Journal of Public Administration - Volume 41, Issue 3, 2006
Volumes & issues
Volume 41, Issue 3, 2006
Source: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 571 –573 (2006)More Less
The aims of SAAPAM include the publication of research results as well as encouraging the publication of research results by young researchers in Public Administration and Management. Over the past few years there has also been an increasing interest by policy makers and public service practitioners in the use of more rigorous research methodologies as conceptual tools for policy problem identification, policy design, implementation, evaluation and review. In order to achieve these goals SAAPAM has decided to publish a special guest issue of the Journal of Public Administration on research methodology, including different research approaches and designs that researchers in the fields of Public administration and Management could select to achieve the best results.
Problematic aspects of the research, design and measurement process in Public Administration research : conceptual considerationsSource: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 574 –587 (2006)More Less
The aim of this article is to introduce the reader to the concepts and process of a social research and to provide the foundational information that is necessary for understanding the research process and social research methods. As a starting point and basis to the rest of this issue, this article provides background information in order to connote the interrelationships between the purpose, concepts, methods, design and process of a social research. This is followed by a conceptual background of the problematic aspects of the research design and measurement process in Public Administration research. Included in this article is also information on the development of hypotheses, variable and unit of analysis, control variables, and internal and external validity.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 588 –602 (2006)More Less
This article aims to describe the purpose of research, the importance of research design and the research paradigms available to the researcher. Two basic approaches are identified namely, quantitative and qualitative research designs as well as the use of a number of these quantitative and qualitative techniques.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 603 –615 (2006)More Less
This article addresses the need to carry out an effective and efficient literature review when conducting research of any kind. Its importance cannot be underestimated as it provides a review of a body of knowledge as well as a basis for the research undertaken. The purpose and importance of a literature review are considered before focussing on the strategy and procedure to be undertaken for reviewing literature. Finally emphasis is placed on useful guidelines to researchers / authors in ensuring a practical literature review. A holistic approach is called for in planning the research journey.
Author De Wet SchutteSource: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 616 –630 (2006)More Less
There seems to be a general lack of practical guidelines in the literature that could help the prospective researcher to apply the basic scientific principles found in all the textbooks on research methodology. Evidence of this lack was found through countless consultation sessions, scrutiny of available literature, as well as discussions with experienced researchers who are usually quite conversant with the theoretical aspects of their subjects. This article introduces the researcher to the different phases in the research process and the dendrogram technique that is specifically designed to take the researcher through the conceptualisation phase in such a way that it paves the way to progress through the different phases in the research cycle with ease. The biggest value of the technique is that it provides the researcher with all the relevant variables that are to be investigated to support or reject a specific hypothesis.
Author C.J. AuriacombeSource: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 631 –645 (2006)More Less
The activity of measurement in the research process is explained and assessed in this article, illustrated with examples of empirical applications in the field of Public Administration and Management. The measurement issues that are addressed are conceptualisation, specification of variables and indicators, and the operationalisation or implementation of those variables. The different operational choices available to the Public Administration and Management researcher as he / she embarks upon the process of measuring variables, and assessment of the quality of an operational variable, are also dealt with.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 646 –655 (2006)More Less
This article examines the fundamentals of index and scaling techniques in public administration research. The article identifies the common features as well as the differences between indices and scales. This is followed by a discussion of index construction in terms of the steps in selecting the possible items, examining their empirical relationships, and scoring and validating the index and scale construction. Attention is also paid to scale construction including a brief discussion of the Bogardus Social Distance Scale, Thurston Scales, Likert Scaling, Semantic Differential and Guttman Scaling.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 656 –668 (2006)More Less
This article gives an overview of the process and logic of sampling. The article begins by describing the basic building blocks of sampling theory. The most common sampling designs that can be used in social science research are discussed and is divided into two broad categories :
- Probability sampling which include simple random sampling, systematic sampling, stratified sampling, cluster sampling, multi-stage cluster sampling and probability proportionate to size (PPA) sampling, and
- Non-probability sampling which include accidental sampling, purposive sampling, quota sampling and referral sampling which can be divided into network and snowball sampling.
The article also assesses various factors that determine the choice of a sample design, which include the stage of the research process, availability of resources and the data collection methods applied. It concludes with a discussion on selecting the right sample size.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 669 –681 (2006)More Less
All empirical research involves some form of data collection. One of the approaches commonly used in the human sciences, is survey research. This article focuses on the various forms of interviews and using the questionnaire technique as a data collection instrument often associated with surveys. It puts the different interview types on a continuum, ranging from structured to unstructured interviews into perspective against two underlying types of data, namely qualitative and quantitative data. The article sensitises the prospective researcher for some pitfalls when using the interview as a data collection technique and includes some hints for the prospective researcher when using the interview data collection technique in practice. It also attempts to bring order into the vocabulary when using the concepts: procedure and technique.
Author F. CloeteSource: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 682 –693 (2006)More Less
This article focuses on fundamental aspects that are crucial in evaluation research. A brief outline is provided of the different types of evaluation research, the methodological issues regarding evaluation research as well as the social and political context of evaluation research. The utilisation of evaluation results is also discussed, focusing on guidelines for maximising the utilisation of those research results. It also briefly deals with the utilisation of appreciative inquiry in evaluation.
Source: Journal of Public Administration 41, pp 694 –702 (2006)More Less
The aim of this article is to address three broad areas of ethical concern in terms of the design and execution of research: the ethics of data collection and analysis; the ethics of the treatment of participants; and the ethics of responsibility to the society. Attention is also paid to some of the common ethical issues faced by Social Science researchers and suggestions made concerning approaches that researchers can use to address some of the ethical issues in terms of the context of research.