Mix-method approach

In this section, I will discuss the methodological approach that I intend to use to conduct this study. Then I talked about the sampling strategy and data collection tools. I have also talked about the data analysis methods. The methodological approach to conduct this study will be mix-method. Johnson and Onwuegbuzie (2004) defines mixed methods research as ‘the class of research where the researcher mixes or combines quantitative and qualitative research techniques, methods, approaches, concepts or language into a single study’ (p. 17).

The goal of mixed methods research is not to replace either qualitative or quantitative approaches but rather to draw from the strengths and minimize the weaknesses of both in single research studies and across studies (Hoshmand 2003). I want to use quantitative approach to analysis the figures that I intend to get from the documents review or data bases to see the change of the trends in the cotton industry before and after the introduction of fair-trade. On the other hand, I want to use qualitative approach to see ‘why’ and ‘how’ these changes take place.

Bryman (2008) maintains that interviews are probably the most widely employed method in qualitative research and give deep insights into how respondents’ view the world. Interviews used in qualitative research are termed as ‘qualitative interviews’ that include unstructured and semi-structured interviews (ibid: 436). The unstructured interviews tends to be very similar in character to a conversation (Burgess 1984), in which the researcher uses at most an aide-memoir as a brief set of prompts to him/herself to deal with a certain range of topics. These interviews are not suitable for current study as they are loose in nature where researchers have little control over interview procedure. The total unstructured nature of these interviews may lead discussion to different directions and distract the researcher.

However, the relatively unstructured nature of the semi-structured interviews and its capacity to provide insights into how research participants view the world is considered vital for this study. There are two main reasons of using semi-structure interviews. Firstly they provide a guide (interview guide) to the researcher to keep the interview procedure on the tract. This helps to get the maximum relevant information in the limited time. Secondly, the semi-structured interviews give the respondent a freedom to respond in a way that may raise new questions. This helps to develop the interview guide for the next interviews to get more relevant information.

A sample is a finite part of a statistical population whose properties are studied to gain information about the whole (Webster 2003). When dealing with people, it can be defined as a set of respondents (people) selected from a larger population for the purpose of a survey. Probability sampling, or random sampling, is a sampling technique in which the probability of getting any particular sample may be calculated. This kind of sampling is mostly used in quantitative research. Qualitative research, on the other hand, uses small samples, and does not aim to generalise the findings. This kind of sampling is known as non-probability sampling. According to Yin (2009) the focus of qualitative research is not normally on representation, rather it is concerned with ‘how and why’ people interpret the world in certain ways.

In this study, I intend to sample only for qualitative interviews. Here, I propose the use of random sampling. The samples will be selected from people working in cotton industry, cotton producer and trader. I will used this instrument to analysis the statics of cotton business before and after the introduction of fair-trade in UK. And i will analysis the results using the graphs. The selected portions of interviews will then be transcribed for further analysis. The data then will be compressed, categorized, and organised into themes prior to interpretation and extracting meaning from them. As the interviews are semi-structured, the questions will be written so that certain themes will be followed. This will help to code and organize the data, by identifying and associating significant themes and patterns and relating them to the research questions.

There are many issues related to my study on which research can be done such as, consumer behaviour regarding fair trade, views of farmer and producer after working under fair trade mark. However due to the limitation of study i will only focus on the impacts of fair trade on cotton business in UK. In conclusion, my research and findings will help to understand the difference of Fair trade and non Fair Trade business and it will also help new researcher in the field of cotton to understand the change in cotton business after fair trade trading in UK.

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