Assessing Social Workers’ Managerial and Administrative Capabilities

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 5
Words: 1384
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: PhD

Research Methodology

This section will give a precise description of the whole research exercise. The research aims at measuring and testing the social workers’ perceptions of the management and administrative skills. The educational background, age, gender, educational institution and years of experience of each of the social workers are studied and a critical analysis made between the above named factors and the social workers’ perceptions on the management of professional institutions. The areas of study will comprise of social and human non-profit agencies and other non-traditional human agencies not affiliated with social work. The research methodology will give a clear insight of the study design, study population, study sample, the data collection procedures, and the data analysis techniques to employ.

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Proposed research design and procedure

The research to measure the social workers’ perceptions of the management of professional institutions is quantitative. Numerical and statistical analyses are necessary in measuring the perceptions. The quantitative research is chosen because it is an approach that covers a broad range of analysis. Quantitative research enables descriptive analysis, factor analysis, as well as correlation analysis.

Quantitative research enables studies in large populations, where, a representative sample works perfectly to represent the whole population. A quantitative research is a systematic approach that works towards giving answers to the research questions, research objectives and paves the way to test the research hypotheses. Generally, the quantitative research design will synchronize all the research variables to give all the required information.

The research procedure will comprise of a logical flow of events as soon as the start of the study period clicks. A pilot survey will measure the viability of the questionnaire. The pilot survey will investigate the validity of the questions and their appropriateness to the subject of study, their logical sequence, and their verbal formation. If need be, there will be various amendments to the questionnaire and thereafter, the researcher will collect the necessary data. Analysis of the data, interpretation and report writing will follow thereafter, and to crown it all, there will be a final presentation of the research report.

Sampling design and description of proposed sample

The perception study targets the social workers. It seeks to analyze their perceptions of their capabilities in the managerial and administrative positions. While there are many non-profit agencies in Lexington, KY, only those agencies that will cooperate will take part in the study.

The respondents of the study will comprise of randomly selected samples, where the samples will comprise of social workers who have a bachelor’s degree in social work. Social workers with a higher learning degree from the school of social work will also be considered in taking part in the study. Participation in the study will be independent on the social worker’s current position or job description, as long as they serve in the domain of a non-profit social or human agencies.

The sampling technique to be used is probability sampling. This type of sampling employs randomization, whereby, every respondent has an equal chance of selection to take part in the survey. The technique is reliable as it easy because the researcher only studies a sample to make inferences of the whole population. The probability sampling technique has the capacity to accommodate statistical methods to measure the level of precision of the data obtained. The size of the study population and the given precision level are the two factors that determine the sample size in the probability sampling technique.

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The probability sampling design is more of a snowball design because it will collect data from arbitrary social workers as long as they agree to participate in the survey. However, probability sampling has one major disadvantage. It never gives accurate data because of the generalized data from representative samples. Probability sampling gives statistical data that has many assumptions and is bound to errors. Though the sample size is tentative, I anticipate having a sample size of 126 respondents.

Description of the plan to protect human subjects

It is evident that respondents may hesitate to participate in the study because of the fear to reveal some confidential information. To combat this, a brief introductory letter is attached to every questionnaire. The topic of study and the general information regarding the study is briefly explained in the introductory letter. Contact details are given in the letter, just in case the respondents have queries about the research questions.

The researcher will then spare time to inform participants of the perception study, its purposes, relevant explanations, procedures and the duration of the study. The respondents are informed of how the research would benefit them and the general risks of participating, if any. The researcher should inform the respondents that the study does not examine personal related issues, but simply human perceptions. The respondents should be made aware that the study is not bothersome, as it only requires some few minutes of their time.

Secondly, the data collection instrument is constructed in a manner not to infuriate the participants, but to grasp the necessary information. No part of the questionnaire will require participants to provide any personal information such as names, social security numbers or personal contact information. The respondents will give any information that would raise potential concerns or risks at their own will. An open space titled “any other information” at the end of the questionnaire will give the respondents a chance to speak out their feeling. However, the information will be treated with utmost confidentiality. Respondents should participate in the study voluntarily. The respondents are informed that refusal to participate has no penalty.

Description of data collection instruments and procedures

The whole research is comprehensive and it will require a submissive researcher to collect the necessary data. The data collection instrument is a questionnaire. The questionnaire contains 33 questions, seven of which seek preliminary data such as age, gender, occupation, educational degree, and the learning institution. The rest of the questions are leaker-scale questions, whereby, the respondents are to agree strongly, agree, not respond, object, or strongly object a pre-defined statement. The class instructor and colleagues will investigate the logicalness, truthfulness, and the direct relevance of questions to the set objectives.

A pilot survey will determine if the questionnaire needs amendments or not. As soon as the study period reaches, the researcher distributes the questionnaires and provides the relevant information to the respondents. Phone follow-ups to help those in need of clarification and explanations are essential after distributing the questionnaire. There is a need to remind respondents to fill the questionnaires as well as thank those who have duly filled the questionnaire. This will continue until the completion of the data collection exercise.

The variables of study are either dependent or independent. The Independent variables comprise of the age, gender, educational degree, years of experience and the current position of the respondent. On the other hand, the dependent variable is the social works’ perceptions on the management of professional institution. The researcher can obtain data of the independent variables from the duly filled questionnaires. After a statistical analysis, it would be possible to conclude whether the respondent’s perceptions on the management of professional institution are dependent on the various independent variables.

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Data analysis

The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 21) will be used in the data analysis exercise. Descriptive data for the independent variables will give a concise view of the participants. Factor analysis of the leaker-scale data will bring out the strength of the opinions of the various responses. Thereafter, a Pearson’s correlation analysis will seek to investigate the existence of a relationship between the dependent and the independent variables. The correlations would seek to measure if social works’ perceptions on the management of professional institution were dependent on the age, gender, educational degree, years of experience, or the current position of the respondent.

Significance of the research and conclusions

It is evident that various perceptions exist in defining the management and administrative skills. Social workers have reportedly doubted their managerial and administrative skills, where, they feel that they do not have what it takes to lead professional institutions. This study is very significant in determining the underlying reasoning for the various perceptions. At the end of the research, the researcher will interpret the various reasoning for the social workers’ managerial and administrative capabilities in the domain of social work administration.