RESEARCH METHODOLOGYBACKGROUNDThis study is the field study of real analysis (work based analysis) of manual paper based book keeping system in comparison to the computerized accounting system. The organization in this study is Cheng Gong Systems Pte. Ltd. (CGSP) based in Malaysia – a wholesale and retail computer company which has a network of 300 dealers. This company has very recently implemented a computerized accounting system. Primary research is intended to be carried out in the company relating to the way previous manual book keeping system was used and the new computerized accounting system.
We will be using face –to-face interviews with the accounting personnel and senior management staff. Questionnaires will also be developed to ascertain actual problems faced during and after the implementation of new automated accounting system. The data obtained will be analyzed and any limitations or problems faced during primary research will be reported. RESEARCH METHODSIt is the basic requirement of any research study to give detailed thought to the appropriate research methodology and technique which ensures a valid, reliable and accurate conclusion and result. There are many factors which need to be considered to choose the exact method which will produce best results such as the time constraints, data availability, and Skills of the researcher etc.
The literature on research methodologies converge on two main methods of data collection and analysis --- Qualitative methods and Quantitative methods. QUALITATIVE RESEARCHThe Qualitative research takes a holistic and completely personal and subjective approach to research. Here the data should be representative of the full picture rather than a sample and the validity of the data is most important.
The different methods of qualitative methods are action research, case study research and ethnography. The data collection techniques include methods such as Field study where the researchers observes the problem closely, interviews and questionnaires, document analysis etc. QUANTITATIVE RESEARCHOn the other hand, the Quantitative research is more experimental and looks for theories and laws that can be proved under laboratory conditions. But here the focus is more on the consistency and stability of the data such that the results can be replicated by any other researchers. The different quantitative methods used by researchers are survey methods, laboratory experiments, econometric methods and numerical methods. TRIANGULATIONSince last few years, the researchers are increasingly combining the two methodologies in the same single research and this has given rise to the concept of Mixed methods research or the Triangulation Method.
Many authors have discussed the triangulation such as Gable (1994), Kaplan and Duchon (1988), Lee (1991), Mingers (2001) and Ragin (1987) As per the advocates of this combined research methodology, it helps to provide a broader and deeper perspective to problems and in a sense also complement each other by providing a proof of the validity of the research results.
The combined research methods thus are able to eliminate the inadequacies of individual methods and are able to provide automatic confirmation of the results as different techniques from both methodologies are use to arrive at the common result. Thus Triangulation method is able to relate and integrate the information received from two ways and provides the researcher with a more holistic and accurate picture of the given problem which would not be achieved when using a single type of method or data collection technique.
(Perone and Tucker, 2003)