Qualitative Research

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The aim of this research is to identify the key challenges for employers in promoting equality and diversity in the workplace, focusing on ways in which organisations in the UK can increase their numbers of senior managers.
The research objectives are:
1. To explore how organisations can increase their percentage of senior managers
2. To identify they key barriers to women progressing to senior management positions in their chosen career
3. To examine the differences in challenges that men and women face in career progression, whilst identifying gender related issues
4. To explore ways that organisations can support women in progressing to senior positions.

Research Design

Throughout this study, a Mixed-Method approach will be adopted. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches will be utilized to increase the validity of findings, allow for better data collection instruments and lead to greater understanding of the subject field. A mixed methods study allows data to be collected through a number of means to lead to a final conclusion, so in-depth and contextualized aspects of qualitative research can be combined with efficient but less in depth outcomes of quantitative research to allow for accurate and concise findings.


Undertaking qualitative research is the most appropriate method to adopt when exploring people’s lives, motivations and comprehensions (Parahoo, 2006). Although, it has been scrutinized for its tendencies to be too descriptive, thus leaving findings open to misinterpretation (Parahoo, 2006). A major weakness associated with qualitative data involves the likelihood that simply too much data is collected, overwhelming the researcher and reducing the validity of its findings. However, as a mixed ...

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...suggests that the disadvantages of quantitative research often relate to errors in the collection process.
The quantitative method of research that will be adopted for this study will be a survey. Utilizing this form of deductive methodology in a positivistic paradigm will allow the statistical data to be interpreted according to the appropriate theory and allow its findings to be concise and appropriate to the research. A stratified sample will be adopted as the whole population of the organisation can be categorized depending on their views of equality in the workplace.
All employees of the organisation will be required to complete a short 10 minute survey containing carefully constructed questions; this will be the basis of the qualitative research in that the findings from the survey can be analysed in order to develop more detailed questions in the focus group.

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