CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
In the preceding chapters the concept of Corporate Community Engagement (CCE) was discussed through specific reference to the limited existing literature and its different theoretical underpinnings. As discussed in Chapter 1, the relative novelty of CCE compared to the more recognised Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) merits an examination of the understanding of potential beneficiaries of CCE of the concept of CCE and thereafter, to determine the extent to which different stakeholders influence or wish to influence the nature of that CCE. This need has formed the basis for the questions set out in Chapter one and are reproduced here.
- What is Corporate Community Engagement (CCE) from the perspective of multiple stakeholders in the extractive industry?
- How is Corporate Community Engagement (CCE), measured by these stakeholders?
The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the research approach, design and methods used to address these research questions.
In this research a mixed method approach that combines qualitative and quantitative research was adopted as it suits the nature of the questions the study examined and the relative infancy of the concept of CCE. As Yin (1994) and Denzin and Lincoln (1994) point out, methodologies arise according to the nature of the study being undertaken. In this specific study, addressing the first question of determining the level of understanding that mining sector stakeholders have of the concept of CCE required both a qualitative and quantitative approaches, while the question of how it is measured (or should be measured) required a quantitative analysis that identifies biases in thinking and preferences among stakeholders in order to draw meaningful conclusions on CCE measurement by those stakeholders.
This mixed method approach required thorough and collaborative planning, design, pilot testing, and fieldwork and data analysis which are described in this chapter. This approach is diagrammatically presented below for ease of reference.
The chapter is organised as follows. Firstly, Section 3.1 justifies the mixed methods approach in this study. Section 3.2 provides the context of the study by discussing its study area. Section 3.3 then presents the research design and approach for each of the research study’s questions. Section 3.4 discusses critical considerations necessary for the successful completion of the study and the validity of its results. Thereafter Section 3.5 presents the methods for data collection before Section 3.6 explains the study’s data management. Ethical and social considerations are discussed in Section 3.7. Section 3.8 discusses research validity issues. Section 3.9 notes the potential limitations of the study before Section 3.10 summarises and concludes the chapter.
JUSTIFYING MIXED METHODS
As Galt (2009) identifies, mixed methods research has grown in popularity primarily as a result of its ability to not only allow triangulation in developing construct validity but in allowing the simultaneous pursuit of different but related objectives in empirical research. In the context of this study of CCE, the relative infancy of the concept of CCE necessitates a qualitative approach in which the targets of the research are engaged to help develop an understanding of what CCE is for those communities. The quantitative approach was necessary in adding validity predetermined outcomes, for example, in assessing how CCE should be measured a simple qualitative assessment of many stakeholders would yield an equally varied number of “correct” measures of CCE. Without quantitative information to determine biases in assessment, meaningful conclusions were going to be difficult to determine. By including quantitative data it was possible to identify what a particular group of stakeholders’ value through an aggregation of their varied individual views. The mechanics and statistical of how the data was collected, and the software on which the qualitative and quantitative data collection and assessment were made are discussed in subsequent sections of this chapter.
With a brief look at the methods engaged in the study it is important to present the context/ setting in which the research was undertaken. The study was carried out in Zimbabwe’s extractive industry of Zimbabwe, particularly the diamond and platinum mining companies and other stakeholders like government, non-governmental organisations, environmental regulatory agencies, investors and communities surrounding the extractive industries were incorporated into the study. According to the Geological Survey Department of the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, there are, 3 platinum, 7 diamond mines. While there are more than 10 operational mines in different minerals in Zimbabwe, only those in the diamond and platinum category were selected for the purposes of this study because of their clearly demarcated target communities and their ability to provide the data necessary to meaningfully address this research’s principal questions. They are of clear national interest since they are accorded national strategic resources status by the Mines and Minerals Act of Zimbabwe and are spread in concentrated regions of the country where they make significant contributions to the national fiscus. Diamond companies are concentrated in Mutare under Manicaland Province while the Platinum mining companies are along the Great Dyke, which cuts across the centre of the country.
RESEARCH APPROACH AND DESIGN
As already noted, the design of the study was shaped by the questions that the study seeks to address. In this case the study sought to first analyse the understanding that various stakeholders have of a potentially novel concept of CCE (at least for them) and an assessment of how it should be measured and influenced by those stakeholders once it is understood. The nature of the questions warranted the use of questionnaires and interviews (attached in Appendix) in order to obtain the qualitative and quantitative data necessary to answer them. Consequently, the research approach was primarily built around them.
IMPORTANT METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS
Units of Analysis
It is important to clearly identify the units of analysis in describing the methods to be used in a study Cooper and Chandler (2008). Accordingly, this study followed that protocol. Neumann (2006) defines a unit of analysis as the unit, case, or part of social life that is under consideration. The “unit of analysis” is important in concept development, the empirical measurement or observation of a concept, and in data analysis. According to Cooper and Chandler (2008) the unit of analysis describes the level at which the research is performed and which objects are researched. In accordance with the definitions of unit of analysis by Neumann (2006) and Cooper & Chandler (2008), shareholders, Board members, diamond and platinum mining companies, senior management of the companies, Ministry of Mines and Mining Development officials, and community leadership served as units of analysis in the current study.
As highlighted by Neumann (2006) there can be more than one unit of analysis in one study. This guided the sampled companies, hence in total 5 communities were selected (some communities have multiple associated mines). In each community the Member of Parliament, the chiefs, the headmen, men’s groups, women’s groups, and youth groups were considered in the sampling plan. These groups were able to answer the research questions focusing on their areas of expertise. For the company representation the all senior management and executives were selected to participate in the study, because they are decision makers and are authorised to interact with outsiders.
Non-governmental organisations like the Centre for Community Development took part in the study. They provided their expert knowledge on community engagement and development, and investor participation in community development activities.
Target Population and Sampling Size.
According to Organ, (2006) and Sauders, Lewis and Thornhill, (2009) a target population refers to the entire group of individuals or objects or alternatively a full set of cases from which researchers are interested in generalizing the conclusions. In this study the target population was 3 platinum, 7 diamond, their communities, their board membership, shareholders and communities. All the 7 diamond and 3 platinum mines were included in the study.
DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENTS
With the study context set, key considerations discussed and research approaches noted, the study now discusses data collection instruments used in the aforementioned research approaches. In this section, the researcher provides evidence on how data was collected using both qualitative and quantitative data collecting instruments from the samples outlined above. The summary table in Section 3.10 illustrates the research question, the variables from the question, definition of the identified variables, the research instrument used to measure the variable and the evidence from literature.
Written literature in the form of professional and academic journals, books, published and unpublished articles, documents and meetings minutes was recognised as library research. Library research was utilised to define key terms, concepts and in reviewing case studies from international, regional and local experiences. The research also made use of electronic media in the form of internet sites in order to circumvent the use of out-dated information. The library research provided insight into current knowledge with a view to identifying the strengths and weaknesses of previous related empirical studies.
The questionnaires provided the principal source of both quantitative and qualitative data necessary for the study to make a novel contribution to the field of CSR and CCE. McNeil (1985) defines a questionnaire as a list of present questions used to measure attitudes, opinions and behaviour of respondents. These questions were addressed by questionnaires because they sought to establish the perceptions of various respondents pertaining to corporate governance, reporting in relation to Corporate Community Engagement. It can then be acknowledged that questionnaire types are determined by the format of questions which are restricted to two basic types; closed-ended and open-ended questions. In a closed ended question a researcher provided an appropriate list of answers or responses, such as, yes/no from which the respondent makes choices. In open-ended questions the researcher did not provide the respondents with any predetermined list of possible answers to select from and the respondents are expected to answer in their own words. This produced mainly qualitative data. These two types of questionnaires were adopted in this study to satisfy the dominant qualitative research framework as well as satisfying the mixed method approach.
Questionnaires were introduced carefully to the respondents to ensure a high response rate. For self-administered questionnaires cover letters accompanied the questionnaires briefly introducing the subject matter, objectives and the researcher’s background. In accordance with Welman and Kruger (2001), the questionnaires were pilot tested prior to data collection to assess the validity and likely reliability of the questions. Following piloting the questionnaires were administered to the target population in communities, mining companies and different leadership for both companies and communities. The self-administered survey technique was used and in some situations incorporated group self-administered surveys, where a questionnaire was administered to a responsible authority or decision-making persona representing a group or institution.
The questionnaire was designed according to the objectives and study variables and responses to the questions on the extent of Corporate Community Engagement was anchored on a five point Likert scales ranging from 5 – strongly agree to 1 – strongly disagree. Part one of the questionnaires was used to gather demographic data of the respondents so that perception and attitudes can be related according to age, gender and education and part two was to collect data on the respondents’ understanding of CCE, and how it is measured or it can be shown that it has taken place. To ensure reliability and validity of the instrument, reliability analyses of the scales in the research instrument was carried out by performing Cronbac’s alpha coefficient test (Cronbach, 1946).
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
1.2 THE ZIMBABWEAN CONTEXT
1.3 THE PROBLEM STATEMENT
1.4 RESEARCH AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.6 DELIMITATION OF RESEARCH
1.7 RATIONALE FOR THE STUDY
1.8 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
1.9 DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS
1.10 THESIS LAYOUT
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.2 OVERVIEW OF CORPORATE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
2.3 TAXONOMY OF CORPORATE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
2.4 AN OVERVIEW OF THE STAKEHOLDER THEORY
2.5 COMMUNITY BASED RESOURCE MANAGEMENT APPROACH (CBNRM)
2.6 STEWARDSHIP THEORY
2.7 AGENCY THEORY
2.8 THE CORRELATION BETWEEN COMPANY AND CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY / COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
2.9 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 JUSTIFYING MIXED METHODS
3.2 STUDY SETTING
3.3 RESEARCH APPROACH AND DESIGN
3.4 IMPORTANT METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS
3.5 DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENTS
3.6 DATA MANAGEMENT AND ANALYSIS
3.7 ETHICAL AND SOCIAL CONSIDERATIONS
3.8 VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY ISSUES
3.10 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
4.1 DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS FOR PHASE 1: ON THE UNDERSTANDING OF CCE, FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF MULTIPLE STAKEHOLDERS
4.2 UNDERSTANDING OF CCE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF MULTIPLE STAKEHOLDERS
4.3 DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS FOR PHASE 2: HOW CCE IS MEASURED
CHAPTER 5: ANALYSIS AND IMPLICATIONS OF RESULTS
5.1 ANALYSIS OF RESULTS
5.2 IMPLICATIONS OF RESULTS
5.3 A DIAGRAMATIC REPRESENTATION OF CCE IN THE MINING SECTOR
5.4 CONTRIBUTION TO KNOWLEDGE
5.6 STUDY LIMITATIONS AND AREAS FOR FURTHER STUDY
GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT
Corporate Community Engagement (CCE) in Zimbabwe’s mining industry from the Stakeholder Theory perspective