The paper “Conducting of Research - Avoiding of Bias, the Role of Theory Formulation, and Literature Review" is a fascinating example of an assignment on a research proposal. The term bias in the simplest and most basic sense refers to the slanting and skewness of direction that one gives unduly to any side in conflict or argument. It could be due to design, omission or commission of a mistake on the part of the researcher or the research process as a whole. In order to have proper findings and inferences, the research process demands that the research identifies and eliminates the bias of whichever form or aspect or notion. Researchers have always used some methods and approaches to eliminate or reduce bias (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004). Firstly, they strive to avoid the design problem by gauging and understanding the imperfections or limitations of the research participants.
Secondly, researchers ensure that research respondents are independent and are cushioned against any coercion. This is to ensure that they are not selected based on the desire to confirm the objective. Thus, the impartiality of the participants is key and important. Equally important is that the research participants are given enough time to complete the research questionnaires. This is normally aimed at eliminating procedural bias where the respondents are pressurized to finish the research may make them skim through the research and not answer the questions well (Gosling, Vazire, Srivastava & John, 2004). Researchers have also the impetus and imperative to consider that the respondents may answer according to the expectations of the interviewer. As a critical thinker, I would wish to inquire and pose a question of how this situation could be detected and corrected promptly. This is to inquire how the aspiring researchers could detect and correct the fact that respondents answer according to research expectations and objectives.
The term literature review in its part refers to the existing pool of knowledge and information regarding a particular concept or notion. This is to mention that literature review refers to what is already known from previous research work and what similar researchers and scholars have done in the past concerning similar subject related to what aspiring research wishes to achieve or explore. A literature review is beneficial because it helps a researcher to gain an impression and get an overview of the previous successes or failures of a research process (Webster & Watson, 2002). Similarly, it helps a person to know and identify areas of further research that may not have been considered in the past. This helps the research to avoid duplication of studies where a person may do the same research that might have been done in the past.
It is important to note and mention that the literature review also directs and guides the research to identify and know the sources of information and data to use. It goes without saying that research indicates his or her data sources and thus a researcher would know the most resourceful sources of data and information (Croom, Romano & Giannakis, 2000). In principle, one could only avoid previous mistakes which were made by other scholars and scholars only if a person reads and understand a literature review. This is to mention that one would be guided on the possible areas to avoid so as to bank on the success of previous work and move forward with speed and cover more ground aptly.
The terms theory in research refers to a set of related or conjoined notions, concepts, definitions and propositions which predict and explain events or situation. A theory also specifies and records the functional relationship that exists between variables in a research process and outcome. Theory thus is beneficial to a research process because it provides a form of identity between observable concepts of notions in a research process. This is to say that theory provides a basis for identifying a problem and then offer an enabling framework to alter that situation. Subsequently, a theory provides the ground and framework for a research firm to seek funds or grants (Webster & Watson, 2002). In brief, the theory explains to the donors what is being done and justify or prove that the research is worth funding.
From the definition, the theory must be formulated and in turn offer the basis for conducting the research. This stems from the fact that a research cannot begin or take place if there is no theory to guide the whole research process. For instance, one could formulate a theory that women are better managers in high-end executive jobs as compared to their male counterparts. The research process would then be initiated and would flow in the direction or within the parameters of the theory (Steers, Mowday & Shapiro, 2004). For instance, in the above example, a researcher would only seek to examine the performance of men and women managers without focusing on any other area of research. Thus, theory guides research work and process.