Fun in the Workplace: Research Approaches

Subject: Sciences
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Study level: PhD

Hypothetical research approaches

The influence of fun in the workplace on employees’ performance, motivation, and cooperation can be examined with the help of different research methodologies. For example, it is possible to choose the qualitative approach. In this case, a researcher should focus on the opinions of respondents such as workers or managers. In particular, one should explore the main issues that are of great importance to these people (Willis, 2008, p. 255).

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These individuals should be asked to express their views on the relationship between fun in the workplace and everyday experiences of employees. A researcher, who chooses this approach, can use such a method as an in-depth interview which includes various open-ended questions. This method can enable the interviewer to specify the responses of a person. For instance, a scholar can specify the positive or negative impacts of having fun in the workplace.

Later, the responses of the participants should be coded, and in this way, one can identify the most important issues that affect the experiences of employees. On the basis of this information, a researcher can make conjectures about the role that fun plays in the workplace. This strategy is applicable at the time when an investigator needs to formulate his/her assumptions about a topic.

Quantitative paradigm is another approach that can be adopted in order to examine the topic. The main task is to find numerical expression of the responses that participants can give. Quantitative approach can be applied if it is necessary to test a particular hypothesis (Ary, 2013, p. 107). In particular, a researcher may test a hypothesis according to which the ability to have fun in the workplace increases the motivation of an individual.

At first, it is critical to identify dependent and independent variables. In this context, independent variable will be the ability to have fun in the workplace; in turn, the dependent variables will be performance, motivation, or cooperation. In order to implement a quantitative approach one should pay much attention to the sample of the study. The number of people, who will take part in the study, should be sufficient to represent a particular organization. A scholar may apply such a method as the survey, including close-ended questions. The responses of these people can be quantified; in turn, these results can throw light on the relations between dependent and independent variables. On the whole, quantitative approach can be adopted if an investigator already has some assumptions about the topic that should be studied.

Finally, one can examine the so-called mixed method approach (Leedy & Ormrod, 2013). This framework is suitable when one cannot examine a question only with the help of purely quantitative or qualitative methods. Therefore, a researcher may choose to collect different types of data. Therefore, one can ask respondents both close-ended and open-ended questions. For example, an investigator can administer a survey and ask follow-up questions in order to specify the responses of the participants. These are the main peculiarities of this approach.

The advantages and disadvantages of the chosen approaches

While selecting a specific framework, an investigator should consider the advantages and disadvantages of a specific method. For example, by using an in-depth interview, a researcher can specify the answers, given by the participants. A person can examine the questions that he/she did not consider before the interview. For example, if a respondent speaks about the influence of fun on teamwork or brainstorming. Nevertheless, it is critical to remember that the use of an in-depth interview is very time-consuming.

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Therefore, it may be difficult for an investigator to interact with many participants. This challenge is particularly important when it is necessary to examine the opinions of people representing a large organization. Under such circumstances, it is possible to apply a statistical survey since this method enables an investigator to study a very large sample. This ability is important when a person has to carry out research in organizations.

Moreover, the advantages and disadvantages of each approach depend on the assumptions that an investigator has. In particular, he/she may believe that fun in the workplace contributes to the increased motivation and productivity of workers. If it is necessary to determine whether this hypothesis is true, quantitative approach is the most applicable strategy. In contrast, one cannot test assumptions with the help of qualitative methodologies.

The problem is that a researcher may misinterpret the answers of the subjects and make them confirm a theory. This is one of the pitfalls that should be avoided. In turn, one should mention that mixed-methods research is more flexible than purely quantitative or qualitative techniques. By relying on this method, an investigator can gather and analyze various types of data. At first, a researcher can ask respondents several closed-ended questions. In particular, it is possible to ask whether fun in the workplace is accepted or encouraged by the management. Moreover, the participants may be asked to rate their motivation or commitment to organizational goals.

Nevertheless, at the same time, an investigator can prompt people to discuss their opinion about the benefits and drawbacks of having fun in the workplace. However, one should keep in mind that the findings derived in this way can be inconsistent with one another (Hesse-Biber, 2010, p. 66; Maykut & Morehouse, 2002). Very often, it is rather difficult to reconcile these differences. This is one of the main challenges that should be anticipated.

Overall, this discussion suggests that each of the research approaches can be used to examine the role that fun plays in the workplace. Moreover, these strategies can help a researcher understand how fun contributes to performance, job satisfaction, or motivation. However, one should consider such factors as time constraints, the number of participants, and the main assumptions of a researcher. These are the main points that can be made.

Research questions

Qualitative approach

If qualitative approach is adopted, a research should focus on open-ended questions that are open to various interpretations (Johnson & Christensen, 2010, p. 169).

  1. What are the positive or negative effects of having fun in the workplace?
  2. How do these effects manifest themselves?
  3. In what ways does fun in the workplace affect the performance of employees and their cooperation with one another?
  4. What do business administrators believe about the impact of fun in the workplace?

Quantitative approach

In turn, it is necessary to consider the research questions that are more typical of quantitative research. These questions should reflect the relations between dependent and independent variables.

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  1. To what extent does fun in the workplace increase the performance of motivation?
  2. Is there any relation between the motivation of a worker and fun in the workplace?
  3. Does fun in the workplace affect the productivity of employees?
  4. Does fun in the workplace influence the level of a person’s commitment to the organization?

It is possible to identify several hypotheses that can be tested in an empirical way;

  • H1: Fun in the workplace increases the motivation of employees.
  • H2: Fun in the workplace enhances job satisfaction of workers.
  • H 2: Fun in the workplace is positively related to the performance of employees.

One should also develop the null hypotheses which an investigator should test. It can be formulated in the following way:

  • Null Hypothesis 1: There is no relation between fun in the workplace and performance of workers.
  • Null Hypothesis 2: There is no connection between motivation and fun in the workplace

Mixed-methods approach

Finally, it is possible to consider the research question that can be posed, if mixed-methods approach is adopted.

  1. Does fun in the workplace influence the productivity of employees?
  2. Is there any relation between fun in the workplace and performance of workers?
  3. Is there any relation between the commitment of workers and fun in the workplace?
  4. How does fun in the workplace change the experience of employees?

In this case, a research poses several types of questions. One group is aimed at understanding the relations between several variables. In turn, the final question can be used to explore various themes. One can also advance several hypotheses that should be verified:

  1. Fun in the workplace improves the performance of employees.
  2. Fun in the workplace enhances the motivation of workers.

Thus, the research questions included in this question can throw light on the differences between two approaches. To some degree, each of these approaches can be relevant to the purpose of the study.

Reference List

Ary, D. (2013). Introduction to Research in Education. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.

Hesse-Biber, S. (2010). Mixed Methods Research: Merging Theory with Practice. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

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Johnson, B., & Christensen, L. (2010). Educational Research: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed. New York, NY: SAGE.

Leedy, P., & Ormrod, J. (2013). Practical Research: Planning and Design. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

Maykut, R., & Morehouse, R. (2002). Beginning Qualitative Research: A Philosophical and Practical Guide. New York, NY: Routledge.

Willis, J. (2008). Qualitative Research Methods in Education and Educational Technology. New York, NY: IAP.