This chapter of the dissertation will provide the methodology that has been used in undertaking the study aimed at understanding the cultural relationships of international African workers in the United Kingdom. Precisely, the researcher will target the Cameroonians and Nigerians people. In achieving this, the chapter will delineate a well-structured approach that will facilitate a proper excavation of the information needed. The diverse sources of information providing the data on the situation of international workers will be explored deeply.
This research will employ both qualitative and quantitative research approaches. A qualitative method is a subjective method used in carrying out the research based on the respondents’ opinions (Baker & Norridge 2007). This kind of research uses the word and narrative data. In most cases, the researcher draws a conclusion based on his understanding of some arguments presented in the word data. Therefore, the researcher can influence the study in some way as his or her ideas will vary from one scholar to the other one. For instance, the opinions sought on the cross-cultural relationship between native citizens and international workers will vary across the panel depending on the experience and understanding of the topic. The qualitative researching approach is preferred when the researcher wants to collect respondents’ opinions. Therefore, it will form a core of this study to enable the researcher to collect the exploratory information.
As opposed to qualitative design, quantitative research technique is based on the interpretation of some statistical data, figures, and numerical data other than narratives. This kind of research is objective by its nature; the information collected is used to develop an argument and to trigger some conclusions (Boehmer, Iddiols&Eaglestone 2009). The approach does not give room for the researcher to modify the available data; thus, it is objective by nature. This method does not provide a space for the opinions of respondents but rather on the facts of the ground. The data collected are causing either a deductive or an inductive judgment. According to Booker (2005), the quantitative research approach is suiting the explanatory studies deemed at concluding the statistical data. Therefore, this approach will be a major input for this study.
Combining the two study approaches will enhance the validity and reliability of results drawn from the study. Specifically, the chapter will explore the method of sample selection, the method of data collection, the results of validity and reliability related to the consequences delineated below.
3.2 Research Design
The research design is the format or the model that is employed in a study. The researcher has to determine the best design that will increase his/her ability to obtain the necessary information and data for the study. This will be highly based on the approach either qualitative or quantitative. According to Booker (2005) research design encompasses all the methods used in the researching process involving the selection of sample and the collection of data. In this study, the plan adopted by the researcher is delineated below step by step.
3.3 Sample Selection
The targeted population in this paper is that of Cameroon and Nigerians working in the United Kingdom. Judging by their population according to the office of National Statistics, a profound sampling method will be developed to enhance smooth collection and representation of ideas. The sample space involves the work industry in Great Britain and some facts about how different players in this sphere are interrelating among them. The sample space includes all sectors in the job industry ranging from formal to non-formal employment. A good representative of the sample must be chosen randomly ensuring that all needs of investigation have been satisfied and unbiased (Browne 2009). Determining the best size of the sample is vital in every study. The size will determine the degree of generalizability of the results. It is advisable to involve a large sample, which will be cost-effective and convenient to handle. Randomizing the selection of subjects in the study offers all possible subjects an equal opportunity to participate in the research. This reduces the chance of biases that may arise from the researcher. According to Compton and Weiner's study (2008), bias is a significant factor that affects the validity of the research. Hence, it should be controlled at all costs. In avoiding the influence of external factors, the researcher will select the sample with almost similar characteristics. According to Compton and Weiner (2008), the sample is considered random, if the researcher has not influenced the selection of subjects basing on his own personal opinions or preferences other than those qualifying a client for the study. As a result, all the members of the researched population will be subjected to an equal opportunity of responding to research instruments provided by the researcher. The use of the sampling technique minimizes some difficulties that may be encountered while dealing with the whole group of international workers.
The most appropriate sampling method for this research identified by the researcher is the proportional stratified random sampling method in the selection of respondents. The benefits of using this method include the ability to categorize different groups as well as combining the harmonized data into one. In addition to these benefits, the stratified random sampling is simple to institute and yet covers a wide range of the population in the study area. The sampling technique is also appropriate for this due to the wide-scale of stakeholders who will be involved in the research.
An adequate sample of the study population will facilitate the achievements of objectives of the research since it will reduce the sampling error. This will enhance the establishment of relationships between the international workers from Africa and the native workers of the United Kingdom. The larger size of the sample is that the smaller the sampling error is, so consequently, the better it will be in the representation of the whole population. The proportional stratified random sampling method enables the researcher to select the sample size proportionally to the number of individuals in each stratum. Therefore, strata will be determined, and then the number of possible participants for the study proposed. Then a formula will be devised to ensure that the selection of respondents is proportional to each strata subject. This will ensure that the result received will not be short of misrepresentation of opinions or the monopoly of one or few strata ignoring the others. These groups will be obtained from various workstations in a broader society of international workers to ensure a well-done representation of all international workers.
According to Fisher and Roget (2011), the process of sample selection forms a fundamental part of any quantitative or qualitative research study. In selecting the sample, the researcher should ensure that all the avenues of research objectives have been targeted, and those selected will not be motivated by a personal interest while participating in the study. The respondents are expected to give the crucial and required information of the study. Some considerations of the sample analysis will be made based on gender, age, qualification, and numbers of years spent in the UK. The testing of five culture dimensions is used for this study by making use of the limited trial group to avoid some diversity factors under the evaluation, which can affect the reliability of results due to uncontrolled threats on the validity.
3.4 Unit of Analysis
The units of analysis in any research study are composed of the entity to which the phenomena or variables under examination and the problem of research refer. In this paper, the unit of analysis involves an evaluation of variables under study. This research seeks to analyze the situation of international workers and specifically the African employees in the United Kingdom. Therefore, the core variables of research will be inclined to the factors touching African workers in Great Britain as well as employers in various sectors of the country analyzed.
3.5 Data Collection Technique
The data collection technique refers to the approaches of the researched employees to the obtained data from respondents or the sources of information. Data collection techniques are also referred to as research instruments and form a crucial part of the research methodology (Hoffman 2011). The method adopted depends on the kind of data to be collected, the type of research, cost factors, the researcher’s preference, and the size of the targeted population. The researcher will employ both the primary and secondary data collection methods. For gathering the primary sources, interviews, a focused group discussion and questionnaires will be adopted to facilitate this process. These approaches are considered essential since the researcher can acquire first-hand information for the process of meeting research objectives. The primary data collected will enhance the evaluation of respondents’ opinions on the relationship between international workers and native residents.
The secondary data will be gathered through intensive as from the documented information regarding a cross-cultural relationship of African workers in the UK. In this regard, the applicable sources will be utilized for developing and presenting findings and arguments of the previously related studies. This information and data will be obtained from various companies’ reports and government agencies as well as from the private sector in job areas. These databases will be essential for providing the information and data in the employment market. The secondary data will involve the collection of historical data about the employment conditions in Great Britain over a certain period of time. The secondary data can be accessed from various journals, magazines, and websites, which contain information and data about employment conditions. The secondary data form a significant foundation for evaluating the primary information collected from respondents. Combining the two data sources will bridge a gap between the past and the present. The researcher will be able to draw some coherent and feasible recommendations. Moreover, the biases that may be influenced by the events happening during the time of the study, such as political influences, will be diluted through the comparison of the past and present data obtained.
Questionnaires will contain some structured questions, which will be accurately and carefully selected for the objectives of the study. Structured questions are essential in ensuring the prevention of ambiguous answers and unclear responses (Grab &Charbonnier 2009). The researcher will draft the questionnaires focused on the target group. The researcher will design the questions focused on achieving the objectives of the study. A key advantage of using questionnaires is the data collection enabling the researcher to compare and relate the data collected from different respondents. Also, questionnaires take less time compared to individual interviews due to the possibility of diverting from the main subject. The researcher needs to design few questions and forward them to respondents to fill. The researcher does not necessarily have to be in contact with respondents at the time while they are answering questions. Questionnaires are also suitable to be used in situations where large samples are required; thus, diluting the sampling error. The fact that the person conducting the study does not necessarily have to comminute to the study site reduces the cost of research as compared to the study group, observation, or one interview.
Despite some advantages that questionnaires have, they may be also associated with several disadvantages. If the researcher solely depends on the use of questionnaires to retrieve the information of the study, there are some chances of getting inadequate results. The design of questions can highly influence the reliability and validity of obtained results. And the presentation of questionnaires can highly impact the response correctness. The questionnaires should be tested for correctness and viability before undertaking the research to minimize or avoid errors and ambiguity. This process is time-consuming and may delay undertaking the research in case the researcher solely depends on their use to retrieve the information.
Administering questionnaires can be done through various means. Hua(2011) asserts that embracing the technology in the research work has enabled researchers to use the online mechanism in obtaining the data from questionnaires. The researcher can physically get in touch with respondents and interview them. This can be done through a personal interview or via the telephone. The scholar can make some inquiries from clients and seek clarification on the responses given by respondents. Respondents, on the other hand, get a chance to clarify the questions raised. The distribution of questionnaires can also be done through the post. A disadvantage of this approach is that it does not offer an immediate response. It may, therefore, fail to be done on time while undertaking the research. These are some approaches that can be employed in distributing questionnaires for respondents.
The advancement in technology makes it easier to undertake different practices in the emerging world. It is possible to undertake several activities in a minimal time period (Joseph & Spenser 2008). In regard, this study will make use of technology to distribute various questionnaires to different respondents. The researcher will embrace the technology to send questionnaires to respondents that feel that this method will be convenient for them. This will help in capturing a wide range of individuals being scattered in different parts of the UK. This will make the process of data collection using questionnaires cheap and highly convenient. Furthermore, this method has allowed accurate tracking and tight control of all responses received against the list of distribution presented originally.
In the extraction of the primary research data, the questionnaire relies heavily on the type of questions asked. Consequently, the questions must be designed accurately and correctly to elicit some vital responses required for the study. Open-ended questions give room for respondents to express their opinions. Closed questions, on the other hand, are specifically designed to meet the specific needs and opinions of respondents. Such questions are easy to analyze in comparison with open-ended questions that prove to be very difficult. This means that respondents could provide their own opinions, and definitely, there is a great divergence of opinions expressed by respondents.
Close-ended questions do not consume a lot of time, since they give room for a minimal opinion. The research will employ the use of close-ended questions, to which three options will be available for the answer to select. The respondent is given the option to agree, disagree, and also the choice as undecided. Respondents are expected to tick the option that represents their perception of the issue at hand. The design of the questionnaire has been developed to contain two sections. Section A will include the questions with the general information; at the same time, Section B contains some main structural questions.
Combining open-ended and close ended questions enables the researcher to collect both explanatory and exploratory information. It also reduces the monotony of one party in the study, i.e. where the researcher asks questions without giving the respondent a chance to voice his or her ideas. However, it is incredibly significant that the researcher devises short, precise, non-ambiguous open-ended questions. This will reduce the cases of collecting the information that diverges from main ideas making it complicated to draw a relationship from responses. The questionnaire should also be inclined to meet the purpose of the study(Kaufman & Sternberg 2006). It is also ideal to gather the data of opinions, attitudes, beliefs, characteristics, and behavior. For this research, some attitudinal and classification question types will be used. It is necessary to clarify that the attitudinal questions reflect the participants’ perceptions in percent. Meanwhile, the classification question types highlight the specific information on different groupings of respondents according to their age and profession.
This study will make use of the structured interview in analyzing the perceptions of African workers in the United Kingdom. Structured interviews make it easier to acquire an immediate response to the questions raised; thus, enabling the researcher to evaluate the understanding of the topic under evaluation. Moreover, the researcher can determine the nonverbal communication cues which could be of great vitality in determining the attitude of workers and the weight behind the answers given. The structured interview is, thus, a formative assessment. The researcher will analyze the opinions of respondents and will determine the persons that need a more detailed approach. The scholar can assess the feelings of respondents on a certain issue of this study.
The use of structured interviews enables the researcher to replicate questions to different respondents. Thus, offering a perfect avenue for comparing the perception of different respondents which facilitates the standardization of responses obtained. The interview will also enable the researcher to be in touch with several respondents and, thus, to assess the credibility of the information given.
The researcher will use a small sample because the use of structured interviews may be time-consuming in cases where the sample size used is large. In cases where the researcher is unable to reach a respondent, phone interviews will be used. In enhancing the quality and value of research, the questions asked will cover the core areas of study questions. Moreover, planning and testing of questions will be conducted before determining the appropriate time to be allocated for each interview.
3.5.3 Focus group
This involves holding a small discussion with respondents. The group is controlled by the researcher who initiates questions guided by the objectives being targeted. In many cases, the respondent will argue out their points supporting, agreeing, or disagreeing with different views and ideas. This allows the researcher to conclude from the ideas that have been communicated. In this study, the researcher will use focus groups of between 6-8 members. The questions and topics to be discussed by the group will be harmonized and similar to ensure that the same idea(s) is explored from one group to the other. The result from this mode of data collection will be used to validate answers from interviews and questionnaires.
Using the three methods enhances the reliability and credibility of the results. The issues of bias will be diluted; thus, more acceptable results.
3.6 Credibility of Study
The credibility of a study explains the extent to which the research can be said to be reliable. This is improved by the degree of researcher integrity, honesty, truthfulness in data collection and analysis. In the research, there are two major measures for describing the credibility of the research. These include testing the acceptability and reliability of study findings, which may follow different forms. In testing the validity of research findings, the researcher will evaluate how well the research has managed to answer the research questions. This will be guided by research questions and objectives as delineated in Chapter one of the research. Credibility will also be benched on the level of observing the ethical consideration of the study. Therefore, the researcher will ensure that the privacy, anonymity, and confidentiality of respondents are upheld to the highest level. Also, the researcher will try as much as possible to delineate clearly and systematically the steps and procedures employed in the study. This will ensure that readers will be able to coherently make deductions from the result. Therefore, cases of doubt about the results will be reduced.
3.7 Reliability of Study
Reliability of study involves the evaluation of the extent to which the results obtained can be generalized. The researcher will draft the data collection methods in the manner that they will answer the research questions in such a way that will enable achieving the objectives. The researcher will also pretest a study tool before instituting them in the actual study. This will ensure that limitations, hiccups, and shortages in the tools are determined in advance. Consequently, the amendment and improvement will be done to enhance the reliability. Another approach that the researcher will target to reinforce for ensuring reliability is the sample size. The sample size selected will be adequate to prevent any extrapolation of errors in deductions.
3.8 Validity of Information
It is referred to as the extent, to which the findings of the research may accurately represent what has been intended to evaluate. Pre-testing the study tools is not aimed at strengthening reliability, but at the validity. Testing the questions to be used in questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups will give an early capture of degree precision and closeness to what has been intended to measure. It is evident from the instruments used that the current study findings are being highly valid. Also, using both the primary and secondary data will promote a degree of validity of the research.
3.9 Overview of Data Analysis
The ethnic and national backgrounds are the key aspects that determine how black Africans living in the United Kingdom integrate with the natives. The background is, thus, an important phenomenon that determines the ability to integrate into a different society and effectively face the challenges in that country (Srivastava&Walford 2007). The black Africans living in Great Britain are a diverse population that exhibits a wide range of experiences and varying needs influenced by religion, the country of birth, and the native language. The provision of better support for this group of people is based on the knowledge available regarding this group (O'Brien & Sage Publications 2009). This study seeks to provide knowledge through the evaluation of cross-cultural relationships of Africans living in the country under study and their integration into the employment sector. There are various distinctions among various groups of people living in the UK (Odekon& Sage Publications 2006).
According to the Office of National Statistics, Wales and England had a population of 737, 000 black Africans in the year 2010. This is a group that has been observed as the fastest growing one in Great Britain. Black Africans, unlike other ethnic groups, are predominantly immigrants (Snyder &Nieuwenhuysen 2011). Most of these immigrants encounter various challenges related to language barriers in their integration both in the academic and employment sectors. Other problems including the financial issues also affect these immigrants while living there. Within the African groups, Somalis and Congolese bear many disadvantages and are often the most deprived communities (Taplin 2008).
Their deprivation varies according to the home language where the pupils from the French-speaking countries alongside Lingala have the high eligibility levels for free meals at school. More than half of the Congolese and Somali live in local areas categorized as the most deprived ones (Ungar 2005). There has been an assumption that the black Africans living in the United Kingdom do not experience any language barriers. However, the citizens from the Democratic Republic of Congo and those from Somalia face a lot of difficulties in the language as they strive to integrate both in academic and job sectors (Waller & Marcos 2005).
The issue of unemployment, self-employment, and employment vary considerably according to the countries of birth. Black Africans and especially the Somalis get a relatively low payment as compared to the British natives in the same job position. Some aspects of discrimination are, thus, evident in the job sector and practiced along racial and ethnic lines. The information in this study will present some difficulties faced by African nationals working in the United Kingdom. There are certain employment sectors where there is a high concentration of Black Africans, while others exhibit the low numbers of them (Karl, Shilo&Hasan 2008). The social care and health professions have a high concentration of citizens from southern Africa. These aspects play a greater role in influencing the performance in different sectors including the field of academics. The students derived from some English-speaking countries have been observed to perform better in their studies. Their average performance has been identified as approximately of the national grade. The students with the first language French, Portuguese, or Somali have indicated the worst performance in their education (Wiseman 2009).
Africans who are fluent in English still face many difficulties in finding a job. These groups of individuals have troubles in employment being equivalent to their level of education and their qualifications. Undertaking the research is necessary for ensuring the development of policies and measures that will address some problems of the Black African Community. Various social needs of these people should be addressed to guarantee equity in the process of interrelation (Mendenhall &Oddou 2000). The policy and practice developed may render some actions taken and may act as a basis for providing future strategies for integration practices. This will be essential for local authorities, primary care trusts, and London bureaus in such regions, where the Black Africans are dwelling.
In conclusion, cross-cultural interactions could lead to increased or reduction in productivity of an industry. This depends on the perception which the workers assume on the differences. Employing the differences for better due to a variety of styles and ideas can motivate positive interrelation. Achieving this will depend on the current policies in the working places that target positive cross-cultural relationships. Thus, this study will determine the areas of reinforcement needed to facilitate sound job-related relationships regardless of race, skin color, or continental origin.