Comparative Methodological Critique Essay

3088 Words Jun 9th, 2011 13 Pages
Comparative Methodological Critique
The aim of this paper is to compare two academic research papers, one informed by qualitative and another one by quantitative research designs with focus on the methodological factors. Both papers describe working lives and attitudes of gay and lesbian workers in the UK and USA, possible consequences of disclosure of sexual orientation on their working relations and organisational arrangements towards equality and diversity of working practice. These research projects add to the growing number of studies which shed light on the sensitive nature of homosexuality in the workplace and anti-discrimination policies and practices that organisations deploy to create a more inclusive working
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Hence, using survey, in-depth interview and secondary data enabled the team to combine the specificity of quantitative data with the ability to interpret perceptions provided by qualitative analysis. Though, there is evidence and justification by the research team of how respondents were selected, the project itself demonstrated a disproportioned balance of respondents not only in terms of gender (61,7% -men, 38,3% - women) but also in terms of ethnic division. This means that the balance tipped so far in terms of the depth of their research.
The research team adapted an inductive research approach to accommodate the existing theories and findings as well as their own empirical studies, for example “that those in lower level and perhaps more difficult working environments are less likely to be “out”…at work” (Colgan et al., 2006a cited in Colgan, 2007:593). The paper also gives a good historical overview of how public and private sector organisations have made progress towards the “inclusion of sexual orientation within its organisational policy and practice” (Colgan et al., 2006a cited in Colgan, 2007:593). This provides readers with a comparative overview of how the situation has changed following the introduction of the legislation. The research team identified the number of steps organisations took to follow “good practice” in relation to equality and diversity, at the same time outlining the differences in progress between public and private sector companies.

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