An important part of a research and mainly seeing it from the perspective of its objectives, is to identify the purpose of it, which according to some authors can be classified as exploratory, descriptive, explanatory and predictive (Kumar, 1999; Saunders et al. , 2000; Collis and Hussey, 2003). Whereas, the exploratory study is carried out to explore areas, identify variable and look for hypothesis instead of confirming hypothesis, the predictive study forecasts the result of an event and anticipate the outcomes of that event which is under study.
On the other hand, an explanatory (analytical) study focuses on studying a situation or a problem in order to discover and measure the relationship between variables, while a descriptive study identifies, describes and provides information of a particular issue (Kumar, 1999; Saunders et al. , 2000; Collis and Hussey, 2003). Therefore, the purpose of this research, taking into account its objectives is exploratory due to the fact that it tries to examine the management styles influenced by cultural differences, the skills needed to overcome with those differences and the action taken which could lead to a effectively manage that situation.
Hence, it would lead to find strategic recommendations for the organization involve in this investigation.
In this case, a sample is made up of some of the members of a population. A population may refer to a body of people or to any other collection of items under consideration for research purposes. (Kumar, 1999; Collis and Hussey, 2003; Jankowicz, 2005). The sampling techniques are divided into two types, probability and non-probability. The former has a characteristic that each element in the population has an equal and independent chance of being chosen in the sample (Kumar, 1999); the latter, is mainly use when there is no need for statistical inferences about the characteristics of the population.
This technique is generally use in a case study research and the sampling size is determined by the researcher, since there is no given rule for this (Saunders et al. , 2003). Therefore, a non-probability sampling is considered to be an appropriate sampling method because as Saunders et al. (2000) and Collis and Hussey (2003) point out, the non-probability sampling technique is the most practical and useful for an exploratory research project, as well as to carry out an in-depth study which focuses on a small sample selection in order to answer the research question.
Sample Size Due to the interpretivism philosophy of this research, the data to be investigated will be selected due to the relevance of the participant’s position with the subject of this project. Therefore, the population is represented by managers and supervisors who work within a multicultural workforce at ABC Superstore. As the whole population would be inaccessible, a sample is needed to be selected in a manageable size, which could represent significantly the complete population’s opinion.
There are a variety of non-probability sampling techniques which can provide the rationale to answer the research questions and accomplish the objectives of the research. For the interviews, purposive sampling is used in order to select the most suitable members for this study. According to Saunders et al. (2000, p. 174), “purposive or judgmental sampling enables you to use your judgment to select cases that will best enable you to answer your research question(s) and meet your objectives.
” Owing to this, participants for the interviews will be identified and chosen considering their management background with the intention of having a relevant sample that could contain an appropriate people from the wanted segment. Saunders et al. (2000) mention that the logic to select the correct sample is of vital important based on the comment of Patton (1990 cited Saunders et al. , 2000) who highlight that “the validity and understanding that you will gain from your data will be more to do with your data collection and analysis skills than the size of your sample”. Table 1 summarises the sample selection and size for the interviews.
It can be seen that in relation to what Patton said, in this case the results could be of quality, due to the background of the organisation and its members, who are the participants of the interview and whose experiences in the related subject may be of vital help to achieve the aim and objectives of the research.
In this case, the data of this research will be collected using interviews, and the intention is to interview a small sample of 6 managers and supervisors who manage people from different cultural backgrounds in order to analyze descriptions of their management experiences and explore whether culture influences on their management styles. The group will be consisted of participants from Venezuela, North America and England.
These differences lead to get richer information, given the highly representative influence of culture differences over their experiences on management styles within a multicultural workforce. It is of importance the access to the chosen organization in order to collect the data which will depend on the research question and objectives (Saunders et al. , 2000). With the aiming of reaching the sample, and given the time limitations of this study, the sample selection will be based on the total population of managers and supervisors who work within a multicultural workforce at ABC Superstore in the U. S.
Firstly, access to ABC Superstore will be negotiated through existing contacts, which will provide the number of managers and supervisors in the selected group and facilitated the communication through a letter sent by e-mail, which can be read in Appendix A. Access limitations are an important issue in relation to the sampling during the research process. According to Saunders et al. (2000), there are some problems and difficulties that arise associated with access, such as the lack of perceived value and credibility of the research project, the confidentiality of the information, and others.
In this case, no particular difficulties in gaining access are expected to be encountered due to the existing contacts in the organization chosen. In fact, Buchanan et al. (1988 cited Saunders et al. , 2000, p. 119) point out that “we have been most successful where we have a friend, relative or student working in the organization”. Nevertheless, it is important to mention that due to the nature of this research, difficulties may come upon in convincing managers and supervisors in giving information about their experiences of working within a multicultural workforce.
In order to overcome this, anonymity and confidentiality will be promised as well as to let them know that the obtained findings would be use only for academic purposes (Appendix A). In addition, a limitation may be encountered when conducting the interviews because it is time consuming and the availability of the managers in participating for the interview might be low. The way to overcome this limitation will be to convince the participants by explaining the importance of this research and that it might bring benefits to the company.