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Table of Contents

CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Introduction

Ideally the third chapter of dissertation, this chapter yields to provide a comprehensive explanation of research methodology undertaken in order to conduct the research. For this purpose, this chapter would be divided into various sections such as research philosophy, approach, design, data collection methods, analysis techniques, ethical considerations, and research limitations.

Research Philosophy

Research philosophy is defined as an idea, thoughts and beliefs pertaining under a single essential nature of reality, existence and knowledge (Creswell, 2013). There are three main research philosophies namely positivism, interpretivism and pragmatism. The main aim of this research has been to discuss the role and performance of African Union for which interpretivism philosophy has been adopted. The main reason behind choosing interpretivism philosophy is the subjective nature of the research. Interpretivism philosophy is incorporated in order to identify existing knowledge about numerous realities as well as human actions (Creswell and Poth, 2017).

In this research, the role of African Union has been identified by assessing the actions taken by the union in the social development of Africa. The interpretivism philosophy covered the aspects of performance of African Union by considering the convenient approach underpinning largely distinguished realities pertaining in the phenomenon of social development.

Research Approach

Research approach is defined a systematic and methodical methods through which data is generalised in various ways (Hussein, 2015). It determines the way of dealing with the information retrieved from data collection and using it in order to accomplish research aim and objectives. The two main types of research approach are inductive and deductive approach. According to the main aim of the research, inductive approach has been chosen to generalise the collected information. Inductive approach is defined as a reasoning that is associated with the proposition of observations into new theory (Yilmaz, 2013).

The approach is dependent upon the patterns that are designed by interpreting numerous realities. The reason behind choosing inductive approach has been that it allowed the researcher to generalise information on the role and performance of African Union could be identified by underlining patterns and reasons behind African Union’s role and performance in Africa’s social development which have been broken into various realities; leading towards answering research questions.

Research Design

Research design is referred to the explanation of methodical process and a comprehensive framework adopted in order to conduct the research under a particular reasoning (Padgett, 2016). The design is based on the research paradigm and generalisation of collected information. There are three main kinds of research design namely quantitative, qualitative and mixed method research design. As the main aim of this research was to discuss the role and performance of African Union, the qualitative research design has been chosen for conducting the research. Qualitative research design is used in a research in which there is an inclusion of interpretations and observations are involved; based on the existing realities and data (Creswell, 2013). The main reason behind choosing qualitative research design is the subjective nature of the research in which various realities about African Union’s role and performance in social development of Africa and their interpretations have been incorporated for accomplishing research aim and objectives. Qualitative research design has allowed drawing relevant and effective conclusions by data interpretations into numerous possibilities leading towards theory formulation.

Data Collection Methods

Data collection methods are used to incorporate resources from where data can be collected for conducting the research (Eriksson and Kovalainen, 2015). Data can be collected from two methods; primary and secondary. Primary method includes the first-hand information derived from direct sources such as survey questionnaire, survey interview and focus groups. On the other hand, secondary method of data collection includes the data collection from existed literature and data. The various sources of secondary data collection method include research papers, journals, articles, books, newspapers and others.

The main aim of the research has been to discuss the role and performance of African Union therefore the data is collected from secondary sources. These sources are used in order to collect information about the role of African Union on the social development of Africa. Moreover, the data on Union’s performance since past two decades has been examined by using research papers, journals, books and annual reports of the union. The online databases have also been used such as Google Scholar and proQuest for retrieving information from relevant literature. The secondary data has also been collected by using relevant key terms were used such as succession/progress/success/performance. In finding the data on African Union’s performance and role in social development of Africa, the Stop Word Method was incorporated in which words like “the, a, of, an, be, in, etc.” were ignored for searching the phrases in a relevant manner. The relevant literature has led towards the accomplishment of research aim and objectives.

Data Analysis Techniques

Data analysis techniques are used for analysing the data collected on the topic of the research (Marshall and Rossman, 2014). The data analysis technique is selected according to the chosen research instrument. With respect to this research, secondary data has been collected to discuss the role and performance of African Union in the past two decades therefore the data has been analysed by incorporating extended literature review which included information derived on identified aim and objectives of the research.

Ethical Considerations

Various ethical considerations have been kept intact during the research process. As the research has been based on secondary qualitative reasoning, the rules of plagiarism have been kept in mind in a writing process. Moreover, the authors and writers of secondary data have been given proper credit and reference and their work has been cited along with their names appropriately under the rules of Harvard referencing. The data has not kept real and no falsification of data has been incorporated in the research.

Research Limitations

Amongst many limitations, in this research there were two main limitations faced by the researcher namely word count constraint, time constraint and cost constraints. The timeframe given for conducting the research was not enough to cover broad area of the research. Furthermore, there was a dire amount of literature available on study area for which analysis was difficult to cover in a given word count. Lastly, due to budget constraints the study was focused on specific case study of African Union.

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