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This chapter presents a description of the research methodology. Section 3.2 provides a brief overview of the research design in general, and the research approaches and research strategies are discussed in sections 3.2.1 and 3.2.2 respectively, while the data collection procedures are described in section 3.3. Finally, the research methods and the design applied to this study are explained in section 3.4.

Research design

According to Leedy, Paul, Ormrod and Jeanne (2001), a research design is a set of careful plans developed by a researcher to provide criteria and specifications according to which the research is to be carried out. This means that a research design depends on the nature of the investigation that is expected to be carried out. The literature shows that there are various types of design in ICT research (Gallupe 2007; Goede and De Villiers 2003; Oates 2006). Each research design is based on a particular approach to truth and understanding, which has related research strategies and data capturing methods. The research approaches are discussed in more detail in section 3.2.1, research strategies are discussed in section 3.2.2 and, finally, data capturing methods are discussed in section 3.2.3.

Research approaches

On a philosophical level, research can be classified as positivistic, interpretive or critical (Goede and De Villiers 2003), which can be explained as follows:
Positivistic methodologies are characterised by evidence of formal proposition, quantifiable measures of variables and hypothesis testing of a sample that represents a certain population. Experiments are one examples of these (Oates 2006).
Interpretative research methodologies focus on the social aspects of human thinking and the understanding of these phenomena. Examples in this category include case studies, action research, surveys, ethnography and experiments (Oates 2006).
Critical research methodologies are applicable to research viewed as social critique, whereby the restrictive and alienating conditions of the status quo are brought to light (Denzing and Lincoln 1994).
Another distinction that can be drawn between research methodologies is that between quantitative and qualitative approaches (Gallupe 2007). Quantitative research deals with numbers and is usually related to a positivistic philosophy, while qualitative research pertains to aspects that cannot be dealt with using numbers, such as feelings, emotions, opinions and thought processes, which could also relate to an interpretivistic philosophy. More recently, the mixed method research approach has been proposed in that it attempts to respect the wisdom of both of the quantitative and the qualitative viewpoints, while seeking a workable solution for the research problem under consideration (Johnson, Onwuegbuzie & Turner 2007).

Research strategies

The present study investigates OS promotion in relation to ICT acceptance challenges in Tanzania in order to ascertain the relevance of the promotion in addressing existing ICT acceptance challenges. The research question could not be answered by taking a purely positivistic stance, as there is no universal truth to be sought. Rather, an understanding of the context and the influencing factors involved is more appropriate for addressing the research questions; hence, an interpretivistic qualitative research approach was adopted.
In terms of the context of the study, as described in Chapter 2, the most important research strategies that should be considered are case studies, surveys, action research and ethnography. These research strategies will now be discussed in detail in the following sections.

Case studies

A case study is an in-depth study of a person or group (Yin 1994; Stake 1995). In a case study every aspect of the subject‟s life, circumstances and history is analysed to seek patterns and causes for behaviour. The hope is that learning gained from studying one case can be generalised to many others. Some of the merits associated with case studies are as follows:
Case studies are useful in the study of information systems development, implementation and usage in a field (Darke, Shanks and Broadbent 1998).
Case studies use various data collection techniques (observation, questionnaires, document and interviews) (Darke et al. 1998; Neale, Thapa and Boyce 2006).
Case studies can be used during research to both develop theory and test theory (Oates 2006; Darke et al. 1998).
Case studies provide an in-depth understanding of the problem under investigation by describing characteristics and relationships among the variables (Oates 2006).
Case studies also have their disadvantages, most notably:
Data collection in case studies can be very time consuming and leads to large volumes of data, which makes it difficult to analyse and interpret (Oates 2006; Darke et al. 1998).
There are limitations on the validity of the case study because the data collection and analysis process are subject to the influence of the researcher‟s background and assumptions (Darke et al. 1998).
Case studies are criticised for their overreliance on qualitative data for analysis and interpretation. Often these methods are not well established as compared to quantitative and scientific ways of evaluating findings and conclusions (Darke et al. 1998; Neale et al. 2006).
Compared to scientific research approaches, case studies are difficult to generalise from one case to another (Neale et al. 2006).


Ethnography is an approach to research that studies a cultural group or system using field work (Riemer 2008). The roots of ethnographic research have been traced back to the fields of anthropology and sociology (Whitehead 2005). The most essential part of ethnographic research is the field work (Whitehead 2005). Field work is defined by Wolcott (1995) as a personal engagement by a researcher in an ongoing social activity done by an individual or a group. Some characteristics of ethnography are the following:
Ethnography tends to describe and extend a social theory by focusing on a cultural interpretation of a social group (Riemer 2008; Whitehead 2005).
Ethnography involves the use of multiple data sources and data collection to increase the validity of findings and interpretations (Riemer 2008).
Using ethnography, studies are done in their natural setting rather than experimentally, which requires the researcher to prepare the environment (Genzuk 2003).
The data collection process of ethnography is unstructured and does not involve systematic planning. No categorisation of data is done prior to collection as data is simply presented in a row format before being analysed (Genzuk 2003).
Ethnography research has the following advantages:
Ethnography provides an in-depth understanding of research. The researcher personally immerses him/herself in the activities taking place within a social group. He/she is eventually familiar with the challenges, struggles and frustration, and learns about the characteristics and complex relationships that exist within the social group (Myers 1999).
Ethnography is believed to be a creative, flexible, iterative learning process (Whitehead 2005).
Because ethnography provides a deeper understanding of the problem to be investigated, the knowledge created in the field challenges assumptions that are held by researchers (Myers 1999).
However, ethnography also has certain disadvantages, notably the following:
Ethnography had been criticised for its time-consuming behaviour. Compared to other research approaches, in ethnography it takes a lot longer to understand complex situations and the relationships among them (Oates 2006; Myers 1995).
Ethnography is also criticised for drawing out the findings, analysis and interpretation, as it takes longer than other approaches (Myers 1995).
During the course of ethnographic research, the researcher develops a relationship with the informants and this may result in complications in the form of the friendship obligations that may develop and thus influence the findings and conclusion (Riemer 2008).
Ethnography raises the risk of ethical concerns, since informants risk exposing their social lives or the lives of the community (Riemer 2008).
Ethnography is sometimes criticised for its lack of breadth, meaning that the approach can only deal with one research at a time owing to its limitations in terms of geographical locations and the time required for research (Myers 1995).

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Data collection in ethnographic research

In a natural setting, a researcher spends most of his/her time observing activities carried out by the individual or group. Data collection by observation has therefore become the basic method for collecting data in ethnography (Riemer 2008). The researcher collects data either as a participant observer or a non-participant observer. In participant observation, the researcher becomes hands on by engaging in activities to obtain a better understanding and more experience (Oates 2006). A non-participant observes obtrusively, does not take part but carefully notes down what he/she has observed (Oates 2006). This is done through the use of field notes, recorded tapes and videos, which record all that is carefully observed.
Apart from observation, ethnographic studies collect data by means of interviews (Genzuk 2003; Whitehead 2005). The interview process conducted in this respect is less formal and the interviewer has less control compared to the normal structured interview. The interviewee is free to interrupt and ask questions throughout the interview process (Riemer 2008).
Another form of data collection in ethnographic study is the collection and examination of field documents. The collected documents are not limited to just public and private texts, but also include multimedia documents like photographs and videos (Oates 2006; Riemer 2008) which are produced by participants in the community in their natural settings. Sometimes documents may also cover a study on published websites (Genzuk 2003).

1.1 Introduction
1.2 Features of developing countries
1.3 Defining open source (OS)
1.4 Features of open source
1.5 Worldwide use of open source (OS)
1.6 Background to the problem
1.7 Statement of the problem
1.8 Research objectives
1.9 Research questions
1.10 Scope, assumptions and limitations
2.1 Introduction
2.2 ICT acceptance challenges
2.3 Technology acceptance models
2. 4 Historical background of open source
2.5 Open source promotion
2.6 Determining the gap
2.7 Summary
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Research design
3.3 Data collection
3.4 Research methods and design applied to this study
3.5 Summary
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Overview of the theoretical technology models
4.3 Technology acceptance model on open source
4.4 List of ICT acceptance challenges in Tanzania
4.5 Open source and ICT acceptance challenges
4.6 Summary
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Sampling
5.3 Document analysis
5.4 Observation
5.5 Summary
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Data analysis
6.3 Discussion of the findings
6.4 Conclusion
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Research questions revisited ..
7.3 Synthesis of the findings in relation to the research questions
7.4 Study limitations
7.5 Study contributions and contextualisation
7.6 Recommendations
7.7 Reflections
7.8 Further research
7.9 Conclusion

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