Sample Research Proposal Essay on Research Design


The objective of this section is to provide details of the methodology that this study will use in the data collection and analysis process. This process provides a procedure through which the study can validate or falsify the assumptions as presented in the hypothesis on matters of the leadership situation in Suburban Center, which has affected the leadership and the ideologies applicable in ensuring effective leadership. This process will be made successful through effective understanding of the research process, the development of verifiable research questions (Single, 2010). Qualitative approach to research will define the research method that this study will implement.

Research Problem

The Topic Leadership situation in Suburban Center
The research problem The Suburban Center is one of the communities in the Midwestern City. A mixture of old and new guards characterize the community’s population. The former comprise of different ethnic communities that moved into the suburbs seeking a new and better life, while the later consist of professional working in blue-collar and highly skilled jobs in the community. The power of the old guards is in their desire to maintain much of their ethnic affiliations and this explains their high level of influence in appointment of officials into powerful positions. The controlled leadership situation in the community has been a contributor to the relatively limited performance of the schools considering the absence of diversity in the people appointed in school boards.

The leadership situation in the Suburban Center of Schools has been influenced by the political and ethnic affiliations that often characterize the election process. The appointment of two deputy principals to help in matters of accountability contributed to failure of students in Math and reading scores. This was because those in support of Carl Forza advocated for her ideology that the teaching fraternity should act according to the directives of their superiors making discipline, obedience, loyalty, and authority the defining principles of her leadership. Those in support of the other Assistant principal, Darlene baker, held the ideological assumption that a teacher had the responsibility of acting in accordance with his or her professional judgment. Teachers in the view of Baker were to be led by the values of initiative, professional responsibility, cooperation, and autonomy. After the results were announced and there was an indication that students had failed in math and reading scores, Principal McGann, while understanding that the leadership approach as provided by Darlene was more practical did not understand the best approach that could be used in helping Assistant Principal Forza and her supporters to understand.


Evidence from literature justifying the problem According to Wren (2007), it is the role of a leader to ensure that all his subjects are focused towards the realization of a common goal. This means that to provide effective leadership, the leader has the responsibility of providing his subjects with some sense of direction based on an understanding to the prevailing situation. Involvement of the subjects in the view of Wren (2007) is not only to enhance cohesion and integration between members of a diverse community but also to demonstrate ability to lead.

It is the responsibility of a leader to ensure that all every member in charge of any aspect of leadership understand the expectations of his position in relation to the realization of a common goals (Chin, 2010). This means that it is only possible for the Suburban school to realize improvement when the teachers work as a team and are not divided by ideological differences. Lack of cooperation may minimize the ability of the teachers to execute their responsibility, exercise their rights while understanding their obligation towards the students and the society (Jackson et al, 2011).

Deficiencies in evidence One of the deficiencies in the existing evidence is lack of appropriate mechanism to integrate effective and efficient leadership. In order to address this deficiency, there is need to adopt and implement an effective leadership approach with the intention of maintaining the organizational order. Similarly, there is need to execute an extensive research relating to misconceptions on matters concerning organizational leadership (Chin, 2010). The study will allow the researchers to isolate the variables and changes in the development models on matters related to the best leadership approach in an organizational platform. It will also allow communities to begin a process of planning interventions that will alter or improve the attitude of the leadership towards development and organizational growth (Chin, 2010).
Significance of the study This study is important to leaders in learning institutions because it will provide them with an understanding of ways through which they can handle ideological and leadership differences. In addition, the study is also important to the community surrounding learning institutions by providing them with an understanding of their role in improving ensuring effective and transparent leadership through the election of rational and highly decisive leaders. Results from this study will also provide leaders in learning institutions with techniques on how to ensure that their subjects are operating in according to the values of teamwork.



Research Questions

Research questions are essential in the process of determining the objectives and purpose of a study. This is because the questions determine the areas of focus of a researcher in a research project. For effective formation of research questions, the researcher has a role in developing a research problem (Chumney and Kit, 2006). In qualitative research, the role of the research question is to define the process of question answering in relation to the nature of the social phenomenon under investigation instead of the prevalence of the phenomenon (Clearly, 2003).

The general objective is to evaluate the role of effective leadership in improving school performance in the Suburban Center

Main question: How do ideological differences affect the ability of leaders to provide effective leadership to their subjects?

Additional questions in this study included:

  • What is the role of ethnic differences in defining the leadership situation in Suburban Center?
  • How does the current leadership situation affect school performance at Suburban center?
  • How can the leadership in Suburban Center Schools be involved in the development of effective and quality education in the community?

The research will employ phenomenology. Phenomenology is a methodology and a procedure, which entails the study of a small number of subjects using relatively prolonged and extensive engagements, aimed at identifying the patterns and the relationship essential in the understating of meaning. This approach to qualitative research lays emphasis on experiences and the contribution of these experiences towards the development of some level of consciousness (Cresweell, 2014). Phenomenological approach to research is sin support of the assertion that elements of knowledge and understanding define the normal and everyday procedures in the activities of man within the society. The aim of a researcher while using this approach in qualitative research is to attempt an accurate description of the phenomenon while at the same time refraining from the suppositions by a pre-given framework and asserting the facts as the object of study presents them (Creswell, 2007). This is an indication that for a phenomenologist, it is important to understand the psychological and social phenomenon from the perspective of those involved. The phenomenon affecting the leadership and the education sector in Suburban Center will be examined through the eyes of a small number of the subjects. Their responses will be used in the explanation of the role of leadership in the declining education sector, the role of the communities in the election of their leaders and how these contribute to the development of Suburban Center Schools. In addition, the study will also use phenomenology in understanding the role of the leadership in ensuring that math and reading scores of the students in Suburban Center improve.

The phenomenological approach to qualitative research operates on the assumption that people in the society have some level of certainty on the reality in relation to how these elements appear in their consciousness (Creswell, 2007). This means that members of any society are always conscious of their environment. In this study, phenomenology will be essential in investigating and understanding the leadership situation in Suburban Center and its effects on the education sector. The researcher will use the phenomenological approach to research because he aims at developing an in-depth understanding of the individual perspectives on matters of leadership and the dwindling education sector in Suburban Center.

The main objective of this study is to assess the contribution of the leadership in matters affecting the education sector. This will be through an understanding of the prevailing situation in leadership by proving explanations on the causes of increasing levels of indiscipline and the low math and reading scores scores. In addition, the study will also examine the role of ethnicity in the leadership process its contribution to the dwindling performance of the education sector. This will also enhance the possibility of developing solutions on how the leadership improving the education sector.

Data will be collected through an interview process, with the assist of the researcher. The data collection process will be for 30 days to ensure that all the willing respondents are interviewed.

Population, sample, and site

The target population for the study was the old guards and new guards working at different levels at the Suburban Center. The selection of this group is based on their understanding of the conditions defining the leadership situation and the performance of the suburban center schools.

The study will use representative sampling approach to sample respondents from the target population, Suburban Center Community. This is because the society operates through different levels of leadership and groups and for effective representation it will be necessary for the sample to be derived from opinion leaders, activist groups, and political and education experts from the old guards and new guards.

The use of this sample will ensure effective representation of every segment of the community. The study will use in-depth semi structured interview method in the collection of data. This approach to data collection will ensure collection data from verbal and nonverbal activities such as words, facial expression, attitudes, and observation (Marshall et al, 2006). The process of data collection will be at the Suburban Center.

Qualitative Research

The use of phenomenology in understanding the leadership situation in Suburban Center is only possible through a qualitative approach to research. The objective of qualitative approach to research is often to collect data based on personal assumptions, feelings, and attitudes the respondents towards the subject of study (Creswell, 2007). In this study, the main aim of using qualitative approach is due to its exploratory and flexible nature. This makes it easier for the researcher to tailor the research questions in ways that allow for continuous alterations in the data collection and analysis approaches (Foss & Waters, 2007).

Data Collection Procedures

Data collection process and methodologies are essential in any research initiative. Data entails the information used in the explanation of the findings of a study. The importance of data in any research process emanates from the understanding that upon analysis data the data will be used in answering the research questions. In this research, multiple data will be collected for the target population. Effective data collection also requires the selection of the most appropriate group that can provide effective responses.

To facilitate the data collection process it will be important to tape the interview process, which will be in the form of a conversation between the researcher and the respondents. In addition, the researcher will also takes notes during the process as a way of providing additional information that is essential in the process of data analysis (Marshall et al, 2006). To facilitate an effective data collection process the researcher will ensure that participants understand their rights and responsibilities. This will be through the provision of consent forms that will be provide details of research expectations the levels of confidentiality that the study envisions to initiates (Marshall et al, 2006).

The process of data collection process will be enhanced by the use of field note, which will be written during the interview process. Furthermore, it will be important for the researcher to engage in in-depth study of notes and journals while listening and watching the recorded interviews to ensure an understanding of the perceptions of the participants and in relation to the objectives of the study (Marshall et al, 2006).


In this study, the researcher will serve as the primary data collection instruments. This means that it is the responsibility of the researcher to ensure that the data collection process is effective in relation to the ability of the data gathered to responds to research questions. This is only possible if the researcher ensures that, the data collection process is accurate and aims at ensuring high level of objectivity and validity (Marshall et al, 2006). Objective and valid data can only be acquired when the researcher eliminates all forms of bias and preconceived assumptions and focus on the use of effective methodologies in the data collection process. Bias can be minimized by using reputable sampling techniques that provide members of the target population an equal opportunity of being selected to participate in the research process (Cresweell, 2014).

Interview questions

The study will be using semi-structured interview as the primary approach to the research. This will requires the development of open-ended questions whose wording and sequencing will be similar to all the respondents (Cresweell, 2014). It will be important to develop focused and specific question as a way of ensuring that the responses acquired from the respondents are essential contributors to providing answers to the research questions hence fulfilling the objectives of the study. One way of ensuring the realization of the objectives of the study is to minimize any form of bias and subjectivity in the development of interview questions (Cresweell, 2014).



Examples of interview questions
  • What is your role as a community member in promoting effective leadership?
  • How has the leadership in Suburban Center contributed to the dwindling of the education sector?
  • What are some of the approaches that the leadership in Suburban Center can use to ensure effective and quality education?
  • Does the current leadership provide significant response to the deteriorating performance in the education sector, and if so, how?
Data Analysis

The study will use qualitative data analysis, which allows for the inspection, organization, transfer, and analysis of data collected in relation understanding the phenomenon under study. Effective data analysis will be facilitated by a transcription process, which allows the researcher to develop, code and describe the situation in its context (Cresweell, 2007).

Coding will allow for the taped interviews and filed note to be entered into computer files and organized according to their thematic areas. The coding system will make it easier for the analysis of every tape interview based on the identified thematic areas. For effective coding and categorization of data, it will be important for the researcher to define the key concepts by investigating their meanings (Cresweell, 2014). This will facilitate the process of incorporating the concepts in ways that will help the study in explaining the relationship between quality education and effective leadership in Suburban Center.

Interview analysis will be a data analysis approach, which will require the reading and highlighting of the common phrases in each interview transcript, grouping the interview transcript according to their thematic areas, coding common phrases and using the coded words and phrases in the creation of categories representative the collective thoughts of participants. It will require he creation of generalizations about the phenomenon in question as a way of answering the research questions (Cresweell, 2014).

Limitations and Delimitation of the Research Design

The use of qualitative approach to research is in the inability to generalize findings considering that they are not quantifiable. The research in Suburban Center focuses on the role of leadership in matters of educations. It will be relatively difficult for the researcher to quantify findings into percentages making it relatively difficult to generalize findings (Cresweell, 2014). The difficulty in the generalizability of the assumptions arising from the findings may be unique to the few individuals included in the study.

Individual interviews based on feelings and attitudes are subjective in nature. Effective and objective generalizations are relatively difficult to develop considering the differences in the feelings and attitudes of participants (Marshall et al, 2006). The findings from this research may therefore have limited credibility considering that they can be influenced by the personal biases and idiosyncrasies of the researcher (Hellens et al, 2004).

The use of case studies in the research makes it relatively difficult to make causal inferences considering that this approach to qualitative research is often suggestive since they deal with elements of human behavior that are dynamic (Yin, 2009). The difficulties arising from this approach to study is that it is time consuming in terms of the process of data collection and analysis.







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