research philosophy and how it influences the research design (if you have not already done so in your answer to (a)).
• It is obvious to relate to the distinction between objectivism vs subjectivism (see Saunders et al (2019), p. 135 – 7th edition, p. 129). You may alternatively relate to the different ontological and epistemological assumptions of positivism and interpretivism (as outlined in the slides for lecture 1 in week 2).
• The terminologies may be confusing. Slightly different terminologies are used in different contexts (the textbooks, the lecture and the slides, and the videos). This is should not confuse you. There is no ‘right’ terminology. Whatever you use is fine, as long as it is used consistently.
• The response is OK if the basics (correct understanding and use of concepts and awareness of the consequences of the choice of research philosophy) is right. However, there are ample opportunities for discussion and adding on to provide a great answer to this question.
• You can find advice about how to answer this question in Saunders et al (2019), chapter 5 – 7th edition, chapter 5, and in the slides for Lecture 1 in week 2.
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