An evaluation of staff well-being for a work environment of your choice

| February 14, 2014

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The theme of the present qualitative proposal is an evaluation of staff well-being for a work environment of your choice.
Devise your own original title. The title’s essential function is to summarise the main topic(s) of the proposal. However it should also (directly or indirectly) convey that the study is qualitative, and that it is a proposal for research with an external organisation. Ideally the title should be kept to 10 to 15 words
Introduction: this section must be 900 words
The first couple of sentences should outline the research proposal so that the reader knows what the focus is from the outset, and an applied rationale for conducting the qualitative research in an external organisation. Remember, this is a proposal for an external organisation so you need to inform them about what you are proposing to study, and why as you are persuading the external organisation of the merits of your research.
The Introduction should then continue with a review of the relevant literature (qualitative and quantitative where necessary, but with an emphasis on the qualitative literature and a rationale for your present study, aim, your initial research question, and a further research question of your own devising (you may have more than one further question if you wish). The aim of this study will be to gain a greater understanding of well-being at work. The initial research question should address the experience of well-being for people in a specific work location of your choosing. The initial research question should either be a ‘what?’ or a ‘how?’ question.
Also, you are expected to formulate one additional research question of your own (or more). Your further research questions need to be consistent with your original aim, and should be more specific than the initial research question. An initial research question should be sufficiently broad to allow for unexpected issues to be included in the study. Further research questions can then be more focused, See the Crowley (2010) chapter (pp. 234-235) regarding formulating and wording research questions in qualitative research designs.
The Methods section should be written in the future tense for research proposals only given that the research has not yet been conducted. Also, must have the below sub-section. And should include the below sub-section.
Regarding design, see Crowley (2010) p. 236 as a starting point. This, in turn, refers you to
Robson (2002) for further reading on the key issue regarding your proposed design – that it will be a flexible, qualitative design rather than being fixed (as all quantitative designs have to be, and some qualitative designs may be). Be aware, however, that using unstructured interviews, and using thematic analysis, are not reasons why the design could be called flexible (even though both are methods – of data collection and analysis, respectively – that do offer some kinds of flexibility in use). The flexibility of relevance to design relates to the issue of the possibility of the focus of the inquiry progressively evolving in the course of the study, e.g. with further research questions being developed during the analysis, amongst other possibilities. It is all about aiming to explore, in contrast to aiming to confirm or test.
This sub-section should describe the characteristics of the population to be investigated and the strategy for the selection and recruitment of the research participants. The proposed number of participants must be 10 participants recruitment using in-depth interviews.
Also indicate selection criteria such as the age range and genders to be recruited, and perhaps any culturally distinguishing features relevant to the research, giving some explanation of the need for these inclusion criteria or any exclusion criteria. Recruitment will be within an external organisation, and consideration of how selection of participants will conducted is necessary. See Crowley (2010) pp. 237-238 for some further considerations re participants.
Methodological theory
Regarding methodological theory, state that a thematic analysis will be carried out, as proposed by Braun and Clarke (2006). For your own understanding of this, and to develop this methods sub-section, you should carefully read their journal article (see further reading section) so that you can briefly discuss which sort of thematic analysis you have used, from the standpoints they consider [for example, a rich description of the data set, or a detailed account of one particular aspect (p. 7); inductive versus theoretical thematic analysis (pp. 7-8); semantic or latent themes (p. 8); essentialist/realist versus constructionist thematic analysis (p. 9)?]. This sub-section should not include details of the steps, or ‘phases’, of carrying out Braun and Clarke’s approach to thematic analysis, because that should be covered in the sub-section.
Method of data collection
Regarding the method of data collection, state that in-depth semi-structured interviews will be used. You can then discuss the merits of this kind of interview versus structured kinds. For further reading see chapters by Hugh-Jones (2010), Burman (in Banister et al, 1994) and Willig (2008, pp. 23-27), and reference them or other appropriate reading in this subsection.
This sub-section can also be the place to note that interviews will be audio-recorded and subsequently transcribed verbatim (word for word).
If you were to propose semi-structured or structured interviews in your ethical submission, at this stage you would also have to fully develop your Interview Schedule (sometimes alternatively).
This sub-section should be succinct and not over long (a common failing). For example, as interview methods are indicated for this qualitative research proposal, you should state the type of location used and the typical length of interviews (for in-depth interviews, a typical duration of an hour would be expected, and it is not a good idea to state ‘not more than’ because if any participant is still giving valuable information at that point, the last thing you
should be doing is prematurely ending the interview because you have promised a maximum time limit). Also include whether audio recorded, how consent will be obtained, how the interview schedule or topic guide will be used (prompts and probes, or more formal questions? in fixed or varying order?), and that debriefing will take place (see Crowley, 2010, p. 239).
Ethical considerations
This sub-section should refer to the BPS ethical guidelines. An ethics committee submission requires quite a lot of detailed documentation, and there several issues that differ for qualitative proposals compared to quantitative proposals. Because of word-length constraints, this sub-section must contain just a summary of the key issues, which would be fully discussed in the substantial appendix material required for the ethical submission. Nonetheless, issues such as the participants’ rights not to talk about anything they do not wish to are answer any question they do not wish to, to withdraw themselves and their data from the study , how their anonymity and confidentiality will be protected, how the data will be securely stored, if, when and why it will be destroyed (or if not, why not), and whether there will be provision for participants to be informed of relevant support services in debriefing, should they experience distress arising from their depth interview.

Analytic strategy
Regarding the analytic strategy, simply state that thematic analysis will be carried out according to the six phases set out (or, given/described/proposed) by Braun and Clarke (2006). And just name the six phases using the terms for them in their journal article, rather than putting them in your own words. Write this as a continuous sentence, perhaps using semi-colons (;) to separate the names of the phases, rather than laid out as a line-by-line list.
Regarding reflexivity, this sub-section should summarise your understanding of the purpose of reflexivity as a criterion for furthering the quality of qualitative research, with some references to the literature. There are various ways to be reflexive, so here you should also explain how you intend to be reflexive in the study you are proposing to do. Willig (2008, pp 10-11) distinguishes between personal reflexivity and epistemological reflexivity, for example. Also see Crowley (2010) p. 240, which suggests further reading on reflexivity.
Business Case:
At the end of the proposal you should include a brief business case for your evaluation of staff well-being in the organization you have designed the proposed research for. The business case should only be approximately 100-150 words, but should include a rationale for why your research would be beneficial for the organization you have chosen, as well as an estimated cost for the research. You should base your costs on the:
1. number of hours you will require to collect data
2. number of hours required to analyse the data
3. number of hours required to transcribe the data
4. number of hours required to produce the final report
5. cost for audio recording equipment
You can charge £250 per hour for your time, and use the following website to assist with finding a cost for audio recording equipment
Writer should put this section using word excel below for this section.
Task Duration £
Data collection
Printing cost
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